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Last night The Songs In My Show and I went UP WEST, to see a MUSICAL!

We'd booked tickets for Jersey Boys AGES ago, as a joint present to celebrate our 10th Anniversary. It's not the sort of thing we usually do AT ALL - we've only ever been to see the one musical before, The Sound Of Music a couple of years ago, and that was only because my Mum had a couple of spare tickets. We'd really REALLY enjoyed ourselves, but it was only when In Discussion with some other faaamily members that we realised that, actually, we might like to go to The Theatre AGANE.

So we did, and GOLLY it was worth it! The Theatre was LOVELY - it was like someone had taken a smelly, sticky, nasty old mid-ranking gig venue and completely DONE IT UP until it was CLEAN and sparkling and full of COMFORT and DELIGHT, so that the only reminder of its past life was the Expensive Beer. Even THAT didn't really matter as the bar staff were PLENTIFUL and the overall mood was one of REFINEMENT and LUXURY.

Also putting us in a good mood: the fact that we were the youngest adults there BY FAR, except maybe for a few people who had clearly brought their PARENTS. The couple sitting in front of us - who were ACE, and DANCED in their seats throughout - were celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary, and looking round I think they probably weren't the only ones.

The show itself was FAB - it's the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and I am LEGALLY BOUND to remark, as EVERYBODY does who sees the show: COR! you never realised they had SO MANY HITS! It's a bit crazy when a song as ENORMOUS as "Sherry" gets cut down to half its (already tiny) length, and loads of other MASSIVE HITS get bunged in medleys or incidental music, but they had MILLIONS (ish) of them to get through. It was GRATE!

As for the staging of it - now, when I was a young and callow student I had VIEWS about this sort of thing. "The Theatre", i would remark "is about the ACTING, the IMAGINATION!" and i would SNEER at big West End shows with their Props and their Lighting and their SETS. Now, however, i see that THE SHOW is an integral part of ... well, THE SHOW. Part of the fun of this sort of thing is watching the sets fly around and the ILLUSION of locations appearing before your eyes. There was one particularly AMAZING bit where suddenly everything switched around so that we were BACKSTAGE at a huge concert, watching the band perform from behind - it was all done with a couple of actors, one or two little props and some HUGE LIGHTS, but BLIMEY it didn't half work! It was THEATRICAL AUDACITY!

The whole thing left us with faces full of GLEE as we left, feeling thoroughly entertained. It cost a LOT more than going to a gig, but we certainly felt that it had been WELL worth it - in discussion afterward we agreed that it wasn't something we'd like to do ALL the time, but CRUMBS! As an ANNUAL TREAT it would be hard to beat!

We skipped off for a LATE SUPPER full of the sophisticated joys of London Living. We ended up sitting in a restaurant drinking DRINKS and eating posh grub until GONE ELEVEN O'CLOCK! Imagine THAT! To our amazement, when we left, there were loads of OTHER people still up and wandering about, WAY past everyone's bed time. It was a revelatory end to a GRATE night out - HOORAH for SHOWBUSINESS!

posted 9/9/2011 by MJ Hibbett

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