Beetlejuice – 33 reasons for a trip to the Netherworld!

Seek a little strange and unusual and you will find…Beetlejuice!

Written by Jade Prince

(Spoilers may or may not be encountered)

That is your warning. Enjoy 🙂

1. Love for the 1988 film 

It’s a classic. It’s loved by all ages. A prime example of the old ones being the best! It’s creepy, funny and manic with the musical capturing it all!

2. Winter Garden Theatre

It’s a stunning theatre which has housed some huge shows including Cats and School of Rock. The theatre has now been given a new lease of life in the Netherworld. All the kooky music and lighting! From the moment you enter the theatre, you are transported to the Netherworld.

Side note: If we get a physical cast album, can the pre-show music been a bonus feature?! That would be the theme song of my apartment!

3. The cast recording (out now! Go buy/stream!!)

On. Repeat. For. Days.

Sometimes cast recordings don’t stand alone however this one is very comfortable out there! All the little details are included but more importantly you can listen to that insanely talented cast whenever you want!

Its a buffet of different styles. As cliché as it sounds, Eddie Perfect (Music & Lyrics) is living up to his name…PERFECT! *cringe* There, we said it.

Out now! Go get it! I’d say ‘go listen to it right now’ but finish reading, first. After 🙂 

4. The fabulous, loving cast

(Reminder: meeting the cast at stage door is not a given when you purchase a ticket for the show. Don’t be a dick if they don’t come out. Treat them with love and respect…simple!)

I have been fortunate enough to meet pretty much the whole cast at stage door and I can say, hand on my heart, I have never met a cast who have been that welcoming, humble and polite at stage door. The time they give to the fans following the show is heartwarming. It’s a rare sight. They do 8 shows a week and normally have packed schedules in between.

But it’s not just meeting fans. You can really see they love and respect each other as a cast. This shines through on stage making their performance a joy to watch!

5. Sophia Anne Caruso 

For those who have seen her perform, you know the deal. She’s a star!

For for those who haven’t seen the show or heard that name, straight off the bat, get used to hearing that name because she is gonna be big! At 17, she has more professionalism than most people who have been in the business for year! Her performance was flawless. Vocally perfect and consistent each time I’ve seen her perform.

As Lydia, she broke my heart in act 2. The vulnerability and pain penetrated that auditorium. The first time I saw the show, even in the very back row of the mezzanine, she made me wince.

That’ll be something that stays with me for a long time.

Sophia is such a diverse actress and so wonderfully displays all the different layers to Lydia.

6. The merchandise

Broadway does it better! Sorry, west end.

They’ve got everything covered. I walked out with far too much. I have a problem.

There’s the standard T-shirts, hoodies, mugs and magnets however it is the only place where breathers can pick up their very own copy of the ‘Handbook for the Recently Deceased’

7. The crew 

Show crews never get enough respect! We wanna give them some love!

The types of scene changes these guys do are incredible! And the audience never hears a peep! I know that sounds really weird to pick up on but I have seen big professional shows where you can hear the crew thumping around backstage. Little things like this appease me.

8. Costumes 

William Ivey Long has remained loyal to the film but has managed to put a brand-new spin on the style! Although the silhouettes appear very standard, up close they are stunning works of art. The layering of fabrics and colours can easily be overlooked. I urge you to take a moment and really look when you see the show.

Scenes to focus on are the opening number and Lydia’s dress in the finale. During the opening number, the mourners are obviously shrouded in black however the fabric has been selected with such precision. William Ivey Long has layered fabric upon fabric to add extra dimension and to provide the Burton-esque package. During an interview, Sophia Anne Caruso revealed that there are hidden undertones of blue in her finale dress and the link this has to a beetle’s shell.

It really is fascinating and such an important element of the show!

9. Big Sandy

We love Big Sandy! Retaining the icon look from the film, she only appears a handful of times during the show but is definitely a scene-stealer!

10. Female power

Lydia, Barbara and Delia are three strong women and make an awesome trio! Each character is going through their own struggles but still push forward to make the best of their current situation.

They take control.

11. Hilarious one-liners

The script to this show is another level. The years of editing and tweaking have truly paid off. It has been crafted so meticulously with comedy woven throughout. I have never known a script to provide so many memorable one-liners.

12. Lydia taking centre stage 

The plot follows the same path as the movie however a slight change of focus has been made. The movie plot focused on Beetlejuice as the lead character whereas the musical has bumped Lydia from a supporting character to the lead and she even takes the final bow!

Lydia’s grief is explored in more detail and it is clearer to see the impact losing her mother has had.

But fear not hard core fans of the film! Beetlejuice has far more stage time than the film!

13. Day-O

Can you even have Beetlejuice without Day-O?!

14. Shake, shake, shake.

Oh, or shake, shake, shake, Senora!

15. All the magic! 

There are so many awesome illusions and effects dotted throughout the show. From fire, to puppets, to pyro, all of this combined with the show’s other elements is a feast for the eyes!

16. Levitation 

Linking in with the previous point, cast members actually levitate. It is quiet literally a no-strings-attached kind of deal!

17. All the iconic movie scenes and lines

You get them all. The Deetz arriving in the Maitland’s house. The dinner scene. Entering the Netherworld. Even the set up of the finale is pretty much identical to the film! But it all has its very own unique and modernised twist.

Since seeing Beetlejuice on Broadway, I have re-watched the film and had my little mind blown by just how many lines are kept in the musical script!

18. The beloved characters returning 

It’s a quirky family!

19. The new characters 

They slip straight in. A natural fit!

20. Alex Brightman 

Has there ever been a guy as sweet, genuine and kind?

No. No there hasn’t. A rare gem in the industry.

The level of energy he brings to Beetlejuice is exhausting to watch but you can’t look away! He commands your attention. The whole character of Beetlejuice feels brand-new with his interpretation.

We have so much love and respect for Alex!

