“Oops I Did It Again” – Britney Spears, 2000
So, rounding up each month hasn’t really been happening, has it? I could bore you with statements about being snowed under with deadlines, with being at work a lot, being too tired to write, but no one wants to hear that, do they? Got to suck it up and just carry on as if nothing has happened and I haven’t had a month-long hiatus.
I’m not going to recount everything that happened over the past two months because, frankly, I saw way too many shows, did too many things, and will probably miss out half of it. Hence why this is going to be a top five post of what I’ve been up to in the theatre world over the last two months. You know, just to ease myself back in. Here we go!
#5 Repeat Visits
I always said I’d try not to repeat-visit shows (not sure why), but it happened three times in April. Twice at the beginning of the month with my friend Ash, who was visiting from Oxford. I took him to see Kinky Boots and Matilda, two of the best musicals in the West End at the moment, in my opinion. I’m not the sort of person who’d watch the same show on my own days on end because I love it so much (nothing against that, but I’d just get bored), but introducing someone else to a show is always a joy. There’s that slight feeling of smugness as I turn to them with a look on my face which says “I know, right?”, but just happiness that I have yet another person I can talk about it with.
The third show I saw for the second time was Half A Sixpence, which I hadn’t seen since the press night back in November. I went with my friend Joseph, who hadn’t seen the show, and we were lucky enough to be treated to a backstage tour, a dance lesson, and chat with the cast thanks to being at a press event. It was a fab time, and you can read all about it here. The show is joyous and the choreography astounding, so do go see it before it closes later in the year!
#4 New Theatrical Experiences
Love ticking off things from my theatrical to-do list. At the end of April, I headed Underground and followed Alice’s Adventures in Les Enfant Terribles’ immersive production at the Vaults. It’s so detailed and well-executed, I am in love with how my favourite childhood book has been handled. You can read all about the frabjous time I had with my pal Conor, and make sure to try out the themed cocktails whilst there – they’re heavenly!
Skip to a month later, and I’ve trekked all the way to the New Wimbledon Theatre (my first visit) on a rainy Thursday evening to see the much-anticipated UK tour of The Addams Family. It’s the first touring production I’ve seen whilst being in London, and I was really impressed by the quality of it all. I got a great cheap seat thanks to TodayTix, and thoroughly enjoyed the evening (despite a few audience etiquette issues). I can see the show maybe coming into the West End for a limited Halloween period potentially – what do you think?
#3 HAMLET FOR FREE
Totally not showing off here, but I got to see Andrew Scott aka Moriarty as Hamlet in Hamlet (duh) for FREE. Zero pennies were spent (minus the tube journey, obvs) and it was GLORIOUS. I wrote about it all here but honestly it was the best Hamlet I’ve ever seen thus far. It was sublime. I won’t prattle on about the production here but I will say that the Almeida’s offering of free performances and workshops for under 25s was fab, and more theatres need to take note. It’s so important to us, especially in this economic climate.
#2 The London Student Theatre Awards
In conjunction with the London Student Festival are the new LSTAs, which allows theatre companies from London unis to submit their shows throughout the year to a judging panel of students representing each society (hey, that’s me!). The year culminates in a fancy awards ceremony in central, and there’ll be a host of awards given from direction and writing to marketing, lighting, and audience experience. The aim is not to be derogatory or harsh, but to really celebrate all the wonderful theatre students in London are creating. I’m excited to get started, and I’m sure I’ll do a whole post introducing you to all of the judges!
#1 The Musical
I directed a bloody musical, didn’t I? Along with musical director Sophie, we managed to put on a meta-musical-revue in the space of thirteen days with a wickedly talented cast of nine. It was stressful, having never directed before I was prone to being attacked with a case of “what am I doing here?” but it went super well. I loved choreographing the dances, and the cast really made the show their own. It was an absolute joy and a perfect end to the year.
Yeah, that’s the five you’re getting – hope it was an entertaining read, at least. More stuff is to come (promise promise promise, and I know that’s a cliche), I’m buzzing to get writing again – and I’m beginning a super cool project in the next month, too, which if you’ve seen my twitter you’ll already know what’s in the works!