Sunday, 16 November 2008
Scaramouche -- Another Brilliant Night!!
I'm just home from a mad, totally exhausting but fantastic three days in London. In that time we managed to visit The Tower of London, Madame Tussauds, Harrods, take a trip on the London Eye, have a peep at Buckingham Palace and Big Ben and take in two West End Shows. Wow.
So a bit about 'Wicked.' We managed to get a fantastic deal on tickets thanks to Rosie (£53 all in for three of us). We were in Row W which I must admit made me slightly nervous, but the Apollo is such a great theatre that you could sit anywhere and have a great view. We paid 50p for the little opera glasses for Catherine (my daughter) and it was well worth the investment. Also a tip for anyone who hasn't been -- bring some swimwear -- the theatre is so hot you couldn't possibly wear anything else.
The show itself was absolutely brilliant -- Rosie has been raving about it since I first met her, which was like, I don't know, years ago and Karen's brother told me it would 'blow our minds'. And it did.
It's an incredible production and I'd recommend it to anyone. I can also see why so many people voted for Elphaba in our recent Rachel poll -- she would be superb in this role and I'd love to see her play it.
This time last year Rachel and Catherine were in rehearsals for the Wizard of Oz and it was incredible to see how 'Wicked' tied up so many of the loose ends of the original tale and transformed the whole Oz story into something entirely different.
In a word brilliant.
The following night was WWRY and Rosie and Andy have already done great reviews, so I'll try not to double up too much.
It was wonderful to meet TT members Helen and Naomi for the first time and to see so many others there from opening night too. Rosie, Olivia and Jo have become friends entirely through Rachel and met up before the show, and it was great to see Andy again. He really is every bit as great a guy in real life as he is in cyberspace and he was a particularly big hit with Catherine. Nothing to do with him buying her Haagen-Daz ice-cream I'm sure.
So the show started and it wasn't long before Rachel appeared as Scaramouche and blew the roof off the Dominion with 'Somebody To Love.' I wasn't entirely sure how she had any voice left after that number alone.
Amanda Coutts played Meat and she was good, but as Andy mentioned, it just didn't seem quite right that someone else was singing 'No-one But You' as Rachel's rendition is nothing short of perfect.
But it was Scaramouche that we were here to see, and in the second half in particular, Rachel was hardly ever off the stage.
Scaramouche is an incredibly demanding role. It requires numerous solos, large chunks of dialogue, considerable intercation with Galileo and a lot of comic timing.
Rachel had them all in spades.
She had a real chemistry with Ricardo and the two of them were a joy to watch.
Even little touches such as 'Scaramouche will you do the fandango', when Rachel did a little dance and the hilarious Union Jack knickers moment require pin-point timing, and you would honestly swear Rachel had been playing this role for months. In a Scottish accent.
Seriously, if you haven't yet seen WWRY -- book NOW. It doesn't matter whether Rachel is playing Meat or Scara, you will have a brilliant night and the rest of the cast are superb. If anything I enjoyed the show even more the second time -- on opening night I'd been so worried for Rachel that she would be perfect (I know what am I like) but this time I just KNEW that she would.
I don't want to hark back to IDA, but in all seriousness, if you've only seen Rachel on TV, you've seen perhaps 10% of what she is capable of. Her 'Cabaret' performance gives you a clue, but until you've seen her live, you really have no idea how awesome her talent is.
So, after the show, nursing two sore hands from applauding so much, I made my way with Heather, Catherine, Andy and Helen to the stage door. Rosie, Olivia, Jo, Chris, Naomi and her hubby were already there and our timing was perfect as Rachel arrived immediately.
Despite the momentous 12 months that Rachel has had, she hasn't changed a bit. She's still so friendly, thoughtful and down-to-earth -- an absolute gem.
She gave a delighted Catherine a big hug, posed for a photo, asked about her drama class and hinted that she might be a future Scaramouche. I'm filling in her application form tomorrow.
Again Rachel had bags of time and patience for everyone and proved for the hundredth time that Andy and I did exactly the right thing starting up this blog back in May. We really couldn't have chosen a better subject.
I also just want to thank everyone for being so nice to Heather and Catherine. They really did appreciate being made so welcome and had a really great weekend.
As Andy mentioned, we do have a new prize for an upcoming blog competition, so watch this space! More Scaramouche Night photos to come as well.