Monday, 7 January 2013

Theatre times two....

I've been fortunate in having the chance to go to the theatre in London either side of Christmas, and the two shows could not have been more different.

Late last year, we took ourselves off to the Savoy Theatre to see Soul Sister, the early days of Tina Turner and her disastrous relationship with Ike. I quite like the Savoy. It.s small and intimate, if a little formal. But it does have a wonderful Art Deco interior.

Oh sorry, getting sidetracked - the play. Not really my cup of tea, but the Other Half is a keen Tina Turner fan, and I suspect this is a show that will only appeal to other Tina fans. Her rise to fame and violent relationship with Ike Turner have been well documented, and this show didn't have anything new to say.

That doesn't mean it's a bad show - far from it. The band are really, really good, and Emi Wokoma, who plays the lead, really is excellent. She has Tina's movements and idiosyncrasies down to a T, and the voice almost. If you're a fan of the music, you will really enjoy the performance. However, for me, there wasn't enough of a story to keep me enthralled.

4/5 if you're a Tina fan, 3/5 if you're not.

Now, Saturday night, we went to the New London Theatre to see Warhorse.

What a fantastic experience! It tells the story of a boy and his horse in the context of the Battle of the Somme and World War I, and if you ever want to see an entire audience with tears rolling down their cheeks, then I beg you to go and see this play.
Mind, the tears are often of laughter, as well as sorrow and horror.

The animals are represented by mechanical puppets, and although you can see the puppeteers at all times, within seconds you're oblivious to them. The story and the actions of the puppets are unbelievably good. From the look of indignation on the face of the goose, when the wife slams the door in its' beak, to the appalling tragedies of the battlefield, the show is non-stop, gripping, enthrallment.

If you saw the film, and didn't care much for it, go to see the stage show. It's a whole different stable of horses. I defy you not to be moved by it.

The end of the show received a standing ovation, and never was one more richly deserved.

A stonking 6 out of 5

YES! It was THAT good.

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