Phew, August has been busy! This is the month I am off work (I am a Primary School Teacher by day) so that means there is more chance to go to the theatre but this month I’ve managed to cram in 15 shows! August is also the month of Edinburgh Fringe which I was lucky enough to go to again. Edinburgh is a fantastic city and the Fringe is amazing! Just walking down the Royal Mile is enough for any stagey fan. Whilst I was there I managed to catch 6 different shows – not as many as other bloggers but it was as much a holiday as a chance to review shows.
One of my highlights for August has to be Little Shop of Horrors. Having visited Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre for the first time last year to see On The Town and Jesus Christ Superstar I knew I wanted to come back and when it was announced that Little Shop of Horrors was going to be their musical this year then I knew I had to come back. This got even better when three cast members from Rent 20th Anniversary were also announced to be in the cast! The show itself was so crazy and over the top in every way but amazing and so much fun to watch. It’s always an extra special show if you have someone you ‘know’ in the show so having the chance to see Christina Modestou, Billy Cullum and Bobbie Little on stage again was fantastic.
Another show I was really excited to see was Fame the Musical. I first saw Fame in the West End about 15 years ago – it was my first West End show and got me hooked. I used to ‘perform’ it every evening in my bedroom and absolutely loved it. Flash forward 15 years and the 30th Anniversary Tour was announced. Again, I knew I had to see it and after hearing so many wonderful things about the production I couldn’t wait. The audiences were not wrong! It is an amazing production. The cast are outstanding and the direction and choreography by Nick Winston is superb. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I booked again to see it at the end of the week straight after I got back from Edinburgh making that my stagiest week ever – seeing 8 shows in one week. I can’t wait to see it again as it continues on its tour and would thoroughly recommend it.
At Edinburgh Fringe I managed to see several musicals including Buried which was something completely fresh and new. The folk-song style was interesting and I’ll admit the cast recording has been played quite a lot since! As always with the Fringe, there are so many shows to choose from and I only saw a few. Some were better than others but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them all and the dedication that the creatives and performers put into their show, from the flyering to the quick turnaround of the venues as well as the performances themselves.
Another show I’d been waiting to see was Bring It On. After hearing the cast recording a while back I loved the upbeat style and was really pleased to hear it was going to be at the Southwark Playhouse. The BTA production was brilliant! It was so much fun and there was loads of talent on the stage from the young performers. I took a friend back the following week and she was totally impressed too – think we both want to be cheerleaders a little bit now! The performance was really slick and so well put together that it made you want to get up on stage with them.
All in all this month has been one of the busiest but most fun months so far in 2018. On a bit of a side note though, this month has also been a great time to catch up with some of the performers at Stage Door after the show. I know the performers are busy, perhaps have trains to catch, food to get etc but the time that some of them spend at Stage Door talking to you and having photo’s is amazing. I’d never pressure someone to sign or have a photo obviously, but that chance to have a quick chat is amazing. It’s even better when the said performer recognises you or when you’ve met them several times before so it’s like seeing a ‘friend’ again. Clearly not all performers can go to the Stage Door, nor should they have to at all, but when they do it is so lovely.
September is already shaping up to be a busy one with the new UK tours of Blood Brothers and Rock of Ages starting at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre. I’ll also be seeing the UK premiere of Unexpected Joy at the Southwark Playhouse and a new musical called Midnight at the Union Theatre. Also in September I’ll be taking in The Calendar Girls, Sylvia at the Old Vic, The Last Five Years, Jeremy Jordan in Concert and, of course, Six which has come back to the Arts Theatre in London after reigning at Edinburgh Fringe! For reviews do make sure that you follow my blog. By subscribing to MusicalManda you will receive notification of every new review meaning you need never miss any stagey news.