If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you may have noticed that I love nothing more than a night out at the theatre. I’ve recently written quite a few reviews of shows I’ve been to see. But, believe me, there are plenty more that I haven’t had the chance to go along to yet, but would absolutely love to!
Today I thought I’d share my Theatre Bucket List with you guys, which is basically made up of the top 10 shows I really want to go and see but haven’t been to before. So, ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats as I talk you through why I’d love to go and see each one. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together.
10. MADAME BUTTERFLY
I’ve always loved Opera music, but I’ve never actually been to see one! I’d like to change that in the near future, and although there are quite a few Opera’s I’d like to go and see, the one that appeals to me the most is Madame Butterfly. I think this is probably because one of my all-time favourite musicals (Miss Saigon), is based on it.
Madame Butterfly tells the heartwrenching story of a beautiful 15-year-old Geisha girl who marries a U.S Naval Officer without realising that he intends to leave her once he finds a proper American wife. He leaves shortly after their wedding, and returns years later with his new wife tow, only to discover he has a child. What happens next is absolutely heartbreaking. And although I’m sure I’d need to take a big box of Kleenex along to the theatre with me, I still really want to go and see this famous Opera.
09. SWAN LAKE
Next up on my theatre bucket list, we have a ballet. I’ve seen a fair few ballets in my time: The Nutcracker, Cinderella, and The Sleeping Beauty to name a few. But the one I’ve always wanted to see is Swan Lake. It features music my Tchaikovsky, which is absolutely beautiful, so it really appeals to me for that reason.
Now, I have to admit that I don’t know much about the story of Swan Lake. But I believe it to be based on a German fairy tale, and is all about a princess who gets turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse. The only way the curse can be broken is if a man promises to love the princess for all time, and luckily a prince makes that promise. However, the sorcerer finds out and tricks the prince into believing his own daughter is the swan princess, so the curse cannot be broken, and she dies. It sounds super sad, but I’d still love to go and see it anyway. Hopefully it will come to the Theatre Royal in Nottingham sometime soon!
I’ve wanted to see the musical, Footloose, since I was in my teens. And, believe it or not, I’m 32 now! I remember seeing the Kevin Bacon movie of the same name, and thinking how fantastic it would be to see it on stage. And I still feel that way now.
Footloose tells the story of Ren McCormack, a teenage boy from Chicago, who moves to the small town of Bomont with his mother after his father abandons them. Upon arriving, Ren finds himself at odds with most of the town, including the Reverend Bomont. This is because she has convinced the town to outlaw dancing, which Ren finds to be unbelievable. But with the help of her daughter, Ariel, and his best friend, Willard, Ren convinces the Reverend to let the teenagers dance, and in the process helps the town to heal from a tragedy that had affected them all.
Footloose includes some fantastic songs, which everyone will recognise, such as ‘Let’s Hear It For The Boy’, ‘Holding Out For A Hero’, and, of course, ‘Footloose’. One day, I really will make it to the theatre to see this one!
As a child, Shrek was one of my daughter Stacey’s favourite films. And when I first heard they’d turned it into a musical, I really wanted to pick up tickets and take her to see it in London’s West End. However, a series of unfortunate events unfolded that year, and we ended up not going.
Shrek is now back on the road, and I think it would be a great time to go and see it as Oscar can come along and enjoy it too. Based on the story and characters from the Oscar winning Dreamworks Animation film, Shrek is said to be a hilarious and spectacular production which turns the world of fairy tales upside down in an all-singing, all-dancing, must-see musical comedy. It sounds fantastic!
06. GROUNDHOG DAY
Last year I found out that one of my favourite films from the 90’s, Groundhog Day, had been turned into a musical, and was coming to the West End! I would have loved to have gone and seen it, but due to my crazy-busy work schedule, and then the hassle of getting down to London, it just seemed impossible. Had I known it wasn’t going to be running here in the UK for long, though, I would most definitely have made more of an effort to go and see it.
Groundhog Day tells the story of Phil Connors, a disgruntled big-city weatherman mysteriously stuck in a small town in America reliving the same day over and over and over again. At first Phil finds it extremely irritating, but once he starts getting to know associate TV producer Rita Hanson, he discovers it’s a day of second, third and fourth chances. I imagine the show is a must-see, and when it comes back to the UK in 2018 I most definitely want to go and see it so I can tick it off of my theatre bucket list before it disappears again!
The UK tour of Chicago came to my home town of Nottingham last summer, but I was on holiday at the time so I couldn’t go and see it. I was absolutely gutted as I’ve wanted to see it for the longest time. It’s a true classic though, so I’m sure it will be back on the road soon. Chicago really appeals to me as a musical because if I could go back in time and visit any decade, then it would, without a doubt, be the roaring 20’s. There’s just something about the music and the outfits that I find utterly fascinating. And this is the decade in which the musical is set!
