Review: Madame Tussauds, London *****

Review: Madame Tussauds, London *****

From Hollywood stars, pop icons and sporting heroes to royalty, superheroes and 18ft monsters, there's plenty to enjoy

Francine Wolfisz is the Features Editor for Jewish News.

Forget Vanity Fair’s after-party­ – as soon as we walked through the door, I instinctively knew we had arrived at the place to be seen.

Of course the Beckhams were there, as well as Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman and Kate Winslet. If only I could have made my way past the throngs of women, I would have found myself seated next to George Clooney, but without much luck I turned instead to the newly-single Brad Pitt.

It was the least I could do in the face of his impending divorce to Angelina Jolie, who stood just metres behind us, green eyes glaring in our direction.

The party in the right-hand corner of the room was in full swing, thanks to the Bollywood stars who turned out in force, while a party simply wouldn’t be a party without the likes of Kim and Kanye posing and taking selfies. Not that they needed to, given the amount of paparazzi there.

OK, so we weren’t really in a room filled with the great and good of Hollywood, but it certainly felt like it here at Madame Tussauds in Baker Street, London, which first opened its doors in 1835.

Each lifelike figure takes around four months to create from 250 precise measurements and 180 photographs of the subject. A staggering 100,000 hairs are individually inserted into each head.

Detail is key, with red silk thread used to create the veins in each eyeball and knotted rope to create the look of veins on the body.

My husband could be somewhat forgiven for politely standing behind a woman taking a photo of Tom Cruise for what seemed like ages – only to discover she was in fact another waxwork!

On the day we visited, we took along our two children, aged six and nearly three. They were perhaps less impressed by the A-listers than they were by the likes of Shrek, ET and Tinkerbell – the smallest figure ever produced by Madame Tussauds.

For my daughter, another treat was sitting next to One Direction, while my son seemed quite enamoured with Beyonce.


They equally loved the Marvel figures, clambering onto the back of Spiderman and staring in wonder at all 14.7ft of The Incredible Hulk. There’s even a dedicated section, featuring light sabers and all, for Star Wars fans.

The Spirit of London ride is great for any age, with passengers climbing into a mini taxi to enjoy a brief history of the capital through the ages.

There were a few attractions along the way where I would exercise caution for younger visitors.

The recently-launched Kong: Skull Island experience is truly mesmerising with its interactive 18ft animatronic head of the jungle monster, but can prove a bit too much for the little ones.

Likewise, the rumbles, roars and water spray jetting out during the Marvel Super Heroes 4D experience is brilliant fun, but probably best enjoyed by children aged 8 and over.

Equally, The Voice UK experience, where visitors can sit in replica chairs alongside, is also restricted to older ages.

That said, there was still plenty for my two children and surprisingly, they most enjoyed taking their turns sitting in the oval office with Trump and standing outside No 10, ready to make a speech.

Given the UK’s current political storm, there’s perhaps no harm in giving them a little practice running the country…

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