A few blogs ago I was writing about the best ways to see shows on the cheap and The Other Palace appeared several times in that blog as a hot spot to see a great show for a great price. It’s quickly becoming my favourite venue in London and this week they gave me yet another reason to fall even further in love with them.
And what happened this week that was so special?
This week I went to see their production of Bonnie & Clyde the musical. I sat for almost three hours on a the world's most uncomfortable chair watching actors do a musical with no set, scripts in hands and holding their hands in the shape of guns for lack of props.
It’s at this stage, for fear of putting you off the idea completely, I should probably explain a little more of what I saw. This was not a full productions of Bonnie & Clyde… phew! This was a work in Progress sharing as part of a new scheme The Other Palace is running. This means, if you can grab tickets quick enough, you have the chance to see a show in its early stages of development and give your feedback to influence that shows future. This is a rare opportunity usually saved for theatre producers and other high up industry professionals. Don't get me wrong, there was a large amount of industry representation there too. Much of the audience was saved for what appeared to be agents and we were sat not two meters away from Andrew Lloyd Webber and the Artistic Director of The Other Palace.
Although I’ve wanted to see this musical for a while now and would definitely like to see a full staged version (fingers crossed that’s the next step), this is such a unique look into how a show is developed. Most people who work in the theatre know about workshopping a show but I’ve never known of the general public being invited into that process before... not for such high profile projects at least. At the end we were asked questions about the show to help with whatever is in store for it’s future.
Needless to say, despite being such a rough idea of how the show could look, it was an amazing performance with a cast to die for. I honestly could have just listened to them stood around the piano singing the songs and that would have been enough. But by the end I really did forget that it wasn’t a full production. I was so totally engrossed by the whole thing.
I’ve been following rumours of Bonnie & Clyde coming to London for the last year and always secretly hoped it would either be taken on by the Southwark Playhouse or The Other Palace. In hindsight I’m very pleased it turned out to be the latter as their productions are a lot more polished. And I’m pleased that so far the rumours of Caroline Flack taking the lead role have not come to fruition… please keep it that way!
So I would urge you to check out a show at The Other Palace while it’s still a work in progress and be a positive part of it’s future. It’s an experience like no other.