Set in the legendary city during the roaring “jazz hot” 20’s, Chicago tells the story of two rival vaudevillian murderesses locked up in Cook County Jail. Nightclub star, Velma, is serving time for killing her husband and sister after finding the two in bed together. And driven chorus girl Roxie’s been tossed in the joint for bumping off the lover she’s been cheating on her husband with. Not one to rest on her laurels, Velma enlists the help of prison matron Mama Morton and slickster lawyer Billy Flynn, who turn Velma’s incarceration into a murder-of-the-week media frenzy, thus preparing the world for a splashy showbiz comeback. But Roxie’s got some tricks of her own up her sleeve …
I don’t think it will come as any surprise when I mention the next show on my theatre bucket list, as pretty much everyone I know is wanting to go and see it. And that show, of course, is Wicked! I’ve been wanting to go and see Wicked for a good 9 or 10 years at least, but again, I’ve never managed to get down to London to see it. Sad times!
Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two young women who first meet as sorcery students at Shiz University: the blonde and very popular Glinda, and a misunderstood green girl named Elphaba. Following an encounter with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, their friendship reaches a crossroads and their lives take very different paths. Glinda’s unflinching desire for popularity sees her seduced by power, while Elphaba’s determination to remain true to herself, and to those around her, will have unexpected and shocking consequences for her future. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda the Good and The Wicked Witch of the West.
I know lots of people who have seen the show and said it’s fantastic, so it’s no surprise that it’s already found its way to number 17 in the list of longest running shows in London theatre history! My in-laws recently went to see it though, and said they didn’t understand the story. Is it really that difficult to understand? I would think not! If you’ve ever been lucky enough to see Wicked, let me know the answer in the comments section below. I’d be interested to hear whether or not other people had the same problem.
03. BAT OUT OF HELL
Did I ever mention to you guys that I’m a big fan of Meatloaf? I doubt I have, to be honest. But I am. He was the very first artist I went to see live in concert, and I still love listening to his songs today. So, you can only imagine my delight when I tuned into the Britain’s Got Talent results show a few weeks ago and saw that there was a brand new musical opening in the West End called Bat Out Of Hell, which featured a whole host of wonderful Meatloaf songs!
I can’t find much info online about this particular musical, but according to their official website, it tells the story of a young, rebellious leader called Strat, who falls in love with Raven, the beautiful daughter of the most powerful man in post-apocalyptic Obsidian. I can only imagine that it will be a powerful tale of love, rebellion and rock’n’roll. I just hope I can get my hands on tickets before its short run comes to an end. Eek!
02. SCHOOL OF ROCK
Ever since I found out that Andrew Lloyd Webber was bringing his hit musical comedy School of Rock to the UK last year, I’ve been wanting to go and see it. It features a whole host of super-talented kids, and some really catchy songs that you definitely wouldn’t forget in a hurry. (Is it sad that I’ve already listened to the soundtrack on Spotify several times?)
Based on the hit film of the same name, this hilarious new musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. While teaching these pint-sized prodigies what it means to truly rock, Dewey falls for the school’s beautiful, but uptight headmistress, helping her rediscover the wild child within. Featuring 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber as well as all the original songs from the movie, this high-octane smash is said to deliver face-melting guitar riffs and touching romance in equally awesome doses.
I think both Stacey and Oscar would enjoy this musical, so it’s one we could all go and see together if we ever get the chance to go to London!
01. LEGALLY BLONDE
And finally, the show that has made it to the number one spot on my Theatre Bucket List, and the one that I would most definitely give my right arm to go and see, just has to be Legally Blonde! The film fast became one of my all-time favourites upon its release back in 2001, and I’ve been wanting to see the musical ever since it landed in the West End. However, being a penniless mum of 2 from the East Midlands (OK, maybe not penniless, but you get the gist), I could never afford to get down to the Capital to see it.
There is good news though! The show is currently touring the UK, and I’ve noticed that it’s coming to a couple of theatres near me. So I’m keeping everything crossed that I’ll finally be able to go and see it at some point. My daughter Stacey is desperate to see it too, so I may be able to play a crafty one and treat her to a ticket for her birthday. Omigod, you guys! It would be, like, totally awesome!
In case you’re not familiar with the film or the musical, Legally Blonde follows the story of college sweetheart and homecoming queen Elle Woods, who doesn’t take no for an answer. So when her boyfriend, Warner, dumps her for someone serious, Elle puts down the credit card, hits the books, and heads for Harvard Law School. I’d say it’s probably aimed at a young audience, but as I was fairly young myself when the film was first released, I still love it today. I’m not so sure what the older generation would make of it though.
And there you have it, the ten shows that made it onto my theatre bucket list. Have you seen any of them? I’m sure I could have added loads more to it, but I didn’t want to bore you to death by waffling on for too long!
Do you have a theatre bucket list?
If so, let me know what shows are on it in the comments below!