Earlier this week I made the trip down to Chichester to see another of this season’s smash hits Gypsy starring the incredible Imelda Staunton. The run has already sold out but I’d put money on it that we’ll see it in London before long.
I know, you’re all waiting for blogs on Idina Menzel and Ghost the Musical – I know you’re all refreshing the blog every five minutes and sighing in frustration when nothing comes up then getting ready to throwing the computer out the window when I blog about something completely different. Please don’t open that window – but bare with me as I will blog about them – hopefully within the week. It’s been a tad busy (unusally) and things are going on the wayside.
Anyways, as you know, I have a very special relationship with Chichester Festival Theatre. One of the best shows I’ve seen this year was Singin’ In The Rain there in August and next week I venture back down there to see Sweeney Todd with Micheal Ball playing the title role. Next year it celebrates it’s 50th anniversary. It doesn’t seem 10 years since I had my first driving lesson to a rehearsal for the youth theatre’s first main house production to celebrate 40 years (was not the best and it’s been wiped from history…. A Story About Listening was a bit of a disaster….). Over the past 10 years it’s gone from strength to strength moving effortlessly away from becomming an ice rink as some Chichester residents were suggesting for it to become when it was going through some troubles.
To mark it’s milestone, the theatre are releasing a book, and much like how the theatre was founded is asking the public to help with it. This video explains it. My name’s going to be printed in it, if you value local theatre or Chichester, get yours in it too.
For more information go to http://unbound.co.uk/books/15
Had a bit of a summer break, but now that the wind and rain is battering at the windows I thought I’d better make a return. Sadly my summer wasn’t filled with theatrical delights, apart from the one stunning evening in which I got to see Singin’ In The Rain at Chichester’s Chichester Festival Theatre. If you follow my twitter you’ll have seen a very brief review which simply stated that it was fantastic – but I will explain why in a future blog.
So after spending my summer away from the red velvet curtains and the plush purple seats of the theatre, I’m preparing myself for several delights over the coming month or two. I’m hoping to make it to an amateur production of Just So at the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton (cast your mind back to my underrated blog a while back), seeing the touring production of Evita when it visits the Birmingham Hippodrome, and seeing the Judy Garland biopic End Of The Rainbow. I will also be venturing down to London to attend a very special concert at the Royal Albert Hall by Idina Menzel and while visiting London will probably go see Ghost The Musical to get over my obsession. I’ll also be venturing down to Chichester again in October to see Micheal Ball’s Sweeney Tood. I’m also hoping to make it to the tour of Legally Blonde, the opening of The Crescent Theatre’s new season with Talking Heads, and if I’m able to find the time, the world premiere produciton of Top Hat at the Hippodrome.
As long as I don’t forget the password (again) and don’t break my computer (my laptop went to PC Heaven over the summer) I hope to keep this blog updated regularly and with continuation of the features I started way back when… If you have any suggestions feel free to send my way (and that includes if you can get my hands on any nice, free, tickets!!)
Based on Kipling’s Just So stories, Stiles & Drewe wrote an awesome musical following the elephant’s child on his quest to find out why the crab plays with the sea. Along the way he help’s the zebra get her stripes, the giraffe get her spots, the kangaroo get his big legs and the rhino his saggy skin – as well as helping a few other animals.
Taking the form of an old magician telling the story to a child, the show starts with all the animals collecting a case with their name on who we meet along the journey. A journey with a number of memorable songs. The first time I saw this show at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 2004 it became a favourite and I saw the production several times. I’ve only seen one other production, a young Rep production in Birmingham which managed to compete well with the professional production in Chichester. The Chichester production also produced the soundtrack album for the show. John Barrowman appears on the soundtrack but wasn’t in the production, however Julie Artherton who has gone onto huge success in Avenue Q and Portrait of a Princess and in the coming month, Sister Act the Musical starred as the Kolokolo Bird.
I can’t exactly pinpoint why Just So is a favourite of mine. I think it caught me a time in my life where a traditional, funny, family-esque musical was needed. When I first saw it I would have been deep in A Level revision and exams and I remember going to supervise some younger members of the youth theatre at Chichester. Then using my youth theatre membership I managed to see it several times for very cheap or free with a number of different people and seeing how they reacted to it helped make it so memorable. There was talk when it was in Chichester of it going to London and to a bigger audience but that sadly didn’t happen. I would love to see a new production or even be involved with a new production… but that might be a long time away.
Just So is an awesome, yet underrated musical. Here is one of my favourite songs from the show ‘The Limpopo River’:
We’ve all seen that Google advert where the new Dad sets up all these Google accounts for his new daughter. It’s heartwarming isn’t it?!
Anyway, now think of it the opposite way and using lots of Apple gadgets (sure the fact it’s all Apple is a coincendence). You’ve just died and trying to get messages across. Well this video explores that, again it’s heartwarming!
Also, I know I have done a lot of blogs on Ghost – the Musical, I will give it a break now until I hopefully see it!
Although I’m based in Birmingham, I originally hail from the South coast and so have a life long relationship with the fantastic Chichester Festival Theatre. In a few weeks I’ll be heading back down that way for a while and hope to catch the big musical from this summer’s season, Singin’ In The Rain. I’m also hoping to see Sweeney Todd there later in the Autumn with Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton – though whether it’ll be as good as The Crescent Theatre’s I’m not sure!
Here’s the trailer for Singin’ In The Rain as released by Chichester Festival Theatre. The rain and water is nothing new for the theatre which famously flooded it’s stage for the Venice themed season back in 2002!