Saturday, 1 January 2011

Guilty Pleasures - The Trilogy: Part 1 – Fellowship of the West End

Think of this as part “2010 – The year in Review” and part Lord of the Rings*

*Well it just wouldn’t be Christmas time without a good Trilogy (unfortunately this will only just scrape through as a substandard one…) This Trilogy is almost exactly like LOTR albeit without The Ring, Orcs, fighting, quests, massive spiders, hairy feet, creepy bald headed weirdo’s attempting to steal your ring and old men shouting “you shall not pass”. And, as a special treat I promise not to keep you here for over twelve hours (I assure you there will be no bonus features here) – in fact you should be on your way in plenty of time for a piece of Big Ben action at midnight……(make of that what you will my naughty minded cupcakes). So grab yourself a snowball (or other appropriately ridiculous beverage) and let’s get this mother started…..

Of course many, many…. .many, exciting things have happened to me this year (no, really they have) but since this is merely a Trilogy and I’m trying to get you off to party by the stroke of midnight I have decided to concentrate on just three things, Theatre, Cakes and Theatre Cakes, kicking off proceedings with Theatre.

2010 has been a fantastic year for the West End with ever growing audiences and a little help from the Guilty Pleasures Tour Bus group outings!! On the off chance that you have been wondering (and let’s face it, you probably have….and lets (two) face it, even if you haven’t I was going to tell you anyway…) where the GP Tour Bus has taken us in 2010 here’s a list!

An Inspector Calls
Avenue Q
Love Never Dies
Polly Rae - The Hurly Burly Show
Sister Act
Priscilla Queen Of The Desert
Women Beware Women
Les Misérables
Ghost Stories
Tap Dogs
Legally Blonde (several times….in fact it’s bordering on stalking)!
Wicked (3 times and I still can’t work out if I like it)!
Dirty Dancing (WTF)
John Barrowman (See “A Real Guilty Pleasure”)
Christmas With Lee Mead

All of these shows have been truly outstanding, however one I’m going to revisit in Part II so bear with……but the award for “Most Fun I’ve Had With My Pants On (and Their Pants Off)” goes to….

Hair - The Musical

I had previously thought that Hair was an extremely dated and clunky musical, the music that I had heard I loved but I just could not quite “get” the concept. I’m sure I’m not wrong often (??) but I really have to hold my hands up here and admit my short comings….in the words of the Great Mr Barrowman this show was “Fantastic Fantastic Fantastic!!”

Even the most stony of critics would have been er, hard pushed (oh gosh really…?) to disagree as the entire audience are enveloped in the pre PC, free loving, free spirit of 1960’s America. I say enveloped but I do assure the feint hearted amongst you that for the most part audiences are not required to disrobe at any time during the performance, even if the cast are….
Much has been written about the now infamous nude scene but those involved in the show, past and present, remark that the scene itself, rather than being sexual, is a statement on how in our society more is made of nudity than killing and war (the show being centred around conscription to the Vietnam War). The scene is actually so dimly lit that whilst attending a preview of the show in London, the American comedian Jack Benny quipped “'Did you happen to notice if any of them were Jewish?’ Now I’m not particularly political so it is fair to say that we were there for the music and the flesh! However upon turning to my friend to see which appendage she had preferred she answered that she was rummaging in her bag for something and had pretty much missed the entire scene. You would think that the West End would have some kind of provision in place for this kind of carelessness, maybe an action replay during the interval for those “too busy” to notice excess skin! Don’t worry my dears I shall call Andrew LW immediately and get this idea moving, I may even float it past the Dragons…
Ok so it’s not just great songs, a great cast and flapping pee pees (what am I 12??) that earn this show its very much deserved award. No, really it’s not (it just helped…)
The high point of this show and one of mine for 2010 is the finale. Have I gone mad? Am I really saying the end is the best part? Well yes I have and yes I am!
Throughout the show you have a real sense of vibrancy, anarchy and anti-establishment, the cast rather than being limited to performing solely on stage leap out into the stalls, stand on audience members chairs (and or audience members), thrust their musky loincloths in your face and inappropriately kiss those on the end of rows! The auditorium becomes their playground as they jump and dance across the boxes, galleries and seat backs with no apparent regard for their safety, come on they’re having too much fun!! We all were!!

With this in mind you would expect something special to round such an eventful afternoon…and we were not disappointed. I had always dreamed of dancing on a West End stage and with hundreds of other people that afternoon (and with no formal training) I finally got my wish!!! Everyone is invited to come dance and be free for the duration of the final song – in fact most of the cast had left before we did!
Due to the lack of nudity in Act II my friend was able to scramble about in her bag and take some pretty gorgeous pictures of the finale (although sadly you can only see me exiting the stage rather than bustin’ my rather killa’ moves – get me being all Gangsta!!

So there we are my lovelies, part one over – refresh your glass grab some Twiglets and I will see you back here for part two…

........I’m afraid my dears there can be no rest for the decadently wicked


  1. Fabulous post! And look at you on (or coming off) stage! I might need to get your autograph when I next see you! x

  2. Loving your post as usual, and those photos are not too bad either ;b
    Next time please DO warn me not to look for something in my bag when something interesting is about to happen on stage (you're such a Musicals addict you must know all of them by heart by now!!)
    Looking forward to the next post! xx