Bat Out Of Hell – 02/05/2018

It has taken me two weeks to even begin to write my Bat Out of Hell the musical review. I needed to collect my thoughts and write it as a serious piece where other people may read it and decide to book up. I didn’t want to write it as a hyper Fangirl who is just going to gush about everyone and everything in it, but hey…this is a blog written by me so we all know what to expect and let’s face it… A serious, thought provoking piece of writing is not what you are going to see today. It’s going to be Fangirl heaven so brace yourselves.

Bat Out of Hell first came to the stage last year (2017) in Manchester and London for a short run where it gained a huge and crazy wild fan base. It also popped up in Toronto for a while before coming back to London this year, making the majestic Dominion Theatre it’s home. This particular theatre also played host to We Will Rock You for many years, so I couldn’t pick a more perfect theatre for this show.

I very much wanted to see Bat last year, but due to life and ticket sales for the show booming, I didn’t get around to it. So hearing that it was coming back, I knew I had to book up. Jim Steinman writes songs like no other and due to my Mum loving a healthy dose of Meatloaf when I was younger, I was familiar with the songs, especially the songs from the iconic Bat Out of Hell album. I have forever been fascinated at how the songs are more like stories than actual songs.

I have been fairly quiet online recently and haven’t been able to get to many shows due to my Dad’s cancer battle which alot of you will know about and due to unfortunately another close family member being very ill and hospitalised for a long duration. It’s been a very difficult year and at times, hard to find the brightness in anything, so I needed this show like a monkey needs to eat bananas.

Of course, seeing a show in London usually involves getting to spend the day with my wonderful and beautiful best friend Ali, so that is always the cherry on top of a great day out.

I must admit, on the train journey there, I did begin to wonder if I should be going with everything that is going on, but let me tell you that if you too are going through tough times.. you absolutely MUST make that decision to do something for yourself. It is the best thing you can do.

I met up with Ali at Leicester SQ station and we headed for our old stomping ground, the beautiful Garrick Arms where we had an epic lunch, perhaps one or two alcoholic beverages and a few hours laughing, talking and reminiscing. Also, just a side note that Ali (I know you will be reading this)… Is looking absolutely amazing right now and made me feel like a frumpy mess. That’s a story for another day though.

After lunch, we made our way to the very vibrant Dominion and picked up our front row tickets. As we found our seats, I knew we were in for something special. The stage set up is like nothing I have ever seen before. It is crazy impressive. I didn’t know where to look. My mind was jumping from…’Damn, that bike’ to ‘The stage is all lumpy, how the hell are the cast going to get around on that?’ …but get around they did.

I have been fortunate to sit front row at other shows before, but you guys.. I am still pinching myself two weeks later on getting to sit front row for Bat Out Of Hell. It’s so magical. I can’t even explain that feeling.

I never look at reviews or even delve into song lists or anything before I see show. I’m quite selfish in the fact that if I think it will vaguely have something in I might enjoy, I go for it. In this case, the music. So I hadn’t even heard what the story line in this show was or looked at the songs. I knew for the most part obviously that it would be Bat Out Of Hell album music, but I had no idea that It’s All Coming Back To Me Now would be in the show. That song is truly one of my most favourite songs EVER and gives me chills every time I hear it so to say I was excited as I browsed through the show programme is an understatement.

There is a fine line between writing a summary of a show and actually spoiling it for other people who want to see it, so I won’t mention every little detail, but I was hooked right from the start.

To sum up, there are a group called ‘The Lost’ who are frozen in time. Strat is the leader and he and ‘The Lost’ roam around the subways and abandoned tunnels. Falco industries wants to build new houses and all that jazz. Falco has a daughter called Raven. She’s not one of ‘The Lost’. Love happens. Fall outs happen. The place is called Obsidian. And do you know what? There is definitely more to the story line than that and you will for sure find another place online that describes what’s going on way better than me…but that’s what I’m sticking with. So there.

When Strat comes on played by the absolutely hypnotising Andrew Polec and launches into Love and Death and an American Guitar, that was it. I knew I wouldn’t be taking my eyes off the stage for the next few hours. I knew my attention would not waiver.

Before I go on, let me just say that I have loved and visited a lot of theatre shows. And although I have always thought that any cast is talented, I have always had my favourites within the cast. But with this show, I simply wouldn’t be able to pick a fave. Every single cast member had something. All of them were used to show off their individual talents. They were AMAZING.

But back to Andrew who played my no doubt first of a few Strats. (I just know that I will be going back to this show again and again). Andrew was Strat. He wasn’t playing a character. He was Strat from the second he stepped on stage. He was wild and crazy. He was fierce yet soft. He was completely endearing. He reminded me of having a huge crush as a teenager on a similar rock starish guy I once knew. Andrew Polec is without doubt one of the most talented people I have ever seen on stage and I am totally honoured I got to watch him perform.

The next few songs were energetic, powerful and at times, humourous. All Revved Up With No Place To Go/Wasted Youth, Who Needs The Young, It Just Won’t Quit, Out Of The Frying Pan and Good Girls Go To Heaven (Bad Girls Go Everywhere) were performed brilliantly.

Then we got to Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad. Danielle Steers plays Zahara and you actually have to witness her on stage to just see how wonderfully talented she is. Her voice is just stunning. The way she sings this song breaks my heart and she is truly a class act. I adore the slow burn for Zahara and Jagwire. During this song, that’s when it hit me. That this show has the potential to be one of my all time shows.

Then of course, we get Paradise By The Dashboard Light from the hilarious yet emotional and raw Falco and Sloane played by the gorgeous Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton. Now I know it sounds like I am saying it ALOT, but I bloody love this song anyway, so seeing how funny it was on stage just made me laugh so much. Rob and Sharon as Falco and Sloane go from making your stomach hurt from laughing to making you weep with What Part Of My Body Hurts The Most and It’s All Coming Back To Me Now. I actually believe that theirs is the greatest love story there. Because for all it’s faults, there is a deep connection and that often happens in real life.

When the last song of Act 1 finished, I was speechless. Bat Out Of Hell was spectacular. The list of emotions I felt during that one song is just too long to put on this blog. Ugh you guys, it was incredible. I just can’t put it into words. As much as they all shine as their own stars in their own right throughout the show, Andrew Polec as Strat stole this song for me. The energy he put in this one song was just unbelievable. And just before the interval came confetti heaven. I’m still finding bits of confetti in my bag and purse two weeks later. You know a show is good when you sit there breathless and stunned in the interval. How could the show be better or even level to the first act after the interval? Well.. I don’t know how, but they managed it. Act 2 was even better. It blew my mind.

