Musicals – they’re only for women and gay men or so they say.
Given that I’m quite partial to musicals I’m not sure what that says about me. I’ve seen quite a few over the years. Some such as Amélie we’ve been to see a few times. Some I’ve fallen asleep during (Wicked I’m looking at you). Therefore, today was going to be an interesting day with two musical related stops in London with a film based interlude in the middle (more on that in the next blog post).
The V&A (or the Victoria and Albert Museum to give it its proper title) is not somewhere I’ve been before. This is for the rather snotty reason that I believed it was all dresses and fashion and things that weren’t interesting to me. Across the road, however, I have been to both the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum multiple times.
Now you may think that I am going to say “I have now corrected that wrong” and while it is true that I have finally stepped inside the door of the V&A I really cannot say that I have “done” it.
A while back we saw advertised that the V&A were going to be running an exhibition on musicals which looked like it might be fun to go to. The next time we were up in London we dropped in to take a look but, alas, it was not to be as we were unlucky to choose a time when it was shut for a private school visit.
Yesterday we were back again for a second attempt only to find that this is the exhibition that doesn’t want the Thompsons to see it as it was, once again, shut. This time because it was too cold in the exhibition space. I’m not sure whether that was too cold for me or the exhibits but it was laughable either way. As it happened we weren’t the only ones wanting to go in and an attendant allowed us to go in for “5-10 minutes” so it was a bit of a dash around.
The inside of the V&A did look interesting and I think we will have to make plans to go back and do it properly but not Re:Imagining Musicals as that clearly doesn’t want us there!
The Time Traveller’s Wife
We may not have been able to see an exhibition on musicals but we did get to see an actual musical. In the afternoon we had tickets to The Time Traveller’s Wife at the Apollo on Shaftesbury Avenue. We’d got tickets via ShowFilmFirst which essentially sells empty seats for shows close to the date. In this case, we paid a very reasonable £20 per person for seats four rows back in the dress circle.
I thought that I had read Audrey Niffenegger’s book but it turns out that I had actually only seen the film of the book which isn’t always the best introduction and certainly not for the time-hopping romp that this is.
Helen loved the show but I was less enthusiastic. That could have been because I found it confusing or it could have been the migraine. What I did love was the technical aspects of the show which like many theatre productions had a deceptively simple-looking set. These included giant screens the like you see at stadium gigs, misdirection tricks and multiple similar-looking actors. Some parts worked better than others but generally was fascinating to watch.
To be fair it was enjoyable for £20 which represented excellent value for money but I wouldn’t go back. I would, however, read the book.