Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Madame Tussauds

Saturday, 14 February

When we arrived at Madame Tussauds, we had a bit of a mix up which involved queuing multiple times and then being told that we needed a print out of our electronic ticket. I had to run down to an Internet cafe and get said print out. Yes, in future, we will be better prepared (and we now have our own printer!)

Once we were in, they accepted our cut price internet tickets and away we went (once again, thanks go to lastminute.com - and no, I'm not being paid to say that).

The first person we encountered was Freddie.

We then proceeded via a lift where we emerged to a mirrored room full of pictures of
paparazzi photographers, with camera lights flashing and voices calling for you to look this way and that, it was a weird experience. I assume this was to create the impression of what it was like to be one of the 'hunted'.

On that note, you can probably guess that we snapped quite a few photos (and we did). After carefully going through our haul, I have tried to pick the most interesting pics and while we have numerous others, if it was slightly blurry or simply wasn't up to scratch, I have left it out. And, as always, if you want to see the photos close up, click on them for a better view (but you're all clever people and know that by now!)

After being papped, we enter a very large room dominated by a dance floor and various nooks and crannies inhabited by celebrity likenesses. As an initial starting point, it was quite overwhelming but as a bit of a 'people flow' funnel, it worked quite well with tourists rushing about snapping photos left, right and centre.

Here is a little of what we saw...

To baldly go...

(Sorry, that was very mean...I like Patrick Stewart, he's great!)

Even as a model, he looks super

This one is for Steve Walker

Jennifer looks awful, but Will is okay

Damn, he's cool!

Alas, this photo doesn't do SLJ justice - he looked better 'in the wax' as it were

Madonna...could have fooled me!

Seriously - we had no idea this was Madge and had to ask one of the attendants who it was...how embarrassing

As we progressed through the exhibition, the settings became a little less staged (well, to a degree) and it became generally easier to navigate although there were big crowds around Obama for some reason ;-)

Steven Spielburg does look like Simon...

(Maybe it's the hat)

Madame Tussauds has varying levels of quality with some being incredibly amazing and realistic and others disappointing and very plastic looking. I will let you be the judge of which is which, however there were some photos where the lighting (usually from the camera flash) completely destroys any reality. I have a few photos which look good without the flash and terrible with it on. A good example of this is the Robin Williams model below - the second photo looks far better.

Nanoo nanoo

Love the pants!

"I'll have a scccotcccch"

No man has a chest that smooth...

Of all the bars...

Who ate all the pies?

Here's a hint - it wasn't Brian (or me)

Go Kiwi!

I think it's Will Smith, hang on, no that's not right

Lord Nelson

Nelson was happy that no one had been out with the chalk this time

A dedicated follower of fashion

"I'll get you up there" said Mr Cromwell

I think Oliver was jealous of King James's style

The Virgin Queen

I don't know how Elizabeth felt about her father executing her mother

"Hey, I only killed two of them"

Prince Harry

Oscar Wilde

I couldn't see what he was looking at either

Mr Hawking



Some writer guy


Incidentally, we saw the Darwin exhibition at the Natural History Exhibition in March...brilliant

Peter, Paul, George and Ringo

Sorry Madame T - they aren't that great looking

Astrid from Voyage of the Damned

Or Kyyyyleeeeeeeee if you prefer

Amy Winehouse

Dear Amy, will you please bring out a new album and TRY and sober up so you can perform without falling over. Your music is great, but you are more known for your extra circular activities than your singing.

Mr Bob - he sure looks happy

Must be those awesome headphones

Richie Rich

Yes, I AM touching his NIPPLE

O is for Obama

A big line to get a photo with him


Some less salubrious men:


Some Japanese tourists were standing next to Hitler, having their photo taken with big smiles on their faces while they were doing the peace sign. It was kind of weird.

A very lifelike Castro

Mugabe sans 'reverse Hitler' 'tache

After the politics room, we headed to the Chamber of Horrors. We caught up with Vlad the Impaler and a few other nasty events from British history...hanging and what not.

Vlad the Impaler

We went through a 'live action' scare room with actors jumping out and generally trying to cause cardiac arrest. Nothing that scary really but probably not suitable for young kids.

Afterwards we emerge to some light relief with Benny Hill.

From here, we took a ride in a miniature black cab to see the history of London. With puppets. And music. Argh. It took us back to the 'Small World' ride in Disneyland...although it was a bit of fun.

Nearly all done and dusted...but before we departed.


My, my, my De-Liza

The final part was to walk through an area showing how the wax works were made and to learn about the history of both the exhibition and original creator Marie Tussaud. Marie was nearly executed during the French Revolution for royalist sympathies but was saved by her skill at making death masks. She ended up making masks of those executed during the French Revolution with many being friends of hers. In 1802 she left France for England and established a permanent exhibition in London in 1835. Sounds pretty harrowing to me!

After our visit, we headed out through the gift shop (as to be expected) and than homeward. Once back in Paddington, we made a small deviation to a nearby pub (The Mitre), which we now call our local. More on that pub at a later date!