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2017 Favourite Theatre

Here it is a list of the 10 shows that for various reasons made a mark in 2017. Some commentary being naturally longer than others...
Outside the 'Top 10' some Honorable mentions as well...
The Wedding Singer: Saw this on what was, by far the saddest day of the year- when our dear Doggy died. It didn’t quite block that out but this lovely cheerful little show, with such a brilliant cast really went a long way to making a horrible day bearable. I’ll always be thankful for that.
Harry Potter: I finally saw it and got swept away in Hogwarts magic once again. Another one in the ‘refuelling my love of it’ category. You never really leave Hogwarts, but it’s nice to be reminded of it and why you love it now and again. For this, Cursed Child is perfect. It’s not a perfect play, and its spectacle outweighs any substance, but it’s a great experience for those who love Harry and Co.
Where do Little Birds Go- Camilla Whitehills’s fantastic one-woman-play directed by my friend Luke Herefor…
Recent posts

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie- Apollo Theatre

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
This was my last theatre outing of the year, and what a way to end a year. Everyone should be talking about Jamie if they aren’t already. From what I saw on stage in front of me, and the fact that this is a new original British musical, Jamie is something special indeed.
First and foremost, Jamie is just an excellent musical. It has everything a good musical should; excellent music, a strong story and a stellar cast who execute it all perfectly. But we all know that pulling that off isn’t easy. We often lament the lack of musical theatre writing in Britain, this shows we do have the capability, if only theatres could invest more in developing the work. What Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom McRae have created is a musical that sounds authentically ‘musical theatre’ while keeping that pop music edge that makes it feel current and fresh. There’s a great balance between the up-beat ensemble numbers, and emotional ballads to move the story along. And the music …

Young Marx- Bridge Theatre

A review of two halves, as I can't be given a shiny new theatre to poke at without reviewing that too....

Everyone loves a new toy to play with...and The Bridge Theatre is a lovely new toy for theatreland. Firstly, it’s location is spectacular- the views of London are glorious and next summer it will make for many a delightful pre-theatre drink there. The location also is easily accessible by Tube and Bus (though I took the slow path and a walk along the South Bank). The building itself is light and airy, the bar area offering lots of room for sitting or loitering and with the space to ‘overspill’ outside on a nice day it makes a nice change from our obviously more ‘snug’ older buildings. The bar itself though I didn’t sample it, seemed to have an array of offerings, including some delicious looking cakes. I do love a good cake so I’ll be back for those. Another thing theatre-nerds like is a good toilet analysis. Well done Bridge Theatre. Firstly for Gender neutral signage, secon…

Holding the Man (some thoughts, not a review)

This isn't a 'review' because I saw this too close to the end of the run, but some plays make you want to put pen to paper regardless. It's also not a review, as this is filled with the kind of personal anecdotal nonsense that people tell me doesn't belong in my blog.

Well screw that, this is my blog, and for this one I'm writing it how I'd like.

A little background. For anyone who doesn't know me, I wrote my PhD in what essentially translates to 'Plays about AIDS'. There's a far more sophisticated description. But for the purposes of today, that about covers it. For anyone who wants more of that nonsense, my side blog is here

I started my PhD in September 2010. In June 2010 (June 21st, I looked it up. Yes I keep a list) I saw 'Holding the Man' for the first time. I actually had no idea what it was about going in, I was actually just a bit obsessed with Simon Burke at the time so booked to see him (what of it?). And so by accident …

Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle

The idea of music existing "between the notes" seems to be the best description of Heisenberg. A bit like the principle from which it takes it's name, that you cannot view a thing and observe it's momentum at once. The music analogy is more romantic though. And there is romance to Stephens' script. Even if it is not the traditional kind.

The script itself feels a bit like a science experiment- a viewing of distinct, choice moments in a relationship history. Again with gaps, unobserved, unknown where we cannot be certain where our particles- Georgie and Alex- are in those moments. Neither can we quite be sure where they are heading at any given moment we do observe them. Science analogies aside, seeing only snapshots of a relationship, watching it evolve in abstract is both charming and engaging. It feels like a series of dates for the audience, and it draws us in wondering about the next moment as well as the ones missed in between. It's a fast-paced, contem…

The Busy World is Hushed- Finborough

The Busy World is Hushed- Finborough  ****
It's a rare play that gets both into your head and under your skin. Watching The Busy World is Hushed sends both a mind reeling trying to keep up with the ideas and questions posed by the characters, but also cuts to the heart with some frank, honest reflections on grief and love. Keith Bunin's play manages to weave 'academic' ideas of life and love with the reality in a way that's both intellectually rigorous and emotionally engaging. He puts Hannah (Kazia Pelka) at the centre of this; an Episcopalian Minister in Manhattan and an academic she is professionally wrestling with issues of God and associated ideas of good, bad and love. While in the background to her professional life she has spent half a lifetime wrestling personally with reconciling the loss of her husband before her Son was born. It’s a rare complex part for a ‘Mother’ role in a play, and Pelka plays the nuances and conflicts of Hannah well. As the play p…

Why Elliott & Harper is the company I've been waiting for

I can never resist a good (bad) pun in a title. As the first production from Elliott & Harper opens its doors for previews tonight, it’s worth pausing to think what this new production company means and why indeed we need more like it. Something of a ‘power house’ company formed of Marianne Elliott and Chris Harper. Both coming from the National Theatre- as Director and Producer respectively- there’s a real understanding of both the craft of theatre and the audiences that do- and don’t- come to it there. And theatre made by and produced by theatre people, in the commercial realm. That’s potentially very exciting.








Firstly, the act of two theatre people who really love theatre, really understand theatre both from an audience point of view and an artistic point of view. Secondly, one of the UK’s best directors striking out on her own to make theatre on her own terms. Thirdly, and you bet it’s an important factor, a woman artistic director. It’s all exciting, and has the potential, …