What a long strange trip its been to get to this point. Who would have thought going to see one play would take two and a half months, two trips to London, a dozen phone calls and three pairs of tickets.
Jenny surprised me with tickets to go see Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theater in London’s West End when I arrived in England. I was super excited as, surprisingly, Les Miserables is one of my favorites. She got the tickets well before I got to England, and we were all set to go the first week of January. She explained when she bought the tickets from Encore Tickets, she bought two, but when she paid there were four in her cart, and before realizing it she paid for four tickets. She called and emailed the company and was able to have them re-sell the tickets she didn’t mean to buy, so it seemed like everything was fine.
We headed off to London so Jenny could show me the sights as it was my first time there. We got a nice hotel near Hyde Park, and did all the basic London tourist stuff. The first day we walked around Hyde Park, saw Buckingham Palace, toured Westminster Abbey, walked around Big Ben and Parliament. We then took a train to see the Tower Bridge and walk around the Tower of London before heading back. The next day was the big day. We spent the afternoon at the British Museum before we left early to get ready for the show. We first went out fo a fancy steak dinner at one of the trendy restaurants near the theater. It was great and we went all the way with a couple steaks, a bottle of wine and some cheesecake to finish things off. We got to the theater, got our tickets from the box office and went to find our seats. Thats when we figured out that something was wrong…there were already people in our seats. After talking with them, and finding an usher we headed back to the box office to find out that Encore Tickets had actually sold all four of the original tickets that Jenny got, instead of just the two she didn’t want, therefore we had no tickets for our show. We were pretty pissed and headed back to our hotel to fume about the mix-up.
The next day we continued out trip with a visit to a museum. Jenny was on the phone with Encore most of the afternoon to try to recoup our losses and get new tickets after they messed up. After several days of negotiations (they offered to give us only %10 off our next ticket purchase) we finally got a deal that could get us two new tickets for Les Miserables. Las t we we finally got our tickets again and went back to London for attempt number two to see the show. This time we traded a steak dinner for a steak burrito at Chipotle, but we were excited to go. We got in the theater, found our seats and thankfully this time there was no one in them. When the show started and we could finally breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Encore didn’t screw us a second time.
As for the show, it was amazing. The show was everything we were hoping for when we got tickets originally.
The Set: A+ The set started out as nothing but a few probs and I was worried that that’s all it would be the whole time. Then it began to rotate as the actors walked across and blew my mind. Every time they needed to change the setting, the stage would rotate and spin the old set to the shadows and bring the new one out without any struggle. The barricade was insanely intricate. They were able to pull some stuff off that I didn’t think they’d be able to like Javert’s suicide and basically all the scenes at the barricade.
Acting: B+ The only downside from going on a Wednesday night was that we got the understudies for Jean Valjean and Marius. It worked out though because those two actors filled the roles and were great. The only problem I had with the acting was at some points the actors would choose to scream their lines as loud as possible instead of trying to convey a real emotion (mostly Javert) but other than that everything was right on point.
Singing: A Everyone in the cast was an amazing singer. After being a big fan of the movie, but not Russell Crowe it was great to finally see what the character Javert would look like with an actor who can actually sing.
Seats: A- We had technically what were supposed to be worse seats from our original seats the first time we were supposed to go. That being said I think I like where we were more. We were on the balcony instead of on the floor, and I think we could see a lot better than where we would have been. We had a birds eye view and I think that helped the set pop and we could see some things on stage that nobody else could see from their seats.
Overall finally seeing the show was a great experience and I can’t wait to go see another West End show. That being said we’ll have to find a different ticket office to work with since we will never use Encore after that experience.