In the last year or so, you may have noticed a surge in theatre reviews on my blog. Musicals are one of my top 10 loves in this world, and if I could afford to see them all 24/7 I totally would. I lucked out in Bristol and work closely with the Bristol Hippodrome, so I get to see a lot of touring productions. However, having grown up in London and been brought up on West End productions (Cannot thank my mum enough), The West End will always hold a special place in my heart.
Therefore, when I was given the opportunity to chat about the West End in collaboration with Encore Tickets*, I had a whole full circle moment. Encore Tickets provide cheap, affordable tickets for a bunch of big West End shows, allowing everyone to experience these musicals live and in person. I, like everyone else, am a lover of a good bargain, so I live on sites like this when I’m looking for theatre deals.
So, why do I love the West End?
My mum, like me, is a massive musical theatre lover. In fact, it’s almost definite that she’s the reason I love it all so much. I grew up seeing a lot of things on the West End. Don’t get me wrong – I wasn’t there every week or anything. However, my mum’s work got a lot of discounted tickets, and when she could take me, she would.
The first thing I remember seeing was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which, if you’ve read my recent Bristol review, will know scarred me as a child. However, that didn’t put me off. I’ve seen a variety of shows growing up: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Wicked (3 times), Hairspray, Avenue Q, Matilda, The Bodyguard, Memphis, The Book of Mormon… The list goes on and on. I hoard theatre programs in a piano stool in my house (It’s like… a stool that you can store things in). I love that theatre reviews have become such a big part of my blog, because theatre is such a big part of my life. However, with all my attention directed towards the Bristol press nights that I go to, I never really talk about the West End shows that I see.
The Last West End Show I loved
Last year, for my mum’s birthday, I bought her tickets to go and see Kinky Boots.
I had never seen or really heard of Kinky Boots before I bought the tickets. I’d seen the artwork (You know, that iconic pair of red sparkly boots), and I’d walked past the theatre a large number of times, but that was the extent of my knowledge. However, I knew that my mum had been longing to see it for a while and I knew that I loved the theatre, so it seemed like a win win. I had no idea what I was expecting… But it sure did not disappoint.
In short, Kinky Boots is about a man from Northampton who has been left to take over his fathers shoe factory that’s slowly going out of business. After an unexpected run in with a drag queen, he realises he may have a market in heeled boots for men, so him and the drag queen go into business.
What did I think?
I absolutely loved it. The musical numbers are amazingly choreographed, the songs are catchy and the outfits are everything. It has a very cute positive message about acceptance and tolerance, all whilst being hilarious and flashy. There are obviously emotional parts as there are with everything, and yes, I did feel a small tear. However, we’re left with a happy ending – my favourite way to end a musical.
If you haven’t seen it, I would strongly recommend that you listen to the soundtrack. There are so many amazing songs that will get you up and dancing! My personal favourite songs production-wise are ‘Land of Lola’ and ‘The Sex is in the Heel’ because both are undeniably fabulous. However, a shoutout also has to be given to the adorable awkward ‘History of Wrong Guys’, because my god was it a relatable song… You can purchase tickets for Kinky Boots from Encore tickets, here.
What’s next for me?
Like I said, I am a big West End fan. I often have press nights of touring productions lined up in Bristol, but when I’m going for a West End production, I put a lot of planning and booking into it. At the moment, all I have planned is Hamilton… Twice.
I’ve been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack for 6 months now and I didn’t get to go to the first run in London. I mean, I technically could have but I let my sister go in my place… That’s a whole other story. Anyway, when the second batch of tickets came out I was convinced I was gonna get some. Lo and behold, I ended up with two sets: so I’m seeing it in January with my friends and March with my mum and sister. In all honesty, I can’t wait. Also, if I was going to see something twice within 3 months, it may as well be Hamilton.
I always have a list of productions that I want to see. Whether that be ones that already exist on the West End that I just need to buy tickets to, or ones that are on Broadway and haven’t quite got here yet. At the moment, the list involves:
- Dear Evan Hansen (Which is on it’s way to the West End!)
- Waitress (Again, on it’s way!)
- Hamilton (Which, like I said, is happening)
The list grows all the time and there will definitely be more. However, these are the ones I’m dying to see the most at the moment…
I hope you enjoyed this post, and thank you so much to Encore Tickets for sponsoring it!
What’s the last thing you saw in theatre? What are you dying to see? Let me know in the comments!
Lots of love,
*DISCLAIMER* This post was sponsored by Encore Tickets. However, this does not affect the integrity of this post in anyway. I always pride myself on being genuine and honest. If you want to find out more about how I work with brands, you can do so here.