Last weekend my wife and I spent a lovely weekend in London. As part of the trip on the Friday night we went to see the hit musical Wicked at the Apollo theatre. It was such an amazing night and an experience that I don’t think I will forget in a hurry. I love theatre and musicals, but have only seen less than a handful in the flesh at various theatres in the UK and the USA.
On the tube ride back to our hotel after the show it really struck me how privileged we were to be able to go and experience something like that. There is something truly special about going to a big musical in London but it is something not everyone can do. If you don’t live in London, the cost of transport, a hotel and a ticket can be quite high and quite difficult to arrange. Thankfully for us the tickets were presents so it wasn’t as expensive but it was still a privilege to have been afforded the opportunity to go.
The most important performance
One thing I really like about musicals is how even though for many of the performers it will be their 100th, 300th, 1000th time of performing in their role, for us the audience they make it feel like it is the most important performance and just like the first time they played their part. Because of how well the show is put together you get sucked in to the world of the story and it’s not until afterwards you start to think about the mechanics of it all.
For those two and a half hours we were there, the rest of the world and its problems didn’t exist, the phones went off and we willingly entered the world of Wicked the Musical. We sat there in awe as the stars belted out powerful vocal performances and acted their parts fantastically well. The stars made everything seem so easy and got me wishing I could sing and perform like they could. Experiencing the hit song from the show “Defying Gravity” was such an amazing thing and something I can now cross off my bucket list.
Like any other job
Performing in a big West End Musical (Yes I know the Apollo isn’t technically the West End!) is a highly coveted thing to do and for which I am sure the competition is fierce. I decided on the way home to look at it a bit differently though; I started to ponder a few things, after you have done the performance so many times does it lose its magic for the performers? Does it just turn in to the equivalent of working in an office? Does doing 8 performances a week with no sick days or holiday take it’s toll? I’m sure for most the sacrifices are worth the position they have but I think as an audience we sometimes look at them through tinted glasses.
The power to inspire
The next night whilst we were in London I looked down at my watch and noticed the time has just passed 7.30pm and said someone else is getting that same amazing experience we had last night right now. What I love above musicals is that the same story and same performance can inspire, captivate and encourage a new audience every night.
I don’t think there are many people who don’t come out feeling happy after seeing a musical. When I walked out I felt I could achieve more and that I could use that experience to improve myself. I came out of the theatre knowing I had just seen something amazing and I’m sure I will be singing the songs from it for weeks and months to come.
I want to end this blog with my favourite line from one of the songs from Wicked “My future is unlimited” and I truly believe that.