omg future anna, you've finally seen the musical you've wanted to see for ages! I haven't seen much on the west end, but the 2 shows I currently want to see are Waitress (hoping to see in a few weeks so stay tuned!) and ETAJ which I was able to see today!
The musical has been at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftsbury Avenue since late 2017 after originally showing in Sheffield! There have been a range of Jamie's and I was lucky enough to see Layton Williams play the part today (he also walked past me when he'd finished his set at the Trafalgar Square pride stage and I was entering, how cool!). The whole cast were incredible, with special shoutouts to Sabrina Sandhu and Bill Ward who were strong characters with incredible voices!
The musical was inspired by a BBC Three documentary that showed in 2011, and I really wanna watch it and learn more about the real Jamie and his life as a drag queen. The story of the musical was so powerful, heartfelt, emotional, and fun! We meet Jamie in year 11, wanting to become a drag queen even though his teacher and a few classmates are unsure. With support from his family and friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, troubles and truly steps into the spotlight.
To be honest, I didn't know anything about the story before entering the theatre! I'd seen drag queens on the posters, but didn't realise that the story focused on that, so I was so happy to be surprised by how the story moved and evolved! I love doing that, not knowing what I'm getting myself into!
I loved the script, so much that I bought a copy! It's great when you can relate to performances but when the words you hear are so perfect, you just wanna flick through and not stop reading it! With it being such a modern story, the language choices are utterly fantastic, and I wonder if they will rewrite parts as the musical continues it's run to keep it up to date!
The acting was next level. Every single person on stage was filled with so much power and electricity that I felt alive and loved every move. I've already mentioned my 3 standout performances, but the whole cast were so talented and you could feel each emotion they went through. Whether love, anger, sadness, each feeling really had so much work put intoit that you could hear the whole audience react together and really feel so moved by what was happening on stage. And those drag queens MMMM YES!!! SO SO GOOD!
THE SONGS! What a musical is known for! I'm not really down with all the musicals and all the songs, so like the story, I didn't know any of the tunes beforehand so I was really intrigued to see what we'd be greeted with! I LOVE THE SOUNDTRACK! Few songs were stronger than others, but that's just personal music opinion, but I'll definitely be adding my favourites to my playlist. Each voice was note perfect and so powerful that I just wanted to get up and sing with them even though I didn't know the words haha!
A friend had gone to see the show a few months ago and I remember her talking about the lighting. I was intrigued. I sat on the dress circle and it was a great place to see how light was used as part of the set to mark certain places and spaces. I'd love to see the show unclose in the stalls up close, but I might not see the lighting so I'm glad I've seen it from this view first! One of my favourite shows is The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime (https://annasnothere.blogspot.com/2017/02/a-curious-call.html ) and one of my fave aspects of it is the lighting so it was amazing to see how the lighting was used for this. The stage was simple yet used so cleverly, including the placement of the orchestra! I loved the house set as it was homey and so different to the rest of the show, making it feel safe, like that was the only solid place in Jamie's life. The use of everything (desks, seats, etc) was just fantastic and big shoutout to the cast who had to remember lines, choreography and also where set needed to be moved to!
To finish, let's talk about costume! It was plain and simple until Jamie began to discover how he could make his dreams come true which I loved. I'm such a sucker for costumes and things so I was excited to see what magic would happen on stage after learning about the story and how it would go! Again, it was the drag queens who were just so so good, their costumes were so perfect and over the top! It was fantastic!
I really really loved the show, and like I said, I'd love to see it again up close! Especially after going through the script! Its just fantastic and perfect for now, especially as today was the pride parade in London! Go and see it if you can, and if you can't, make time!! It's so worth it!!
Hopefully you can see Waitress next future anna!
Let me know your theatre/play/musical suggestions!