Act 2 starts with Falco being…well, a little bit mean to ‘The Lost’ gang. Christina Bennington wows us with her vocals in Heaven Can Wait. Christina plays Raven. She is so believable and sincere in everything she does. But as well as the softness she brings to Raven, she’s fiery and wild. Strat and Raven are actually made for each other and that is just a fact. I could waffle on about how she impressed me for weeks, but it would get pretty boring. She is one talented lady and I hope she’s very proud of herself for making Raven so relatable.

A special mention has to be for Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are. WOW!!! Loved it. Loved it so so so much. You can’t fail to notice Giovanni Spano who plays Ledoux throughout the show because he quite frankly looks absurdly cool, but man he comes alive during this song. It gives me shivers. It was the surprise song for me. I definitely didn’t think I would be walking away singing that one over and over again but yet….here we are two weeks later, still singing it.

Just a little breather to say I genuinely thought I was going to be able to write about every song on here but reviewing it just reminds me that there were too many stand out songs and performances to choose from. I will be here for six years writing and honestly, I never exaggerate.

Dead Ringer For Love was perfect and boppy. It’s All Coming Back To Me Now was even more beautiful than I imagined it would be. So many stories entwined into one song. It was a master piece.

And for the grand finale, the very famous and long I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) ….aaaaaggghh!!! Possibly the only time I’ve ever wished that song was twenty minutes longer than it already is because I did not want this show to end. Goosebumps. Emotions. Smiling. Crying. All the feels. I can’t describe that moment. It’s a memory. It’s what you look back on and go “Remember how good that show made me feel in that moment?” and you just can’t put it into words. It was exhilarating. It was a much needed boost. It was also only the second show I’ve walked out of where I looked at Ali and said “I want to go back for the evening performance”. The first was Rock Of Ages. We all know how that story went. It was a rush, it’s a ‘thing’ inside of you that you don’t want to ever end.

And at the risk of throwing a pity party, I needed it. I needed that show. I needed these people. I needed that day. When you spend every day visiting a dreary, bleak hospital in between work and family life and bills and housework, it feels damn good to get a little bit of yourself back.

So for that, I am thankful. If anyone who has ever worked on this show as cast or crew or front of house or just anything….if they ever typed Bat Out Of Hell into Google and stumbled across this blog…then I would want them to read the thank you. I would want them to know how much that somewhat rainy second of May 2018 meant to me. Everything was spectacular. It was everything. (I would like to think I have said my thank yous to Ali who has been my rock through it all, but I probably don’t say it enough, so thank you for being so special and wonderful and for listening to boring conversations about the hospital shop charging me approximately one thousand pounds for a bottle of water).

I am trying to make that indescribable feeling last. I treated myself to the soundtrack right after the show and have been listening to it ever since. Listening to it right now in fact. Obsessed. I am counting down the days where I am fortunate enough to go back again.

The outfits are Rock n Roll heaven, the songs are immense, the acting is powerful, the chemistry is hot, the scenery and staging is mesmerising and the rollercoaster emotions follow you every step of the way.

Bat Out Of Hell is truly the best show you will catch in London right now. I can’t quite believe how much I have fallen in love with it after just one show.

If you haven’t seen it and get the chance, please do. If you have seen it, go back if circumstances allow.

Soak up that electricity and the rush of adrenaline that comes hand in hand with this show.

Bat Out Of Hell – Thank you.

*Claps for a really long time which is really awkward and weird because I’m alone right now.*


Million Dollar Quartet – See You Later Alligator

Saturday the 26th of November 2017, on a gorgeous, frosty night, saw the Million Dollar Quartet crew do their last show of what has been a lengthy and very successful tour.

To my surprise, the tour ended in my very own hometown, Ipswich. It probably isn’t the most picturesque town in the world, and I saw two piles of fresh vomit and a bitch fight on the way to the Regent theatre…BUT it is my town. And the thought of seeing my current favourite show on their last night without having to pay the expensive London train fares was a dream.

Naturally, I was on my own. Remind me to get new friends, none of them like the theatre and the one that does lives on the other side of the country.

The posters for MDQ being at the Regent have been up for months now and like a child waiting for Christmas, I have been counting down. There is something magical about getting to see a show and then have a ten minute walk home after. No worries about catching last trains or snuggling in with sweaty tube passengers. No, this was the life.

I have stated before how much I loved Johnny Cash and Elvis, so it’s no wonder this show turned into one of my favourites. However, last night was probably the first time I noticed that most of the audience were of a different era than my thirty-one years. It was lovely though, watching all the older couples coming in and people older than my parents dolled up in swing dresses and suits. It was quite classy for Ipswich. I didn’t get the memo on the pretty dresses so I went for comfort and warmth, ending up looking like a lonely, huddled up youth who had found herself in a theatre rather than at the local pool club or skateboard park. But anyway…..

I hadn’t seen Martin Kemp in the role of Sam Phillips before. He was a delight from the moment he walked on the stage. My favourite Sam Phillips of them all. There is something very charming about Martin Kemp. In the interval, I must have heard about six different sets of ladies say how sexy and charismatic he was. But more on the interval talk later because as I found out, going to the theatre alone means there is plenty of down time for eaves dropping and oh wow, there were some gems.

I adore Martin Kaye as Jerry Lee Lewis and last night was no exception. He had the audience in stitches with all of his goofing around and I have said it many times, that man is a genius on piano. What a talent. For many reviewers, he has been the stand out of the show. He deserves every bit of praise.

The atmosphere was crazy last night for a local theatre. I have rarely ever seen an audience so engaged with a show. I’m not sure how many people knew before-hand that it was their last show of the tour, but it was just so special and electric being there. By the end, everyone knew because somebody (can’t remember which one) mentioned it on stage. But last night, Million Dollar Quartet definitely made that Ipswich theatre light up like I had never known before. Magical.

I also had the pleasure of seeing the *new Elvis* played by Rhys Whitfield. *He’s new to me having previously saw Ross William Wild who was brilliant.* Rhys moved as Elvis like no other. He had that dancing down. He was sweet and gelled with the other guys just lovely. I never like to compare people who have played the same roles. It doesn’t get you anywhere, everyone brings something new to a role and both Rhys Whitfield and Ross William Wild have more than met my expectations on how an Elvis should be played. I would watch them both again as Elvis in a heartbeat.

The first act was perfectly performed and already had people bopping in their seats. The people around me were clapping throughout the earlier songs which is usually only seen in finale numbers for most shows, but as I have stated before, this show really is more of a Rock ‘n’ Roll concert than a rehearsed show. That is what makes it magical. The only disappointment that I have noted from the show is the fact everyone, including myself….wished it were longer. It is so enthralling that you could sit there for hours, though that would probably be a teeny bit unfair on the cast and crew to deliver a show like that for six hours straight for us selfish audience folk.

