Glee Live!
Glee Live! Image credit:

As soon as you enter the proximity of The O2 arena it is impossible to ignore the fact GLEE LIVE! has arrived in the UK.

Immediately outside the venue stands a temporary merchandise tent solely for the seven nights and in some cases, afternoons the tour plays before a sold-old London residency. Once through the main entrance you can’t miss the cardboard cut-out stands advertising the show. Fancy a drink in the grill bar before you enter the arena? You will be slurping your pint as Journey’ ‘Don’t Stop Believing’, the first song released from the Glee cast, plays in the background.

The first episode of Glee was broadcasted in 2009, since then the show has become a world-wide phenomenon. For our older readers who haven’t a clue what the show is about – think Fame! For older brothers and sisters baffled why their younger sibling has been glued to the series for the past two years – think High School Musical!

Unlike most popular television shows we won’t need a paragraph or two to explain the synopsis...Glee club New Directions compete against their arch rivals, school choir Vocal Adrenaline to win the regional’s. After claiming victory the band then goes on to compete in the nationals. And, that’s about it. Chuck in a few storylines revolving around relationships, a couple of gay characters and a kid in a wheelchair (we will come to that later) and you have a global success on your hands.

Just like the TV show the tour is pure and simple. The sceptics would brand the show as a glamorous karaoke night as cast members cover songs from the likes of Florence & the Machine, Jay Z, Amy Winehouse and even Michael Jackson. But with references from the TV series itself such as the T-Shirts reading the individual’s insecurities from the Lady Gaga episode and the stupidest cast member aptly called Britney telling Glee director, Will she is too scared to compete in finals the ninety minute performance manages to refrain itself from just being a travelling talent contest.

Although even the avid fans may have been a tad disappointed that two of the core characters, Will Schuester and Sue Sylvester (coach of the ‘Cheerios’ cheerleaders) only appeared on film. We presume one reason for this is because Matthew ‘Will’ Morrison is busy pursuing a solo career and Jane ‘Sue’ Lynch was busy preparing her speech when she hosts the Emmy Awards later in the year.

Despite the no-show of these two characters we were blessed by the presence of Holly Holiday, a character in the show played by Gwyneth Paltrow. The actress made an appearance on stage last night and sand a rendition of Cee-Lo Green’s F-You. Another highlight was Artie, the wheelchair bound cast member who leapt to his feet whilst performing Men at Work’s ‘We Can Dance’. As you may have figured out Kevin McHale who plays the character isn’t disabled himself who caused controversy when the show was first aired for being casted for the role.

As soon as you left The O2 arena last night it was impossible to ignore the fact thousands of ‘Gleeks’ have had a thoroughly enjoyable evening.