Sometimes it’s fun to be a tourist. Dawn and Evie spend a day exploring the sights and catching a show in the big smoke.
Day – Madame Tussauds
I remember going to Madame Tussauds when I was just a kid and loving it, especially the ‘Chamber of Horrors’. The waxwork models may have changed with the times, but it’s still a huge draw in the capital and over 2.5 million people visited the attraction last year.
Technology has improved the waxworks no end and as we wandered through the different zones of Film, Music and Sports I notice how incredibly life-like the models are these days. Sherlock – Benedict Cumberbatch, and Helen Mirren were scarily realistic.
The music section had today’s Beatle’s, One Direction, right next to the real ones, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse and Bob Marley too.
A particular highlight was ‘The London Experience’, we boarded moving black cabs and were taken through a snapshot of the history of London, and of it’s many stars and experiences. It’s very tongue-in-cheek with music and sound effects. Great fun!
We loved the 4D cinema experience within the superheroes section. Some of my daughters favourites included E.T. (always everyone’s favourite) and the ‘Red Carpe’t where we could take photographs of ourselves as movie stars. Whoopi Goldberg looked great in her Sister Act Habit, and Katniss from the Hunger Games had her own area too.
The world has gone Star Wars mad and Madam Tussauds is no exception. They have a very cool Star Wars Exhibition – You can sit in the cockpit next to Chewbacca and take pictures holding a lightsaber fighting Darth Vader. All the Jedi favourites are there – Yoda, The Stormtroopers, C3PO and R2D2. From the new movie we get BB8 and Kilo Ren. One tip it gets very busy so go early or late and miss the biggest crowds.
Madame Tussauds, open daily Mon-Fri 9.30-5.30, Sat/Sun 9-6pm
For more info www.madametussauds.co.uk/london/en
Night – Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
My 10 year old daughter has wanted to see Charlie and The Chocolate Factory for AGES. The show, directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes and written by David Greig has been at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane since it first debuted in June 2013. While we were both big fans of the original (not so much the Tim Burton remake) we really had no idea what to expect from the theatrical version.
(this part is written by Evie) “The curtain raised and as soon as Charlie came on we were transfixed. The set is gorgeous, but what would Willy Wonka be like? Could he live up to Gene Wilder?
I’m pleased to say that Jonathan Slinger (as Mr Wonka) and all the rest of the cast were amazing. There wasn’t a single moment in the performance from start to finish where they failed to hold our interest. The grandparents especially were hilarious, Grandpa Jo is played by Barry James and Charlie himself is fantastic.
The music wasn’t all from the original, but it added a new dimension to the story and it fits perfectly with the new adaptation. They did keep a few favourites from the movie though and the special effects for the oomph lumpas are just one of the reasons to see the show before it ends in Jan 2017.”
I’ve seen many musicals over the years, from Phantom of the Opera to Joseph, but I’ve never seen a musical which entertained for the entire show quite so well. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory moves to Broadway in Spring 2017, to entertain a brand new audience on the other side of the pond. If you’re a fan of either movie (or even if you’re not) and haven’t seen it yet, grab a golden ticket!
My daughters comment afterwards “Best Show Ever” and I have to agree.
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane