theatre: The 30something shows of 2013…

As New Years Eve is upon us, I thought I might write up this blog to prove to everyone that no, I don’t just see Wicked as that’s the main assumption! I’ve seen quite a few different shows this year and I’m incredibly grateful to have been able to do so, it’s been a fantastic year even if my bank account and I haven’t always agreed on that… So, the shows I’ve seen in 2013, here we go!

1) Loserville / Garrick Theatre
With it closing early on in the year I rushed to see this show before its run would end, and really enjoyed it! Personally I think it wasn’t marketed to the best audience which could explain it closing so soon, it was a fun show to start the New Year with though!

2) Wicked / Apollo Victoria
Ok so it didn’t take me too long to see Wicked

3) Singin’ in the Rain / Palace Theatre
Everyone had told me how great Singin’ in the Rain was, and boy do I wish I’d acted on their words sooner. A classic show that had me smiling and laughing constantly, with songs stuck in my head for days. Unfortunately it closed in the West End in June, but you can catch it on the UK tour.

4) Lift / Soho Theatre
A new musical which quickly became a favourite following my listening to the concept album, Lift in the intimate space of the Soho theatre was a huge success and I’m so glad it was. Craig Adams’ gorgeous work and the amazing cast made the short run of the show very special.

5) A Chorus Line / The Palladium
I thought the West End revival of this show had an incredibly talented and hardworking cast, and I did enjoy the show with it’s simplicity. Having seen it twice in the gorgeous Palladium it seemed to have done really well which is great!

6) The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee / The Broadway Theatre
Having heard about this show and heard a couple of songs from it at cabarets we went to see this production in Catford and really enjoyed it! A fun cast with some brilliant audience participation elements too.

7) Chess / Union Theatre
It was through pure luck that I managed to see this fantastic production, as the first time I saw it it was a late-added understudy show for them to have the chance to play the roles, therefore also a cut show, and then I got a return ticket to see the full cast after. I loved it both times and for such a tiny venue the production was slick with a stellar cast.

8) Peanuts / The Last Refuge
This show was seen on a whim as I saw something about it online and was intrigued, it was a play with sporadic musical interludes and was certainly interesting!

9) Hairspray / Milton Keynes Theatre
Having never seen Hairspray live before I jumped at the chance to see it when it was near me on the recent tour and absolutely loved it! Such a fun show with fantastic energy.

10) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland / The Royal Opera House
The ballet fascinates me, and a few friends and I try to get affordable tickets for it when we can, so we stood to see this production. The visuals were amazing, and the dancing obviously incredible.

11) Matilda / Cambridge Theatre
Finally, I ticked Matilda off my list of “Shows to See”! This is the one show I’ll always recommend to someone when they ask “Out of all the shows in the West End, what should I see?” if they aren’t a specific theatre-goer.

12) Once / Phoenix Theatre
I’d heard so much good about Once, and I wholeheartedly agree with all of that. It’s a show that makes me so sad but in the best way possible? It’s beautiful.

13) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime / The Apollo
This show was a really interesting one however due to being front row (cheap dayseats!) the high stage made me not appreciate it as much as I think I could. When the repairs have been done on the Apollo I think I’ll try and see it again from further back or higher up as they used the floor space very creatively and sadly I couldn’t see it!

14) Rent in Concert / Southend Pavillion
I’ve never seen a production of Rent live myself to judge it on but I thought this concert production was done well generally with some incredible voices in it! The one shame was that Kerry Ellis was unfortunately ill for the performance and I was looking forward to seeing her as Mimi!

15) Phantom / Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre
With Kieran Brown playing the Phantom in this UK premiere I went to see this and really liked the slightly different perspective on the tale of the Phantom, plus him and Kira Morsley as Christine were a fantastic pair!

16) Merrily We Roll Along / Harold Pinter Theatre
So many people loved this and sadly I didn’t understand the hype?! Not that I didn’t think it was good or the cast weren’t great just something in the show didn’t spark for me which rarely happens.

17) Next Thing You Know / Landor Theatre
The cast of Next Thing You Know performed a small set at Freedom and having loved that I went to see the show and really loved it. Catchy music, modern and funny plot with a brilliant small cast!

18) Les Miserables / Queen’s Theatre
I can’t believe it took  me ’til the middle of this year to see Les Miserables, I feel quite ashamed! However I’m so happy to have finally got there and seen the spectacle for myself, it truly is an incredible show.

19) Pipe Dream / Union Theatre
This show was led by two of my favourite performers, Kieran Brown and Charlotte Scott, therefore of course I would be seeing it! The show was a sweet and simple one with fresh direction from Sasha Regan and brilliant choreography with the space they were working in.

20) Swan Lake / The Royal Opera House
Another trip to the ballet and another inspiring production, a classic that I’m honoured to have seen!

21) [title of show] / Landor Theatre
I loved this show and the entire concept of it, plus it was led by solely 4 cast members that kept you attention and imagination with ease, it was superb.

21) Jersey Boys / Prince Edward Theatre
Not so much a fan of jukebox musicals but thought this show was enjoyable and yes, the songs were stuck in my head for days after…

23) The Sound of Music / Regents Park Open Air Theatre
A charming production for the summer portion of the theatre’s programme, using the theatre in a very innovative way. One of my favourites as a child so a pleasure to see live!

24) Ghost the Musical / Milton Keynes Theatre
I saw this show a couple of times in London and loved it just as much on tour especially with incomparable actress Rebecca Trehearn as Molly.

25) One Man, Two Guvnors / Theatre Royal Haymarket
I doubt I’ll laugh as hard in a show as I did in this one, genuinely I was in pain afterwards I’d laughed that much!

26) Bare / Greenwich Theatre
A pretty heartbreaking story wrapped up in a contemporary show with an especially strong cast for this production. Perfect theatre space for it too though I imagine the intimacy of the Union that it transferred from would’ve made for a different atmosphere.

27) Romeo and Juliet / The Royal Opera House
Last ballet of the year for us and again we were in awe at the skill and story-telling all the dancers portray. Certainly is one of the most beautiful art forms!

28) Oliver! / Crucible Theatre
A slick production full of incredible talent, amazing work from the children in the show too, stellar show.

29) Stephen Ward / Aldwych Theatre
New show on the West End scene full of scandal, drama, sex with a political origin that isn’t dominating in the show as a whole. I really liked this show and how they staged it especially!

30) Beauty and The Beast / Kings Lynn Corn Exchange
A really fun pantomime that had me laughing practically all the way through it!

31) Cinderella / Norwich Theatre Royal
A pantomime with a lot of impressive effects and a sweet story too, cute way of getting into the festive season.

32) The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe / Oxford’s North Wall Arts Centre
Such an imaginative show in a beautiful relatively intimate theatre bursting with talent and creativity!

33) The Light Princess / The National Theatre
I’ve only just got back from seeing this show on New Year’s Eve and wow. What a spectacle! Words right now can’t do it justice, I’ll try and string sentences in a blog for it later…

So those are the theatre shows… How about the concerts and such? I’m going to be lazy and simply list those, then pick out my absolutely favourite ones from the year!

Concerts of 2013 consisted of a couple of trips to AfterShow at the Hippodrome Casino (Singin’ in the Rain vs Top Hat as well as Wicked vs Billy Elliot), a couple of West End Fests concerts at the St Paul’s Actors Church, Kerry Ellis at the Palladium, Bobby Cronin’s Concrete Jungle launch, Rachel Tucker’s album launch, furthermore her second concert in the St James Theatre, a few visits to see Velma Celli in action at the Hippodrome, Scott Alan Live at the O2, West End Wilma’s Cabaret, Live by the Lake, Jonathan Reid Gealt’s concerts at the St James Studio, Diva’s Unsung at Leicester Square Theatre, West End Presents, Wicked Cares, For Joanna, The Tori Party at Freedom, Movies and Musicals, a couple of Giggin’ For Good concerts, Christmas in New York and The Perfect Year!

A few of my favourites from the bigger concerts would have to be Scott Alan Live at the O2, Rachel Tucker’s concert in the St James Theatre and Wicked Cares. A trip to AfterShow is always a brilliant laugh so I’ve loved those too but there hasn’t been a concert this year that I’ve disliked, they’ve all been full of so much talent and brilliant music, so I can’t complain.

Well, considering I’ve only lived in London itself since September I’m quite proud of all the things I’ve managed to get to, and God help my bank account for being in the city more next year…

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