London Theatre - what’s on?
For as long as I can remember, I've been a huge fan of musical theatre. I think it stems from being a little girl and watching Rogers & Hammerstein films with my Grandmother, with my favorites being The Sound of Music and The King & I.
Musical Theatre has played a huge part in my life, I took part in productions throughout my time at school and at university and in later life having moved to London. In fact, if it weren't for musical theatre I wouldn't have met some of my closest friends.
One of my favourite things about living in London is having the amazing theatre scene right on my doorstep, in fact I'd probably say I spend more money on theatre tickets than I do anything else (I've seen Wicked 14 times now and I still cry every time!) We're lucky that we've got a number of amazing shows running at the minute and a huge number about to open over the next 6-12 months so I thought I'd post a round up of my current favourites and those soon to open which I'm most excited about.
Come From Away, Phoenix Theatre London’s West End, booking until February 2020
Irene Sankoff and David Hein's musical Come From Away tells the beautiful tale of the passengers grounded in a small town called Gander in Newfoundland following the closing of all American airspace in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. 7,000 passengers found themselves stranded, with no idea of when they would be able to return home or what had become of their loved ones. Come From Away celebrates islanders who opened their front door to perfect strangers – or in Newfoundland parlance, "come from aways” and examines the bonds created between the frightened passengers and the islanders who so kindly take them in.
My favourite stand out moments include Rachel Tucker’s rendition, as pilot Beverly Bass of ‘Me and the Sky’ and the whole Company number ‘Somethings Missing’ which includes a heart breaking performance from Cat Simmons as Hannah, a Mother whose son is a New York fire fighter.
I can't tell you how much love I have for this show. I broke my heart and laughed my self silly too.
Its musically beautiful, the story is both heartbreaking and hopeful and the whole production overall, set and cast included is stunning.
Waitress, The Adelphi Theatre London, booking until 19th October
Another one of many Broadway transfers to hit London this year, it’s not hard to understand why Waitress has been such a phenomenal success. With music and lyrics by Sarah Barellies, Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a waitress (played by the other worldly Katharine McPhee) in a small town who bakes her troubles away into pies. Pies include ”Betrayed By My Eggs Pie" baked as a result of her unexpected discovery that she is pregnant by her vicious, abusive husband Earl. ("I got drunk and slept with my husband," she sobs.) and the "Life's Just Peachy Keen Pie" for the moment she falls in love with her handsome, charismatic and kind, gynaecologist Dr Pomatter, (played by the wonderful David Hunter who has made a home out of the Adelphi after a hugely successful run in the theatre as lead character Charlie in Kinky Boots).
Dear Evan Hansen, opening at the Noel Coward Theatre in November, booking until April 2020
Of all the shows due to open I am THE MOST EXCITED about Dear Evan Hansen (DEH). With music by Pasek & Paul (see Greatest Showman & LALA Land) this show is a heart-breaker with the most stunning score. I love this show so much, our first dance at our wedding was to 'Only Us' one of the most beautiful love songs in all of musical theatre (in my humble opinion)
DEH opened on broadway in 2016 and has been a huge hit. The show tells the story of a teenage boy who finds it difficult to talk to people and make friends. However, following a tragic event involving one of his classmates, he finds himself drawn closer to a group of people for the first time in his life.
This is another show that will break your heart but also give you a number of laughs. It's a story that will hit home with anyone who has ever felt like they don't fit in or like they don't belong, I think the raw human-ness (is that a word?!) of the story is a real factor in it's success.
My favourite songs from the show are 'You Will be Found', 'Waving Through a Window', 'Requiem' and 'Words Fail'. Download the original broadway cast recording which features the unbelievably talented Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect) in the title role of Evan, I promise you won't be disappointed.
Frozen, opening at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Autumn 2020
So this one is quite a long way off but I am super excited for this to open! The broadway show has been a huge hit so it's no surprise this Disney favourite is being given a West End transfer.
The show recounts the story of the 2013 film which had 7 original songs, when the film was adapted for the stage, the award-winning husband and wife team who provided the music and lyrics for the film created 12 more original songs for the Broadway musical. The songs mostly focus on deepening the relationships between the shows fan favourite characters. The arrangements and songs from the Broadway show will be used in the West End debut of Frozen plus there has been talk of adapting and tweaking the show prior to its arrival in London.
No news yet as to who will be staring in the show but they have held open auditions for all lead characters so we might hopefully see some exciting new talent!