A Week In The Life | George Takei’s Allegiance*, Battersea Power Station,

Busy week this week in terms of theatre, but I’ve felt so crap all week, I deserved the pick me up. Onto what I did this week!

Theatre

First trip this week was to catch The Art Of Illusion at the Hampstead theatre, in their downstairs space before the run ends on the 28th January. Performed by a cast of 6, this is an English translated adaptation of a French play about the magician Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin. Ultimately, the play is about magic, but not necessarily in the most visible form. This was enjoyable and the cast were fantastic juggling between multiple characters. The use of the space was interesting too, it’s so small but what Simon Kenny has done is really impressive. The main gripe I did have with this production was that there wasn’t enough magic tricks for me (but this may have been what I was expecting). But the cast were great as was the 1hr 40 run time.

Next up was my first press night of the year! I was so chuffed to be gifted tickets to see George Takei’s Allegiance at the Charing Cross Theatre. This is a hotly anticipated production, transferring from Broadway 7 years later. Based on George Takei’s experience, Allegiance follows the story of the Kimura family who, along with many Japanese-American families, are sent to a relocation centre years after the attack on Pearl Harbour. Ultimately, this is a really wonderful musical about family and community sticking together, even through the worst times. It’s also a nice delight to see George Takei making his London stage debut at 85. Proof that age is no barrier because he’s really wonderful in this show. But I must say, although it is his name all over this production, he sort of takes a backseat through most of the show. Which then allows the performances delivered by Telly Leung (as younger Sam) and Aynrand Ferrer (as his sister Kei) who are both absolutely astonishing in this production. Such moving, emotive performances that are worth the ticket price alone. The staging has continued in the round, which I didn’t mind so much. The design by Mayou Trikerioti is really well done and combined with lighting by Nic Farman creates such strong atmospheres. Overall, this is really worth seeing (and how often do you get to see such a legend on such an intimate stage?) and I highly recommend. Solid 4 stars from me.

I also got to see Paradise Now at the Bush Theatre, which finished this week. I’m not sure if it was because I was having such a bad day when I saw it, but I really didn’t vibe with this at all. Maybe it just wasn’t for me. I usually do love the girl power, girl boss type of stories, but if you had told me that the cast hated each other, I’d absolutely believe you because of the lack of chemistry between them all. That said, I thought Shazia Nicholls was really the standout in this.

And I ended my week with a two show Saturday. First up was to catch Wreckage at the Turbine Theatre which finished this week. I thought this was SO moving, a really wonderful portrayal of grief and the death of a partner. The show was just over an hour long and the time flew by. If you can handle those themes, I’d highly recommend it. I have seen that the show is doing a performance at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester on Feb 17th, if you can get to that, please do. And my second show of the day was Sound of The Underground at the Royal Court. Travis Alabanza’s play hasn’t officially opened yet, so will refrain from reviewing properly. But it’s SO so good, you have to get a ticket to see these incredible drag performers. I’m sure the reviews will be overwhelmingly positive. And when you do go, take some money with you and tip generously.

Any Other Media

I haven’t done much else this week to be honest. Most exciting thing was that I upgraded my gym membership so that I could take boxing classes, cause the stress is real. I did also have a wonder around Battersea Power Station which I was a little bit disappointed by. It’s just filled with designer shops or shops of a similar nature. I felt it could’ve been more diverse in terms of what was available. That said, the Battersea Bookshop was really nice and I absolutely loved the M&S Food hall. I could’ve got lost in there, truly.

I did manage to finish reading Queenie by Candice Carty Williams which I absolutely devoured and I cannot wait to read everything she ever publishes now. I found myself feeling really emotional at the end.

Until next time,

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