Best of 2015 Theatre (so far).
As we approach the end of March, I thought this is the ideal time to reflect on the first three months on 2015 and some of the best shows I’ve seen so far this year. Here are my top five theatre experiences. What have yours been? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook.
One of my favourite shows is back out on tour around the UK after completing its second successful stint in the West End last year. Spamalot is a silly parody of musical theatre, combined with the Monty Python story of The Holy Grail. King Arthur is sent on a quest by God to find the grail and assembles a team of knights to help him on his way. Of course, nothing is ever simple and there are many obstacles they must overcome on the way including Python favourites The Knights of Ni, The Black Knight and of course, a Schwubbery. This is a hilarious show with great songs. I’ve seen it more than 100 times over the years so if you haven’t checked it out before then catch it on this tour!
Ahead of this summers Broadway transfer of the Elephant Man, starring Bradley Cooper, South London’s Brockley Jack Studio staged a small-scale production of the 1980 film starring John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins. The play tells the story of a deformed man who is carted around in a Victorian freak show in London. A doctor takes him under his wing to perform medical tests to try to establish his condition and make his life as comfortable as possible. This play was beautifully put together, so simply. It will be interesting to see what the big West End production is like later this year.
Just last week I went to see Buyer and Cellar at the Menier Chocolate Factory, starring Ugly Betty’s Michael Urie. This one-man monologues is a tongue in cheek fantasy imagination of what Barbra Streisand might get up to in the secret shopping centre she has built underneath her Malibu mansion, where she stores her possessions. I wasn’t a Barbra fan when I went in to the theatre but I certainly came out as one!
The Nether is a fictional, yet worryingly accurate look at the future of technology. Online gaming is hugely popular these days and we think nothing of shooting each other and causing nasty deaths in these fictional worlds we create. But how far is too far? Pedophilia is the realm examined in this show giving the disastrous image that it could be possible to abuse children in a fantasy online world where it is not actually illegal (so there is no actual crime being committed). It’s a difficult show to watch but it is beautifully put together (and visually stunning) to soften the message. It’s a bitter pill to swallow but something we should not be cowering away from thinking about.
Ok, so technically I saw this show at the end of 2014 when it first opened in the West End, however I did attend the album launch party this year and saw the show again so it totally counts. Beverley Knight and Killian Donnelly are a powerhouse couple who raise the bar of what amazing performing really is. This brilliant musical tells the story of a time where black music wasn’t played on mainstream radio and one mans plight to make it happen. It’s my top pick for 2015 so far and the show I have been recommending to everyone who asks what they should be going to see. So, go see it!
West End Wilma
Causing theatrical chaos in London’s West End since 2012