Katie Ray as Dyanne is one of my favourite girls in any show ever. Her vocals are flawless, she’s instantly endearing and the way she holds her own with a completely male cast is inspiring. The cheers she got after her songs were just as loud as the other applauses, if not louder. She is fierce and super talented, I would be thrilled to watch her again in a future show.

The interval came around all too quickly and I hurried to the toilets, mainly because I felt awkward sitting on my own. I have friends who go to the theatre alone and are perfectly OK and content to sit there, not caring that they are by themselves. I however, am not ashamed to say that I am a complete and utter wimp. So the plan was to hide for five minutes, but it didn’t work out that way. The Regent has a few sets of toilets. I chose to go to the one with just two cubicles. So I waited in a long line of ‘lovestruck by Martin Kemp’ women who all desperately needed a wee. I heard someone say she would divorce her husband for Martin. Another said she wouldn’t have the heart to do that to her spouse so the simple solution would be to become a bigamist. The two toilet cubicles by the way, happened to be up a winding stair case. Isn’t that ideal? I saw a few tipsy people make a job of the stairs, so I tried very hard not to be as clumsy as I usually am and it worked. After telling myself to get it together and convincing my mind that I am perfectly capable of sitting alone for the rest of the show, I made it back down the narrow, twirly stairs without incident (minus being knocked on the head by someone opening the door from the other side – may still be concussed right now, not sure) I decided the best idea would be to get ice-cream.

I mean….who wouldn’t want freezing cold ice-cream at a mortgage price in a chilly theatre on a frosty November night? Exactly.

So I went back to my seat, which by the way – the four seats either side of me were empty which probably had something to do with the fact I felt like a complete loser…. and opened my ice-cream. Strawberry actually. Then I realised that instead of just looking out of place, I now seemed weirder just blissfully munching on ice-cream while trying not to spill any in my hair or down my top which is a talent. A drunk man grabbed on to my chair from behind and yanked a good portion of my hair, by accident – I hope. Then an elderly chap in the row in front walked up to his wife with the gift of ice-cream. She didn’t want it and told him off for buying it, but he couldn’t eat it because of his sensitive teeth and anyways, he needed to have a tiddle. She asked if he meant a tinkle, and he said they were really one and the same, so off he went for a tiddle/tinkle while the ungrateful for ice-cream wife and her friend discussed what a man taking a piss should actually be called.

Then, to the left of me, I heard someone tell her husband off for enjoying the show too much and that the other couple they were sat with would think he was in love with old rock tunes instead of her. I think she was being serious because the husband did apologise to her and then professed his love very loudly.

Thank goodness the interval came to an end. Act two was absolutely rocking. I feel like the entire audience danced for a whole twenty minutes or longer at the end. It was the best, warm vibes going on in that place.

Since seeing the MDQ lot the first time, I have always held a soft spot for Robbie Durhams Johnny Cash. He’s just so good. I have been listening to his EP constantly since it’s release. It brings back gorgeous memories of the show. I probably waffled on about Robbie as Johnny quite a bit last time so I will try not to repeat myself, but him playing one of my faves of all time and playing it so well will always make him a firm favourite with me. Johnny Cash was quite an intense man, Robbie has that when he plays him as well as a lovable side. The way he hits those famous low notes are to die for and I have to say, he is probably responsible for most of my favourite songs from the show. I love the fact that the tour ending just means I have found new talents in the West End and Theatre Land who I didn’t know about before. I truly hope he goes on to something wonderful.

Getting up to dance for the end of the show (or in my case – trying to move in some sort of pattern that didn’t look like I was part robot) was actually quite emotional for the last time. I didn’t expect to feel a bit tearful, but I was. Or maybe my eyes were a bit watery because of the lady in front wearing strong perfume, who knows? It’s just so fun at the end and knowing it was the last time seeing this cast hit me.

Which of course brings me on to the superb Matt Wycliffe as Carl Perkins. Just excuse me while I cry a bit at the thought of never seeing that again. I mean, yes….he will be fantastic in any show. But what other shows will he get to play guitar backwards (insane) and wiggle his bum that looks really good in that outfit but I’m sure is the whole point all at the same time? Unless we start a petition? Leave it with me.

I love the way he plays Carl. A bit dark and brooding. He’s got stuff going on. But then he bursts into song and the smile appears and it’s all heaven. Then he goes back to being all intense and stropping. Then he knocks you out with the guitar again. (Not literally, he doesn’t want a lawsuit…)  It’s probably no secret that I wouldn’t mind an entire show of just Matt and a guitar and piano. As long as he’s wearing Carl Perkins clothes of course because that is the deal. But I have always held a special place for the moodiest one in a show and this is no exception. He is a complete rockstar. Who also…just like Robbie…has the best EP out! Can’t tell you how many times I have listened to that one, the answer would be embarrassing. But it’s good. And I’m a fan in case it wasn’t clear. I’m certainly not the only one judging by the way he was getting mobbed in the lobby after the show. See? Rockstar.

It’s all over now. onwards and upwards for all of them. Thank you Million Dollar Quartet cast and exceptional crew. You have been a ray of sunshine. Thanks for making most of the country happy little rockers.

You went out with a bang.

(Come back. Come back. Come baaaaaaack) *Kate Winslet in Titanic voice.*

Rock and Roll is still alive people. Just live it.



The Wind In The Willows

My….Oh, my. My Oh My. I got to see The Wind In The Willows yesterday, finally! And I was not disappointed.  
I know that you are all thinking.. ‘Laura, why can’t you just go to a show and NOT blog about it for once?’… But I’m sorry everyone, it’s just a must. Besides, how else am I to remember what these shows were all about and how they made me feel if I don’t document them?

The Wind In The Willows made me feel on top of the world for a few hours. I’m not keeping it a secret, some of you may have seen on my Instagram that I have made a personal matter public. Nearly two weeks ago, my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. I can’t begin to tell you how hard it hit us all. I guess, unfortunately…that alot of you will already know the pain. Being in the middle of this awful waiting stage to see if it has spread has been torture and I thought nothing could take my mind from these dark and uncertain days we are living in.

But I was wrong. I am thankful for any show I get to see and always admire the talent and hard work of the cast. But I have to thank the wind in the willows for letting me forget for a few hours. It was the best gift I could have received.

