Stuart Forster visits London and participates in one of Imagine Experiences’ West End Star for a Day theatre experiences.
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To be perfectly honest, I can’t sing. More accurately, I can’t sing in tune.
Nor can I dance. My idea of dancing involves shuffling into the middle of a busy dancefloor after a couple of drinks. Well hidden by the people around the edges, I simply let go of inhibition and sway to tunes.
When it came to being a gifted musical talent I was, disappointingly, towards the back of the queue.
That didn’t prevent me from learning to play the trumpet. A few years ago I met one of my former band leaders and he congratulated me on finding other outlets for my creativity. “You were never going to make it as a musician,” he recalled.
That may be the reality but we can all continue to dream. Crank up the music as I get ready to go out, hand me a hairbrush ‘microphone’ and I’m always willing to sing along to songs.
So there wasn’t a second of hesitation when I was asked if I’d like to experience a session of song and dance coaching at a studio in London’s Theatreland. Of course! Participating in Imagine Experiences’ West End Star for a Day would then be followed by a pre-theatre dinner and a ticket to a West End show.
Studio session in Theatreland London
Along with his colleague, Livio Salvi, he invited us into a circle to stretch out. We then ran through a series of voice-warming exercises. Adam assured us that such exercises are also used by professional entertainers ahead of West End shows in London.
He explained that the Theatre Group was founded in March 2006 to provide entertainment-related education to people from all over the world. The company provides insights into acting, dancing and singing. The company’s sessions allow people to experience what it’s like to be coached by professionals.
London theatre experience
After we’d warmed our bodies and voices, Livio suggested we line up in front of the studio’s mirrored wall. He handed us lyrics to the Abba song Mamma Mia! We read them out loud so that we understood where to place the emphasis. Then we sang them, as close to being in unison as possible.
Once we’d got the hang of that, we learnt dance steps to go with the hit song. Self-consciousness soon left us yet we were able to laugh at our shortcomings.
The 90-minute session was hilarious. Yet it provided a tremendous insight into what it takes to learn a choreographed dance routine and be an entertainer in one of London’s West End shows.
London West End Shows
Ahead of Mother’s Day 2022, Imagine Experiences launched West End Star for a Day in partnership with Theatre Workout. It also has support from Mamma Mia – The Musical and The Real Greek restaurant chain.
From the studio, we headed to The Real Greek on The Strand for a pre-theatre dinner and a couple of glasses of wine. Dining together gave us a chance to dissect our singing and stepping before heading to the Novello Theatre to attend Mamma Mia!
During the spring and summer, the West End Star for a Day experience will be available with tickets to several top London shows. In addition to Mamma Mia!, tickets are available for The Drifters Girl, Jersey Boys, SIX, Grease and Tina.
London theatre experience gifts
Attending Mamma Mia! proved fun. Imagine Experiences promise the best seats available for the show. The group that I was part of was allocated dress circle seats at the Novello Theatre.
Tickets to matinee and evening shows are offered. The matinee experiences run from 10.00 am until around 5.00 pm. The evening experiences begin at 3.00 pm and continue until around 10.00 pm. They include a 90-minute studio session, a one-hour dinner and a show lasting around 2.5 hours.
The group size ranges from a minimum of 10 participants up to 30 people.
Based on my day in London, it’s fair to say that the West End Star for a Day experience makes an ideal gift or group day out.
West End Star for a Day
The studio session is active, so it’s worth wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. It’s also worth bringing a water bottle to stay hydrated.
It’s also worth wearing comfortable, flat shoes during the West End Star for a Day experience. As the studio session involves dancing, high heels shouldn’t be worn.
Z Hotels in London
Looking for a value-for-money hotel in central London? The Z Hotels chain may provide you with what you’re seeking.
It has a 113-room property at Covent Garden (31-33 Bedford Street), a 112-room Piccadilly property (2 Orange Street) and an 85-room hotel in Soho (17 Moor Street). They offer a comfortable place to stay within walking distance of the London Theatreland district and other central London attractions.
See The Z Hotels website for more information about its properties, hotel facilities and to make bookings.
Central London hotels
Search for hotels near Covent Garden via Booking.com:
Find out more about the West End Star for a Day experience on the Imagine Experiences website. Tickets for the experience are priced as £219.
The coaching sessions are offered across 12 studios in central London’s Zones 1 and 2.
Discover more things to do in London on the Visit London website.
Thank you for visiting Go Eat Do and reading about the West End Star for a Day theatre experience in London. If you enjoyed this post and are looking for London tips, you may enjoy this post about The Parcel Yard at King’s Cross, London.
Stuart Forster, the author of this post, is an award-winning travel writer who visits London frequently. His work has been published in Selling Travel, The Independent and Wanderlust.
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