We asked our review team to nominate their 2017 theatre highlights. Douglas Mayo nominated his favourites.
42nd Street (Theatre Royal Drury Lane)
Never did I ever think I would see a production of 42nd Street on stage on the scale that is currently on stage at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. The cast including Tom Lister, Jasna Ivir, Clare Halse, Stuart Neal and the sublime Sheena Easton would have been more than enough but add Douglas W Schmidt’s incredible set that fully utilised the enormous stage of the Theatre Royal and Roger Kirk’s fabulous costumes and you were all set for an experience unlike any other. I quite honestly had tears of joy streaming down my face throughout. Book tickets for 42nd Street.
Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre)
Hyped to oblivion, it was great to see a show that lived up to the hype. I’ve been listening to the cast album since its release but the show was just so much better. Abounding with humour, and rich characters I’m looking forward to future visits. Thomas Kail, Andy Blankenbuehler, Alex Lacamoire, and Lin-Manuel with the help of an incredible technical creative team have created a show that I’m sure will be entertaining the West End for several years to come. Read my review
Rent (UK Tour)
I was a little worried that Rent may have dated having not seen the show since it opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre many moons ago but on the recommendation of our reviewer Alexa Terry, I caught the show in Woking. The cast were incredible and I was amazed at just how well Jonathan Larson’s opus had withstood the pressures of time.
The Wedding Singer (UK Tour)
Knowing absolutely nothing about this show but being familiar with the film, I headed for the SunderlandEmpire and had an absolute blast in the theatre that took me back to the eighties in Nick Winston’s wonderful time capsule production. Jon Robyns remains in my mind one of our finest musical theatre leading men and combined with Cassie Compton, Samuel Holmes and Ray Quinn this show was one I’d like to see again. Read my review.
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar And Grill (Wyndham’s Theatre)
We had to endure a slight postponement but it was absolutely worth the wait as Audra McDonald bought her acclaimed take on Billie Holliday to London. There are just too many superlatives to include here but to me it was just unmissable.
Young Frankenstein (Garrick Theatre)
As an Aussie with an irreverent sense of humour I have long been a Mel Brooks fan and Young Frankenstein did not disappoint. Scaled down production wise but not scrimping on the talent side this production was perfectly housed in the intimate Garrick Theatre. I can’t recall laughing so much in recent memory. Book tickets to Young Frankenstein. Read my review.