It is always a treat getting to see best friends and combining it with a show, so I hopped on the train from a sunny Ipswich to meet Ali at Euston station. It was a successful train ride because I tripped over a seat, made a seat table fall down without touching it and made a little girl cry. Very productive. The train was very busy when a Mum, Dad and two small kids got on. There were only scattered seats around so the Mum told the little girl to sit next to me. She took one look at me and promptly started crying. Great to know that even as a Mum myself…I still have the ability to terrify kids. Anyway, I was about to go scuttle somewhere else so they could sit together, but a man beat me to it and offered his chair. So then I got to nose over his shoulder the rest of the train ride at what he was doing. He wasn’t exactly hiding what he was scribbling in his notebook and now I feel that I could work for his advertising company. I also apologised in case I was crunching my polo too loudly. Don’t you just love awkward train rides?

Anyway, due to Alis trains being severely delayed, we didn’t get as much time to see each other as we planned, but such is life and travel. We made our way to the show and took our seats.

I love The Palladium by the way. It’s one of my favourite theatres. 

Our seats were bang in the middle of the front row, so we didn’t need magnifying glasses or anything.  

The orchestra started up which is always a delight but made even better being that we could see in to the pit. 

The only regret about the show is that my two Littles didn’t get to see it. They had plans with aunts and uncles and we already booked the show by then. They would have loved it. 

The stage set up was enchanting and I could see the awe in peoples eyes. The first song Spring was crystal clear and set up the show perfectly. 

I have to admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of wind in the willows when I was a kid. But this show was fun, lively and it totally changed my mind. 

My favourite song without a doubt was the second number with Ratty and Mole. Messing About In A Boat made me melt. Simon Lipkin as Ratty was witty and heart warming. Craig Mather was cute as a button and weirdly believable as a mole. *shrugs*

We have all come to know Simon Lipkin for the most part as a very comical character who has everyone laughing (barring a few roles such as Bill Sykes in Oliver and Assasins)… But what I adore when he does a show like this is his voice. I think Simons singing voice is one of the best in the West End. One of those voices that is instantly recognisable and gives you tingles when the difficult notes are reached. I am so glad that they decided to do a cast recording of this show, because Simon is on top form with his singing in certain songs.

Having no strong feelings either way on Rufus Hound previously, I am pleased to say he really impressed me (as did the whole cast). He was very funny and lovable as Toad and the kids in the audience loved him. And that is why I love seeing these shows….you get to see someone on stage who you don’t know much about and it completely changes your mind. 

The story of the show was mainly centred around Toad and his need for speed with Ratty, Mole, Badger and co helping him along the way to tone down his love for danger and life in the fast lane. I loved Gary Wilmot as Badger. He was wise and dear and very strangely, reminded me of my Dad. When I relayed the musical to my Dad and said that he reminded me of the badger…I think he was somewhat puzzled. But anyway. 

Of course, there has to be a bad guy in every show. Step forward Neil McDermott as Chief Weasel. If you have read previous blogs of mine, you will know that I have a bit of a soft spot for a bad guy. And this show was no exception. You know you are living a strange life when you watch a show where you long for the weasel to remain bad but also redeemable. Neil was fantastic! Very erm…weasel like and played it so well. Never thought I could find a grown man dressed as a weasel attractive and relatable but I also liked Johnny Depp as the wolf in Into The Woods so I guess I have weird issues that we will delve into another day. I think Neil as Chief Weasel was my favourite along with Simon as Ratty of course. 

Stand out songs from the show other than Messing About in a Boat were A Friend Is Still A Friend, The Wassailing Mice and the absolutely bonkers and catchy The Wild Wooders. 

I won’t give any spoilers in case you are yet to see it but as with most shows, everything gets resolved in the end. The show is billed as a family show but anyone of any age could see it and enjoy it.

The stage set was enchanting and pretty.  Most of the songs were memorable, catchy and sweet. The outfits were cute. The cast were superb and had quite a few lines that were laugh out loud funny. I am gutted that I didn’t get to see the show earlier in it’s run because I would have went back to see it. 

I want to thank The Wind In The Willows cast and crew for taking my mind off every day life and problems for a couple of hours and putting on a mesmerising, heart warming show. I needed it. 

It was great seeing the Lipkin again.

As I said before, try to get last minute tickets for this week if there are any. You won’t regret it. And if you can’t do that, at least listen to The Wind In The Willows soundtrack to get some of the magic. 

Have a blast in the final week Wind In The Willows, you’ve been awesome! 

But Who Listens?

The world of theatre is a magical thing. Some years ago now, I was gearing up to watch my first ever West End show. It was a huge deal. I felt anticipation, excitement and even nerves. I didn’t know what to expect. Little did I know just how much theatre would impact my life.

When I walked out of my first show – Rock Of Ages – I walked out with happiness. I had energy, I had the giggles. I had magic fairy dust in my eyes. I was awed. I was blown away by everything I had seen on that stage in the lovely Garrick theatre and I knew….I just absolutely knew….that I would do anything to go back to the West End.

Fast forward those years and here I am, a show obsessed thirty year old who money allowing….would see every show that has ever been made. In the last few years I have clocked up a big list of shows, mostly West End, some off the West End and some in my home town or other near locations. I have fangirled over certain actors and admired actresses. I have made best friends and I have made memories. I don’t think there are many things that feel as good as walking out of a theatre after a damn good show. It’s electric. It’s buzzing. It’s amazing.

But of course, my feelings of awe at the theatre isn’t exactly news to most of you. If you are reading this, then the likelihood is that you will know I have a huge love for anything stagey so you might be wondering why on earth I am writing about it.

Let me explain.

Theatre reviews are not a new thing. They have been around quite some time. Reviews or critics have always been a niggle to me. But it is only recently that I have really felt the need to write about it. I myself, have often written a blog on here that some people could mildly pass off as a review. A review in that I will recap the show I have seen from my own memories and give my thoughts about it all. I also read a couple of review sites every now and then where it is pretty much all positive vibes flowing through every sentence.

But right now, I am struggling with some critics and theatre reviewers. Because for as long as I can remember….or at least since I have become a bit of a theatre goer….certain ‘reviewers’ are just plain rude. Not everybody can like everything all of the time. I get that, I really do. And you know… for a lot of these people….this online criticism….these reviews….are their jobs. They get paid to write these things and tell other people about the shows. But there is such a negative current flowing on so many of these online articles about shows that I am finding it hard to stomach.

