West End this week: The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Hairspray and & Juliet
While the West End shows may not be on, there’s still lots of ways to stay in touch with what’s going on in the theatre world. As well as our top ways to get your theatre fix, we’ll be updating this page every week with our top picks on how to stay in touch with the biggest conversations in theatre. So, if you’re wanting to switch off from what’s going on in the real world and imagine you’re at the theatre, then here’s our top picks for keeping yourself entertained this week.
West End theatre in the home
Be inspired by conversations about shows
While Joel Horwood’s adaptation of The Ocean at the End of the Lane ran at the National Theatre, British comedian Lenny Henry chatted with British author Neil Gaiman about his award-winning novel being adapted for the stage. this podcast, listen to the pair discuss Gaiman’s inspirations behind writing what’s considered to be a semi-autobiographical novel, as well as the creative collaborations to transform the book into a play.
As well as the podcast being available on all major podcast providers, the conversation was also filmed and recorded, so you can watch them talk too.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is coming to the Duke of York’s Theatre later this year, so once you’ve listened to the conversation between Henry and Gaiman and then book your tickets to this anticipated transfer.
Read our top ways to have fun
Even though you may be spending a lot of time indoors, there’s still lots of ways to have fun. From baking a chocolate cake that Bruce Bogtrotter would devour in Matilda to mastering the dance routines in Mary Poppins and Wicked, you’ll wish you had more time to tick off everything on our list!
Lights, camera, action: The film we’re loving
If you’re looking for a musical film to watch this week, then get ready to go back to a time where the hair was higher and the skirts were bigger in Hairspray. Set in 1960s Baltimore, it’s the story of teenager Tracy Turnblad whose social and political views don’t fit with the local community. But, as she dances into the hearts of the local community, will she take the crown on the Corny Collins show? There’s the original 1988 Hairspray film starring Ricki Lake as Tracy, and then the 2007 film with Nikki Blonsky to watch.
Curl up with a book
Legendary composer Andrew Lloyd Webber gives insight on his incredible theatre career in Unmasked, a memoir that reveals the life of one of Britain’s finest musical theatre composers of all time. As an award-winning composer and lyricist, Lloyd Webber shares the magic of musical theatre, as well as his early influences and what continues to inspire him in a career that’s spanned over 50 years. As well as musicals including Evita and School of Rock, he’s still working on new projects, with his latest musical Cinderella set to open at the Gillian Lynne Theatre later this year. Why not listen to every Andrew Lloyd Webber musical too?
Songs we’ve got on repeat
Imagine you’re performing centre stage at the Shaftesbury Theatre just like the cast of & Juliet and listen to all the songs in the show. They’re all pop hits by Max Martin including “Larger than Life”, “Break Free” and “Can’t Feel My Face” with an original song titled “One More Try” written especially for the show.
That television show we can’t stop watching
Even though David Mitchell recently made his West End debut as the Bard at the Gielgud Theatre, all the world’s a stage in the original television show of Upstart Crow. First broadcast in 2016 to commemorate William Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary, travel back in time to late sixteenth-century England as Shakespeare seeks inspiration for his next big hit. There’s plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in each episode, with the 20 episodes named after lines that features in one of Shakespeare’s plays. So, if you’re looking for a new television show to obsess over, Upstart Crow is the show for you.