21. Character development 

This was the element where the film lacked the most. Along with the change in lead characters, every character has been focused on in order to see their development from start to finish. The most obvious is Beetlejuice and Lydia. You can now see Beetlejuice go on this chaotic journey where he desperately wants to be alive and accepted by people but is using all the wrong techniques to win people over. You can see little glimmers of him learning how to deal with the living.

With Lydia, you can see she is struggling to deal with the loss of her mother and is also desperately seeking for something to make her complete. An inner strength is found.

I adore the character development of Delia and the information about her past which is dropped here and there during the show. Some laugh out loud moments!

22. Tackling topics such as mental health and grief 

Mental health is more discussed nowadays however it still has a long way to go. Beetlejuice shows how grief and mental health can come as a pair but also how it can be overlooked for younger people suffering.

Death is obviously very prominent in the show and is typically a taboo subject in society which everyone avoids. Beetlejuice the musical has this awesome ability to show that it should be discussed, it shouldn’t be as feared and that we should be grabbing/cherishing every single moment life gives us.

23. Lyrics

They’re clever, witty and memorable. But they also have this ability to evoke so many emotions. One moment they’ll have you on this high, chuckling away and the next completely shatter your heart. The heart shattering moments do not last long before you are swept up on another high!

But bottom line is, you’re gonna leave the show with the lyrics stuck in your head! That’s a given!

24. The message delivered in the show 

It’s heartwarming. Everyone will take a different message away but for me, the message I got was life is far too short. You need to take the rough with the smooth and when it is difficult, you need to buckle down, find the good and keep going.

Happiness is up to me!

25. The set

It’s big and crazy just like Beetlejuice! The main set goes through 4 different changes during the show. And it’s HUGE! In between all of that you have the small set pieces. It’s all so beautiful to look at! So much has been packed into the set and hidden away. They’re are bits that catch you off guard and you feel like a little kid again!

The transitions between sets are also really impressive!

26. Girl Scout 

Ooh, I’m gonna sell some cookies!

Dana Steingold is as cute as a button!

27. It’s ability to take current taboo topics and make light of them 

It’s a dark show. The topics it touches upon are dark so dark comedy is a must!

This dark comedy does touch even boundary and goes straight for those current issues. It’s unapologetic. So many people hide away from that kind of stuff but sometime it is best just to laugh about it and you most certainly will!

28. Tim Burton-vibes all over the place (obviously required!)

Beetlejuice the musical still screams Tim Burton!

The world of Tim Burton has been unleashed on that stage and I am living for it!

29. F*ck Brigadoon

Sometimes you just need one person to say what everyone else is thinking! Ha!

30. Vocals

Oh. My. word.

Listening to them on the cast recording is brilliant but it is a whole new experience being in the room and hearing that cast live!

31. Say goodbye to that 4th wall

I must admit, I normally do not enjoy this. Mainly because when the 4th wall is removed, it is done excessively and very quickly becomes boring. I’m over it. However, the way Beetlejuice does it is perfect in every way!

I can only recall Beetlejuice himself removing the 4th wall…oh, actually there is one other moment which could count but that is numerous character all on stage at once. Having one character remove the 4th wall is great especially when the character is Beetlejuice. It is a really nice touch and highlights the fact that he is not part of that world. He has this ability to see the ‘real’ world on stage but also the audience.

32. That feel good ending! *I could cry*

A feel-good number to end the show is most certainly needed considering the dark topics/humour. I love a show with a finale that elevates you to an all-time high where you could cry with happiness. This show does that for me!

The lyrics really get to me along with the stunning harmonies and structure of the song.

Random fact: My two favourite shows (Beetlejuice and In the Heights) end with the lyrics “I’m home’. I always need a moment after thinking about that. 

33. It’s a complete sucks-YES!!!

 

Have we covered everything?! Let us know why YOU love the show!

 

The Luna Cinema

The Luna Cinema

★★★★★

The Luna Cinema

Lydiard Park, Swindon

 

Seen August 10th, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★★★

You may be asking “Why is a theatre blog reviewing a cinema experience?” Well, I do hear that cry! The answer,  The Luna Cinema is showing an awful lot of theatre inspired movies and movies that eventually went to the stage as plays or musicals. What a time to be alive! 

I’ve heard bits about The Luna Cinema for a long time now but this year it has seemed to have really taken off…the weather probably helped with this! They advertise pretty much everywhere on social media and I just so happened to stumble across a post advertising one coming up in my home town. They were showing Pretty Woman in front of Lydiard House and I was needing to see this with my friend, Jenny, as we are both flying out to New York in October to see it on Broadway!

The premise of  The Luna Cinema is rather simple. It is a cinema, outside and under the stars. It is such a cute idea!

I knew the layout of Lydiard Park and I wasn’t too sure how this would work but I was in awe at how organised everything was. From the carpark it was clear exactly where we had to go. A short walk through the trees and you were at the open space. The whole Luna Cinema area was sectioned off. The gates opened at 7pm which gave plenty of time to find a wonderful spot, have a picnic and a few drinks with friends.

Entering The Luna Cinema arena we were greeted by friendly staff. I had a great laugh with the guy on the premium entry gate!

Everything was set up in a really orderly fashion. There were toilets, a pizza stand (I am not sure if this changes at each venue? It would be great if they used local vendors) and a bar which served an array of drinks. It wasn’t too over priced either which is always a pleasant surprise! At the bar you can also purchase blankets and backrests if the ground becomes to unbearable to sit on however they are also very happy for you to bring along your own folding picnic chair.

Once in, I pitched up near the front but honestly the screen was big enough to not cause a problem for those at the back.

Before the film, they had music playing in the background. The film was scheduled to start at 8:30pm however this was slightly delayed as the light would interfere with the projection. I did applaud that part. The team were not rushing to start the film. They wanted to make sure that everyone could enjoy the film from the onset in the most optimal lighting.

