After an eyeopening evening exploring London’s vibrant nightlife – experiencing everything from cosmopolitan bars filled with suits swigging champagne, groups of doctors huddled in toilets moaning about understaffed A&E departments, to pubs filled with legless women stumbling around downing pints of colliery band beer – on Friday morning I woke excited yet slightly worse for wear ready for my magical and much anticipated trip to see The Lion King.
I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so excited about anything. I honestly have no idea where I first heard about the stage version of the Disney film. For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to go and see it, but have never found the time, money or the energy to go. Andy knew this, and so acting as only a devoted boyfriend would, decided to surprise me with tickets to see the show while we were in London.
In the hours to spare before the show we headed into the capital to enjoy sightseeing. It didn’t go as smoothly as planned. Finding something for me to eat that was a) healthy and b) lactose free appeared to remain a monumental challenge despite the fact we were in a city filled with the largest variety of different culerany delights imaginable. It was like trying to see the wood through the trees, we just couldn’t find anywhere, and because I was starving by this time that turned me into a raging bitch. It was totally unreasonable and unfair on Andy, but at these moments (and everyone has done it) I often realise I’ve taken it too far but by that time I’ve gone too far with my sulk to take it back and realise I’m at fault. In moments like that, where I’m standing on a packed high street refusing to move and waving my arms around at my poor boyfriend blaming him for everything from not having planned our day out fully to being unable to create world peace, I often feel like I’m floating on the outside of my body watching and shaking my head as I realise how ridiculous it all is – but once you reach a certain point you just have to go along with it or dissolve into hysterical laughter….those are the rules, never backdown.
After finally being fed and watered (obviously I maintained the sulk and refused to enjoy what I ate) we ventured towards The London Eye. As the sky grew gloomier and dark clouds loomed on the horizon I didn’t hide my worry that we would see bugger all but rain and mist when we got to the top, and as we were queuing the rain got worse and a thunder storm threatened in the distance. Despite my fears the London rain and grey skies would spoil the once-in-a-lifetime experience (this was my first venture up the Eye) the views were still spectacular. Of course I didn’t agree with Andy that London looked better in the rain, but I have to admit it seemed ironic that my first time on the Eye would be on a murky day, where rain dribbled down the glass, and we ended up peering into the grey mugginess to try and spot MI5 and Wembley which had been engulfed by the fog.
On reaching not-so-dry land we were greeted by a full blown thunderstorm, we both got soaked as we dashed across the bridge towards the Houses of Parliament and I almost had my eye poked out by a rouge umbrella – I’m not exaggerating I was left with a nasty red mark just under my eye after the brolly took on a life of its own.
Arriving back at our Camden Hotel looking closer to drowned sewer rats than tourists, me and Andy headed to the pool to relax for an hour (and what a pool it was; illuminated with purple lights underneath and filled with buoyant salt water) before getting changed and heading into the city for our much awaited Lion king adventure.
Anyone who has met me will know that getting me to be silent for more than a couple
of minutes can be an almost impossible task. The Lion King stunned me into silence. I can honestly say I have never seen anything more remarkable or unbelievable in my life. For the entire show I was well and truly captivated, everything from the outfits to the way the actors moved around the stage left me astounded. My mouth hung open in misbelief for so long I must have swallowed a gallon of flies and I was aware that I probably looked ridiculous with a clown-like smile of glee frozen on my face throughout the entire performance. But the whole thing was like a dream – I’d heard it was good but I didn’t realise it was what dreams were made of.
What was my favourite part of the musical? Honestly it’s hard to say….probably the opening number The Circle of Life. Original I know, but that was the moment the genius of the animal costumes was revealed and, boy, was it spectacular.
When the final curtain finally descended I wanted to cry. For the entirety of the production I had felt like a child unwrapping mountains of presents at Christmas, but then it was suddenly over and the area under the tree was suddenly empty. But despite the fact all the costumes were gone and the rousing music had ended the colourful scenes were still with me, I still felt in awe of what had just been achieved. It was one of the best presents I have ever had. It was magic in action.