As I begin writing this post it feels necessary to make a little confession! This blog is slightly late in being posted. The reason for this is that it’s all about an amazing day that I had with Jo in Manchester. Then within 48 hours of our return, news struck of the devastating attacks on the city. It seemed to particularly shock me as I’d been at the same arena watching Harry Potter less than a week before the incident and had left through the exact doors where it had happened. I found the news quite hard to comprehend as I’m sure is the case with many of you guys! Especially considering that as this blog is going live, news is coming to light of the terror that has happened overnight in London. What is the world coming to?
So when the time came to write last week’s blog, I found that it felt a little inappropriate to be writing this blog so soon, with news still coming to light of everything that occurred. But now my news feed is scattered with lots of people trying to prove how wonderful the city of Manchester is (a few of the renditions of Don’t Look Back in Anger were particularly emotional) so I decided this could be my opportunity to show off the city and think about some of the more positive memories!
So on the agenda for this week’s blog is a trip with my stepsister to see The Wedding Singer at Manchester Opera House featuring Ray Quinn.
Now our first dilemma of the day, was that as we checked our train tickets in preparation for boarding, we found we had been placed at opposite ends of the train carriage! Not exactly a great start! We resigned ourselves to our fate but decided to either search for empty seats together or hope that our fellow passengers would take pity on us and let us switch.
Well we soon realised how naïve we were in hoping to discover two empty seats together! The train was heaving! I mean you could barely walk down the aisles as it was cluttered with passengers and their luggage! Then we also discovered, that neither of us could pluck up the courage to ask our fellow passengers for a swap!
So the first fifteen minutes of the journey was spent texting each other instead of talking. Then I came up with the idea of having an incredibly staged phone call, where I rang Jo, just to “check” she’d found her seat, asking where she was in the train and expressing my frustration (rather loudly) that we weren’t put together! My hope was that somebody might hear our conversation (because whose not nosy on a train?) and solve our dilemma. But unfortunately my plan failed, perhaps because they could see through my scheming (I probably wasn’t very subtle). Half an hour in, after a drop off in Sheffield, Jo managed to ask her neighbour who finally solved our problem and came to swap seats with me.
We arrived at Manchester and decided to have a steady wander in the direction of the Opera house, neither of us had been before so we wanted to make sure we were headed in the right direction! However the rain that quickly set in after our arrival and the fact that we didn’t have a clue where we were going, soon put an end to that idea! I somehow found myself again wandering round the streets of Manchester with a phone in my hand and SatNav leading the way!
On route the Opera House, we stumbled upon a nice little street with some bars and restaurants on so we decided to take a lunch break to ease our grumbling stomachs! We spotted a La Tasca and thought it would be a nice change (plus, we fancied takeout pizza for tea so decided it was wise to avoid an Italian restaurant). Now I absolutely love tapas, but I have two problems with it:
- It’s so deceiving! We could have ordered so much! We started out with some bread and olives, and then decided to only order 3 plates of tapas. Our theory was we could take our time and order some more once we were done with the first three. When the food arrived, it looked like there was hardly anything there! But we found that we barely managed to finish what we’d ordered and soon realised that ordering extra plates would not be necessary!
- The Garlic! Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love garlic! Some people might not appreciate the smell of it but you can’t deny it’s pretty tasty! But there’s something about garlic that makes it repeat on you! That combined with how full we were from the tapas meant that at the end of the day when we made it home, all we fancied was a good cup of tea, a takeaway tea was definitely not on the agenda!
So we’d wined and dined and now it was time for some entertainment!
I’m quite a fan of the film wedding singer, so both Jo and I had decided to watch the film the weekend before to get ourselves in the mood for the show! This may have been a bad idea. Especially considering the film features Adam Sandler and he has very big shoes for any other actor to fill. Is it cruel of me to say that I don’t really think the shoes were filled? Don’t get me wrong, as a musical it was alright, I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was amazing but I enjoyed it. But if you go in prepared to compare it to the film, then you are going to be disappointed. Maybe that is my fault for watching the film and going in with such high expectations? I found it really didn’t compare with the film.
Regardless of this, I did enjoy it and it had some pretty good songs! Some of the songs were on the original film. These were the songs that were clearly written for the film, however many of the original 80s songs that featured on the film by other artists did not appear in the musical. Perhaps this was some kind of licensing issue? Plus one of the songs I enjoyed I liked did feature (Love Stinks), but it was only a tiny little clip of it! So that was slightly disappointing… If anybody does fancy a listen to any of the songs, I’d recommend “Its Your Wedding Day”. I’d heard this song before on the radio (perhaps I shouldn’t admit to listening to radio 2 every now and then?) and it is extremely catchy, I love it! But be warned, if you listen to it, you’ll be singing it for days!
One surprise of the day was how empty the theatre was! We were sat near the back of the stalls and found there were rows and rows of empty seats ahead of us. So we decided to push our luck at the interval and moved ourselves further forward! I definitely find shows more enjoyable the closer you are to the action!
Another highlight was that we were lucky enough to be watching the 100th performance of the tour, so we got to join in with the “selfie” to celebrate it. Even though I wasn’t massively impressed with the show, it must be said that the cast did a wonderful job and Ray Quinn did a great job in his role (and that’s not biased in the slightest by the fact that I was a little bit in love with him in his X factor days!).
So despite the show being a little flat and not quite living up to my expectations, I had a great day! By the time we left the show, the rain had cleared and we were able to wander around the city, doing a little window shopping and take in the atmosphere! We also discovered a great little snapchat filter!
The problem with these adventures is it always leaves me wanting to plan the next one! Any suggestions? I fancy something a little bit different to my usual show days…