To end, I thought that it was a really cute event. This was the perfect setting to see Pretty Woman. You got to lay back, what the film and the stars darting across the sky.

The Luna Cinema happens at many different venues all across the UK so be sure to check their website to find your local venue and what they are showing!

There is also Luna Kids Cinema so the little ones can keep their eyes open during the whole film.

 

 

West End Bake Off 2018

“Each year it helps to raise money for the outstanding charity ‘Acting For Others’. This year alone, £9,500 was raised in those short hours. Isn’t that mad?!”

May 19th, 2018

This year I was delighted when I found out I was in London the weekend of West End Bake off. But to make it even better…I was free between 11am-1pm!!! Winning!

You all know I went.

West End Bake off has been a successful charity event which is held each year in the cosy grounds of The Actor’s Church in Covent Garden. Each year it helps to raise money for the outstanding charity ‘Acting For Others’. This year alone, £9,500 was raised in those short hours. Isn’t that mad?!

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The sun came out in all its glory to support the event. There was a real buzz as you entered with everyone eager to see the stagey creations. Roughly 20 west end shows turned up to displayed their baking skills and support. So much talent!

To say everything was rammed in there was an understatement. It won’t be long until they will need a bigger venue, it’s that popular!

Not only are there loads of cakes on sale for £1 but they also have a poster stand. Some are signed by the current west end cast which have a higher price tag. Others are slightly older. I noticed a single Kinky Boots poster signed by the one and only Cyndi Lauper. They range in prices but lets face it, us theatre lovers don’t care and we know the money is going to a fabulous cause. I made a bee-line for that and managed (by some miracle) to land my hands on the very last signed Hamilton poster. I died!

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Some of the shows also sell merchandise on their cake stands which is another wonderful element. Hamilton did great by holding several auctions for signed t-shirts. From what I was hearing, each one went for about £60! In between all of these auctions I just HAD to make a donation and have a photo with the cast whilst showing of my beautiful poster! I’m trash! But, hey! It started a trend and they started taking photos with people for a small donation. All for the cause!

It wouldn’t be a bake off without having the cakes judged by some guest judges. Previous winners include 42nd Street, The Secret Garden and The Mousetrap. This year, the trio of judges were made up of Ruthie Henshall, Christopher Biggins and Wendi Peters. They had so many cakes to judge. After a difficult decision they crowned ‘Young Frankenstein’ the winner of 2018. They are now the proud owners of ‘Cuppy’! It’s such a cute trophy!

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Trophy photo credit: West End Bake Off 

It was such a great start to the weekend and I cannot wait until the next one!

Head over to West End Bake Off’s website and twitter for the latest information on this one of a kind event.

See you next year!

SeatPlan

If you are part of the theatre community I am pretty certain that you will have come across ‘SeatPlan’ at some point. If you haven’t, you will soon enough. This will change your whole seat buying experience. 

If you are a regular reader you will remember that I mentioned this site during my ‘getting the better seats without breaking the bank’ post. 

“A website I use before I make any ticket transactions is SeatPlan. This is a fabulous website especially if you are not familiar with the theatre or seating plan. SeatPlan offers an interactive seat map for the majority of the big theatres in the west end and a handful nationwide. They rely on their members to upload seat reviews and many of them include photos of the view of the stage from that particular seat. These are completely honest reviews which are monitored. So far it has never failed me. They also provide an incentive for their members to review seats with credit which can add up to theatre tokens. Another great way to save money! Currently, you will receive 40p for each photo you upload once your review has been approved. You can start doing this now if you haven’t already! Just head to their website and sign up for free. They also offer great ticket deals through their website so that is also worth checking out.”   A extract from said post but it sums the website up nicely.

SeatPlan was created in 2011 and has grown so much. A little birdy tells me they are looking to develop the site further so I thought I would make my opinions known! Ha! 

I have been an active member on this site since the summer of 2015 (if I remember correctly. It’s been a fair few years for sure) and I have to say this is my go to website when I am buying tickets regardless of which site I use to purchase them. It is and always has been so easy to navigate. It is such a clean set up which allows you to do everything you need straight away. My only nag about the navigation of the page is that I do struggle bringing the list of London theatres up. There has been a few occasions where I’ve wanted a trusted list of the main London theatres so I have turned to SeatPlan. I know the list is on there but it would be nice having it at the top of the page instead of having to scroll down to the bottom. What would be even better is having a side menu where you could select just that. Typing this, it has just come to mind how useful a map of ‘theatre land’ would be! You literally could find everything on one site. I know that when I book shows I like to fit as much in as possible and seeing how close the theatres are is key. It is such a hassle switching from websites to google maps. I have a fairly good knowledge of ‘theatre land’ but still need help on occasion. 

When I found out a while back you could purchase tickets for shows in London via SeatPlan I had to have a little peek. I was actually really impressed. This isn’t a feature that I have used loads but when I have they have always had great seats at great prices. I can’t say that it is the same for every show but they haven’t disappointed yet. I really need to make a habit of checking there first before booking anything. I have a feeling I could save lots of money. 

To upload reviews you do have to create a profile which I, personally, really love. It is such a great way to keep track of the shows I have seen and various theatre trips. The timeline at the bottom of your profile is a great touch. It saves me having to dig out my hefty ticket scrapbooks to see if I have been to that venue before, actually sat in the same seat or in a similar area, etc. You can just scroll through the timeline, click on the relevant show tab and it will show you the date you saw the show, where you sat and the review you left on the site. Obviously you are restricted as you can only add reviews to the theatres they have listed on the website. There have been times where I have been looking for certain seat plans but they didn’t cover it. I think it would be nice to have a section dedicated to seat plan for theatre all over London. There are a lot I have come across that aren’t on there. Not so much for members to write reviews (and gain credits) but to get an accurate seat plan. A lot of the seat plans online are not accurate. This would be a nice touch, completely separate to the main aspect of the site where you add reviews. Maybe just keep the reviews to the main theatres currently listed on the site? 