I have been to shows that I have loved with every fibre of my being and come home wanting to soak up more knowledge of the show and see if others loved it as much as I did. What I quite often find though, is very different to what I am searching for. I will find a review about a show that is written with the highest of professionalism, but sadly it will be full of reprimands and criticism. I will read with dismay as they call out a particular actor that I loved for being wooden (<<That seems to be the word for a reviewer who doesn’t like someone at the moment). I will sit in shock reading about how they thought the songs were silly or that the story line didn’t flow. Of course , I suppose it is a matter of opinion and you may be currently thinking that I an offended little snowflake who can’t bear for anyone to say something bad about who or what I like. But it’s more than that.

I am upset on behalf of everyone that it involves. To see a bad blog/review/critique upsets not only the fans who loved the show but it hurts the actors and actresses who perform their hearts out under that spotlight. For them, the weeks of rehearsals and the blood, sweat and tears they put into a performance can be broken by one cruel article. The stage hands, the lighting people, the writers, the instrumentals, the creatives backstage hands, the hair and make-up people, the front of house staff who are proudly advertising these shows…the directors and producers. These negative words are going to have an impact on everyone involved.

Picture the scene. You have just landed a new job, one that you have wanted for years. You are a receptionist (I don’t know anyone who wanted to be a receptionist for years but…ssshhhh….just go with it….) and at the end of the first day you get an email or a letter dropped on your desk. Even though you have prepared for months for this first day, even though you passed the interview with flying colours after researching the company and even though you haven’t slept for days…this email or letter contains different paragraphs from everyone you encountered on that first day.

“She answered the phone with no flare or talent.”

“Her admin skills are wooden and questionable.”

“By performing this way, she let the whole company down.”

Or maybe you are a chef. And on your very first day you get a letter from every single person you cooked for and even though you know you cooked that food the best you know how….each of these letters contain horrible remarks about just how utterly rubbish your food was that day. You could have been a chef for many years in fact, it might not be your first day at all, but you still put up with negative comment after negative comment.

Imagine going to visit your Mum and Dad and before you leave….they write you a little note saying “Not her best visit today. Largely let down by her garish outfit which just didn’t have any place in the day. Only at certain times could we understand her diction and the whole visit was quite underwhelming with no direction or purpose.” Ouch.

I know I am going to extremes with those examples but I hope I am getting to the point. It is hurtful to see such comments. It is detrimental to all who is involved in the production. It does no good.

A good example is when just a month or two ago, I got the absolute privilege of seeing Carousel with the glorious Alfie Boe as Billy Bigelow and Katherine Jenkins as Julie Jordan. Having already written a blog about my thoughts of that magical night, I won’t go into it again but I will say that I read some absolute stinking reviews of the show and the cast. Of course, I can’t be at every single show, but I have to wonder where these reviewers get their facts from sometimes. Because the night I went to Carousel and the way that audience reacted was so far off the mark from any review I read about what happened on stage and audience reaction. And a good friend of mine who has only recently visited a show happened to read a review about the same show she was at from the same day. The reviewer reported an underwhelmed audience. She recounted a standing ovation with a roaring crowd. So these people that write the negative reviews…..are they even being truthful? You have to wonder sometimes.

As I said before, these negative reviews are not a new thing to the theatre world and unfortunately, I doubt they will stop any time soon.

In all my time going to shows, I have only ever been unimpressed by two. I wouldn’t ever name those shows nor write anything bad about them because it is not my place. And because I can only imagine the hard work and dedication everyone working on those shows put in. If I have nothing nice to say, I simply shut up and say nothing. Just because I personally didn’t love it, does not mean that everyone on that stage didn’t work their arses off for the audience.

I would like anyone and everyone who has ever been involved in a show, or is currently involved, or even will be involved in the future to know that for every negative article you see online, there are in all probability hundreds of people who saw that show that very day who loved it. For every unkind word there is someone who walked out of the theatre feeling amazing because of you all. For every critique there is someone sitting at home, planning their next show because they loved the last one so much. For every time your acting or stage presence had been pulled apart, there is someone that has honestly just had a life changing few hours. For every negative writer, there are countless fans of the work that all you actors, actresses, ensembles, dancers, writers, creatives, musicians, directors, producers and many more do.

I appreciate it all. I love the way you transport me to a magical world for a while. I love the after feeling. I love planning my next trip. I love catching up with besties over a fantastic show. And most importantly…. I just love fangirling over good looking theatre men. OK, that’s not most important, but still.  And I know that I am not the only one. I am a dot in many of the thousands of people you perform for who is thankful for all you do. And I sincerely hope that if you do work on a show in any way and you read a negative blog/review/article….I hope that you learn to treat whoever wrote it as a dot. Because it is just one small person. A person who has maybe got stuck in a never ending circle of depressing reviews. A person who likes to make others feel bad for their own self gain. It is just one of many. And I can assure you that ‘the many’ love what you do.

And that all brings me to the title of my blog. But who listens? Because I have never read a negative review and let it put me off going to a show. If anything, a bad review will make me determined to go and enjoy every minute of the show. And after talking about it with friends and family, it has never put them off seeing a show either. So that is what I am saying. The bad reviews will carry on regardless. But who really listens? Keep being your magical self theatre world. Many thanks.



A Night With Vox Fortura….

After my ‘oh so perfect’ last minute Carousel trip  on Friday night, I had another treat in store for the very next day.

I woke up on the Saturday morning bright and early, despite feeling tired from the Friday night and getting in at one in the morning. (Just an FYI, thirty years of age isn’t exactly old….but man alive I can’t do late nights anymore. I just want a comfy bed and eight hours sleep. And some slippers. And whiskey in my tea. All the thirty year old things….ya know?)….I packed a bag for me and the Littles and we were on our way to Clacton-On Sea to see the gorgeous and super talented Vox Fortura.

The Littles are not so little anymore. They are getting older and as a credit to them, I know they can behave well. So I thought it would be a fun little weekend to not only take them along to see the boys, but also stay in a hotel for the night. That might not seem a huge deal to some, but it was for them. They had never stayed in a hotel, EVER. Previous holidays have involved caravans and cottages, but never a hotel.

We arrived in a sunny Clacton and had some lunch. We played on the arcades because that is a MUST at any seaside resort, then checked into our hotel. The kids claimed their beds for the night and then demanded it was time to get spruced up for our show.

For the people that don’t know the children very well….they LOVE to dress up. They absolutely insisted on bringing their smartest clothes. I thought it was a cute touch so I let them. Before we went to the Princes Theatre, we had a little photo shoot on the wind swept beach….as you do, right?

Then we made our way to the theatre and collected our tickets. By now, the Littles were super excited for the show.


And when I saw Vox Fortura in big letters, so was I.

