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Miranda Hart (Miss Hannigan) in Annie at the Piccadilly Theatre (Photo: Paul Coltas)

Where musical characters would holiday

Published June 30, 2017

Guest post by Abby Dan

Summer is here, and it’s holiday time! Are you packing your bags for a week in Santorini, or will you go sweat it out in New York City? Maybe you’ll escape to the southern hemisphere for a bit of cooler air, or take in the glorious, green Alps without skis, for a change. The options are endless. We got to thinking about where some of our favourite characters from musicals would holiday, from the glaringly obvious to the preposterously subtle:

Miss Hannigan (Annie)

Miranda Hart (Miss Hannigan) in Annie at the Piccadilly Theatre (Photo: Paul Coltas)

Miranda Hart (Miss Hannigan) in Annie at the Piccadilly Theatre (Photo: Paul Coltas)

She loves booze, she hates kids, and she likes to wear long beaded necklaces? There’s only one spot for Miss H to go (once she gets out of prison, that is): New Orleans! The Big Easy (Street) ticks most of her boxes, though she might encounter a sproglet here or there. We’re pretty sure the only place you can avoid kids altogether is an adults-only resort, but we wouldn’t unleash ol’ Agatha on any unsuspecting resort-goers––better for her to enjoy the anonymity of a big city that’s used to a messy drunk or two.

Gabey (On The Town)

Danny Mac as Gabey in On The Town (Photo: Johan Persson)

Danny Mac as Gabey in On The Town (Photo: Johan Persson)

When the boys of On The Town land in New York, Gabey’s a little overwhelmed. He doesn’t have the hit-the-ground-touring drive that Chip has, and he’s just not as… excited… about the ladies en masse as Ozzie is. He’s a little hung up on his ideal woman (his seventh-grade – that’s Year 8 – girlfriend who lives in Canada) and decides to spend his ONE DAY chasing after a girl he sees on a poster, and is thus, likely, unattainable.

In the end, he ends up dancing with this friends at a club, loving the lights of Coney Island, and thanks to the magic of musicals, spending a tiny bit of time with Miss Turnstiles. So let’s take the pressure off Gabey a bit and send him somewhere that’s a little less busy, with plenty of clubs he can go dancing in and a really fun Boardwalk: good old Brighton!

Matilda (Matilda The Musical)

Emma Moore of Matilda The Musical at West End LIVE 2017 (Photo: Pamela Raith)

Emma Moore of Matilda The Musical at West End LIVE 2017 (Photo: Pamela Raith)

Miss Honey and Matilda need a breather! And what do two of our favourite literary ladies do when they need a break from all that being incredibly smart and learning things? Who are we kidding, they go learn things and get even smarter, probably on a holiday weekend to Oxford’s Bodleian Library.

Although they know that the Bodleian has only the *second* largest collection of printed materials (a paltry 11 million to the British Library’s 12 million), its beautiful structures and incredible, 400-plus-year history will keep these gals in awe––and give them a thing or two to add to their reading lists.

Genie (Disney’s Aladdin)

The Genie from Disney's Aladdin (Photo: Deen van Meer)

Genie from Disney’s Aladdin (Photo: Deen van Meer)

There’s only one spot on Genie’s holiday wish list: a place with fabulous costumes, midriffs galore, and the most famous parade in the world: it’s Rio! Would anyone love Carnaval more than Aladdin’s main man? Of course, he’d probably have to trade some of that blue velour for something a bit skimpier… but maybe he could just repurpose it into a fabulous headdress! The man’s a genie after all; he’ll be able to whip something up!

Jean Valjean (Les Misérables)

Les Mis (Photo: Johan Persson)

(Photo: Johan Persson)

The TED (Technnology, Entertainment, Design) conference brings together some of the greatest thinkers on earth every year in Vancouver to share “ideas worth spreading” in dramatic speeches and presentations. It costs about $9,000 (about £7,000) to attend, but that’s no problem for Mssr Le Mayor, with the fancy house and ivy-covered gates.

How did he achieve success? Well, in 18 minutes or less, he can tell you his incredible story: a prison sentence, superhuman strength, saving a man’s life, all through a faith-based journey that ends when the dead lady sings. There’s technology (he ran a factory!), entertainment (he threw a wedding!), and design (he lied to the police!), so it all checks out. And who wouldn’t love to see beautiful Vancouver?

Norma Desmond (Sunset Boulevard)

Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard

Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard

Honestly, this whole business with Joe Gillis could have been avoided if Miss Desmond had just planned a nice holiday for herself and Max when her beloved chimp died. And where else would Norma go but one of the USA’s chimpanzee rescue centres? A quick Google (they had that in the 40s, right?) reveals a small handful of chimp rescues in the southeastern part of the country where she could volunteer or intern, and maybe if she asked nicely, they’d let her adopt a new one to take to her loving home, thus avoiding putting an unsuspecting human in a monkey suit and getting angry and shooting him when he wants to have a life of his own. A chimp would never leave a star!

Grizabella (Cats)

Beverley Knight as Grizabella in Cats (Photo: Matt Crockett)

Beverley Knight as Grizabella in Cats (Photo: Matt Crockett)

More recent incarnations of Grizabella have given a bit of her famous Glamour back: Nicole Scherzinger on the West End and Leona Lewis on Broadway have looked svelte and leggy, if a little stooped and grey.

But a more traditional Grizabella might benefit from a lovely spa break. And let’s go for broke: Conde Nast Traveller’s #1 Spa in 2017 is Borgo Egnazia in Puglia, Italy, which they say is for “when you need a revolution. For women with shattered souls.” Does that sound like our gal Griz or what? A weekend in Puglia, and who needs the Heavyside Lair?

Everybody Else

Here in the fantasy world of sending fictional characters on holiday, who are we to keep these people from fulfilling their dreams? That’s not our place. And so: Elder Price should get to go to Orlando, and Nabalungi should get to spend at least a long weekend in Salt Lake City. Tracy Turnblad should just stay in Baltimore, because what could be better than Baltimore? Angel and Collins should go to Santa Fe (not Roger, that was a total bust). Bobby should get out of bed and go to Barcelona with April, it’s a lovely city! Sweet little Winthrop Paroo should visit Gary, Indiana, and the whole crew from Oklahoma! should go check out Kansas City so they’ll know what Will Parker is on about.

Feel like setting off to a new world yourself? Book your tickets to a West End show today!