Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Musical Madness

In the life of Eve, I got a C in History, have just finished my controlled assessment in English, which was only 4 pages long, compared to other people's 7 or 11, and I have a cold the day before a trip to the freaking coast, which is colder, and windier than inland! Go Eve
But that's not what this post is about, so I'll shut up about that!
*WARNING* This post is extremely long because of pictures, so expect a lot of scrolling *WARNING*
Following my trip to see the Lion King at Sunderland Empire a couple of weeks ago, I realised something that's slightly sad, slightly enlightening - I'm a musical theatre nut.
Whether it's performing or watching, I'm thrilled by the amount of work it takes to present this feats of music, dance and acting.

Let's start with Music
Music in musicals are so much different to just listening to something on you iPod or even in a film. You get the raw energy of the performer in their voice. You can hear the emotions, and it's beautiful. Not going to lie, I got chills a few times whilst they were singing, because the sheer power in the songs was phenomenal.
And it's not just the singing that fascinates me, it's the instrumental as well. I was on row B and from where I sat, I could see the two drummers on the balcony, and the drum sets they had were massive and so varied, but the sound was incredible!
I actually had a slight bit of trouble sitting with a straight face through Circle of Life knowing that the first lyrics translate to 'Here comes a lion'

Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba
[Here comes a lion, Father]

Sithi uhm ingonyama
[Oh yes, it's a lion]

In no way am I a dancer, but I do know how to appreciate it (says the girl who blatantly ignores Strictly) but the dancing in the Lion King was exceptional.
Do you see all this? Do you see the majesty?
The time it takes for this stuff to be learnt is amazing, and I cannot describe watching it live, seriously, it was so ... just so!

I will probably not be the first nor the last to say that the costumes in the Lion King are bloody incredible!
If I were wearing a hat, it would have been off to the designer (Julie Taymor, also the director and person responsible for the masks, puppets and additional lyrics!). It says so much about the characters, and the mechanics of the lion masks had me baffled. I reckon the masks had some sort of mechanism connected to their spines,because their masks were only ever down when they were bent over, and raised when they stood.

I love that you can have the freedom to stick to the character as they are written, or you can add your own spin to it. For example, Zazu was Glaswegian, but he was played by a Welshman. And you know that part in the film where Zazu is in Scar's little cage and he has to sing for him? The Zazu at Sunderland started singing the Proclaimers 500 miles in the strongest Scottish accent.
Also, Timon, I loved how he was improvised. He literally started singing Let it Go at one point!

In the Lion King, there were only a few actual set pieces that weren't acted out by extras - they were astounding - but I love how the actual cast, not just the extras, learn how to move the set pieces and put them in place. It was the same when we saw Fame in July, there were only two pieces of set that could be turned around to portray different classrooms, and the main cast knew exactly how to release the hydraulics and lock them in place.

So yeah, I'm really appreciative of musical theatre, and I'm very happy to announce that in our school's 2015 production of Joseph, I have today been cast as ... Dan! He's the fifth son, and I can't get over the fact that you've got cool, old time names like Reuben, Simeon, Levi (Mikasaaaaaaa), Judah, and then you've got Dan! How do you get from Reuben to Dan? Anyway, I'm quite happy with the role, as after finding out I wasn't in the running for narrator, I was slightly worried that many of the Joseph characters are one-hit wonders, with only one or two songs to themselves, but the brothers feature quite a few times, so I'm happy :)

I actually go on holiday a week tomorrow, so I think I will post once more before then (I was thinking maybe a what's in my carry-on sort of post) but I may have changed phones by then, so I may have the type of phone that I can blog from! You never know :)

Bye, Eve


  1. This musical sounds amazing! I think I went to see the Lion King musical when I was 4, but I don't remember much of it. Musical theatre really is amazing to watch though, isn't it!? I'm glad you had a great time and I hope you have fun on your holiday too!! New follower xx

    The Life of Little Me

    1. It was brilliant. Thank you so much, for the good wishes and the follow! I'm just about to read through your blog in a second :)