The profile aspect could really be used to gain a community feel on the site. At the moment you can see a percentage of the user profiles on the leaderboards but apart from that you can’t really do anything else. This is the same with the monthly competitions held. We never hear much about the winner unless you actively search for it via the tab at the bottom of the site page. Members all receive the emails reminding them of the competitions (actually mine are on occasion, not every month) but that is all we really hear. 

Rewarding reviewers is a great incentive. I loved earning rewards that add up to theatre tokens that arrive in the post. I’m not gonna lie, these tokens helped to fund my Dreamgirls addiction! It has been sad watching the individual credit amount decrease over the years. When I first started it was £1 per photo from your seat and then it went to 50p per photo (ticket and seat) but now it is 40p per photo. I understand it is a business and needs to make money but it just takes forever now to gain those theatre tokens. The hand written notes that come with the theatre tokens are really cute. You’ve got to love Susannah for doing that. That is one thing I admire. Even though there are thousands upon thousands of members they still keep that personal touch. 

I do wish that it was compulsory to add photos to the reviews. There is nothing worse than seeing someone has reviewed a seat (especially in a part of a theatre which is less reviewed) to find that it is really vague with no photo. You then have to take a stab in the dark and hope for the best when booking seats. 

I have often asked myself the question – why don’t the have guest bloggers or takeovers on their social media. I most certainly would love to read a guest post, say once a month and get an awesome insight into the theatre world. This could be another aspect which could completely explode and be great for SeatPlan! 

Just to be really picky I shall comment on the overall appearance of the site – it does look rather bland. As I have already mentioned the navigation is easy but Seatplan almost loses its identity as you scroll down the page. 

The next step for SeatPlan is definitely an app.  I believe it would open so many doors. I personally would then add reviews as soon as I have them instead of waiting to upload several at once. This could also really help them which the selling of theatre tickets. I’m all about having that immediate access on my phone. My bank account isn’t, but I am! 

I’m opinionated so there are some of my thoughts. It has been great watching the site develop and grow over the years and I really look forward to seeing where it goes in the near future. And on that note, I need to add all the seat reviews I have been allowing to accumulate. BYE!! 

From Numbers to Words: the development of ‘Myth’ 

I saw Myth back in 2016 at the Cockpit theatre under its previous name, ’27’. For those not aware of this story, it is heavily based on Ancient Greek mythology. More specifically, Orpheus and his encounter with the underworld. As the rock score would imply it is a modern rendition of this historical tale. Over the past two years it has gone back into development. Here, I will be making a note of the changes I notices and whether I personally feel that they were beneficial for the shows development.

–Keeping in line with my other posts, I shall be keeping this very honest.–

I do have to say this right off the bat before we go any further  – I don’t like the new name. It is so generic. My response to the name change was ‘myth, of what?’. 27 was much more catchy and more unique. It gave the insight as to what the show was about without revealing too much and was still enough to spark people’s curiosity. Having spoke to Sam Cassidy after the 2018 show, I still stand by my view. His reasoning behind the name change is valid however I feel it could have been executed in a better way. I don’t feel that Myth markets the show as it should do and is actually underselling it currently. If I hadn’t have previously seen 27 and I had stumbled across Myth’s page on The Other Palace’s website I would have been, “Okay, if I get around to seeing it, I’ll see it”, It wouldn’t have gone straight to the top of my theatre list.

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When I saw the show back in 2016 the only real criticism I had was the script. It had a real amateur feel to it. Something which I would have expected to see from a GCSE candidate. I was very pleased to see that the 2018 production had had a lot of work done on it script wise. It seemed so much stronger. Back at the cockpit it wasn’t until act 2 that you actually realised the story whereas now it is made clear from the onset. The script seems a lot more engaging with quick little one-liners throughout. Those did make me chuckle. It was a nice touch having these as the show is very dark so it was almost a relief to be laughing at moments. There was one scene in act 1 where Orpheus meets Hades for the first time in the Underworld and for me that was the weakest part in the script. It seemed incredibly long winded for what was happening. I actually did lose interest and was willing for the next number to start because I knew how great the music was! But to only have this in one part of the show was a great step up.

Side note on the script – I adore the fact they kept the section on “hey, boy. What are you thinking about?”. My heart melted. “You, my favourite thing” Gone. Love it.

I really like the fact the ‘fates’ had more of a presents this time. It felt like they did anyway. It was great seeing a deeper characterisation of them. Atropos being the ‘mummy’ fate and keeping the other two in check and then jumping to the other extreme with Clotho who seemed to be the youngest with a purer heart.

I understand that this was a workshop production so the budget was very limited however I would definitely like to see more of a difference in the reality and the underworld. Just to make things a little clearer on the audience’s side. Same goes with the character appearances. I loved the way the ensemble were predominately in black but I did think Orpheus and the other band members didn’t have a real rock look. They could have easily passed for a mediocre pop group (which, I suppose, is what they are to start with!). I just wasn’t getting that rock star vibe especially from Orpheus.

This 2018 version had a lot of new songs added. Some I was able to catch and noted that they were the new ones but they all blended in so well. Went so naturally together. So much so, some I completely believed had already been in the show. Once again, the music is just incredible. It is always a positive when you come out of the theatre singing the songs. One of the new editions which actually closed the show was great! Definitely the anthem of the show. I mean, it was rather cliche. I really up beat, feel good song but it is a well justified remedy after a show touching on some depressing elements.

The characterisation of Hades definitely changed but I appreciate this will differ from actor to actor. Ryan Malloy gave it a more edgier feel whilst portraying the sinister side. After all, he is the devil! Whereas this time around it was more…annoying. It was the very typical *insert British accent* “proper British devil!”. You didn’t want to hate or like him, rather ignore him.

I know this post seems incredibly negative however I really do want the best for this show. I absolutely adore it and will continuously be raving about it. It has such great potential and I cannot wait to see it blossom into the next West End hit!

