2016 – Thank You!

With the new year just around the corner, today I am reflecting on the year gone by for me at westendwilma.com and all the things I am grateful for.

In the run up to Christmas, I ran an online charity auction, raising money for the National Autistic Society to help stage more Relaxed Theatre Performances, so those with Autism and other special needs can experience the joy of theatre in a safe and comfortable environment. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated theatre memorabilia, signed merchandise from their shows, tickets to performances and lots lots more. I am delighted to say that I have raised over £2,000 which is a wonderful amount to help support this amazing cause.

I would like to thank everyone who supported the 2016 Wilma Awards. To all of my sponsors who helped to ensure the event was fabulous. The Hippodrome Casino for having me back for the second year and supporting the event once again. Sponsors who have come back again to sponsor awards Planet Hollywood, Rodgers and Hammerstein and London Weekly News. And to new sponsors for 2016 Free@Last TV Ltd, Today Tix, Curtain Call and Auburn Jam. To everyone who bought a ticket to the ceremony and made it a sell-out event and everyone who took the time to vote or help spread word about the awards in any way. To my wonderful performers, Kieran Brown, Sooz Kempner and Four Femmes On The Thames and my amazing Musical Director Alexander Bermange. Thanks to my photographer Ollie Boito and of course my host for the third year in a row and dear friend Tim McArthur.

For the first time ever, in 2016 I released a Charity single, raising money for the National Autistic Society to help stage more Relaxed Theatre Performances, so those with Autism and other special needs can experience the joy of theatre in a safe and comfortable environment. My friend and recent Phantom of the Opera, Kieran Brown rewrote the lyrics to Tell Me It’s Not True from the musical Blood Brothers (which Willy Russell was kind enough to give us the rights to rewrite and record). Thanks to everyone involved and to everyone who has downloaded the single so far. You can still download the song from all good music sites like iTunes, Amazon and other music download sites, so please continue to support this amazing cause.

I’d like to say thank you to all my Readers, Subscribers, Social Media Followers, people who have said nice things about my website and equally people who have told me they don’t like what I do! I take it all on board and appreciate the support and feedback. I have been running the website for almost five years now, having taught myself how to do all of this. I don’t claim to have any qualifications in theatre or real experience in writing about performing arts. I just do it because I love going to the theatre and decided to start writing about what I thought.

Thanks to my reviewing team! Together we have reviewed more than 500 shows in 2016 (130 more than in 2015) and westendwilma.com would not be the same without all of their hard work and support.

Finally to the PR Companies who have supplied me with news and review tickets to shows, producers for wanting to work with me and cast members for their time and support with interviews and charity requests.

There are some very exciting plans in the pipeline for 2017 that I can’t wait to share with you. You may have read that I am writing a book so I am excited to be able to share more of myself with you all and let you get to know me a bit better, along with my thoughts and views on the world of theatre. Of course the 2017 Wilma Awards will be back. Bigger and better than ever before!

2016 may have been a sad year for the world, with many great legends lost and less than favourable decisions being made around the world politically for a lot of us. But 2016 has been a great year for theatre and I can’t wait to get stuck in to 2017!

Here’s to a great 2017!

W x