We go to the box office, look at the seating chart, choose our seats, pay for our theatre tickets: we’re going to see a London Musical. The anticipation begins, we’ve read the reviews, we know a song or two and we’re going to see a famous actor. Even if we’re tourists with the one carry-on bag, we’ll have something “elegant” to wear. Putting on a pretty face, doing up the hair, dabbing a bit of cologne, we’re going to a London Theatre where we’ll mix with other musical lovers: we’ll want to look our best.
London Theatres are architectural masterpieces, pieces of theatre history. We’ll walk into the lobby, admire lush decorations and smell programme printing ink. An usher will escort us to the velvet-covered seats as we wonder at the size of those curtains. There’s the hush when the house lights dim, the orchestra strikes the first note and the overture begins.
When was the last time we heard live music? There’s an orchestra, singers on stage, solos and duets, chorus numbers. We may know the songs by heart, our lips move as the notes touch our emotions. We may hear a song we’ve never heard before but know that this won’t be the last time we’ll hear it.
Those are real actors up there! Maybe one or two who are famous display their talent. We’re sharing space with one of our idols, we can feel their emotions, show them appreciation. The magical exchange between actors and audience has no limits. A musical can lift us to places our day-to-day lives never imagined.
Perhaps it’s boy meets girl or revolution in the making. Maybe it’s the secret lives of alley cats. Whatever the plot, a London Musical will tell a tale that sometimes relates to our lives, sometimes leads us into a fantasy world.
The after-the-theatre coffee
It’s all over, we’ve laughed and cried, slapped our hands together with hundreds of others. We’ve reluctantly drawn ourselves through the house then lobby doors. We’re in the street again, but the magic lingers. We’ve got to stop, have a coffee, re-live the experience with our friends. What did we like, what did we hate, what did we think? Being an amateur theatre critic is the colophon to a wonderful musical theatre experience. Now we’re ready to hit the road, already imagining our next visit to London Musical Theatre.