Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Friday, October 12, 2007

Last night Stu and I went to see the new staged production of Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London's glitzy West End. And what a wow it was.

We sang and we laughed until tears rolled down our my cheeks. We'd seen the New York production earlier this year but this was way, way better. And it certainly put the film into the shade.

The energy on stage was quite incredible. It was almost exhausting to watch all the dancing and jumping about. The acting and singing was just perfect. The set design was spot on too. And boy did we like the sound. You could hear every word sung and every line of dialogue. Something other theatres should ruddy well focus on.

Newcomer Leanne Jones was just brilliant as Tracy Turnblad. She is on stage pretty much constantly for two hours and was never less than excellent for a single moment. Michael Ball as Edna Turnblad was an utter star - believable as a fat woman and delivering a perfect comic performance. Mel Smith as Wilbur Turnblad was funny, perfect for the role and who knew he could sing so well?

The original score is by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman who co-wrote the music and lyrics for the acclaimed animated musical South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut and it is as witty and laugh out loud funny as that film ever was.

As I was saying to Stu on the way home (with suitable post-show euphoric hyperbole), "seeing shows like that is one of the reasons why we live in London".

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