Saturday, 14 May 2011

Grease Really Isn't The Word... I Assure You

So they gave us another bank holiday this year, I was only natural use it wisely in meeting a friend, and spending the day in London. Though unlike the other many millions who had descended on our drab and smelly capital city, we were not there for the royal wedding. Rather it was a chance to catch up and see two shows.

I hadn't seen James in almost a year, so we had a lot to catch up on and being the big kids that we are, what better place to do this than the Rain Forest Cafe! They have kitted the place out to look like a rain forest, loads of plants, and models of animals which move. The lights flash when there is a "thunder storm", and all the sound effects are there to go with it. Ok I will admit, it would probably have been cheaper to fly to a real rain forest as the place was hardly cheap... but the food was good, and it was a nicer environment to eat in than the scummy McDonalds you find on every other corner throughout the city. It set up the day and after a brief wander around we head towards our first show of the day.

Knowing it was soon to close our first choice was for the iconic West End Musical - Grease. Well at least we considered it to be iconic as it had survived for so long. Little did we know, we were about to see the theatrical equivalent of a train crash. The first indication that this show was really failing was the door numbers. By 5PM much of the wedding celebrations were over, and whilst some planned to revel into the night, I really didn't expect to see a show this empty. The upper levels were closed and even in the royal circle and stalls the number of empty seats far outnumbered those which were occupied.

The longest overture in the world kicks in, and all sounded good. The band were tight, I recognised a few of the numbers - and though the auditorium lacked atmosphere, I could imagine on a good night this would get the vibe in the theatre going. Though this really is where the good experiences ended. The opening number "Sandy" was simply awful. It seems that the guy playing Danny, and the girl playing Sandy were never taught to harmonise... at odd intervals they even drifted out of time with one another. I have heard drunken football hooligans sing better... well at least in time with one another.

The downhill spiral had started, from here the singing was awful, the choreography a messy. Maybe it was the fact that these actors knew they would be on the dole queue come Monday as the show was just 3 performances from closing. Maybe it was the complete lack of paying customers that bought the moral of the actors down. Though had this have been the case, the paying customers had been robbed of their money, especially the fools you had spent out in excess of £60 for a top priced ticket. I felt robbed having only paid about £22!

Come the interval James and I could bare it no more. We had to leave. It was embarrassing watching actors die on stage like that, not to mention boring to watch. The storyline is less than gripping, but tied in with a poor performance it is verging on being suicidal to watch. I have never walked out of a show before, but this really was awful. Your local primary school could manage something better, I assure you!

The good news however is the show has now closed making way for Ghost The Musical later in the year. No doubt the show will tour, though if you want my advice? Save the money for a show worth seeing.

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