Last week I took a look back at the shows I said I was looking forward to seeing in 2016 and what I actually thought of them in the end. Now it is time for the obligatory end of year round up of my favourite shows from 2016.
It will be unsurprising for you to learn that some of my favourite shows from the first half of 2016 made the shortlist for the 2016 Wilma Awards. Kinky Boots at the Adelphi, Guys and Dolls at the Phoenix Theatre, Chicago UK Tour, Funny Girl at the Savoy, Titanic at the Charing Cross, The Buskers Opera at the PARK, Doctor Faustus at the Duke Of Yorks, Bonnie Langford at the Hippodrome Casino, People, Place and Things at the Wyndham’s, Beyond The Fence at the Arts, Bad Jews at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, Mrs Henderson Presents at the Noel Coward and Nell Gwynn at the Apollo.
More recent shows I have enjoyed, since the awards shortlist was announced have been Half A Sixpence at the Noel Coward, School of Rock at the New London, Dreamgirls at the Savoy, Lazarus at the Kings Cross, Wicked‘s International Tour in Bradford and also the 10th anniversary performance of the London production. Off-west end shows I’ve loved have been The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and both the Union Theatre and Greenwich Theatre, The Burnt Part Boys at the PARK, Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens at the Kings Head, The Boys In The Band at the PARK and Bad Girls at the Union.
Up at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year I saw some really great shows. Tamar Broadbent at the Espionage, Margaret Thatcher: Queen Of Game Shows at the Assembly George Square Gardens, Axis of Awesome at the Gilded Balloon, Sooz Kempner: A Bit of a Character at Just The Tonic and Katie Brennan: Quarter Life Crisis at the Underbelly. My favourite show at the fringe though had to be the hilarious school room comedy Rainbow Class where Vivienne Acheampong taught her primary school class (the audience) their lessons for the day, mixed in with character sketches.
My two favourite kids shows in 2016 have been The Gruffalo at the Lyric, which I enjoyed so much, I even went back to see it again (and even took a child the second time!) and the adorable Mr Poppers Penguins on its UK Tour.
I went to see The Mousetrap this year, which I have seen before but never reviewed and so I’m including it in my list. It’s a brilliant play that has stood the test of time and deserves to still be selling out night after night. The UK tour of Little Shop of Horrors was brilliant when I saw it in Wimbledon and of course, Sunset Boulevard (with both Glenn Close and understudy Ria Jones) at the English National Opera was sublime. I am hoping to catch the Broadway production in March when I am in New York.
No 2016 round-up would be complete without the obligatory mention of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre. Yes, it’s a five hour commitment over two separate shows but it is worth it. One of the best theatre plays the West End has seen for a long time and no expense has been spared in making it as magical as Harry Potter fans would wish.
Let me know your favourite shows from 2016 on social media Facebook Twitter or you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org. Most excitingly of all you can write me an old fashioned letter now as well to my new PO Box address (PO Box 73609, London, SE13 9EE).