&Juliet is the last show I saw prior to lockdown due to the Covid 19 Pandemic. As Lockdown is easing gradually we are now beginning to plan where we want to go and what we want to do. I thought I’d write up and share my review. I’m hoping this review will get your juices flowing for a show or a night away somewhere. I love visiting the theatre, you may want to read my previous review of Motown the Musical.
One of my main hobbies is entering competitions. This trip was a prize I won from entering an on air competition with Heat Radio. It was not a condition of the prize that I wrote this review.
I’ll briefly outline the prize: Travel to London, a night at The Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel in London, dinner at Scoff and Banter and 2 tickets to &Juliet at The Shaftesbury Theatre.
I took my friend Ilsa with me and we visited in the middle of January.
We travelled First Class from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston. If you haven’t had the opportunity to travel First Class let me tell you it’s a lovely treat. If you book in advance you can get some great deals. As well as comfy seats you get food and drinks included served to you in your seat. The journey from Manchester to London is just over 2 hours.
The Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel.
This is a fabulous hotel officially in Camden and really close to Covent Garden and the British Museum. Our room was spacious with a huge bathroom and our own Nespresso Coffee machine. Staff were very friendly and helpful. There is a lovely lively bar area in the hotel We were also booked for breakfast, which was a mixture of buffet style and waiter service. There was an excellent choice. Lots of windows making it light and airy.
After check in and dropping our bags we went for a stroll close to the hotel. There is so much to see close by. We wandered up to Covent Garden and of course had to pop into the Charlotte Tilbury Store. Having just returned from a week in Fuerteventura I was trying to have a no spend trip but my friend treated herself to some cosmetics. The store was very well staffed and they were very attentive without being pushy. One thing I love about anywhere I go and particularly London, are the pubs. London have an infinite number of fabulous old pubs with great history’s. We visited 2 to quench our thirst!
After another mooch around Covent Garden watching the street artists and admiring the sights we made our way back to the hotel to get ready for our evening out.
Scoff and Banter
The restaurant was approximately a 2 minute walk from our hotel. It is part of a small chain, this is how it describes itself:
“At Scoff & Banter, we celebrate hearty and contemporary British cuisine. Discover a home from home with lovingly prepared seasonal British cooking, using the finest locally sourced ingredients. Find your classic British favourites at one of our four London locations”
The restaurant has a good vibe and features cool marble floors and comfortable leather chairs. On the walls specially commissioned artwork gives a modern interpretation of the Dutch masters. It is located just 5 minutes from Theatre land. It’s perfect for pre-theatre dinner and post-theatre drinks.
We enjoyed a 3 course dinner with drinks, as it was mid January it was fairly quiet, but the food and service was really lovely. My choices were, Starter: Cornish Crab cakes with chilli lime sauce.
Main: Herb-crusted rack of lamb, layered creamed potatoes, minted pea purée and rosemary lamb gravy
Dessert – well it would have been rude not too! : Warm Bramley apple crumble, served with Cornish clotted ice cream or vanilla custard
All totally delicious accompanied with a glass of Prosecco.
I feared I may snooze during the show after all that but I soldiered on! It was then time to walk the short distance to the Shaftesbury Theatre to see &Juliet.
The Show &Juliet
Ironically this show had been in Manchester prior to coming to London. It had received great reviews from friends who had been to see it. I had chosen to see a different show.
The Shaftesbury Theatre, like nearly all London Theatres is old, having opened in 1911. I love the feel inside these old buildings, they all maintain their original features and have graced so many great shows and artists over the years.
The show &Juliet is a remix of the Shakespeare classic Romeo and Juliet – it asks the question What if Juliet’s famous ending was really just her beginning? What if she decided to choose her own fate? In essence the show outlines an alternative ending – she didn’t die and proves when it comes to love, there’s always life after Romeo with a modern day twist and contemporary songs.
The plot is surprisingly fresh – it’s the 16th century sort of, and Anne Hathaway comes to London for the premiere of her husband William Shakespeare’s new play, she doesn’t like the ending and changes it! Anne Hathaway is funny , bossy and has William under her thumb. The story line progresses with songs you all want to sing too cleverly slotted into the plot. Some of the vocals are top class. It was a very enjoyable show and if I’m brutally honest not one I particularly wanted to see. My prize also included interval drinks. Really spoiled.
All in all a fabulous trip away – only one night but we packed a lot in. Thank You Bauer Media and \heat radio.
Myself and Mr Fitz often have one night away, planned right it can feel much longer and you come back refreshed. I highly recommend you try it.
Do you ever go away for just one night or love a good theatre break. What are your favourite shows or have you been to a show you weren’t sure was for you but were pleasantly surprised.
Let me know I love to hear recommendations. I’m already starting my wishlist of places to visit next.