The moment that the news of the Here Lies Love transfer was released, I made it my mission to tell my friend Jess we’re going, and then to get tickets the day they’re released. Unfortunately, it seemed to be the case that the “day of release” wasn’t quite cutting it as the show sold out pretty blimmin’ quickly! By some crazy turn of fate though, two returns popped up when I checked the site last Wednesday night which led me to spending my Friday night at the Dorfman Theatre...
Even though I was anticipating Here Lies Love for such a long time, my friend Jess and I really didn’t have very high hopes when we got to the theatre – we quickly realised that we were surrounded by those considerably older than us, and we were most definitely the youngest there. This soon started to make us wonder if we really were about to see Phillipino Evita (and considering we saw the Evita revival with... you-know-who... a few months back, we weren’t excited). As soon as we took our (fantastic, never mind the price!) seats in the balcony though, we soon came to realise this was even more than we’d originally hoped for.
As a show in general, it’s pretty good fun: A nice, 90 minutes of a pop opera with some incredibly catchy tunes that give you a brief overview of Imelda Marcos: the first lady of the Philippines back in the 50s. The real magic is in the technical side of the show, though. Though it initially seems to be a night club-like setting with two stages either end of the theatre and an island in the centre, you soon come to realise that the island moves, and the stages move, and that actors walk the perimeter of the theatre too. On top of this, you have some incredibly gorgeous costumes that had both Jess and I in awe, as well as some fantastic Olivier-worthy lighting (as if the design in general didn’t deserve an Olivier anyway!) - it truly is a “musical experience” like it is advertised.
It’s hard to explain the technical side of the show without repeatedly telling you how breathtaking it really is; I’m really not surprised with how quickly the show sold out. As my tale tells you though, make sure you keep checking back on the site for ticket returns because you might just get lucky like I did; don’t turn away from the show just because you think it’s going to be for the “youth” because of the nightclub vibe the advertising campaign gives off – the age range of the entire audience totally begged to differ, and all I could hear were good opinions as I left the theatre.
If you’re looking for a night out or a theatre geek out, then try and get your hands on some Here Lies Love tickets: this show is truly incredible.
By Shaun Nolan
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