Should you watch a show again? Of course!
People often find it strange if you tell them you’ve seen a show more than once. Most find one visit is sufficient but I think you can get so much more from seeing a show a second, third, fourth, or even in some cases for the 20th time!
You see, unlike films – which most are happy to sit through a second time – a live stage show is not the same every time you see it. In addition to that, with some of the big spectaculars, it is impossible to take everything in the first time around.
For example, I recently watched 42nd Street for the third time and discovered elements that I had completely missed from the first two viewings. Now, that was mainly due to the fact that on this occasion I was sitting in the dress circle rather than the stalls, which is where I had been previously positioned.
To further make my argument I have compiled a list of five reasons to see a show again.
We know that theatre seats are banded and priced depending on what is deemed to be the best view of the show, but (where possible) I like to see things from at least two different positions in order to gain the full picture of the production. I love sitting in the front row, where you can get an uninterrupted view of the stage and can fully examine the interactions of the actors, but this sometimes means you miss out on the full artistry of the production. I actually don’t mind sitting in the cheapest or restricted view seats either, as they often give you a completely different experience.
Some theatregoers get very cross if the named lead is not performing when they visit. I, on the other hand love to see different people playing the roles, particularly if I’ve seen the show before. The big, long running shows, like Les Misérables, Phantom and Wicked have had an almost infinite number of actors to portray the same roles and I love to see the energy different performers bring. Imagine being able to watch a classic film only with another fantastic actor playing the leading role. It’s just so exciting!
I’m the first to admit that if I’m in a bad a mood, it takes something really special to lift me out of it (although Kinky Boots never fails). It’s amazing how different you can feel about a show from one day to the next, with some of the more pensive productions possibly not a good idea if you’re feeling a bit down.
You know how if you miss a bit on the television, like a goal, or a particularly juicy put down on Eastenders? Well, most of us now have the technological capabilities to replay it. In live theatre you can’t do that, so the only way to see a bit you have previously missed is by watching the whole show again (how marvelous!).
It’s not just about the bits you miss visually either. There are some shows with very clever lyrics, hidden meanings and hidden bits in the sets and stuff. If you’re a real aficionado, you will even notice things like the number on the door at the beginning of Kinky Boots or the time on the Dragon Clock in Wicked (let me know the answers if you know them!).
Just for fun, here are my stats for current West End shows:
Show Number of views
Les Misérables 3
The Phantom of the Opera 3
The Book of Mormon 3
42nd Street 3
Kinky Boots 11
The Exorcist 1
Young Frankenstein 3
Thriller Live 1
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie 2
The Play That Goes Wrong 2
MAMMA MIA! 4
School of Rock 2
The Woman in Black 2
Matilda The Musical 3
Five Guys Named Moe 3
Girl From the North Country 2
The Mousetrap 1
The Ferryman 1
Mischief Movie Night 1
Lion King 2
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 1
There are a few I haven’t seen (yet) including Hamilton, which I’m sure will be a show that needs to be viewed multiple times.
What are your stats? Let us know what you think.
Take a look at our 9 shows guaranteed to banish the January blues here
Written by Nicky Sweetland