“We walk proudly & we walk strong, altogether we will grow as one”
“What the hell’s wrong with expressing yourself? Being who you want to be?”
“It’s like that there’s a music playing in your ear, and I’m listening and I’m listening, and then I disappear”
These are just a few lines from what is, in my opinion, one of the best musicals to grace London’s West End. This was to be the third time I have visited the Victoria Palace Theatre for an evening of laughter, tears and fun – not necessarily in that order. Before I dive straight into a review full of praise, I remember; every story has a beginning, a middle and an end; so let me start at the very beginning…
My day at work was going ridiculously slow. Don’t get me wrong, there were things going on in the office that day – we had LA Fitness holding an assessment day for potential new employees, I was uploading job adverts here and there, people were still coming in for interviews etc, but all I was thinking about was that evening. Impatiently waiting for 5pm to set me free, allowing me to start my weekend. After what felt like waiting for the Ice Age to pass over, 5pm was here and I was out the office door in a heartbeat.
My boyfriend and I had a table booked at Zizzi’s for 5:30pm. When we got to Victoria we decided it was actually a little too early for dinner so we stopped off at a pub inside Cardinal Place for a refreshing bevvy. I enjoyed a glass of white wine, while he enjoyed a Perroni. We sat outside, taking in what was going on around us and we had a direct view into Zizzi’s (making sure it wasn’t getting too busy). Soon enough the aroma wafted over to where we were seated and our appetites took over our bodies – off we went to Zizzi’s.
Italian food is one of my absolute favourites! CARBS! Pasta, pizza, garlic bread, cheese.. Oooh, the very thought makes my mouth water. YES, our table was still available and was waiting for us in a nice tucked away corner. Again, we ordered our drinks – another white wine and a large Perroni then began our browse of the menu. I’m somewhat of a foodie if I’m completely honest. I love eating out at restaurants, I just can’t resist them half the time. For starters we (I) chose their “Fonduta Formaggi” which is a delicious melting pot of gorgonzola, gruyére and pecorino cheese accompanied by baked dough slices and focaccia bread for dipping to share. I’m sure you noticed that cheese was one of the foods I mentioned earlier; I’m a sucker for it! It’s a sin, I know. It’s awful. Loving cheese never lead to good life choices but hey ho, what am I meant to do? It was the most moreish and satisfying starter I’ve ever had, I must say. Can’t lie – thinking back to it is making my taste buds tingle…
Our mains! I was debating all day; do I try something new? Do I stick with my old favourite? I thought and I thought, I made my decision. I stuck with my favourite dish and ordered their Casareccia Pollo Piccante – spicy chicken breast pieces in a smooth, creamy sauce with baby spinach, tomato and chilli. Oh, and of course some fresh parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top. HEAVEN ON A PLATE. I can’t see myself ever looking back. Although, I really do need to try something else soon. My boyfriend ordered their Rustica Sofia pizza – toppings off spicy chicken, pepperoni, spicy sausage, mozzerella, chilli and rosemary. Again, delicious!!
We had finished stuffing our faces so made a move over to the theatre. As I’ve mentioned, this was to be my third time seeing Billy Elliot, I knew what to expect and was therefore giddy with excitement. My boyfriend hasn’t been to the theatre in a long time and considering we met through an acting course in college, I decided that was not good enough – he needed to see this!
The first act came to an end – I had already laughed and cried myself silly, and was pleased to see that he was just as touched by it as I was. He was full of praise for the young boy playing Billy and his talent – comedy, singing, dancing, acting. Such a young boy being able to deliver his lines so effectively to have the entire audience engaged and sitting in the palm of his hand is fantastic.
The finale – what a finale it was. After once again sobbing at the ending and feeling empowered by the show, we gave round after round of applause, determined to show all the actors involved what a great show they had put on. Encore after encore until finally, the show came to an end. I always come out these shows on a high, so it was great sharing that with him. After enjoying Billy Eliott so much our next venture will be to see Wicked (again, my third time).
I can’t recommend this show enough. I wasn’t a fan of the film whatsoever, but the stage show really is out of this world. It’s funny enough and smart enough for anyone to enjoy. Sheer brilliance.