The other experience that made my London trip epic, apart from my Neverwhere Tour, was watching a West End show every night (except Sunday). They seriously hit the wallet, plus I had to sac all other nightlives; but it was well worth it.
**Some spoilers ahead. Not too many.
Let The Right One In
Let The Right One In (2008) was a classic vampire story. (I need to just pause here to shake my head in disgust at what Twilight did to vampires. Sparkling skin in the sun? Ugh.) Similarly, Chloe Grace Moretz delivered a stunning performance in Let Me In (2010). So I had pretty high expectations for its theatre adaptation. It did not disappoint.
Let The Right One In was a small tight production which used space and manpower brilliantly. The swimming pool scene was especially visceral. But I think certain elements – the jerkiness of an undead’s movements, the innocence-aggression of a girl who needs blood and likes a boy, the horror of a bleeding vampire who enters into an abode without being welcome – all these were much more powerful with special effects. And for that, this production is missable if one has watched the films.
Matilda, the Musical was less enjoyable than expected. I suspect it is the singing that really makes things work for me when I watch musicals. And Matilda did not have very epic singing because the voices were mostly children’s. Miss Honey was nothing extraordinary; though getting the Trunchbull to cross-dress was a perfect artistic decision. Matilda herself comes off a tad arrogant, but I guess it is the innocent arrogance of a know-it-all, which is still somewhat endearing. At that age.
Book of Mormon
There’s little else to say. It was really quite perfect.
Billy Elliot was another kind of awesome. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it, given that much of the singing was a child’s. I was more sold by its story I guess – it was as moving as Book of Mormon was hilarious. And I’ve always been a sucker for these innocence-wonder-magis-type stories. Plus Elliott Hanna gave an enchanting balance of teenage angst and childhood dreams.
I watched the film a few days ago. For this one, the musical beat the film hands down.
Michael Morpugo was surprised when people wanted to adapt his book into a film. He thought they were crazy when they wanted to adapt it into a play.
Puppets were the highlight of this show. It made me question my reaction to art, and what it was that made me feel so much for an object animated by external agents. Are emotions that… alienable?
Existential questions aside, the play was probably overly long. It did not help that I was a little on the edge because I had to collect my luggage from Left-Baggage by 11PM. And I am ashamed to admit that I fell asleep at parts of the play. The odd singing parts especially seemed extraneous: was it some lackadaisical attempt to push the production into a half-musical of sorts? It didn’t really work out. Nevertheless, the puppets and their controllers carried the show.