I have always been a fan of a live show – no…..not that sort of live show….. You know, a stand up comedy performance, a west end show, a professional or amateur production, or even a serious play – I just don’t think you can beat the experience of being so close to the action, really feeling like you are part of it. If you think it’s all ‘la-de-da’ and for ‘theatre luvvies’ only, in my opinion you a quite mistaken.
Over the years I have been lucky enough to watch a number of top shows in London (have even been multiple times to see the Lion King), but more recently have enjoyed the theatrical world a little bit closer to home in the Midlands. As you may know I am originally from Stafford, and so have visited the Stafford Gatehouse (www.staffordgatehousetheatre.co.uk) to see shows, and also been to their outdoor Shakespeare summer productions at Stafford Castle. All have been fantastic.
Closer to home, I am lucky to have one of (if not the) finest outdoor theatres in the UK (Kilworth House Theatre) which opened in 2007. As many may know I worked at the Hotel whilst the theatre was opening and it was all very exciting. I’ve seen some superb, professional theatre shows there (Pirates of Penzance, Sound of Music, Oklahoma!) in addition to some wonderful one night shows (comedy, musical, and stand up – Brian Conley taking top spot for me…”It’s a puppet”!). The theatre, in case you haven’t heard of it is in the outdoor grounds of the hotel. For those that haven’t heard about this award winning venue I suggest you look it up (www.kilworthhousetheatre.co.uk). Tickets sell out very fast for their performances so you have to get in their quick!
More recently (last week actually) I found myself taking a last minute, spur of the moment visit to Curve Leicester (www.curveonline.co.uk) to watch The Ladykillers. I had seen the film before, and liked it, so knew I would enjoy the stage performance. A truly professional well put together show, that was not only very witty, but played to a full house. It was great seeing the auditorium packed out and even though we all know times and monies are a little tight, people still wanting to get out and enjoy themselves.
And why not I say…..
It’s something you can do by yourself, with your partner or in large groups. You don’t feel out of place which ever category you fall in to. Sometimes being ‘Billy-no-mates’ gets you the best seats! I got a couple of rows from the front at Curve last week – perfect. I love the whole overwhelming feel of watching the show, and the getting the shivers down the back of the neck after a top-drawer performance as the cast come on to receive their much deserved applause.
Don’t just think of solely supporting the professional companies and shows – there are some great amateur performances out there too. My friend is a very keen amateur actor and I have been to see him in a number of shows, that for the budget they were working to, have been brilliant.
I already have earmarked a number of other shows I would like to see this year – Cirque du Soleil, Sweeney Todd & I am eagerly awaiting the announcement of the ‘Live Shows’ from Kilworth House Theatre – which always attract some great acts. OK, so tickets to some shows don’t come cheap, but as I don’t drink, smoke or even go out that much (sad I know), it’s worth a treat now and again.
My advice – If you’re looking for a great evening out, and have not done live theatre/performances before or even if you haven’t done them for a while, then go! See what is on in your area. For those in the Midlands and for those who also use Twitter you can follow the above mentioned venues – @KHTheatre @CurveLeicester @Staff_Gatehouse to keep up to date with their latest shows.