Despite it’s title, Amour the musical is not a sickly-sweet French romantic musical. Nor does it have anything to do with a solitary lamppost in an abandoned street as the marketing materials may lead you to believe. It’s mostly a charming and whimsical story with a big heart. It’s not a total surprise that the limited run of this little-known story with a relatively unknown cast has been cut six weeks short. But based on the quality of the production and performances, it should have had a bit more of a fighting chance at achieving a healthy run. That’s the world of commercial musical theatre for you.
In Come From Away, a strong cast of twelve are able to bring to life this little-known story. A story in which a small Canadian town mobilised to accommodate the thousands of people who were stranded when their planes were diverted following the 9/11 attacks. At a time of hysteria over news which aims to shock and appal, I wish there were more shows like this one which seeks to display the good which humanity can achieve.
I adored so many aspects of the Artform’s production of The Last Five Years: its intimate venue; the simple stage design; and the moving performances. In this two-person musical, we see the bittersweet rise and fall of Cathy and Jamie’s five-year relationship. It was honest, raw and heart-breaking.
There are a number of shows where despite knowing a lot about them, I’ve not yet seen them live. I could tell you all about their production history, or perform some of the numbers in a one woman show – but I couldn’t tell you what it feels like to experience it on stage, which makes my heart ache. I was inspired to write this post to let the Universe know that I’d like to see these productions at one point in my life, and if I’m able to do so, I can die happy :). So please Universe, let’s make it happen. Thanks in advance.
If we cast our memories back to school, most of us can vaguely remember learning about Henry VIII. If you did, you would have most likely learnt about his six wives and that ‘divorced’, ‘beheaded’, ‘died’ poem, but not much more about them. In Six, these ladies take centre stage and we gain an insight into their multi-dimensional lives through pop contemporary music. They have these big personalities and fascinating stories to share. The result is Hamilton meets the Spice Girls. It’s fun, fresh, and one of the most original British shows I’ve seen in a while.
The West End is starting to play host to a collection of musical theatre productions which celebrate a variety of women. This includes shows such as Six, Caroline or Change, Tina Turner the Musical and the incoming productions of Waitress and 9 to 5. I least expected for this celebration to extend to the revival of the musical Company. Company, a Sondheim classic, which was originally written to centre around a male bachelor, Bobby. But in this revival, it centres around a single lady, Bobbie. And it works, brilliantly. The show, written almost 50 years ago now, provides a sophisticated insight into the modern-day woman and feels as fresh as if it was written today.
Some may be worried about 2019, it might be for big reasons such as that the UK is scheduled to leave the EU but hasn’t come to an agreement on what a Trade Deal will look like. Or for smaller reasons about whether you’ll be able to maintain the list of New Year Resolutions you spent so long on refining. Although 2019 may seem bleak for some, there’s lots to look forward to in the Musical Theatre World. Now I’m living in Central London, there’s so much more that I can access and I cannot wait to do so. Here’s my top five musicals I’m looking forward to seeing in 2019.
When I look back on 2018, it will be my theatre going experiences that I look back on most fondly. I’ve been fortunate enough to see musicals in Stuttgart, on Broadway and in the West End. This lists attempts to rank which shows stood out and connected with me the most when I saw them. Going into these shows at first, I wouldn’t have expected my top five to be in this order – but here it is – my countdown to my top five theatre experiences in 2018.
A feel-good classic musical with an impressive number of break-out musical moments and a vast collection of dazzling costumes. The stars of the show are the athletic ensemble dancers who make mounting this beast of a show in a perfectly synchronised fashion look effortless.
With Once on this Island, director Michael Arden has created a spell-binding revival which pushes the boundaries for what is usually done on Broadway. It’s colourful, vibrant and demonstrates the uplifting power of story-telling.