A West End Double Feature

As you may or may not know, one of my degrees is in theatre and there is nothing I love more than a good afternoon or evening spent seeing a live performance. Last week, I was fortunate enough to score cheap tickets to two shows I have been wanting to see for ages, Memphis and Once. I know people who were/are connected to both of the shows on Broadway, so it was fabulous to finally get to see these amazing performances. Although, I couldn't have chosen two shows that are more different to one another for a two-a-day!

David Hunter and Jill Winternitz as Guy and Girl in Once on the West End
Beverly Knight as Felicia and Killian Donnelly as Huey in Memphis

Because I have been waiting so long to see Memphis (honestly, it had become ridiculous...I got sick when I had tickets to see it in NYC, then it came to Atlanta two weeks after I left to go back to the UK, and then last Christmas is in town literally the evening I was leaving), I think I enjoyed it even more. My mother also grew up in the 1950s in North Carolina, so I grew up hearing a lot of the stories about rock music and racial segregation. My grandmother used to often talk about how scandalized she was when Elvis was first on television because of the way he shook his hips. Memphis is loosely based on the life of DJ Dewey Phillips, who was one of the first people to put "black music" on a "white station," which caused a music revolution. You can read more about Dewey here.

Having seen so many shows in my life, it is rare that I see one in which I enjoy every single minute. I had previously seen a recording of the show when it was taped for Memphis Live, (which was on Netflix for a time, and can be purchased on DVD or Amazon Instant Video--both US only, sadly), but I didn't expect the show to be quite so emotional. I found myself in tears, laughing and smiling and leaped to my feet when it was over (as did the entire audience). I cannot recommend this musical enough.

It is playing at the Shaftesbury Theatre on the West End and has opened officially on October 23. It is slated for an open ended run...but don't miss out. I honestly think I am going back with Luke.

(All production photos used with permission)

You can watch the trailer for the musical here:

After a totally basic pumpkin spice latte (PSL to the basic b's of the world), I met my friend Jo where we had some Dutch pancakes at My Old Dutch. I wish I had taken a photo of those...they were more picture worthy than my little pumpkin spice latte! And they were huge...the size of a medium pizza at least. But hey ho. It made me extra excited for the trip Luke and I are taking to Amsterdam in a couple of weeks. Mmmm Dutch pancakes.

When we finished, Jo and I headed to see Once the Musical.  After the electrifying energy of Memphis, this seemed a lot more calm, intimate and subdued. But it was still a great evening. There was no orchestra as all of the actors served as the music and you could go on stage to grab a drink during intermission and before the show. It is closing soon, so if you have a chance, go grab yourself a ticket. They are on sale for extremely low prices (we got £25 tickets in the stalls/orchestra) and the show is playing at The Phoenix Theatre.

Have a watch of the trailer here:

All in all, it was an amazing day! Can't wait to see another show in London.

Below, I've included a Grooveshark of the some of the songs from the shows. More than worth it to check out. Please note that Once songs are from the film as the musical is not Grooveshark (they are essentially the same with a few variants). I haven't included all of the songs because means you have to see them to hear them all.

Note that Memphis Lives in Me is listed as by Bon Jovi. They helped write some of the songs, but the song appears in Memphis.

Memphis/Once by Anna Scanlon on Grooveshark

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  1. One of the things I'm most excited about moving to London next year is the theater. One of my degrees is in theater too and I'm in such a great city for it (chicago) but one of the reason's I've always wanted to move to London was for theater specifically!! My boyfriend is going to be promptly dragged over to The Globe and every possible Shakespeare spot possible!!!


    1. I still haven't gone to a lot of the Shakespearian places, which makes me a bad theatre lover. When are you coming and what are you doing over here? Good luck!


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