Vox Fortura consist of Thomas Goodridge, Rodney Clarke, Julius Williams III and Elias Hendricks. If you feel like you’ve heard the name before, you probably have. Vox Fortura are a classical crossover group and they made it as semi finalists on the hugely popular ITV show Britains Got Talent. The crowds loved them, the judges loved them….and judging by the reaction when they didn’t quite reach the final….everyone at home loved them.

Of course, there is a little personal theatre link with one of the members. Raise your hand Tommy G! Seeing the name in big letters and realising that this was actually their own tour (having previously seen them as a support act for G4 in September), I was proud and excited for what the night had in store.

A few months ago, I purchased their debut album Heroes which you can check out here…. …. and it has been on repeat LOADS in this house. The songs, the range in vocal ability, the soothing quality….all of it is mesmerising. Having had a glimpse of them live with the G4 tour, I knew the Littles and I were in for a treat, and we weren’t disappointed.

First of all, the kids sat still and quiet for every moment the boys were on stage. That proves how hypnotic they were.

When you have voices that are that powerful combined together, it makes for spine tingling feels.

But one of my favourite parts of the show was the fact that they chose to showcase every one of their individual talents. I can’t think of a group I have seen in concert that have ever done that. Each of them got to do two solos and it was excellent to see them singing songs that clearly meant so much to them. I have many stand out moments from the night, and I am sure if I list them all I will be here a long time. But I will name a few of them.

*Elias did a sweet speech about how it was coming up for Americas Mothers day. He told the story how he had spoken to his Mom (<<check me out going all USA…) and she said that the present she wanted was for her son to sing her favourite song on his tour that she couldn’t make. I honestly shed a tear when he beautifully launched into Bring Him Home from the hit musical Les Miserables. A song that is so powerful and chilling at the best of times had me weak. All four guys have the most gorgeous, soulful and rich voices. Elias sang Bring Him Home with emotion and love. And that combination always makes for the best performances. I have no doubt that he made his Mom so proud singing that the way he did. My kids, at just eight and eleven, knew that it was an emotional one. They looked at me when he finished as we were clapping and just went…..”Woah”.

*Rodney was my daughters favourite throughout the show. She loved it whenever he was on stage and seeing her smile so much was brilliant. Her favourite song turned out to be ‘Unforgettable’ which Rodney sang. He pulled a member out of the audience and sang with his rich low voice. Any girls dream! Leona asked if when she gets older, will they sing to her. I said yes because I’m not about to dash my daughters dreams! Unforgettable was a really sweet moment. But my favourite Rodney moment was without a doubt when he sang Some Enchanted Evening from one of my fave golden oldie films, South Pacific. I have never heard that song done so well. He didn’t try to change it. It was flawless. That song needs a rich, deep tone and his voice was perfect.

*Julius Williams (THE THIRD OF COURSE!) was a ball of charisma. And man he can sing. My stand out Julius moment was when he did a beautiful rendition of Michael Jacksons She’s Out Of My Life which is possibly my favourite Jackson song. It’s just one of those songs that makes your hairs stand on end. Where Rodney has a deep voice, Julius has the higher, almost silky voice. And because they got to showcase their individual talents, there is no way you can possibly compare them. All of them were exceptional in their own right and I honestly think that more groups should do this at concerts because it was nice to see. There was no sense of one of them hogging the limelight. It was all solidarity. All supporting each other. It was lovely.

*Of course, as much as I LOVED the solo songs, the group performances were out of this world. It is hard to choose a favourite song from the album, but one of the ones I was most looking forward to was Heroes by the late, great David Bowie. And it didn’t disappoint. I remember when they performed this on Britains Got Talent. It was just SO good. When the Littles sing this song now, they sing it the Vox Fortura way instead of the David Bowie way. Who knew that you could turn a song like that into such a striking crossover? All of them harmonising together just melts me. You do not get just how powerful their voices are until you are sat in front of them. (I said this about Alfie Boe in my last blog, I have been a lucky, lucky girl the last week or two.) I don’t know if it’s the voices, the way they stand there looking so serious and feeling every note or the staging/lighting….it’s probably all of them which makes it such a show stopper. I could listen to the guys perform that song day in, day out and never get bored.

*Don’t get me started on Lately. Lately by the fantastic Stevie Wonder is one of my favourite songs of all time. It’s an emotional one for me and has such meaningful words and personal feelings attached. I can’t really describe the moment they sang this on stage other than perfection. Oh, and there were more tears. Of course.

*I can’t do a ‘favourite moments of the Vox Fortura tour’ bit without talking about the man, the reason I went to see them in the first place. Mr Thomas Goodridge. If you ever look his name up (which you should if you haven’t, do it….go on….), you will see that he has a whole host of talents under his belt. Then he went and surprised all of us last year by combining with the other lads and joining Vox Fortura. I am so glad he did. I feel that this group of talents need to be more widely recognised. You will never meet a nicer man than Tommy G. And it’s not just that he’s nice, it’s that he can hold a crowds attention any time. He can turn his hand to anything. He makes people laugh, he awes people.

I have LOADS of favourite Thomas moments from the night, but one in particular was when he casually started rocking out and dancing to Stevie Wonders Signed, Sealed, Delivered. It was also Lex’s favourite song of the whole show. He thought Tommys dance moves were the coolest, which they were. Thomas delivered the song excellently.  So much energy, happiness and talent. If it wasn’t for the fact I was sat in a somewhat reserved crowd, I would have got up and danced myself. My other stand out Tommy moment was a solo. This is where I lose huge points because I have no idea what the song was. I have tried and tried to remember and find it to no avail. (If anyone was at the tour and knows, please fill me in!) I loved it so much, that I phoned my best friend and tried to describe what it was like but couldn’t. Tommy had a high voice, a low voice, an inbetweeny voice, an operatic voice, a smooth voice, a pop voice, a rock voice, a soulful voice and ALL the voices in just one song. It was outstanding. It’s probably some really well known song that I totally should know, but I’m sorry….I just don’t. But I loved it.

I didn’t want the show to end. And neither did anyone else. They got their rightful standing ovation and I was sad it was all over so quick.

We got lucky as the boys announced they were going to sign CDs and such, so off we went to say hi.

I adore Vox Fortura as artists and people, but I adored them even more when they treated my children with such kindness. They went out of their way to make them laugh and feel at ease. Julius had a little joke with Lex, Rodney was happy when Leona told him that Unforgettable was her favourite bit of the show – in turn making her super happy from his reaction. They signed the kids CD (we got another one because the kids wanted their own copy) and signed the poster they had. They had photos together and it was all just magical for them. Being nice to me gets you in my good books, being nice to my kids gets you an admirer for life!! Of course, they wouldn’t have been nasty to the Littles….nobody would….it was just the personal touches that made my children feel like they had the best night ever. The boys didn’t have to joke around and ask them their ages and take pictures….but they did. And for that, I thank them. I have had two excited people telling their school friends and family about it alllll week and it ain’t died down yet!

