I managed to see an all time record breaking 25 shows in 2018! I think that’s quite a lot. Narrowing down my favourites was a really difficult task and I changed the list several times whilst writing it!
First up, you all know I’m a Musical geek, so most are that genre. Secondly, you might disagree but it’s all subjective innit. As Dermot O’leary might say… “in no particular order”, these were MY favourite five shows of 2018.
It was the moment all us non-Londoners were waiting for – the first ever UK tour of Matilda after 8 long years. The excitement was real as I love Roald Dahl and Matilda is one of his most mischievous creations. The whole production is magical, from the letter block set to the pigtail throw; the music is suitably creepy and Miss Trunchbull horrifyingly good. It lived up to all my expectations!
2. Almighty Sometimes
This was a drastically different kind of show. A play that tackled the delicate subject of mental health. It reopened my eyes to the fact that we still struggle to talk about it and so often use it irresponsibly. I ranted a bit in my review as it really got me thinking… The show itself depicted a fascinating and intense mother/daughter relationship. It felt real and genuine and still retained a Northern sense of humour.
3. Everybody’s talking about Jamie
I caught this when I had some spare time after a work trip. And wow was it reet up my street! Based in Sheffield, a stones throw from where I grew up, it follows the working class story of Jamie, a boy with a dream to drag. The characters remind me of people from my past, the music is a pop masterclass and the plot incredibly current. Any RuPaul fans out there? It was sensational.
I couldn’t write this list and not include my favourite Musical of all time, could I!? It’s just perfect. I grew up with the Wizard of Oz and this prequel is brilliant. It gives depth to the Witches you thought you knew and showcases the power of friendship. The music is catchy and the staging is dramatic. The world of Oz is brought to life in this emerald green Musical that gives me goosebumps every time.
Last but not least, number five is Six. This new British Musical gives Henry 8th wives more than just a name. These women had individual stories and Six gives them their voices. It’s more like a gig as the girls rock the auditorium in a 75 minute show. There’s tongue in cheek humour, an addictive soundtrack and a real teaching of history. I danced throughout and sang all the way home. This is twenty first century theatre!
Phew! There you have it. My top five and I’m sticking to it. Did you catch any shows last year? Please let me know your faves in the comments below.