I did review the workshop production at The Other Palace is you are interested in reading that too!

Olivier Awards 2018 Nominations and Predictions

It’s been a week since the Olivier Award nominees were announced and I am very behind on the whole theatre scene due to health issues however I am now on the mend and have decided to do a little write-up on the nominations. This is probably the very first year that I have agreed with the selection. Other years I have completely disagreed. While I still believe the range of shows and talent acknowledged is limited, this year seems to have taken the talent factor into account as a pose to the popularity factor. SOLT, you are improving!

— Those in bold are the ones I want to win. Those bold AND underlined are my predictions for the actual winner of the category. If there is only one in bold and underlined it is because that is what I want to win and also predict to win. I won’t be making comments on all of the predictions I make. Also, final note, I shall be linking some of my reviews through out this post so be sure to check them out! —

Lets crack on!

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Best New Musical

An American in Paris, Dominion Theatre

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Apollo Theatre

Girl From the north Country, The Old Vic and Noel Coward Theatre

Hamilton, Victoria Palace Theatre

Young Frankenstein, Garrick Theatre

I really want Hamilton to win but then again I am a Hamilton whore so that’s that! The only one that I really can’t see winning is Young Frankenstein. I really didn’t like that show. Not my humour at all and An American in Paris was very mediocre. I can see Everybody’s Talking About Jamie smashing it simply because it is 100% relevant at the moment. That’s not me saying that something shouldn’t win because it’s not relevant. If it’s making an impact on society, it’s great!

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Best New Play

The Ferryman, Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Ink, Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre

Network, National Theatre – Lyttelton

Oslo, Harold Pinter Theatre

This category is difficult to predict. The small handful of shows that I never got around to see! Ha! And they all seemed to be received very well.

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Best Director

Dominic Cooke, FOLLIES, National Theatre – Olivier

Marianne Elliott, ANGEL IN AMERICA, National Theatre – Lyttelton

Rupert Goold, INK, Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre

Thomas Kail, HAMILTON, Victoria Palace Theatre

Sam Mendes, THE FERRYMAN, Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

HAM-IL-TON!!!! You’re going to start seeing a pattern here! It was just stunning!

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Best Actress

Laura Donnelly, THE FERRYMAN, Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Lesley Manville, LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT, Wyndham’s Theatre

Audra McDonald, LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR & GRILL, Wyndham’s Theatre

Imelda Staunton, WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, Harold Pinter Theatre

How can you put two queens together?! I didn’t have the chance to see Laura or Lesley but both Audra and Imelda were outstanding! Two very different performances but both still touched me and left an impact.

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Best Actor

Paddy Considine, THE FERRYMAN, Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Bryan Cranston, NETWORK, National Theatre – Lyttelton

Andrew Garfield, ANGELS IN AMERICA, National Theatre – Lyttelton

Andrew Scott, HAMLET, Almeida Theatre

Once again, this is another category I can’t really comment on so I’ve made my prediction based on what I’ve heard.

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Outstanding Achievement in Opera

Paul Brown for his set and costume designs for IOLANTHE, London Coliseum

Joyce Didonato and Daniela Barcellona for their performance in SEMIRAMIDE, Royal Opera House

Roderick Williams for his performance in the Royal Opera’s THE RETURN OF ULYSSES, The Roundhouse

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Best New Opera

La Boheme, Trafalgar Studios 2 

The Exterminating Angel, Royal Opera House

Semiramide, Royal Opera House

I got to see La Boheme and I was blown away! I’ve linked my review just incase you have the urge to read it but it was such a beautiful modernised version of such a well-known classic.

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Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Brid Brennan, THE FERRYMAN, Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Denise Gough, ANGLES IN AMERICA, National Theatre – Lyttelton

Deaebhla Molloy, THE FERRYMAN, Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Imogen Poots, WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, Harold Pinter Theatre

I have a feeling ‘Angels in America’ is going to dominate the play categories.

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Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Bertie Carvel, INK, Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre

John Hodgkinson, THE FERRYMAN, Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

James McArdle, ANGLES IN AMERICA, National Theatre – Lyttelton

Peter Polycarpou, OSLO, Harold Pinter Theatre

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Best Set Design

Bunny Christie, INK, Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre

Bob Crowley and 59 Productions, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, Dominion Theatre

Rob Howell, THE FERRYMAN, Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Vicki Mortimer, FOLLIES, National Theatre – Olivier 

The set of Follies was stunning. Definitely the type of set design that I love!

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Best Costume Design

Hugh Darrant, DICK WHITTINGTON, London Palladium

Roger Kirk, 42ND STREET, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Vicki Mortier, FOLLIES, National Theatre – Olivier

Paul Tazewell, HAMILTON, Victoria Palace Theatre

These fours shows were great with there own costumes but for me personally, there can only be one winner.

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Best Sound Design

Tom Gibbons, HAMELT, Almeida Theatre

Gareth Owen, BAT OUT OF HELL THE MUSICAL, London Coliseum

Eric Sleichim, NETWORK, National Theatre – Lyttelton

Nevin Steiner, HAMILTON, Victoria Palace Theatre 

Another close call but as soon as you hear ‘dun, du-du-du-dun, dun, dun’ you have to hand over that award.

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Best Lighting Design

Howell Binkley, HAMILTON, Victoria Palace Theatre

Paule Constable, ANGLES IN AMERICA, National Theatre – Lyttelton

Paule Constable, FOLLIES, National Theatre – Olivier

Jan Versweyveld, NETWORK, National Theatre – Lyttelton

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Outstanding Achievement in Affiliated Theatre

The B*easts, Bush Theatre

Killology, Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

The Red Lion, Trafalgar Studios 2

The Revlon Girl, Park Theatre

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Best New Comedy

Dry Powder, Hampstead Theatre

Labour of Love, Noel Coward Theatre

Mischief Movie Night, Arts Theatre

The Miser, Garrick Theatre

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Best Revival

Angels in America, National Theatre – Lyttelton

Hamlet, Almeida Theatre

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Harold Pinter Theatre 

Witness For the Prosecution, London County Hall

I went to see ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ on a whim. I found a cheap seat and everyone was raving about it and was horrified to find out it was 3 hours long. At that point I didn’t like plays and had only seen a handful. But, woah! To say I enjoyed it was an understatement. Those three hours flew by. I was captivated.

