Squeeze supported by Heaven 17 at O2 Indigo.

First time for me at this rather fab venue. I am a big fan of Squeeze and have been for many, many years and have seen them perform several times. However tonight they excelled themselves with an incredible performance of some rather good new material but more importantly with a catalogue of all the classics. They really are superb live and I had forgotten what incredible musicians they actually are. Their lyrics are always a great
song-along but their talent made the full two hours that they played an absolute pleasure to experience. The venue is great with standing on ground floor level and seats and rear standing upstairs. We edged are way downstairs to near the front and never felt trapped or squashed. Heaven 17 were the support act and were great fun to listen too and watch as they seemed to be having a ball. In conclusion one of the best gig nights out I have ever had. Thank you Squeeze you were amazing.

The Son, Duke of York Theatre, London.

A last minute booking as a half term night out for me and my son. A powerful drama about a teenager struggling with his mental health in a dysfunctional family who ignore his cries for help and erratic behaviour. Although to the audience the mental state of this young man is obvious, sadly the struggle for his family to see, want to see and acknowledge his plight is an all to familiar reflection of the real life of some. I know I promised no spoilers in my blog but in this case a short synopses of the plot seems a good introduction to anyone who may decide to go. Slightly over acted at times, however it also built up to a climax that left the audience watching in absolute silence, which is always a good indication that the director has got it right. Not the most uplifting play but nor is mental health so it is good to give it a stage and bring it into peoples thoughts. We need to listen to our young people especially when they go quiet. It is only on until 2nd Nov so if you do want to go don’t delay and there are some bargain tickets to be had.

Fame, The Peacock Theatre, London.

Umm…Fame! Being a big fan of the original film and it’s toe tapping soundtrack, I looked forward to reliving the 80’s and to hopefully enjoy a bit of a sing-along (as I wasn’t allowed to sing last night at Les Mis 🤭). Sadly I feel we were sold a bit of a lie! This musical phenomenon?!?!? (that’s what it says on the poster!) was based on the original film, although the rich posh girl wasn’t rich or posh and unbelievably in 2019 when so many shows and film/tv actively embrace the importance of inclusion, the gay guy for some reason wasn’t gay. But most disappointingly the only song from the original film was the title song!!!!! Maybe they couldn’t get the music rights but if this is the case please don’t sell it as Fame the Musical, sell it as Fame the Musical with a new soundtrack except for the title song so don’t expect to know the words!
The cast were young and I applaud any theatre that showcases young talent on a West End stage and they were all excellent dancers and the majority could also sing. At the end the cast did return to the stage for a final rendition of the title song and people did get up and clap along but there was an air of apathy in the audience by then and it felt that many were only clapping along to be polite. What makes a well loved musical transfer successfully from film to stage is the fact that the fans can see something they love presented on a new platform (Dirty Dancing and Grease are excellent examples of this!) Sorry but Fame sadly let us down.

Les Miserables in Concert, London

So tonight I had the great privilege of seeing Les Misérables in concert which is being staged at The Gielgud Theatre while the show’s home theatre is having a revamp to make the show even more amazing. If you’ve read my previous post about my last trip to Les Mis you will already know that I am a fan. I can honestly say I am a bit lost for words to describe how incredible my evening has just been. We had booked on a day that we knew we would be seeing Michael Ball and Matt Lucas but Alfie Boe was not scheduled to perform. However as the cast took to the stage the man himself stood amongst them!!! The whole cast were superb but to witness Alfie and Michael perform Jean Valjean and Javert was mind blowing. An evening of pure joy. This concert was also so well staged that it lost none of its dramatic effect and if anything only managed to emphasis the genius of the music and lyrics. Just WOW!

Come From Away, The Phoenix Theatre, London

A moving musical about a small airport town in Nova Scotia that received many planes and their passengers in the aftermath of the horror of 9/11. Sounds a bit of a bizarre plot but a true story and a wonderful celebration of how humanity and the goodness of mankind triumphs over the cruel and barbaric agenda of the terrorist activity that took place in New York and across America on that day. With no interval the story unfolds and keeps pace to provide two hours of humour, compassion and song. Loved it!

