Olivia's Top 10 Shows of 2018

Monday, 31 December 2018

2018 has been a whirlwind year full of amazing theatre. I was lucky enough to see a total of 150 shows so whittling them down to a top 10 was extremely difficult. Although this list is in an order, I really loved each of them equally as they all moved me in a particular way and provided some theatrical treats. 2019 is the year of change for West End theatre as a lot of beloved shows close and we get a number of new shows and shows from across the pond. I can't wait to see what next year provides and if we get anything like the treats from this year, it's going to be truly wonderful...

This was one of the wackiest nights out at the theatre. Alan Menken's score, accompanied by the changing natural light, a dancing tongue (shoutout Billy), and a host of standout performances, you couldn't help but smile and laugh at this treat of a summer show.

My heart was torn out and I ugly cried most of my train home but this was a magical theatrical experience. Highlighting the struggles of grief, this production cleverly used simplistic, ensemble staging to create a highly moving, highly polished, yet still raw piece of theatre.

This is one of the most truthful productions I have ever seen in my life. The outstanding cast seemed as if they were living the show for the first time as they travelled through Nine Nights of mourning with humour and depth in perfect balance. 

This show deserved better. Mythic was a whole host of self-aware-hilarity accompanied by the catchiest music. A modern twist on the Greek Gods, it was 90 minutes of unadulterated brilliance and I can only hope 2018 isn't the last time this show graces the stage.

Robert Hastie's revival of The York Realist was 130 minutes of theatrical perfection. Handled with genuine care and a real attention to detail, this was a beautiful exploration of love, class and life. 

All I can say is that London is not ready for the perfection that this show is. Book your tickets NOW.

Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss are the best thing to happen to British theatre in a long time. Telling the stories of the wives of Henry VIII, Six uses modern musical styles, mixed with laugh out loud one liners, out of this world performances from the Queens and it's just spectacular. It's a show for all ages that is sure to wow audiences for years to come as they keep coming back for their royal fix.

This is another gem of a show from Trafalgar Studios. Arinzé Kene gave the most devoted and energy fuelled performance I've ever seen. Misty is vibrant and fresh as it uses the dual-narrative structure perfectly to leave you wordless.

If The Rink was a person, I would've married it by now. Caroline O'Connor gave a masterclass in acting and this show needs to come back right now. Roller blades, delightful music and fabulous staging made this a faultless production.

I saw Hadestown twice this year but if I could've made it 20, I would have. I truly can't describe how special this show is; the lighting, staging, choreography, ensemble, leads and music come together to create an emotional journey and spectacular theatrical experience. The entire show is painfully relevant and the whole spectacle of it is exceptional.

So there we have my Top 10 Shows of the year, do you have any of the same ones? I'd like to give mention also to Bat Out of Hell which became a huge part of my year and provided some wonderful memories; and the BTA who put on two fantastic shows: Spring Awakening and Bring it On which featured stellar performances from the stars of the future.

For me, this was the year of female led performances and a real forward movement in the showcasing of diversity in theatre which are two huge positives in the industry. Lets hope for a continuation of these changes in 2019! Wishing you a the stagiest of stagey 2019s!

-Olivia x