Yelly Writes

The perfect Sunny Afternoon

So I apparently love the music of the Kinks!  Who knew?

Alan has brilliant taste in musicals and he’s always challenged me (in his own quiet way) to watch something different each time.  I didn’t think I was going to love Rock of Ages, but he won tickets, we went and I was standing up and jumping up and down like a mad thing towards the end of the musical.  I thought I was going to hat We Will Rock you, but I was bopping my head to each song.  I didn’t think I knew a lot of Queen song, but apparently I did!  I didn’t know what The Commitments was about.  Alan got the movie, we watched it and I fell in love with the songs.  The theatre version was even better!  I was up there dancing like a woman crazed whilst Mustang Sally was sung!

One musical I was totally unsure about Sunny Afternoon.  I wasn’t entirely sure I liked the Kinks so I wasn’t sure I’d love the musical.  But Alan had already booked tickets so we were going.  But guess what, I apparently knew more songs by The Kinks that I thought I did.  And I loved the musical.  So much so that I agreed to watch it again!

Sunny Afternoon - Stage

I was so pleased that Sunny Afternoon won Best New Musical in the 2015 Laurence Olivier awards.  Because it was well-deserved.  If you get the chance to (I think they’ve added more dates – don’t quote me as I could be very mistaken!), go and see it.  If you don’t, at least buy the CD of the London cast performing.  My favourite of favourites is the a cappella version of Days.  It will tug at your heart strings!

Harold Pinter Theatre - Sunny Afternoon

Yelly Writes

Les Mis – finally!

To say that I was excited about seeing Les Mis was an understatement.  I could hardly sit still in the train on the way to the cinema.  I’d been so looking forward to seeing the movie since they started shooting scenes in Greenwich in April 2012.

Les Mis is one of three of my all-time favourite musicals (the other two being Miss Saigon and Phantom of the Opera) and the prospect of seeing a movie version of the musical was certainly exciting.  I told myself to not expect too much, because after all, the cast weren’t West End or Broadway performers.  But I also knew that Cameron Mackintosh had a say in the production and after seeing the interviews, I understood that the cast and crew understood how beloved this musical was that they wouldn’t do anything to taint it.  I’m sure everyone involved in the movie wanted to do their utmost best because like me and countless others, they loved the musical too.

So after waiting for so long (waiting to get better from illness and waiting for the snow to stop falling and start melting), armed with Kleenex, I made my way to see the movie I’d waited to long to see.  And it didn’t disappoint.  I cried buckets, enough to make my eyes sting the whole time after.  The familiar themes of young love, unrequited love, transformation, forgiveness and redemption did not fail to touch my heart (and my tear ducts!).

While live theatre performance is in a different league entirely, this version of Les Mis was something to be seen.  You could see in the actors’ performances how much they loved this musical.  Hugh Jackman reminded me a little of Colm Wilkinson, but don’t get me wrong, his Valjean was his Valjean.  Amanda Seyfriend was a hauntingly beautiful Cosette, and she didn’t warble too badly too!  Anyone who can cry and sing at the same time as well as Anne Hathaway did deserves an award!  I was quiet pleased that they chose Samantha Barks for Eponine because she did brilliantly.  I wasn’t too impressed by Russell Crowe’s singing but his acting made up for it because he was Javert!  But I think the performance that stole the show was Eddie Redmayne’s!  Who’d have thought he’d make this amazingly romantic Marius?

I don’t really want to say too much just in case you haven’t seen it.  But if you can go and watch it, do!  Oh and remember to bring kleenex…or maybe a beach towel!

Les Miserables