Saturday 7 November 2009

Theatres Galore

In a span of less than a week, I have watched not just one but two theatre shows at London West End and not alone mind you, but with friends! Ahhh to share the good things in life with friends indeed makes every experience more enjoyable.

The first show we went to was Les Miserables. It was my second time actually. The first was in December 2007 with Harley, in which we were amazed and literally bursting with pride because one of the major cast, Fantine, was played by a Filipina - Joana Ampil.

Joanna Ampil as Fantine (lifted from

Les Miserables is a musical based on a novel by Victor Hugo. Set in the early nineteenth century during the French revolution, it centres around the story of Jean Valjean.  I remember crying a few times during the tender, tear jerking moments of the show. And I cried again on Saturday even having watched it the second time around, just couldn't help it, especially the scene when the cast belted out

To love another person is to see the face of God...
(What a beautiful line this is, don't you agree?)

Another trivia, the show had a concert at Royal Albert Hall here in London to celebrate its 10th year anniversary (1995). It was dubbed as Les Miserables: The Dream Cast in Concert, as the best cast was chosen from all over the world, from the 17 countries where Les Miserables was in production that time. And guess what, our very own Lea Salonga was selected to play Eponine.

The second show we watched this week is also a popular one, Mamma Mia!. If Les Miserables is serious with a confusing, heavy plot, thus not for kids at all, Mamma Mia! on the other hand is a feel good musical that does not require you to mull over its storyline. It is still not for kids because there are naughty moments and of course it's hard to explain to them how a girl can have three possible dads. Even though I am not much of an ABBA fan, I didn't leave the theatre without singing a long to their iconic songs.

Waterloo - I was defeated, you won the war
Waterloo - promise to love you for ever more
Waterloo - couldn't escape if I wanted to
Waterloo - knowing my fate is to be with you

Which one is better? Mamma Mia! the movie or the theatre show. I don't know really, can't decide. I'm torn. Although the theatre cast really was impressive. Their voices, absolutely powerful. But it's still not the same as James Bond singing S.O.S. and wearing spandex and lycra...

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