November and December have been unusually quiet here at MusicalManda so I have condensed them together. During the two months I managed only to see 8 shows including some sensational concerts.
Hadestown at the National Theatre, London was a stand out performance for me. Its mixture of modern American folk music and jazz really made this a unique retelling of the Ancient Greek myth. the use of the round revolve was unlike any I have seen before and the production was incredible for this part alone. Having missed an earlier booked ticket due to being unwell I was pleased with my seat, despite being in the circle and far away from the stage the view was superb. this was only my second visit to the National Theatre, Olivier stage and hopefully it will not be my last, I truly think there are very few seats with a bad view. With wonderful cast members and a hard working ensemble this is stunning to watch and utterly gorgeous to listen to. Despite the plot being one that is quite well known, the direction by Rachel Chavkin and music by Anaïs Mitchell brings the story to life in a brand new way.
Striking 12 was an interesting, charming show at the Union Theatre. Inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Match Girl Striking 12 was only showing for a limited run over the festive period. It was something quite unique. A mixture of stories, music styles, moods and atmospheres.
In December I was also fortunate enough to be able to attend the Lea Michele and Darren Criss LM/DC World Tour at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. Having been a big Glee fan I was very excited to see them for real and they definitely lived up to the hype. Lea’s voice is so distinctive and unique, powerful yet delicate. Darren’s voice for me isn’t quite as strong, but he created some wonderful versions of well-known songs as well as a lot of songs from his own albums. The whole atmosphere inside the venue was electric and both stars certainly know how to put on a show.
Another hit was Seussical at the Southwark Playhouse. I do not particularly like Dr Seuss (probably due to my dislike for Jim Carey who inevitably is in all of the films) but this musical had me grinning throughout. A brilliant alternative to the festive pantomime over the Christmas period. It was the perfect piece of theatre to lose yourself in, sit back and get lost in a world of make believe, fast paced adventures and colourful characters. It’s also refreshing to see such a brilliantly fun and meaningful production, particularly aimed at families where sometimes the plot and characters are ‘dumbed down’.
Unfortunately, I did not particularly enjoy Caroline, or Change at the Playhouse Theatre, London. Technically it was performed extremely well, the concepts were interesting and I can see the relevance of the piece but something felt lacking and ultimately I felt slightly bored by it. Sharon D. Clarke is outstanding, as always, and her vocals are immense but for me it was very much a show I have already forgotten.
And so we have come to the end of a very busy year! I have managed to see over 100 shows this year and am forever grateful for the opportunities that I have had and the shows I have seen. Check out my top ten shows of 2018 by clicking here and don’t forget to see what shows of 2019 I’m especially looking forward to by clicking here.
Thank you so much to anyone who has read these reviews and round-ups. Whilst I love writing my reviews for myself, knowing that they are read and appreciated by others is wonderful. Don’t forget you can also sign up to my blog and follow to receive emails whenever I post a blog or review.