Of Paris and Saigon

Originally posted on Blogger on 22 May 2015

While I was in London, I got the opportunity to see two West End shows. It was something I wanted to do while I was planning out the trip, since I’d had such a good time seeing Wicked in the West End in 2011.

The first West End show I saw was Les Miserables on 4 February.

I’ve been a Les Mis fan since I first saw the 2012 movie on 15 March 2013. The Susquehanna University Student Activities Committee sponsors viewings of popular and recently released films in the coffee shop in the campus centre. I went with a group of my friends and we loved it. I went back to my dorm and proceeded to spend $25 on the original Broadway cast soundtrack and stay up until 04:00 reading Les Mis fan fiction. Ever since that night I’ve wanted to see the show. Finally getting to see the show after being a fan of it for nearly two years was one of the things I was most looking forward to when I got on my flight to London on 13 January.

On the night of 4 February, I headed off to see the stage production for the first time.

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The outside of the Queen’s Theatre
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The memorial plaque in front of the entrance

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The view from N8 in the stalls
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The safety curtain

For midterm break (9-13 March), I decided to stay in London and do a couple day trips out of London, see a show and do some exploring. I went to Leicester Square where there are a lot of half price ticket booths to see what I could get. After a lot of talk and indecision on my part, I decided to see Miss Saigon. Before I walked into the theatre, I knew nothing about the show apart from Alistair Brammer was in it, it was a version of Madame Butterfly and like Les Mis it was written by Alain Boubil and Claude-Michel Schonberg and produced by Cameron Mackintosh. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I made while I was in London. It was one of the few productions I’ve seen in my life that kept me thinking as I took the Tube home and I still think about it even months after I’ve seen it.

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The outside of the Prince Edward Theatre
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My view from G16 in the stalls

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On my last day in London – 1 May – I went back to the Prince Edward took a bunch of photos of the outside. I even considered going in and seeing if I could get a ticket for the show that night, but I decided I wanted to enjoy my final night by taking a nighttime wander down the Thames.

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At the end of March I decided I wanted to see Les Mis one more time before I went home. I returned to Leicester Square, ended up buying my ticket from the same guy I bought my Miss Saigon ticket from and was able to see it the following weekend and sit in the stalls. The second time was as good as the first. I even got to see different people in some of the roles since the first time I went there were covers/understudies on for Valjean and Fantine.

On 4 April I saw Les Mis for the second time.

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The view from seat R22 in the stalls

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