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Best Actress in a Musical

Janie Dee, FOLLIES, National Theatre – Olivier

Shirley Henderson, GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY, The Old Vic and Noel Coward Theatre

Imelda Staunton, FOLLIES, National Theatre – Olivier 

Josie Walker, EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE, Apollo Theatre

For me the winner has to be Shirley Henderson. Everything about her performance in ‘Girl from the North Country’ was flawless. Such a difficult role. All the ladies did very well in this category though.

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Best Actor in a Musical

Ciaran Hinds, GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY, The Old Vic and Noel Coward Theatre

John McCrea, EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE, Apollo Theatre

Giles Terera, HAMILTON, Victoria Palace Theatre

Jamael Westman, HAMILTON, Victoria Palace Theatre

I have a strong feeling John McCrea will win this one. I don’t necessarily agree with this if it happens. His performance wasn’t out of this world. Considering Jamael is new to the scene he has done so well! I was a little dubious seeing someone fresh out of drama school would be taking the lead in Hamilton but I was pleasantly surprised!

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Best Musical Revival

42nd Street, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Follies, National Theatre – Olivier 

On The Town, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

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Best Theatre Choreographer

Andy Blankenbuehler, HAMILTON, Victoria Palace Theatre 

Bill Deamer, FOLLIES, National Theatre – Olivier

Kate Prince, EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE, Apollo Theatre

Randy Skinner, 42ND STREET, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Christopher Wheeldon, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, Dominion Theatre

Hamilton is gonna win this one! But the choreography in both ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ and ‘42nd Street’ was beautiful. Completely different styles which complimented the shows perfectly and evoked different emotions.

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Best Entertainment & Family

David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny, Garrick Theatre

Derren Brown: Underground, Playhouse Theatre 

Dick Whittington, London Palladium

Five Guys Named Moe, Marble Arch Theatre

How did I miss/forget about this category?! Derren Brown is an outstanding show man! And, come on, it was at Playhouse. My baby! But I do think Gangsta Granny will win simply by popularity with entire families however I didn’t hear much about it when it was playing at Garrick Theatre. Maybe it will be the dark horse.

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Outstanding Achievement in Dance

Rocio Molina for pushing the boundary of flamenco in FALLEN FROM HEAVEN (CAIDA DEL CIELO) for Dance Umbrella, Barbican Theatre

Francesce Velicu for her performance in English National Ballet’s Production of Pina Bausch’s LE SACRE DU PRINTEMPS, Sadler’s Wells

Zenaida Yanowsky for her performance in Liam Scarlett’s SYMPHONIC DANCES for the Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House

I actually have no predictions for this partly because I am so unfamiliar with the pieces also I fell that dance is very subjective.

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Best New Dance Production

Flight Pattern, Crystal Pite for the Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House

Goat, Ben Duke for Rumbert Dance Company, Sadler’s Wells

Grand Finale, Hofesh Shechter, Salder’s Wells

Tree of Codes, Wayne McGregor and the Paris Opera Ballet, Sadler’s Wells

Once again, I actually have no predictions for this partly because I am so unfamiliar with the pieces also I fell that dance is very subjective.

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Outstanding Achievement in Music

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, music and orchestrations by Dan Gillespie Sells, his debut as a musical theatre composer and orchestrator, Apollo Theatre

Follies, the orchestra, under the Music Supervision of Nicholas Skillbeck and Music Director Nigel Lilley, National Theatre – Olivier

Girl From the north Country, music & lyrics by Bob Dylan, original orchestrations & arrangements by Simon Hale, The Old Vic and Noel Coward Theatre

Hamilton, composer-lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda, Victoria Palace Theatre

LIN. LIN. LIN. KING!

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Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical

Shelia Atim, GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY, The Old Vic and Noel Coward Theatre

Tracie Bennett, FOLLIES, National Theatre – Olivier

Rachel John, HAMILTON, Victoria Palace Theatre 

Lesley Josph, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, Garrick Theatre

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Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical

Michael Jibson, HAMILTON, Victoria Palace Theatre

Ross Noble, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, Garrick Theatre

Jason Pennycooke, HAMILTON, Victoria Palace Theatre

Cleve September, HAMILTON, Victoria Palace Theatre 

Not even a second thought, Cleve all the way! So proud of that guy and how far he has come over the past couple of years!!!! The others are great in this category but it HAS to be Cleve!

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Now lets wait and see how completely wrong I am! All the best to everyone nominated. You should all be proud of the achievement of getting this far!

Theatre Maker Launch at the Cockpit Theatre

Sunday 18th February, 2018

For those not familiar with the Cockpit theatre, it is a fabulous little venue in Marylebone. It is a chameleon of a building. Used for rehearsal spaces, a main theatre auditorium with 420 seats and a bar where they host a number of different events. Whether that is presenting shows, hosting events, training days, industry events, the Cockpit is an incredibly welcoming space which cherishes new creators and their works.

They have been working on a brand new hub focusing on those making theatre. This hub will consist of classes, courses, workshops, talks and drop in session in order to aid people with new skills and to share and develop their own ideas. Various workshops will take place as well as the weekly drop in session scheduled for every Wednesday at 6pm in the bar.

In this blog I shall be giving a run down of the launch day, what went well, what I didn’t like so much and then I shall be delving into what is on offer and what taster sessions I took part in. These will be in more detail explaining exactly what we did and what you can expect to see followed by MORE information of the available course along with prices, date and time frames.

