Theatre Royal – Big The Musical
My sidekick (Isabelle) and I have been selected to be resident bloggers for the Theatre Royal Plymouth which is really exciting.
The programme is much much more than attending and reviewing the many shows that they host there. We’ll be going behind the scenes, finding out about how the shows are put together, meeting the cast, checking out the cool costumes and props and getting knee deep in the excitement surrounding the whole theatre experience.
We had our very first meet-up on Tuesday which was really lovely, and there was a real mix of personalities and reasons for wanting to get involved. Isabelle wasn’t able to attend on this occasion with it being a school night but she’s eager to get stuck in.
I’m not one for getting star-struck but it is nice spotting people that you recognise from the telly, but for Isabelle and I it’s the Witch from The Room on the Broom that drew us in the first place.
Having all of Julia Donaldson’s children’s books we’re huge fans, and have already seen ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ in theatre and loved it. If we were to meet ‘The Witch’ that would be totally awesome.
We were fortunate to be able to go along and watch Big The Musical starring Jay McGuiness, Diana Vickers and Gary Wilmot based on the film with Tom Hanks (definitely worth a watch if you haven’t already).
We were given a backstage tour by Gary Wilmot, who was absolutely lovely and his love of performance and the credit he gave to the whole production team was lovely to see.
There were people everywhere, checking, cleaning and checking to make sure that everything was set for the night. I had thought that it would be totally manic with loads of stressy people dashing about, but it was very calm (even with just an hour to go).
We got to go on stage and have a look at Josh and Billy’s stage houses, as well as the toy shop. They have this enormous screen which weighs about 4 tons which provides the backdrops for the scenes and is rotated around from scene to scene. It’s not until you watch the show that you see how amazing this is.
So onto BIG The Musical.
The story is based in the 80’s about a boy who is just about to turn thirteen wanting to be ‘Big’. His wish is granted by the Zoltar machine at the Carnival when he wakes up trapped inside the body of a man. The only person who knows who he really is, is his best friend He finds himself alone and grown-up in New York to fend for himself until he befriends the local toy shop owner who likes his kid-like knowledge of cool toys. He then finds himself with a job and an apartment and all is great and exciting, even meeting a ‘grown-up woman’ who seems to have taken a liking to him. Life in the boardroom is fun but he’s ruffling feathers amongst the ‘real’ grown-ups and their lack of imagination and fun needed to make toys. Josh opens up the eyes of the ‘grown-ups’ and makes them remember what fun they had as kids before realising that being a kid himself wasn’t so bad and his quest to find a Zoltar machine to return to life as it once was.
I loved it from beginning to end! There was lots of humour and it was exciting throughout.
My favourite part was when the stage was turned into a giant piano and both Josh (Jay McGuiness) and George Macmillan (Gary Wilmot) danced on the keys.
Overall it was a great show and I actually had cheek ache from grinning.
I cannot wait to find out whats in store for us next.
Big The Musical is running at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth until the 12th November before it heads to the to Dublin and then onto the West End and is definitely worth a watch if you get the chance.
*This post was originally posted in November 2016.