My top 10 Shows of 2017!

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Phew! This year has been hectic. But also so much fun. 2017 marks my first year of blogging and reviewing shows. I have been to see over 50 shows this year and am now getting the opportunity to get invited to review shows and interview cast members – something for which I am truly blessed. I absolutely love theatre and this year has just further ignited my passion. I love being able to enjoy the theatre again, to see different shows and visit different venues and theatres.

It was certainly a tough decision but here are my top 10 shows of 2017:

 

Number 10: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie: Apollo Theatre, London

It is fantastic to see original British musicals taking centre stage this year. This show is fresh and current. The songs are catchy and memorable and the choreography is slick and modern. Jamie tells a story of acceptance. Not just being a drag queen, but being accepted to be whoever you are or want to be. Whilst, in parts, the storyline felt predictable it was kept together with some fantastic songs and the staging was really interesting. I really hope that this show makes it past the 6 month mark that has cut so many new musicals short in past years.

For tickets and more information visit http://www.everybodystalkingaboutjamie.co.uk

To read my review of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie click here.

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Number 9: Miss Saigon: Birmingham Hippodrome.

Having seen this show when it was revived in the West End in 2014, I was excited to see how it transferred to a touring production. The answer was: magnificently. It is just the same as the full-scale production in London. With sets, costumes and the dramatic helicopter scene still being eye-catching and inspiring. This production is touring the UK throughout 2017 and 2018 which most venues having the show for 4-6 weeks so there is plenty of time to see this show. It is certainly pleasing to the eye but also the ear too. The score is amazing and it actually gets better the more times you see/hear it. All of the cast were fantastic in Birmingham and with most of the cast staying throughout the tour it looks set to be a hit of 2018 too.

 

To find out more about the show and book tickets visit https://www.miss-saigon.com/uk-ireland-tour

To read my review about Miss Saigon click here.

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Number 8: Dreamgirls: Savoy Theatre 

This show has all the glitz and glamor needed to make a hit musical. I was lucky enough to see Amber Riley, Liisi LaFountaine and Asmeret Ghebremichael as the three Dreamgirls. All three are more than capable for centre stage and hold the limelight incredibly well. Liisi particularly impressed me with her characterisation and amazing vocals. I loved the overall show, including the interesting staging and choreography. Whilst I have only seen it once this year I am sure that I will see it again in 2018 and have recommended it to many friends. The score is fabulous and the songs are so catchy.

To find out more and buy tickets visit http://www.dreamgirlswestend.com

To read my review of Dreamgirls click here.

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Number 7: Jesus Christ Superstar: Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

This was the second time I had seen JCS and I’ll openly admit that it is not my favourite show and neither is Andrew Lloyd Webber. However it was the theatre itself, staging and innovative choreography from Drew McOnie that really made this production stand out. The cast were outstanding throughout with Tyrone Huntley wowing the audience night after night. The simplistic, yet effective, set and costumes played around with the traditional style of the show but truly worked. The contemporary, rock songs were performed with energy and conviction leading to a fantastic show. Having listened to the cast recording several times now I just wish I could see this marvellous piece of theatre once more.

To read my review about JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR click here.

 

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Number 6: STOP the Musical (Ed Fringe).

This fantastic musical has stuck with me since seeing it at the Edinburgh Festival in August. A short musical about 4 characters who meet at a bus stop which highlights a range of mental health issues. The musical doesn’t hold back, it is hard-hitting and in some places makes for tense viewing. It makes the audience think about a variety of issues such as depression, anxiety and addiction. All of the cast were really talented and the amazing characterisation really sucked the audience in. Through a fantastic score and brilliant storytelling the audience is taken on a rollercoaster.

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To read my review about STOP the Musical click here.

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Number 5: Working A Musical: Southwark Playhouse

With composers Stephen Schwartz and Lin-Manuel Miranda this collection of songs about everyday people’s jobs was fascinating. I loved the level of storytelling and acting as well as the super score. Every element had been thought through from the lighting, set, simple props and the clever costumes. I enjoyed the variety of the characters throughout the show and the actors ability to change to suit the role. The fantastic score was also really diverse and unique – there really was something for everyone. Another aspect of the show that I really admired was the choreography by Fabian Aloise as the small stage was used all of the time in innovative ways and every minute was choreographed to perfection.

To read my review about Working A Musical click here. 

