Weekly round-up: Musical special, including Phantom, Les Mis and In The Heights

Last Sunday was so much fun. My favourite kinds of weekends are the way when I have time to laze around by myself and then meet friends for an adventure, and that is exactly what happened on Sunday. I got to have a very leisurely morning, then joined Jaye in the queue to get tickets for ‘Tonight at the Palladium’. We also ate out, had lots of wine, and spent the rest of the day enjoying various musical performances.

Speaking of musicals, my sister and mum have come down to London to visit this weekend. We saw Phantom of the Opera for the first time and booked spontaneous tickets to see In The Heights on Saturday night.

Plus, I’ve got another great London burger joint to tell you about. Yes, I do realise that burgers are pretty much the only things that I eat, but I’ve got no regrets. If you want to follow in my footsteps, read on.

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Sunday was a very unusual one. I grabbed free tickets to see a recording of ITV’s ‘Tonight at the Palladium’ from SRO Audiences (I recommend signing up for their alerts if you live in London) and took Jaye along with me. I arrived 45 minutes early, and then had to wait an hour after the box office opened to finally get our tickets.

Once we knew we had seats at the back of the stalls, we went to Bella Itallia for garlic pizza bread, meatballs, and lots of wine. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon? But this wasn’t a usual end to the week in London; it was also the night of the Olivier Awards. To celebrate, London’s favourite musicals were performing on a stage in Covent Garden. Having watched the show on YouTube for years, I was very excited to be able to see it in person. We rushed over there and managed to literally walk into the entire cast of Les Mis in full costume outside Five Guys. By the time my brain had registered that I had just walked through the cast of one of my favourite musicals they were already rushing off to perform. We did manage to see them performing, as well as Matilda, and even saw Rob Brydon hurrying down the red carpet and into the awards ceremony.

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If that wasn’t enough celebrities for one day, back at the Palladium we were treated to performances from Pixie Lott (who had an incredibly out of tune guitar), Andrea Bachelli, Birdie, a comedian I wasn’t fond of, motorcyclists, the cast of Motown the musical, and a surprise appearance from half of McFly, which I was very excited about!

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This week has been rather musical-heavy so I thought I would start a one-week-only new section!

My mum and sister have come to visit me in London, so we decided to go to see Phantom of the Opera on Friday night. I had a feeling that I wouldn’t be a huge fan, and I was right. I left the theatre wondering how on earth it had managed to run in London for 30 years. Obviously I’m in the minority here, but I did not get any hint of romance through the whole production. Phantom was far to predatory towards Christine for me to have sympathy towards him. The vocals were good, though I’ve never been the biggest soprano fan.

Contrastingly, we booked tickets to see In The Heights on a whim for Saturday night and I absolutely loved it. The vocals, dancing, and characters were a lot better than Phantom. The cast put everything into the performance, including the incredible dance numbers and some fantastic songs. I laughed a lot, I nearly cried, and I really loved it. The cast puts on an amazing performance and I can’t recommend buying a ticket highly enough. If you’re under 25, you can pick up any ticket for £15, so there are no excuses.

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In other news, if you’re looking for a burger joint in London, I have one more to add to my top four. Pub Love is a small chain of bars and hostels, and their burgers are pretty epic. I had the cheeseburger with added bacon. It comes with red onion jam which is literally to die for. I couldn’t even take a photo because I practically swallowed it whole! We went to the Exmouth Arms at Euston and I can fully recommend it. There’s a really good pub quiz every Tuesday, too.
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Teacake Travels – This blog made me feel mightily inspired this week with the story of a mum-of-two who is beating the boys. She’s completing the Explorer’s Grand Slam Challenge, which involves climbing the highest mountain in every continent AND treking to the North and South poles. It’s madness, and yet she’s thriving and encouraging teenage girls to get into mountaineering at the same time. Wow.

Salt and Chic – I spend a fair amount of time reading about interior design at work, but Amy kept me hooked with her design ideas. I’m definitely lusting after a wall completely filled with a world map now!

The Undateable Girl – This week I automatically clicked with The Undateable Girl’s twitter bio. On Hailey’s blog is a list of nine reasons why the 90s were so great, and I have to agree with every one of them.

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