There’s a new show in town and it will make your Christmas.
When it comes to winter festivities, the theatre is a traditional must, and there are few better ways to treat yourself (or gift someone else) than with tickets to the West End.
And this season, the one at the top of your Christmas list has got to be the H G Wells-inspired Half A Sixpence, which has just moved from Chichester to London’s Noel Coward theatre.
Picture Downton Abbey but all-singing, very much all-dancing, and with super clever onstage set technology that moves itself! And not to mention a hilarious, rip-roaring cast that you cannot help but fall in love with.
Here’s just a little glimpse of what we’re talking about…
Critics have already gone wild for the show, which tells the story of draper’s apprentice Arthur Kipps – Wells’ semi-autobiographical character from his early 1900s novel, Kipps – who suddenly inherits a vast fortune from his estranged grandfather.
But his transformed bank balance launches poor, unsuspecting Arthur into the prim and proper world of high-society Folkestone, where both his humble manners and his banjo are somewhat frowned upon.
Worst of all, he finds himself stuck in a sticky love triangle with his childhood sweetheart, Ann, and the beautiful upper class Helen.
Speaking after the show’s opening night on Thursday, the producer, the illustrious West End veteran Cameron Mackintosh, said: “The great thing about it was the young people loved it even more than the old people!”
And if you don’t believe him, take it from the people who were there…
If you can get to Half a Sixpence it's a wonderful antidote to just about anything negative!— Susan Elkin (@SusanElkinJourn) November 18, 2016
— Emma Clark (@emma_eclark) November 18, 2016
A highlight was actor Charlie Stemp, who puts in an incredibly energetic turn as the adorably awkward Arthur.
Wonderful atmosphere at Half a Sixpence press night tonight. It seems to get more and more joyous. @Charlie_Stemp is EVERYTHING. Such a star— Rhys (@rhysrmann) November 17, 2016
@Charlie_Stemp Congratulations Charlie Stemp on Half A Sixpence you are a refreshing new talent in the world of musical theatre— Simon Gross (@SimonGShowbiz) November 18, 2016
Charlie Stemp's joyful, nimble, truthful, energetic performance in Half a Sixpence is utterly glorious. Get there if you possibly can.— Susan Elkin (@SusanElkinJourn) November 17, 2016
And if you still don’t believe us, the opening night was so good that stage elites Christopher Biggins, Barbara Windsor and Cliff Richard, couldn’t help but stick around for selfies with the stars at the after party…
Cliff Richard attends the press night after party for "Half A Sixpence pic.twitter.com/YBT8ZAMOqE— Cliff Richard News (@SirCliffNews) November 18, 2016
But it’s ok, musicals aren’t for everyone.
So for those of you who prefer a quieter theatre experience, here’s the cast interrupting their own rehearsals with possibly the most qualified Mannequin Challenge you’re ever likely to see…
Book your tickets here: http://www.halfasixpence.co.uk/