June has not felt as stagey as some but looking back actually most weekends have been packed full of theatre visits and concerts. Of course, June is also the month of West End Live. This free event in central London is the highlight of many theatre-goers year and allows everyone to get a glimpse of the top shows in London. A must for any theatre fan!
My favourite theatre experiences this month actually both happened on the very last day of June. Fun Home, which is playing at the Young Vic until 1st September, was an extraordinary piece of theatre. Funny yet heartbreaking at the same time. It really made me question lots of things and for once I came out of the theatre speechless and feeling a bit dazed – in the best way. Looking around at the auditorium after the show and seeing so many people in tears just shows how gripping and emotional theatre can be when done well.
KING in concert was another highlight of this month. The musical telling the story of Martin Luther King has only been shown once, 30 years ago. It was revived for just two concert style shows on 30th June and 1st July. This was a powerful and inspirational show. The music is catchy, interesting and varied and despite it being a non-staged concert the acting was remarkable given the short rehearsal period. This is a show which deserves to be heard and needs to be made into a full scale production. It felt similar to Jonathon Larson in many respects due to the fact that Martin Smith, who wrote it in the 1980’s, died so young and I’m sure that if he were still alive now his productions would be amongst the top in the country if this is anything to go by. Certainly one to watch out for!
Heathers, the cult show based on the 1980’s film, has rocked The Other Palace and sold out almost instantly and I can see why. I went into the show blind, having not seen the film or heard the score. Wow! It is fun and energetic throughout and, despite the serious undertone, the show is really uplifting and entertaining. Carrie Hope Fletcher, who many accused of celebrity casting, certainly deserves her place on the stage. She embodies Veronica Sawyer and plays the character with a range of emotions, all of them believable. The songs are catchy and the on-liners have the audience creasing up. A hugely talented cast makes this a hit show and I’m sure that, given time, this show will transfer or receive a longer run. Clearly it has gained momentum and fans are flocking to see it in their droves.
In addition to the theatre productions I have seen this month I have attended Emma Kingston’s concert at Zedel and Megan Hilty’s concert in Cadogan Hall. Both artists are fantastic and seeing them sing a range of songs from different shows still with that utter conviction and ability to act through song really shows how talented they are. these stagey concerts are rapidly becoming one of my favourite types of event for this very reason.
I can’t talk about June without mentioning the RENT reunion secret cinema event put together by Shanay Holmes from the 20th Anniversary Tour of RENT. I was adamant that I was not going but changed my mind at the last minute – thank goodness. This event was spectacular! Some of the outstanding cast members performed a selection of songs before the screening of the film and then met with fans afterwards. What makes this so special is the love that the fans and the cast themselves have for the show. Not many casts would put together this style of event for their fans. RENT really is something special but the 2017-2018 cast are just beyond that – they are RENT.
July is already looking to be another great month with another visit to Hamilton and Dreamgirls lined up and press nights for Titanic, Evita, Shrek and Knights of the Rose. Keep your eyes on my blog for all the up to date reviews!