Posts with the label top 10
Showing posts with label top 10. Show all posts
Showing posts with label top 10. Show all posts

Tuesday 31 December 2019

Olivia's Top Shows of 2019

This year I saw 150 shows, from glitzy West End productions to smaller fringe pieces and many UK tours. Before we step into the new decade, I want to feature some of my favourite pieces of the year and those which have stuck with me in some way.

Dolly Parton has been a family favourite growing up so this musical ticks all the boxes for me. 9 to 5 is a catchy, colourful celebration of girl power. With another tour planned for next year, this show is sure to delight audiences in 2020 and beyond.

Six featured in last year's Top 10 list, but having seen it a few times this year, I thought it warranted a place once again. The fantastically, feminist musical is pure joy on stage and a complete treat. Enthralling audiences around the world with its pop/musical theatre crossover sound and the heart which is retained in all its incarnations, Six's world domination is only just beginning. 

I mentioned the Broadway production of Come From Away last year, but 2019 saw the triumphant West End transfer of this show which is completely spectacular and special beyond compare. Telling the heartfelt story of the unity formed in a small village in Canada during the traumas of 9/11, the Celtic sounds and complete ensemble feel of the piece make it effective and oh so powerful.

Performed by members of the British Theatre Academy (BTA), the young cast transported audiences on a mystical journey of love and magic. Lee Proud and Harrison Clark created a production worthy of much acclaim and showcased some of the future stars of UK theatre.

Having missed the Open Air production of Jesus Christ Superstar, I was thrilled to get the chance to see it at the Barbican and it did not disappoint. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's score soared thanks to the ingenious staging which made the space feel as though it was outside, and Lee Curran's lighting which made the atmosphere both electric and intimate. Amazing performances all round made this a production not to be forgotten.

Not only was it a treat to see this enchanting song cycle by Dave Malloy brought to life by such talented actor-musos, but getting to experience the new space of the Boulevard Theatre was a delight in itself. The whole space feels fresh, welcoming, modern and all in all a wonderful addition to the London theatre scene. Ghost Quartet was a wacky mish-mash, but there's something about it that was truly enchanting.

The Cher Show | Neil Simon Theatre

If you'd told me at the beginning of the year that The Cher Show would be in my top shows, not just of 2019 but ever, I doubt I would've believed you. The cast were amazing but as someone unfamiliar with Cher's music and kind of bewildered by the whole idea, I didn't expect to come out beaming after one of the best night's ever at the theatre. The biopic musical tells the story of the superstar's rise to fame via three Cher's representing different times in her life. The performances are other worldly and the humour hits all the right spots. This is the embodiment of a grand musical and I can only hope it comes to the West End sometime soon!

The Jungle | St Ann's Warehouse

This is another show I missed in London but was lucky enough to catch in New York at the incredible setting of St Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn. This is the most striking piece of theatre I have ever witnessed, and I can't even explain how spectacular the entire production was. The community feel that was created within moments of entering the theatre is like nothing I've ever experienced and every element of theatricality was so perfectly used to highlight the stories of those on stage.

The Adam Guettal musical was on my 'To See' bucket list, so it was a complete joy to experience the sumptuous score performed by such a stellar cast this year. The story about young Clara falling in love with Fabrizio on a trip to Italy is beautiful and made me want to go to and have my own romantic holiday accompanied by a beautiful classical soundtrack.

Fiver played a brief run at the Southwark Playhouse and earned itself much praise and many fans. With a fantastic score by Alex James Ellison, the musical follows the story of a £5 note and how it's value changes in the hands of various people. This was a completely unexpected treat of a show which completely enraptured me and left me feeling joyous, thanks to the wonderful mix of musical styles and fantastic array of stories involved. The superb cast of five gave everything and made it a real gem of a piece. A delightful musical, lets hope we see more of Fiver in the future.

Olivia's Top Shows of 2019

Tuesday 31 December 2019

Monday 31 December 2018

Olivia's Top 10 Shows of 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

Olivia's Top 10 Shows of 2018

Monday 31 December 2018

Saturday 30 December 2017

Olivia's Top 10 Shows of 2017

This year I saw 105 shows so picking my top 10 was pretty tricky! I know everyone does these posts but it's always interesting to see what peaked everyones interests so without further ado, here are the shows I loved in 2017. Grab a mince pie and settle in!

PS. They're in reverse order as always to bring that extra bit of drama!

10. Yank | Charing Cross Theatre

I saw the West End premiere of this show and completely fell in love. The storyline was gripping, the acting was outstanding and it was a highlight of my summer. Scott Hunter was a particular stand out and I can't wait to see what 2018 brings for him.

9. Follies | National Theatre

This was one of my most anticipated shows of the year and it certainly wasn't a let down. The glorious staging was spectacular and I adored hearing Sondheim's music live as well as seeing queen Imelda Staunton on stage again.

8. Mack and Mabel (LMTO) | Hackney Empire

This was such a surprising show for me. Of course I expected good things from the LMTO but I was so blown away by every performance in Mack and Mabel. Natasha J Barnes singing 'Time Heals Everything' was definitely my stand out vocal moment of the year.

7. Funny Girl | New Victoria Theatre

Natasha also gave an amazing performance as Fanny Brice in the UK Tour of Funny Girl. To date this is the best touring production I have ever seen!

6. Hamlet | Alemida Theatre

Andrew Scott was just spectacular. That's all.

5. Fiddler on the Roof | Chichester Festival Theatre

I must admit, I don't travel outside of London for theatre very often but I am so glad I made the trip to Chichester to see this production which completely blew me away. This show needs a West End transfer and I'm praying its life isn't over.

4. Angels in the America | National Theatre

How could I not mention this?! A marathon show but packed with drama, talent and grit at every moment. Truly a theatrical masterpiece- Broadway get ready!

3. Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill | National Theatre

Audra is just a queen. I was mesmerised by every single moment of this show. I first saw it on press night and then went back with my parents, both times were breathtaking and it was such an honour to see a Broadway superstar on stage.

2. Romantics Anonymous | Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

My lovely friend Hayley took me to see this for my birthday and for some reason I never got round to reviewing it (hopefully I'll do it soon!) But it was honestly just brilliant. Both literally and metaphorically sweet it was the perfect way to spend an afternoon. If you want a heartwarming tale, this is the one for you!

1. Hamilton | Victoria Palace Theatre

I know this is the most typical answer and so not a surprise but Hamilton just blew me away. I still can't believe that it exceeded my expectations and if you can get a ticket, you HAVE to see it!!

I also want to give a special mention to  a couple of other outstanding shows which I mentioned in last years wrap up: Rent and Dreamgirls, both of which amazed me again this year! I have a couple of concert shout outs too- Rachel Tucker, Kristin Chenoweth and Lea Michele. I saw Rachel perform 5 times and was completely astounded by her voice and stage presence every time. Kristin had me bawling from start to finish. Her concert was definitely the most memorable I've ever been too. Finally, Lea was a bucket list concert for me and I'm so honoured to have seen (and met) her this year!

So there we have my top shows of 2017! I can't wait to see what 2018 brings- let me know what your top shows of the year were.

Au revoir 2017! Stay Stagey, 2018!

Top 10 by editor, Olivia Mitchell

Olivia's Top 10 Shows of 2017

Saturday 30 December 2017

Monday 30 May 2016

10 Reasons You Should See In The Heights

Shock horror! Another post about In The Heights! In case you still haven't seen the show, here are ten reasons why you should definitely take a trip down to the barrio!

If you want some background information on the show check out my review here and if you fancy reading a cast interview, there's one here.

10 Reasons You Should See In The Heights

Monday 30 May 2016