Reasons why I loved Groundhog Day at the Old Vic, or, a very personalised ‘review’

I went to see Groundhog Day the Musical at the Old Vic a couple of weeks back and wrote this silly thing about it. It was originally posted on the Obviously a Hobby page, which you can find by clicking the link on the right sidebar. It allows for a lot more garish orange than WordPress does, so obviously it has my heart.

Reasons why I had to see Groundhog Day, a new musical based on the 1993 film – yes, that film, at the Old Vic in London.

1) I’ve only seen Groundhog Day (the film) once. I’m not a die-hard fan. I watched it, coincidentally, on 1 February this year, which, if you know the story is the DAY BEFORE GROUNDHOG DAY. I’m easily spooked by cult-ish films – I watched The Truman Show for the first time the week previous and am still creeped out by the story and its mass appeal – so I found the coincidence of watching G-hog Day the day before life was to be repeated over and over again as some kind of warning to get out of my room, stop watching pirated movies and learn how to play the piano or something – lest my life be stuck in a time loop forever. So that meant the film and I had a special kind of connection (I like to think, anyway) and when I heard the Old Vic were doing it as a MUSICAL, I was kinda stoked, as:

2) I love the Old Vic. I love the Old Vic because I always confuse it with the Queen Vic, the pub in Eastenders. The Gourmet Burger Kitchen in Waterloo, near the Old Vic, is also the first Gourmet Burger Kitchen I ever went to, with my friend Sam. We went to see Much Ado about Nothing in 2014 at the Queen Vic – I mean the Old Vic – when they had Vanessa Redgrave playing Beatrice. All I remember about it is that we didn’t see Redgrave – it was an understudy – and just how HIGH UP we were sitting in the theatre. And BEHIND A GREAT BIG FUCKING PILLAR, no less. All for £12! And they wonder why they struggle to get new audiences into theatres.

3) Obviously, Bill Murray. But like, not Bill Murray. Therefore: Intrigue.

Reasons why I fucking loved Groundhog Day, a new musical based on the 1993 film – yes, that film, at the Old Vic in London.

1) It was really, truly excellent. I smiled throughout this show. For the most part it was totally hilarious, but for the parts that weren’t quite laugh-out-louds, I was just sat there grinning like an idiot. I remember thinking about how wonderful it was to be at the theatre, genuinely enjoying myself. The actors all look like they’re having the best time doing it too. It has such a nice fizz to it; buckets of conviction.

2) Tim Minchin’s not bad at all, is he. I still really want to see Matilda – another musical he’s penned the lyrics for – and I might just after this. People in the audience were roaring with laughter (okay, people = me). The creative team have made a well-loved film into an innovative piece of theatre; it’s really smart and fresh but still tells the story in a perfectly different way.

3) It’s (probably) going to Broadway, and I’ve already seen it. Although the ticket cost me £12, and I sat behind another great fucking pillar, it’s still absolutely way cheaper than it’ll be when it moves to New York. It was supposed to be heading there in January, but organisers have postponed the date – hopefully it’ll stay in London for a little longer and transfer first to the West End. There were these student kiddos stood up behind me – they had an even shitter view than I did – and all they kept saying was: “I don’t even care about the fact we’re literally sitting with the top of our skulls touching the ceiling, this is AMAZING value for £10! We’ve got to see THIS for £10!)” It was lovely. It made me smile even more than I was already. When the woman who sat next to me found her seat at the beginning, she just looked at me and said ‘Fuck!’: That’s how high up we were – she swore. She then went on to drink four glasses of wine – two in the first act and two in the second – and turned out to be a real hoot.

If you haven’t got a tenner, or can’t get to London – or a ticket – in that case, watch the film on quality pirated streaming sites (or buy the DVD here).

If books are your thang, Kurt Vonnegut’s Timequake is a great book about time-lapses, if time-lapses are also your thang.

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