Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wimbledon and The Lion King

This week we did two stereotypical London activities: Wimbledon, and a Musical in the West End.

I went to Wimbledon on Tuesday evening, the second day of the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament. When I arrived at Southfields tube station, it was all done out as a tennis court, with green stuff on the platform and white lines painted, and the seats turned into little pavilions with umbrellas over them.

The Queue was about 10 minutes walk from the station, and as I walked into the field that was turned into a carpark for the event, I could see it stretching around the corner. It looked like we'd never make it in! We got to the end of the Queue and got handed our Queue ticket with our number on it, and a souvernir sticker 'I queued for Wimbledon 2009'. The Queue is very organised, you get your ticket so that you can't line jump, and you can't hold places for friends because you only get one entry ticket per Queue ticket.

It seemed to take forever to get around the first corner, but the rest of it went pretty quickly. Once you get inside the gates they have information up about all the past champions, and a timeline of the tournament, but the Queue was moving so fast I didn't get to read it all :(

After clearing security and buying our tickets, we purchased our strawberries and cream and went to watch Ana Ivanovic's game. It was packed with people, and we stood and watched some of it. Then we realised that the game on the court behind us was going to start, so we decided to watch that as it was a men's game and they'd be hitting the ball a lot harder. It was between Taylor Dent (US) and a Spanish guy (who ended up winning). Dent wasn't playing too well, and kept double faulting, and he was getting very frustrated. He even swore at the referee, saying that one of the linespeople was 'F***ing blind' after she called one of his shots out.

The game was halted due to bad light, so unfortunately we didn't get to see the end. It was exciting while it lasted though :)

On Wednesday night we went to see the Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre. We'd only heard rave reviews, so we were expecting something awesome, and the start of it was really awesome. I don't want to say what happened in case any of you are planning to see it though! But the costumes were really great, and they did all the songs from the movie plus a few new ones.

****Spoilers below the photo****

For those of you who aren't planning to see it, or who don't mind spoilers, I thought I'd try and describe some of the costumes and puppets. At the start of the musical, they had an elephant puppet (not sure how to describe it) which consisted of one person acting as a leg, and them all holding up the body and controlling the head; so there were four people shuffling forward making an elephant puppet look like it was walking. There were giraffes, which were people on stilts, with sticks like crutches for the front legs. There were zebras, which were people standing upright, using their legs as the back legs, and wearing a costume that made up the body, front legs, and head. And the best one was this cart, which as it rolled across the stage had all these gazelles that bounded across the stage (it was connected to the axles somehow, and looked really cool).

The lionesses had these lovely hat type things that were the lions' faces, while the males had different types of hats where the face was either up above their head, or it fell forward on a spring thing. It was really effective on Scar when he threatened Mufasa and the scary face came towards him.

Oh, and Pumbaa was really cool because he was basically just a giant head being worn by this guy who was the back legs and controlled the head and nose. The nose could move and it sniffed the bugs and things :)

Timon and Zazu were puppets that were completely controlled by the an actor each. For some reason Timon's actor was completely green... not sure why because this didn't really blend into anything.

It was very entertaining, so if you like musicals (and/or the Lion King) I recommend you see it if you get the chance!

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