Our Trip to the West End in January 17

By Abi Aspinwall (Theatre & Event Technology Level 3) and Faye Haigh (Performing Arts Level 3)

Day 1

Abi:  We travelled down to London on the Wednesday and arrived at the Travelodge just outside of Heathrow at 4pm. We then got the bus into central London, near where Dream Girls is, and split up, going to different restaurants. I went to Pizza Hut with 4 friends and later we went to see Dream Girls at the Savoy Theatre, which was fantastic! I really liked how the set changed and how they could have two scenes going on at the same time by using moving sets. The costumes were amazing… 2.5 million sequins and 3.6 million diamanté! They had them hanging on back drops on LED strings, that when they were lit up, the effect was amazing.

Faye:  The hotel we stayed at was amazing. It had a pool table and amazing buffet breakfast with everything you could want. When we got to London a tour guide joined us on the coach. She was full of interesting facts about the city and even pointed out a Theresa May’s car! I went to Frankie & Benny’s with some friends for dinner and then we met everyone at Dream Girls. We got to meet the leads of the show – it was such an amazing experience to meet West End stars!

Harry Potter Selfie

Day 2

Abi:  The techies went backstage on Aladdin. I did a stage dive backstage! I tripped and fell forwards into the entrance of the theatre… I’m so glad no one got a photo of that! Once we were all in the theatre we were introduced to Ben, who works for Autograph who organise the hiring of the sound equipment, and the sound engineer. We talked about the company and how they hire out sound equipment to pretty much all of the West End, and then the sound engineer took us backstage. He showed us the props, the costumes, the set and how some was hanging from the roof-  so you’d be walking underneath the set!

We then went to a few shops, the first a record shop and then to Forbidden Planet, a comic heaven! We walked back to the bus and the bus took us to Camden Market where we had some free shopping time. Then at 4pm we were taken to the theatre to see the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, about an autistic boy who strives to do well in his A Level Maths, amongst a lot of family drama. It was amazing as there were a lot of technical aspects, with lots of projectors involved in telling his story. They took you on a roller coaster of emotions, and the projector effects heightened the audiences understanding and emotions.

Faye:  In the morning we had a singing workshop with the Musical Director of Dream Girls. We also met a professional actor who talked about their story and their career progression. In the afternoon we went shopping on Oxford Street to buy some clothes and then to Camden Market which was very busy! It was such a fantastic cultural experience – we tried some Malaysian street food and the most delicious pizza I’ve ever had!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was the best thing I’ve ever seen.

Day 3

Abi:  We were travelling home and we went to the Warner Brother Harry Potter Studios. All me and a year 2 actor said throughout the whole trip was ‘techie dream’, ‘techie dream’! The whole thing was about how the films were made. You can ride a broom, pretend you’re in carriage, sit in the Hogwarts express and you’d see how they created dementors coming to the window. You could actually see all the costume, I sew quite a bit so this was really interesting. They were all unique, and there were over 1000 different wands which were all hand crafted! There were 75,000 people involved in creating the movies, some creating the props, some on filming.

On the coach trip back we watched Hercules and got home about 10pm and went to bed!

Faye:  We had the full tour at Harry Potter Studios and it was amazing, it was ‘proper cool’! We had an Activity passport that enhanced the experience and we got to try butterbeer (a sip was nice but no more!) and butterbeer ice cream which was delicious!

CLICK HERE to find out more about our Performing Arts and Theatre & Event Technology courses.

CLICK HERE to read Abi’s article about being a Theatre & Events Technology student.

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