For New Years Day, Aisling and I went to an evening production of Aladdin at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney. It was AMAZING. Not just the production itself, the Theatre to. The whole evening was incredible and we had the best time. The minute you walk into the entrance (theres two – either one is impressive) you’re taken back by how cool the inside is, well we were anyway.
It has a very old school, cave kind of feel. Its strange because London has some really old and eyre theatres, and Australia seems to lack that old history feel to a lot of its buildings, but they nailed it with this theatre. It suited Aladdin perfectly and Aisling and I went a bit crazy with excitement in the gift shop. We were taking pictures of the most random stuff, amazed by everything. In a weird frenzy of photo taking, we took pictures of walls, ceilings and lampposts!
Once we took our seats we couldn’t wait for it to begin. We actually had really good seats in the stalls. We were right in the middle and just high up enough to be at a good eye line with the stage, able to see and hear everything, without anyone directly in front of us, and not being so close you get RSI in your neck from looking up. We were super happy with the seats. Its always difficult to know what the seats will be like in a theatre you’ve not been t0 before.
They’re quite spacious and comfortable seats to be fair. Aisling and I had been to see the Woman in Black in London before I left for Oz. And my gosh that was an old theatre, it was a brilliant theatre to see the Woman in Black, but the seats were tiny and our knees literally rested on the seat in front. So I’d classify Capitol Theatre as a comfy one. It requires a visit for sure, if in Sydney.
Before the production began a family sat behind us. They had a very young girl with them, she was barely 2 I’d imagine. Although – I don’t really know enough about children to be able to guess their age. But she was small, like, a really really tiny human, that still couldn’t talk. At first she was cute, poking her head through the gap and saying hello to Aisling and I. So we did the socially acceptable thing and said awww and laughed with the parents a bit. I feel like its better to be mean straight away because then the kid knows you aren’t messing, but we wanted to be nice and so did all the awwwwwwww-ing and all that. After 5 minutes of that we were done.
Heres the thing. Im not a hugely maternal person – I’ve definitely gotten better in the last couple of years, but just no. Tiny humans make me nervous (theres a few exceptions). I just can’t get down with sticky fingers, dribble, babble, constant running around, the need to be constantly watched, their unpredictability and high pitched screams that are on a decibel level only audible to aliens. They’re strange little things that are totally unpolluted by life, and I actually admire that. Just not at what I’d classify as an adult theatre production. She was cute at first, annoying after a while. She was way too young to be theatre. Give me a puppy or any kind of baby animal and straight away I’m done. The warm and fuzzies set in. Im a gooey mess inside that wants to cry, and squeeze it and make strange high pitched noises and hold it on my heart and never let go. But, this child was not creating warm and fuzzies for anyone.
It wasn’t just Aisling and I that were getting a bit irritated. We didn’t make a fuss because we could see the mum getting a bit flustered. She kept apologising and we made it clear that it was okay, even if on the inside it was extremely annoying. We just sucked it up and got on with it. But by the time the production started other people were getting wound up by the kid. Making noises and crying, kicking seats and just casually wondering and crawling around by peoples feet. She was having a ball, and her mum had given up by this point. I felt for her! The dad was almost pretending he wasn’t part of the family, was kind of hilarious. Id seen that look of parental despair in parents at supermarkets and on public transport. Any maternal instinct or material feeling I did have was murdered that night.
Eventually a number of people complained and they took the kid outside! Although we felt a bit sorry for the mum, Aisling and I were relieved that we could now watch Aladdin without worrying about a child under out feet, I think she was just a little too young for theatre production that late in the evening. Aisling turned to me and whispered ‘ah thank god’ – we both took a deep breath of relief and then turned our attention to the stage. Everyone in the area around our seats also relaxed and started to finally fully enjoy Aladdin.
It was AMAZING. The Genie was incredible, so funny and so captivating. He stole the show completely. And it turns out he was actually the understudy! But wow did he capture the audience. The music was brilliant and the set was incredible. It really was amazing. The audience was predominantly adult, but it catered really well for a wide audience. There were some adult jokes in there, it was quite modern and Id say it definitely had more relevance to an older audience. But I’m sure there were some older primary school kids there that also really enjoyed it. The sparkles, magic carpet and general set and costume design was mesmerising. Especially given the size of the stage, it wasn’t a huge space. I wished the whole way through that my mum had been able to be there to see it. We used to go to the theatre quite a bit at home, and I knew she’d of loved Aladdin.
At one point they fire confetti into the audience and for some weird reason everyone was scrapping to grab a piece of the silver confetti. Aisling and I instinctively joined in. It was a completely involuntary response. It was like survival of the fittest. Like we were all fighting over something important, like oxygen.
Pretty sure no one actually knew why we were all rushing to grab silver paper off the floor. But we rolled with it. I grabbed a piece that had fallen over my shoulder, and I felt a tug back. Tug of war commenced. I was in a grabbing match with a child who was no older than 11. We were both tugging but trying to make it look like we didn’t know someone else was trying to grab the same piece of confetti (this confetti was more like a streamer, big long strands of silver stuff). It was passive aggressive! Like a scene from Monster in Law. Hilarious.
Eventually I questioned why I even wanted this bit of silver stuff. Why were grown adults scrambling for scrap from hobby craft! It was actually hilarious to watch. I let go of the streamer stuff and questioned what had just happened. Everyone quietened down and just acted like we all hadn’t gone into savage mode over useless paper. It was the weirdest moment ever. The theatre had momentarily turned into a zoo. But, thats how good Aladdin was. The production had grown adults from all over the world literally fighting over confetti!
If you’re in Sydney look out for whats on in Theatre. Id recommend it! And if you can, go to the Capitol Theatre! Its worth it, even if its just for a picture with the lamppost, or a wall!