From the moment I stepped foot into the theatre I was greeted with a fabulous friendly welcome which you can always expect from the Cockpit staff. You’re always made to feel welcome there and I truly believe that this would be the best place in London to take evening classes/courses/share ideas with other creatives.

When we arrived we were given the agenda detailing everything that would be happening over the next 4/5 hours. There was also the breakdown of the taster sessions happening through the day with 3 lots of 40 minute session with 10 minute breaks.

The agenda for the morning:

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(I’ve circled the taster session I attended)

The numbers were very disappointing considering how any people had booked on. All of those people who were no shows really missed out on some great sessions.

The first session of the day was ‘From Theatre Maker to Film Maker’ led by Steve North. This was great and provided a brand new experience. Steve has had a very colourful career initially starting off in acting and has now moved into theatre making. His most recent achievement was co-writing the short film ‘Through the K-Hole’ and directed the hard winning ‘Cregan’.

His actual course is a lot longer however we had a great insight. He stripped it right back and we started looking at our own memories and how they are personal. We did a simple exercise of writing down three different memories: one from last year, one from last week and one personal memory from any point in our lives. We then paired up and had to tell the other person our memory. It was then open for them to retell that memory to us and then in the group when we all came together, stood in the dark. It was a very strange experience because these memories that had once been our own where now someone else’s. It was such a strange feeling listen to your own memory from a different person. I found myself sympathising and nodding my head as if I was sympathising with the person even though it was what I had dealt with. We did this a few time but it was a great way to see how we connect to personal stories and the benefit of focusing on a personal experience when starting to write the concept and script for a short film.

The second taster session of the day was with Sarah Fraser and focused on making theatre from scratch. Obviously this is a very broad topic and her course will delve in deeper to the whole process but it was great what we did in the session.

A little background on Sarah – she has helped create the theatre company ‘Hoax’. In 2012 she graduated from the Central School of Speech and Drama with her MA in Classical Acting. From there she has worked in immersive theatre and has had a real focus on physical theatre, using voice on the body to create brand new work.

It was basically a whole game session to break the ice and make everyone feel comfortable around each other which is obviously key when working in a team which need to be very close and on the same wave-length. The improvisation game was fabulous. We were simply handed a scarf and told to run wild with one rule: the scarf could not at any point be used as a scarf. It was great to see people improvising and for others in the group to so willingly join in with ideas. Everyone was on board 110%. Sarah’s energy and passion was infectious and I strongly believe that people on this course will benefit immensely.

The third and final taster session I took part in wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. If you have read my previous blogs and review you will have noticed that I like to go into things ‘blind’. Without knowing the story/previous reviews/or reading much on the theatre website so I did not read into each of the different taster sessions. I simply turned up on the day and selected whatever sounded interesting to me. This was the ‘making theatre using visual and physical techniques’ session led by Miriam King.

For some reason I was expecting it to be very heavily focused on props and scenery and other ways of presenting the story on stage. I was very wrong. Miriam specialises in physical movement and how that tells the story. The exercise we did was very beneficial in understanding how to ground ourselves and move into a neutral state. This would be perfect for actors when transforming into drastically different characters from their normal selves however I did struggle to connect and enjoy it. I know that sounds really harsh but it just wasn’t something I enjoy. Miriam is very experienced and really puts the whole of herself into her teachings.

Before I knew it the taster sessions where over and it was time to watch the performance of ‘The Silent Stream’ which was written and performed by Jonathan Brown.

This was definitely not my type of theatre. I started drifting into my theatre reviewer state (not that I was there to review the performance). We saw this performance as Jonathan Brown runs the ‘Making theatre as a solo performer’ course which will be running as part of Theatre Maker. Having read up on the one man show since I have seen it, I do believe that there is greatness behind it. Especially as its has sequels entitled “Betsy: Wisdom of a Brighton Whore” (a one woman show) and “The Well” (ensemble piece). I would be intrigued to see these pieces now. I found the performance of ‘The Silent Stream’ to be very slow. It seemed to be a little all over the place and was very hard to follow. I personally feel that it would work better as an ensemble piece. This might help it flow better especially when two or more characters are presented at once on stage. What I saw definitely had potential though.

Anyway, this isn’t a review on that show, its a write up on the whole ‘Theatre Maker’ launch day experience! I really enjoyed it from the start. I have to admit ‘the Silent Stream’ was the only let down. It didn’t advertise the course in the best way and I think a lot of people were lacking enthusiasm by that point. From the taster sessions I have seen, I really do have high hopes for what the Cockpit have planned.

Below I shall include all the information you will need about the different courses, prices, time frames, and dates as well as links to the cockpit so you can keep up to date with all of their latest information and for the possibility to attend any future taster sessions.

The classes which will be offered area:

For more information on Theatre Maker at the Cockpit: http://thecockpit.org.uk/Theatremaker

Follow the Cockpit on twitter for all of the latest information: https://twitter.com/cockpittheatre

Thank you or reading this far! Here is a little reward – If you book onto a course before 6pm Monday 26th February, 2018 you can take full advantage of the one-off launch day code ‘INVOLVED18’ to get 15% off! You’re welcome!

Life is too short. Take the chance and make captivating theatre!

February theatre that has me excited!

February is almost here.

February is almost here. Anyone else taken a dislike to how fast January went by?!

But with a new month brings new shows to see and there are several that I am really looking forward to seeing in February!

