It's Monday... Traditionally the day in which we mourn the passing of the weekend and dread the return to the office. But today I feel happy to be back at my desk after a week off sick and bored at home. It helps that it is a glorious Spring day here in Lewes, and that I am still buzzing after an invigorating cycle in the sunshine - my first two-wheeled commute since November, when it got too dark to brave the unlit cycle path between Lewes and Falmer (note to East Sussex County Council - please rectify this before next winter).
On Saturday I went to see Wicked again, this time with Damien, who has just split with his long-term partner and had a ticket going begging - well, who else would he take?! It had been six months since I first saw this 'thrillifying' new musical (see previous blog 'Green is the New Black'), and I was intrigued to see for myself how well the new Elphaba, Kerry Ellis, was doing at filling Idina Menzel's now legendary shoes in the leading role. Damien's excitement at seeing it for the first time was contagious, and we both sat breathless as the dramatic opening chords blasted out. I'm not sure if she really is any shorter than her predecessor, but what struck me first-off about Ellis was her lack of physical presence in comparison to Menzel. This compounded with an immediate irritation at her Americanised singing (she is English, and delivers her speaking lines in an English accent, so why sing with an American one, especially when none of the rest of the cast do? Argh!), meant she was off to a bad start with me. In a way, I think it's a shame that they ever brought Menzel to the West End (although I am glad I got the chance to see her), as whoever followed her was bound to feel somewhat intimidated, and tempted to immitate her rendition of the part rather than making it fully their own. Having said all that, Ellis is obvoiusly not without talent, and carried the challenging role with spirited enthusiam. Removing the iconic Menzel from the equation has also given the rest of the cast more of a chance to shine, and makes it more of an ensemble piece than a one-woman show! I particularly appreciated Helen Dallimore's performance as Glinda this time round - her transition from air-headed bimbo to forceful good fairy is wonderfully executed, and emphasised by a notable change in singing style. Overall, the production seems to have settled nicely, complete with a few tweaks here and there, and it's still a mind-blowingly good show.
As if my weekend wasn't camp enough already (West End show with GBF), on Sunday I came face-to-face with gay-icon and pop princess Kylie Minogue! I was enjoying a yummy veggie breakfast (the poached eggs were a bit over-done mind) at Bill's cafe, pondering over my disappointing lack of purchases at the vintage fashion fair I'd just been to, when there she was in all her diminuitive glory - smiling sweetly at me as she walked right past our table! OhMyGod! Of course I immediately Twittered my celeb-spot, and eagerly texted all my gay friends - including the couple who had just blown me out for lunch... that'll teach them! The rest of the weekend was spent baking, twittering and trying to stay awake whilst watching the disappointingly tedious Superman Returns.