It was amazing to see Tommy again and tell him how much we loved being there. We got the hugs in and had a blast. They were virtually being mobbed at the end there and rightly so. They might be classical crossover artists but to me and everyone else that night, they were Rock Stars.

Thanks for the best night Vox Fortura.

We must do it again sometime soon.


Carousel – The Story.

Back in the year 1990, I was a miserable, strange looking three year old child. The miserable part was because I was very ill so I can totally be let off for that. Having an as yet undiscovered fair sized hole in your heart is no picnic, but the strange looks stayed with me when the misery left. You win some, you lose some.

Apart from spending most of my time crying, I liked to sing and wrap towels around my waist to pretend like I had a big floating skirt on. After a particularly rough night with a howling mini me, my parents decided an old fashioned musical might soothe me. They took a gamble, but it paid off.

According to the parents that tell it better than I do because they were adults and actually remember it, as soon as that Rodgers and Hammerstein VHS started playing in our old grey video player, I was a different child.

The famous music of Carousel started up and I was hooked. The beautiful sound, the way the late, great Gordon Macrae as Billy Bigelow polished those pretty and delicate stars in heaven. I was transfixed. I stopped my crying and scooted along on the floor, as close as I could get, to watch this wonder in detail. I commented on how he had the best job getting to polish all the stars like that, not quite realising he was dead. Apparently, I didn’t move for three hours. I watched in awe as the carousel came on, I told my parents that Julie Jordan played by the brilliant Shirley Jones was so pretty. I watched the dreamy scenery and the boats. I said I wanted every single dress that the girls wore in ‘June is Bustin’ out all over. I gasped when Billy goes on his sad way to the job of polishing the stars. I watched how Louise Bigelow danced while Billy looked on. I squealed when Billy sang the reprise of If I Loved You to Julie. I clapped when it was over and said I wanted it on again.

The story goes that I watched Carousel about thirty times in the next year. It was one of the only things that soothed me. My parents were grateful to have me out of pain and so happy by something that of course they let me. After they discovered the hole in my heart and I had my operation, I asked for Carousel to be played as soon as I was out of hospital. The love affair with the film grew over the years. Needless to say, it was my favourite. After the op, when I was well and happy, I watched it every so often and sang my heart out. I knew it word for word. I begged my parents for a ‘dress like they wear in Carousel’ for every birthday and Christmas for years. Every time I got poorly, the old favourite would be put on the tele box. Along with the love of the film came my admiration for Shirley Jones and Gordon Macrae especially. Gordon Macrae has been the only man I have ever personally used the term ‘idol’ for. To put all I have said so far in a simple sentence – I bloody love Carousel.

So when I received an unexpected offer to watch the stage show in London, I jumped at the chance. I would even go as far to say it had been a lifelong dream to see a stage adaptation of Carousel one day. On Friday night, I made my way to the London Coliseum with the excitement of a small child at Christmas.

I was already blown away when I stepped into the theatre. I think I can safely say it is so far my favourite out of all the London theatres. It is simply beautiful.

This production of Carousel had been widely advertised. Katherine Jenkins showcased her first ever acting role and West End debut in the shows five week run as Julie Jordan. Alfie Boe, famed for his powerful voice and leading West End role as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables starred as Billy Bigelow. The other big name to be announced was Only Fools and Horses very own Nicholas Lyndhurst who played the star keeper.

This show had a lot to live up to in my mind. If you go and see a different version of something you love, there is always the chance you will dislike it.

The start of the show was enthralling. Alfie Boe as Billy without saying a word at first made everyone feel the things he was feeling on that stage. The layout of the set was stunning. When I saw how they staged the actual Carousel, I gasped. Big lights, graceful dancers and creative magic. With a little added turntable thing of course. It was a feast for the eyes from the get go.

I can’t describe just what I feel when I hear that famous music start up. It gives me tingles. I sat there in awe watching the goings on in front of me and just couldn’t believe I was even there.

Alex Young as Carrie was somehow everything the Carrie I knew, yet completely made the character her own. I loved her from the start and coupled with Gavin Spokes who played her ‘almost perfect beau’ made the sometimes dark and emotional nature of the show light hearted and funny.

There was an instant chemistry between Alfie and Katherine and I believed the love story. One of my favourite scenes in any film ever, not just Carousel, is the moment when Julie and Billy are talking about what it would be like if they loved each other. The mood is romantic and tense with all new possibilities in the air. Blossoms are falling down around them even though there is no wind and it is perfect. The film version – iconic to me. When Katherine sang If I Loved You, her tinkling voice haunted the theatre. We all know she can sing, but I was actually very impressed with her acting too.

When Alfie sang If I Loved You back to her, I got chills. I will be the first to admit I didn’t really know too much about Alfie. I had heard clips of him here and there and thought he was impressive. But after being in his presence that night and hearing his voice, I decided impressive does not begin to cover it. He was sensational. His Soliloquy moved me to tears. The emotion he put into it was very real. You really saw his feelings change from wanting a son to realising how being a Father to a girl would impact him. My eyes didn’t leave him as he worked the whole stage and barely stopped for breath, managing to make the entire (long) song note perfect.

The entire cast impressed me. Brenda Edwards was superb, and I was thrilled to catch her on stage once again. I will be here all night if I have to state why I loved each cast member, but as a team, they were perfect.

‘A Real Nice Clambake’ was cleverly done and very witty. I was anxiously awaiting the moment where everything goes wrong and it didn’t disappoint. Alfie played the desperate father to be who is constantly down on his luck perfectly. The desperation he portrayed as he ended his life was spot on. I wondered exactly how the stage adaption would do this (in the film….Billy runs away and falls on his knife)….this particular scene always gets to me, but I felt the stage adaptation was even more powerful. Of course, the stage adaptation IS the original version, but I only have my beloved film to go by. So I wasn’t expecting the death of Billy to happen this way and it got me good. Side note…. *Alfie plays a dead man very good. He had to lie still for years. YEARS.*

When Billy gets the chance to go back down to earth to do some good, the dancing by every single actor from this point was spot on. Perfection. Nicholas Lyndhurst was a gem as the star keeper and I think it’s the coolest thing to say I got to see an Only Fools LEGEND in the flesh. (I’ve also met Boycie once in Waterstones. Got a picture with him and everything. I believe we are best friends now.)((The details are sketchy but I’m sure we are.))(((Nobody double check this. Thanks.)))

