At the weekend I went to see Glee Live at the O2 – the live show of the TV series Glee, essentially a concert by the cast with bits of dialogue in between songs, and some pre-recorded dialogue on a TV screen from adult characters Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) and Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch).
The idea of a TV drama doing a live tour is a fairly new one, so far as I know. Though I hope it catches on: I for one would go and see True Blood Live or Being Human Live – being stalked round the O2 arena by Eric or Mitchell sounds like a night out I would be willing to pay for. But vampire fantasies aside, there is obviously a reason why Glee is the one doing the tour. It’s a musical. It could have been designed for this very purpose.
And it’s great. I mean, I have no idea what it would be like if you weren’t a fan of Glee, but I’m not sure what non-fans would be doing there anyway, apart from critics. From my point of view, it was simply enormous fun.
And weird. Because essentially I was watching fictional characters put on a real show. And on TV, all of these characters spend their time performing to empty auditoriums or to each other, dreaming of being famous and performing to full auditoriums and thousands of fans. And here they were, their ambition realised, imaginary people with a real audience. I realised, sitting there, that I was part of a fictional fantasy dreamed by fictional characters. It was a sensation I rather enjoyed.
And of course the actors had the same dream as their characters – it’s just that they’ve achieved theirs, whereas their creations haven’t. So I was also part of a real dream come true. It all felt very meta. And luckily, I didn’t disappear at the end of the show.
A handful of random notes:
- We ended up spending quite a lot of our weekend at the O2,because we turned up on the Saturday only to find out, as we tried to enter the arena, that our tickets were for the Sunday. So we were at the O2 for two evenings in a row, which was good in that I quite like it there (although it makes me feel very small, like a doll trapped in a giant aircraft hanger full of restaurants) but bad in that it’s not very close to our house. I would like some way of folding London up so as to get between places faster.
- Audience! I know you’re excited, but if you scream over pre-recorded dialogue, nobody will be able to hear what the dialogue is. Why did this not occur to most of you at the time?
- Getting a boat from Waterloo to Greenwich/Greenwich to Waterloo is the best way possible to start and to finish an evening.
- I like the London Eye. It’s basically turned London into an upside-down unicycle.