Behind the Scenes of Aladdin the Musical

photo (4)“I can show you the world, shining, shimmering splendid…”

I was definitely transported to a whole new world a couple of weeks ago when one of my best buddies George took me to see the West End’s brand new musical, Aladdin – and shining, shimmering and splendid are three words that pretty much sum it up.

I got the tickets way back in December as a Christmas present – when Aladdin was still on Broadway and I didn’t even know  that it had been made in to a musical. It was a lovely surprise because if I had known the producers of my all time favourite show, The Lion King, were bringing another Disney classic to the stage – I would have been first in the queue to see it.

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The Life of a London Commuter

ItVisit London Application‘s the best of both worlds I was told. Living in the countryside outside our capital city and working in it, and this may be the case if it wasn’t for the commute in between!

The job that began my commuting life I primarily got through creating a tube map for a presentation of a day in London. I explained how quickly and easily the tube could get you from place to place to make the most of your day. Little did I know as I made it I would soon come to realise that things completely change when go from just a user of the tube to a commuter on the tube.

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5 things I learnt at Visit London

Never have 3 months gone as fast as they did during my internship at Visit London, but they do say time flies when you are having fun and that is most certainly what I was doing.

I had an amazing time as an Editorial Intern, not only was I working for a fantastic company, but got to have some incredible experiences; being a zookeeper for the day and seeing Beyonce to name a couple. Plus, I got to visit some great places in London, such as Kew Gardens, Buckingham Palace and the London Dungeons… and best of all I got to write about it.

Unfortunately one negative of an internship is that it has to come to an end, but here are 5 invaluable things I learnt whilst there:

1 – London is the best city on Earth

I have always loved London and known that I would like to move and work here one day; it is such a culturally diverse city, where a wealth of history sits alongside the modern. A unique and vibrant place with so much to see and do. Visit London portrays this and provides you with the means to fully plan your time in London whether coming from abroad and knowing nothing about the city, to living here and finding out what there is to do at the weekend.

2 – There are paid internships

Before I got this internship I went for several interviews for unpaid work, which as great as the jobs sounded there was no way I could afford to travel into London to do. I think the media industry can take advantage of us needing to gain experience and you can end up being used as cheap/free labour to do the jobs no one else wants to do. Not at Visit London. Here you are paid for your work, and feel like one of the team for the duration of the internship, gaining real experience of what it would be like to work there.

3- I love writing

Not that I didn’t know this already of course… but when faced with day after day of constant job application, followed by rejection, and the sole purpose of life is to get any job to earn money, it can be easy to lose sight of your passion. Visit London has helped me regain this, and confirmed for me that this is most definitely the career path I want to follow.

4- Internships are invaluable

I worried, at nearly 25,  I was too old to be doing an internship. I think it is something you associate with doing straight out of school or university, not after you have already had a job.  However, following the completion of my internship I believe they are something you can do at any age. Internships allow you to gain valuable experience in different areas and really add to a CV. Plus, if you don’t like it or you realise that would not be the job for you then it is not forever. If like me you love it you won’t want to leave.

5- Essential skills

Last, but most certainly not least, (and perhaps technically most important) I’ve learnt new skills and expanded old skills, which will be invaluable to me in my future career. A notable experience, in which I learnt new skills, was creating a video (Top London Attractions for Kids) which I had never done before. Whilst challenging, I felt a real sense of achievement when it was completed.

If you have been inspired by my time at Visit London (and I don’t know why you wouldn’t be…) check out the London and Partners careers page for job and internship opportunities.

An Evening Of The Absurd

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Joe Allan - Artistic Director

Joe Allan – Artistic Director

London offers some of the best theatre in the world. The West End is home to outstanding shows from the emotional drama that is War Horse to the smash hit musical Mamma Mia!

But for theatre enthusiasts who wish to pursue a career in this industry, it is not as easy as it may seem. For that reason drama graduate, theatre lover and new London resident, Joe Allan, has decided to take matters into his own hands and not let this stop him following his dream.

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Setting up his own company, ‘Closing the Gap’, along with designer Nicki Martin Harper and producer Todd Cooper, they aim to “break down the traditional structure of theatre, where the audience are expected to sit in the dark in silence, and explore ways to connect and interact with an audience” taking their inspiration from Theatre of the Absurd.

On Tuesday night, I joined more than 40 others at The Winchester in Islington to celebrate the launch of the company. As the guests arrived and chatted amongst themselves, an argument broke out at the bar. As we turned to see what was going on, it dawned on us this was the sneak preview of the performance.  Devised in an hour and a half that afternoon with two of the cast members, it was innovative, funny and incredibly clever.

Millie Manders

Millie Manders

After the performance the guests were treated to a selection of songs from the  extremely talented Millie Manders, who sung a beautiful  cover of James Browns  ‘I Feel Good’ as well as a selection of her own songs including the very funny and catchy ‘Thoroughbred Potato Head’

The launch party was also a fundraiser as the company and its 6 cast members prepare for the Camden Fringe. Their debut show ‘An Evening of the Absurd: Are we all still waiting for Godot?’ will be on at The Camden People’s Theatre from the 5th -7th August and if what they pulled off in an hour and a half is anything to go by, you do not want to miss it!

Check out Closing the Gap on Facebook and Twitter.