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Number 4: The Toxic Avenger: Arts Theatre, London

This show is completely different to most on my list but was utterly hilarious. I only wish that I’d seen it more times. The comic timing, jokes and songs were absolutely hysterical. The five cast members were incredibly talented. Especially Che Francis and Oscar Conlon-Morrey who played all of the ensemble parts to perfection. The story, whilst equally silly and funny, was told well through the song and again the small stage was utilised well. Another hidden gem in this show was all the references to other musical theatre shows – something I loved spotting. This show could have a real future and definitely seemed to get some hard-core fans who attended it regularly.

To read my review of The Toxic Avenger click here.

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Number 3: Legally Blonde UK Tour

This musical is a long term favourite of mine and I absolutely loved the most recent production currently touring the UK. It makes you grin throughout the show and you really can’t help but sing along in your head. Lucie Jones excels as Elle Woods and the entire cast bring a fresh, youthful approach to the musical. Choreography by Anthony Williams and Dean Street fits the show, is well performed and the energy the cast have is brilliant. This production certainly feels high quality from the sets, props to the impressive number of costume changes. With high energy dance numbers, fantastic ensemble songs and outstanding individual performances this show allows for pure escapism and is a joy to watch.

Legally Blonde is now touring the UK. Tickets are available from: http://www.legallyblondethemusical.com

To read my review about Legally Blonde click here.

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Number 2: Yank! A World War II Love Story: Charing Cross Theatre

Scott Hunter and Andy Coxon were utterly fantastic in this musical about homosexuality during the Second World War. I loved the way that Scott Hunter’s character Stu changed and morphed into a confident, self-assured man through the show. The vocals were fantastic from the entire cast and the characterisation was spot on. The use of a such a small stage was impressive and the choreography by Chris Cuming was also innovative.

I was sucked in by the plot of the show and the issues that it raised. What also impressed me was the fact that it was one of the only shows I have ever been to where there was a queue for the mens toilets. It was so impressive to see the amount of men in the audience each night. The issues raised through the show are, unfortunately, still prevalent and the fact that so many openly gay, middle aged men were in the audience each night just stands to testament to how good this production was and the impact theatre can have.

 

To read my review about Yank! click here.

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Number 1: Rent 20th Anniversary Tour.

There was no contest. Rent had to be my top show of 2017 because from the moment I saw it in December 2016 (and a further 4 times in 2017) I was hooked. It completely blew me away and I honestly owe so much to this show. Without seeing this I very much doubt that I would be reviewing shows or even seeing so many shows. It has definitely reignited my passion for theatre.

Everything about this show was magic. The direction, choreography and incredible cast all worked together to create something spectacularly special on stage each night. The talent on show each night astounded me. Each member of the cast poured their absolute everything into the show and with fantastic direction from Bruce Guthrie the show was just perfect. I have found so many talented performers who I have seen seen in various shows and it has opened up my eyes to a wider range of musicals that I didn’t know existed.

The message through this show is ‘No Day But Today’. A few years ago when I was at my lowest I wanted every day to be my last. Now I am pleased to say I love my life, I am living my life and there really is No Day But Today so we should do the things we love and that make us happy.

To read my review of Rent click here. 

To find out about my last few visits, including closing night, to this amazing show click here.

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So there you have it. A whistle stop tour of my favourite shows of 2017. I cannot wait to find out what is in store for me in 2018 and with some fantastic shows already booked or waiting to be booked I am very excited for the new stagey year.

Have you seen any of these shows? What are your top 10 shows? Got any comments? Please do get in touch or subscribe to my blog.

3 thoughts on “My top 10 Shows of 2017!

Add yours

  1. I love Rent and is meaningful mostly due to its message. I have been waiting to see it for 5 years after falling in love with the musical Fall 2012. When I found out it was touring the US and coming to my city, I started convincing my parents to take.

    Christmas 2016, they gave me a RENT ticket and I ended up seeing it in September. I ended up becoming a bigger fan of RENT after seeing it and was an emotional wreck watching it.

    Other fav. musicals are Les Mis, Wicked, Beauty and the Beast, Phantom of the Opera, Sound of Music and Annie among others

    Like

      1. I always hope to see at least one musical a year. In August next year, Lion King is coming and I hope my parents take me. I saw the production back in elementary school but do not remember seeing it. So I hope I see it.

        I might be seeing Phantom of the Opera next year for the 2nd time, but not fully sure yet

        Liked by 1 person

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