Ain’t too proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations is the West End debut of the 2018 jukebox musical all about the classic R&B Motown band, The Temptations. You’ll know them from song’s like ‘My Girl’, ‘Get ready’, ‘Papa was a rollin’ stone’ and of course the song the title of the musical comes from ‘Ain’t too proud to beg’. It’s from the same producers that did Jersey Boys, the brilliant musical about the Four Tops, as such it does feel very similar in style. As it was press night we had an extra special guest appearance at the end of evening from the founder and only original Temptations member left in the band, Otis Williams. I went with my friend Simon and we loved it.
I had such a fun evening yesterday at the press night for Sister Act – the Musical at the Hammersmith Apollo with my friend Craig. This production has been delayed and delayed because of Covid and originally the main role of Delores was meant to be performed by Whoopi Goldberg, who was obviously the actress in the original movie. Anyway now because of the delay they have drafted in the wonderful Beverley Knight instead. She’s literally come almost straight off the musical ‘The Drifters Girl’ with barely a chance to rest, she’s a very in demand star and you can tell why with this show. Her voice really is phenomenal, she is so great in this role. Truly one of the best vocalist and. performers in musical theatre at the moment, Jennifer Saunders who is playing Mother Superior was hilarious, her comic timing as you would expect is spot on. The supporting cast is similarly superb, particularly note must also go to Lesley Joseph as an ageing rapping nun. Keala Settle most famous for her role as the bearded lady in the film ‘The Greatest Showman’ and her beautiful performance of the song ‘This is me’ (for which she was nominated and imho should have won the Oscar for) was great but almost felt overlooked with such an all star cast. This has to to be one of the best shows on in London at the moment and I highly recommend catching it while you can.
Sister Act The Musical
As a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community I’d been wanting to see ‘Everybody’s talking about Jamie’ for ages. It’s based on the brilliant BBC documentary ‘Jamie: Drag Queen at 16’. The musical follows a 16 year old teenager as he overcomes bullies and prejudice to become a fabulous drag queen.
So when my friends David and Simon mentioned they were going to see it I crashed their date night and became their spare wheel. Only joking I did ask if I could join them and they very kindly said it was fine. We had a lovely pre-theatre dinner round the corner from the theatre at Sophie’s Steakhouse in Soho.
I enjoyed the show, but the other boys were less impressed. We all though it wasn’t quite as slick a production as we would expect from a big West End show. Almost seemed quite amateurish in parts. We’re not sure if it was possibly because of a recent change in cast. We all agreed the second half was better than then first. The whole show is camp as tits, really heartwarming and positive so I still enjoyed it. As an extra bonus which I hadn’t realised when booking the tickets, Ru Paul’s Drag Race star, Bianca del Rio, was back starring in the show, so that was nice as I’m a big fan of her. So while we all enjoyed it, me particularly, we feel liked perhaps they needed to slightly concentrate a bit more on finer details of the production.
I’d heard good things about this small independent musical for a while. I’d wanted to see it at the Edinburgh Fringe, but sadly wasn’t able to get tickets for it. It’s based on the lives of King Henry the Eighth’s six wives, and is a modern retelling of their story done in the style of a pop concert. It received lots of accolades up in Edinburgh. It’s so nice when a small independent musical likes this takes off. It’s on at the Arts Theatre in Covent Garden which is quite a small venue. Despite being right in central London it’s considered an off West End production. As such the tickets for the show were really reasonably priced and we had great seats for not much money. I loved the show, really fun and well done. My favourite wife was Catherine Parr who had wonderful comedic timing. I can’t recommend this musical highly enough, really fun and a bargain for the price.