‘The way the world is, I think a silly evening in the theatre is a good thing,
to take our minds off terror’ – Tim Curry
I am a very fortunate man. The older I get, the more fortunate I realise my childhood was, especially when it came to the arts. Although my parents weren’t involved in creating art directly, they ensured that I was constantly exposed to it.
Now, I’m not exactly sure when my first West End performance was, or what it was. All I know is that I have been fortunate enough to have seen plenty of shows there. In fact, I once tried to make a list of all the pieces of theatre I have seen and just ended up completely lost because not only have I seen them all over the country, but because every single London show that has a UK tour ends up coming to my hometown – Milton Keynes.
I do have a couple of favourites though. Ben Elton’s We Will Rock You because, well, Queen songs. Lord of the Rings (yes, such a thing did once exist before closing in 2008) is up there because the actors playing the orcs freaked the life out of my school’s theatre director, whilst watching Michael Ball during his last run in Hairspray definitely makes the cut.
The Lion King was something special. As a spectacle it is something else. Honestly, I was starstruck the entire time, even at the age of 21.
My personal favourite, however, is Les Miserables. I’ve seen it twice – the second time was better, with amazing company and will live long in the memory – and the only reason I haven’t seen it more often is because I have always tried to watch other shows instead. If I had chosen Les Mis over other shows I could have missed out on the original run of Matilda, I could have missed out on Wicked, and I could have missed out on The Book of Mormon.
I’ll always go back to London’s West End. It’s a special location filled to the brim with marvellous theatrical opportunities and hidden gems – if you know where to look.
To see my complete bucket list, click here