It would be hard to describe my feelings as the show got nearer to the end and Billy sang the reprise of If I Loved You to Julie. I cried, but honestly….it was a mix of sad that he has to go into the mist and leave her, and happy at just witnessing it all. Alfie really stored up all his power to deliver this song flawlessly. Shivers, tears,….all the feelings.

Carousel as a story is a bit of a crazy notion these days. I mean….it’s a story about a grumpy, out of work down and out who hit his wife and tried to steal from an innocent man. But the message is there and it’s so important. Even though Billy could be bad, Julie loved him. Even though Billy acted like he didn’t care….. he really did. We all love people despite the fact that they may have done something bad to us in our lives. Billy was a good man who made a few mistakes along the way. I don’t know how to condone a man who ever hit a woman….but the point to take from the story is that she loved him. Things have moved on from those days and it’s hard for people to take that this was in a film. That she could still love him after he hit her. But the message is more than that if you look real deep.

“But is it possible, Mother, for someone to hit you hard like that – real loud and hard – and not hurt at all?
It’s possible, dear – for someone to hit you – hit you hard and it not hurt at all.”

Even though the story had hard hitting issues… brings a message of hope. It makes you feel and think. And that cast made me feel and think. It made me want to believe. Just like the film always did. And of course, the talent of the orchestra equaled the talent on stage.

Everyone was fantastic. Alfie Boe was out of this world.

There was a gem of a line in the show that wasn’t in the film. It was said by the star keeper or heavenly friend. When Billy was asked if he wanted to go back and his reply was ‘No, it’s over.’ …..they replied back to him and said something like…..”It’s not over if someone on earth still cares about you.” I thought that was the best.

So that little miserable, funny looking three year old has grown up and walked away from the Coliseum at thirty years old as awed and inspired as she ever has been.

I’m just going to finish with one of my all time favourite songs. A message of hope, love and defiance. And no…..IT’S NOT A BLOODY FOOTBALL SONG, alright?

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark.
At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark.
Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Tho’ your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone,
You’ll never walk alone.
*In the stage show, I believe the lyrics are “Keep your chin up high” instead of “Hold your head up high”…. either way, it’s fantastic.




A Jersey Contract – Broken

So I’ve been pretty quiet ’til now. OK , it actually only took me a few hours to jump on this blog as most of you probably guessed I would.

The news broke yesterday that Jersey Boys, the West End show, my most favourite show I have ever seen, the best show in the universe (OK , I’ll stop)….is coming to an end. And thanks to the few that messaged me asking my thoughts on it. I think the only way to get my feelings out is through blog world, as I always do. It should answer some questions.

Everyone knows by now that I was a Jersey Girl. I was mad for it. It was my happy place. I lost count of seeing it. A very talented man called Sandy Moffat introduced me to the show that would forever become my favourite. For two whole years I lived and breathed Jersey Boys. Every person on that stage became stars to me. The story was magical. The songs were timeless. The world was happy.

Then, a huge cast change shake up came in March. Every single one of my faves left and I had to take a breather. I wrote a blog about how I would support the new cast and everyone knows that since March, I haven’t even been back to see the new cast. But before you all shout at me, just because I haven’t seen them does not mean that I haven’t been supporting of them.

Jersey Boys was my favourite show. I read every review they got with pride. I got excited for the praise the ‘new’ (not so new anymore) guys got. I watched every TV performance they did. Every new person I met I would tell them to go see Jersey Boys. I have supported them quietly from afar.

My original reasons, in that first month or two for not going back was simple….I needed to get my head around a new cast, I needed to take a breather and go back realising it would be a slightly different show than the one I had seen.

But then it got more complicated. I had poor health from my absolute nightmare in February, I had to change jobs, I had less money than before and work shifts where I had to be up at 4am. The thought of going to any West End show was utterly terrifying when I was that exhausted, and true to the tale….I didn’t see one show. I have not seen a West End show since March, and that West End show was Jersey Boys. It’s not a simple case of me missing the old cast and not going. It was that….and I make no excuses for that. It was that in the first month, maybe two. But I always had every intention of going back to the show that made me so happy.

If a person goes to a show once, loves it with all her heart but can’t go back because of money issues, or living far away, or being a single Mum with no-one to help with her kids, or being a teenager who can’t afford a repeat due to not earning for themselves…..does that make them less of a fan then somebody who has been multiple times? Of course not. It makes them equally a fan. When I went countless times in those two years, I met a girl who had seen the show once and fell in love with it. She was just as big as fan as me. She was desperate to go back but her circumstances didn’t allow it. The fact she had went once was proof enough for me that she adored the show.

I do not ever try to be dishonest on this blog, as cliche as it sounds, this blog is my own personal diary. My sadness at the ‘old’ cast leaving was very real to me and I could not face going back. Then, as I said above, it turned into NOT being able to go which in turn made me want to go back.

Jersey Boys is closing in March, and before then….I will be going back to see it once more. I will say goodbye in my own way. I will probably cry like a baby. I will be the usual me.

I am so very sad that Jersey Boys has to close. Granted, there are worse things going on in the world right now….but that makes it all the more sad because we need these West End shows with talented casts lighting up our day to day lives. They are an escapism. And the thought that I can no longer go and escape to the show that means so much to me has hit me like a shit ton of bricks this morning. The option has been taken away from me.

I have said my feelings on the matter, now I want to talk about Jersey Boys as a whole.

The fact that the cast and crew are dealing with the news is enormous. It’s not just a show, it is their jobs. From the directors to cast, from costume people to wig guys, they are all employed and working on a show where no doubt the people will feel like family. As when any show closes, not just my favourite, my heart really goes out to every single person who will be saying goodbye.

I think that the two Matts, Declan and Simon are doing a brilliant job with stunning the crowds each night. And I know that they have to carry on as all shows do when they get the bad news of a closure. They themselves have managed to entice a whole new fan base to the show, I’ve seen it on twitter. They kept the old fans coming back, gained new ones and of course, wowed the people that were there for a one off night of entertainment. I wish them nothing but the best for the future, and look forward to seeing them perform on stage together.

The Jersey Boys contract has been officially broken, and with it…..a little piece of my show loving heart. I know the ones who will already be booking several shows to give it a good send off, and I would urge everyone that has never seen it, or seen it before and wants to go back to book up and see it. Make the last few months one big party and see it off in style.

Jersey Boys, I thank you for the years of joy you provided me. Not so much for the late nights and delayed train journeys and making myself bankrupt to see you, but it was all worth it!

It will be an emotional goodbye. X