Bowie Starman at 229 The Venue.

Opposite Portland Place Tube and down some stairs, is a small club named 229 The Venue. Hosting ‘Bowie Starman’ a celebration of the legionary Man himself, the evening was a perfect excuse to sing and dance along to David Bowie favourites with like minded fans. The musicians did a decent job and except for a handful of men who stood at the front and didn’t move or even mime, everyone else seemed to be having a lovely time. The wine from the bar wasn’t the best but it did the job. A fun night out.

Celeste at The Lanesborough, Hyde Park Corner, London.

Celeste is a One Michelin Star restaurant at The Lanesborough Hotel on Hyde Park Corner. From the moment the doorman welcomed us in to this beautiful hotel, we were whisked away into another world of elegance and class. Every member of staff greeted us with a smile and they were all exceptionally attentive but not in an annoying way! The restaurant’s decor is grand and stunning with chandeliers Del Boy should stay well away from! The whole room is immaculate. We were seated side-by-side on a sofa at our table which seemed a little bit weird at first but it was so comfortable and it meant that when you weren’t eating you could sit back and really relax. It was actually an inspired idea. A glass of bubbly to start and then the most delicious three course meal I have ever tasted. I chose Gnocchi for my main course which I love, but as a meat eater, choosing a vegetarian dish is a rarity. Oh my goodness (it was too posh to use an acronym) I didn’t want the Gnocchi to ever end!!! It was accompanied by a watermelon, pine nut and feta salad which was also divine. My starter was a perfectly cooked scotch egg and my pretty pudding was a delicate pear with ginger delight. All the food was served at the perfect temperature, either warm and mouth watering or cool and palate cleansing. I always judge a good establishment by whether they re-fold your serviette when you go to the loo ✅ and if the hand towels in the loos are small, individual and fabric ✅ which is a bit sad I know but these little attentions to detail make me smile 😉 😊. The Lanesborough also gets an extra ✅ for the handbag hook situated next to the toilet roll holder! How many women have sat on the loo and realised they need something from their bag only to realise its hanging out of reach on the back of the door. Toilet roll, hook, handbag…perfect!

This is a top notch 5 star hotel that really knows how to excel but it does so with a welcoming relaxed friendly manner than puts you at ease and ensures that you have an amazing time. Definitely my favourite bookatable visit so far (£39 per head, three courses and a glass of bubbly) and one we will return too without a doubt. Superb.

FLEABAG, live stream at the Odeon.

Love the tv show. Brilliant piece of theatrical writing and acting so the opportunity to see the stage show streamed live to an odeon near me was worth a look. The stage show proceeds the tv series and the 1st series reflects this 90 minute monologue. Some might say that seeing both tv series’s would ruin watching the original stage show. However it really didn’t and in fact it added to the experience as understanding the story, emotion and relationships behind the characters enhanced the story with greater understanding and depth. The performance of Phoebe Waller-Bridge was hilarious with her facial expression and poetic delivery and a beautiful command of the English language. Moments made you laugh, moments made you cry laughing and moment made you close to tears. Phoebe is a very clever lady who has the ability to talk about subjects that will make some people blush, but with an emotional undertone that makes you think and empathise with others and feel people’s vulnerabilities. Quite an expensive night out at the cinema but as the stage show is a sell out, a great alternative to be able to share the moment.

Greenwich Comedy Festival, Greenwich!

Comedy in a big tent in the grounds of the Royal Naval College. Well known acts, all of whom have graced many stages and tv screens. Three shows a day in this well organised event. Full of laughs. Seats could be more comfortable but we are in a tent and as this isn’t glamping you can’t expect luxury. All for £20. Definitely a good way to spend a autumnal Saturday.