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February holds John Thaw’s Initiative Season at the Actor’s Centre where many writers showcase their new work. One I am looking forward to and already have tickets for is ‘Jam Jars’. The talented Lily Frazer has written this one. It sounds so good! We will get to see the first act in its early production stage and then will have the opportunity to then provide feedback through a Q&A with Lily herself or via feedback cards. I love seeing new work and have high hopes for this one (No pressure, Lily! Ha!) It’ll be great to see this one develop from such a raw state. Information about ‘Jam Jars’ can be found here at https://www.tristanbatestheatre.co.uk/whats-on/jam-jars

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This next one I will be mentioning has already begun previews and I technically won’t be seeing it in February but my review will be posted that month! (I’m seeing it January 31st) Eugenius will be at The Other Palace throughout next month and is one that I have been dying to see. I missed its run at London Palladium last year so had to jump on the opportunity this time round. I have only heard great things about this show! Even more so now the previews have started at The Other Palace and I keep seeing friends posting about it. Beyond excited to see it on Wednesday! Ticket and show information: https://www.theotherpalace.co.uk/whats-on/eugenius

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The Vaults Festival is also taking place over February where over 300 new shows will be showcased. I love this idea and how they are providing an opportunity for new work to be seen in a completely welcoming way. Such a variety including theatre, comedy and film. There are so many that I have my eye on. Vaults Festival will be taking place from January 24th until March 18th. All information regarding shows, dates, location and tickets can be found at https://vaultfestival.com

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From February 20th to February 24th you can catch ‘Beats on Pointe’ at The Peacock, London. This sounds epic! All the way from Australia, Masters of Choreography will be bringing their talents to the stage in the heart of London. Have you ever thought ballet and street dance could never be mixed? Two polar opposite dance styles? Wrong! They are about to demonstrate that these go hand-in-hand to provide a whole new dance experience. This is a show that I will be jumping at! Tickets available at http://peacocktheatre.com/whats-on/beats-on-pointe-masters-of-choreography/

So, those are some of the things I am excited for. What shows are you looking forward to? Let me know down below and don’t forget to give those I’ve mentioned some love! Check them out and get those tickets!

Time to see Glengarry Glen Ross

Time to see Glengarry Glen Ross

We are now approaching the final week of Glengarry Glen Ross showing at the Playhouse Theatre and if you haven’t seen this one, I would highly recommend it.

This isn’t a review of the show as I think that my opinion may be slightly bias with the number of times I have seen it.

For those of you not familiar with the show here is a little bit about it: The real estate industry can be brutal. In a tiny office in Chicago four salesmen are becoming increasingly desperate to secure leads and earn their commission. So desperate in fact they would do anything to make it happen. Everyone has the same goal: close the deal.

This is a fast pace show which takes drastic turns. I love listening to the audience’s reactions.

Considering I watch it practically every night I still laugh at the witty script. It is so quick. If I am completely honest the script won’t be for everyone. There is strong language throughout and some use of the ‘C’ word. This aside the cast are fabulous and keep it fresh and engaging. I absolutely love the chemistry on stage. Especially the way in which Stanley Townsend (Shelly Levene) and Christian Slater (Ricky Roma) bounce off of each other during act 2.

This is definitely one to see before the show closes on February 3rd. Tickets and information about the show can be found here: http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/glengarry-glen-ross/playhouse-theatre/#showinfotabs=showtimes

Be sure to grab your tickets fast as this show is selling like hot cakes in it’s final week!

Getting the better seats without breaking the bank

I’ve dared to reveal my deepest theatre ticket secrets!

The west end can be a wonderful and memorable night out however it can all add up becoming very expensive. A large amount of this cost will be the theatre tickets themselves. Many people do spend a lot of money on theatre seats and obviously that is how the west end thrives and continues. It is a business! However I believe everyone should be able to enjoy the theatre so this particular blog post will aim to arm you with the correct websites, apps and information for when you need to save the pennies but still want to see the arts.

I’m about to reveal my deepest secrets so pay attention!

Over my years of going to the theatre on a student budget I have become an awful lot savvier and very rarely spend over £40 on one seat unless it is something incredibly special. One of my main go-to apps is TodayTix. They do brilliant deals and never sell restricted seats. They have a fabulous selection of seats pretty much all of the time to suit every budget. Another great thing they do is daily lotteries for a few select shows and ‘rush’ tickets which range from £15-£25 in price.

Let’s start with the lotteries. Every day the lotteries are live from midnight. Currently the shows include Dreamgirls, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Young Frankenstein and Kinky Boots. Matinee lotteries close around 10:30am and lotteries for the evening shows close at 3:30pm. You enter for that day’s show and are notified 2 to 4 hours before the performance. This option is only great if you live in London or within an hour on the train but it is still a good way to get nice, affordable seats, normally front row!

The ‘rush’ tickets are a little different but still provide great seats at affordable prices. This ticket option gives you more notice as they become available to buy through the app at certain times of the day (typically 10am or 10:30am, depending on the show). It is a first come first serve system and seats vary depending on what is available on the day. There is a large variety of shows though which currently include: Mary Stuart, Girl From The North Country, The Birthday Party, 42nd Street, The Ferryman, Royal Shakespeare Company, Motown and The Woman in White.

Another great one in my arsenal of ticket sites is ATG. A bog standard site which is very helpful! The seat plans are fairly accurate and occasionally you find the odd last minute seat reduced in price. Also they have their theatre cards where payment for a years membership means that you get ticket discounts, early sales and much more. There are two types of theatre cards which both look great depending on your budget.

Day seats are also another great last minute option. They do take a fair bit of planning if you are determined to see a show that day! Only certain shows offer day seats and again this is down to availability. Some shows have a designated number which they have available everyday whereas other shows vary theirs depending on how well that show has sold for that day. From my experience, I recommend getting to the box office around 8:30am on a normal show day. If it is a special performance such as a cast change the hard core fans will get there super early, some will even camp out over night to get their hand on a ticket! Day seats are never guaranteed. There have been many a time where the person in front of me has got the last one and I’ve had to go back to the drawing board. A lot of these options mentioned in this blog are great for last minute deals so they always become by back-up plan if day seating isn’t a success. To see whether a certain show offers day seats just head to their official website and it will provide all of the details you need.

A website I use before I make any ticket transactions is SeatPlan. This is a fabulous website especially if you are not familiar with the theatre or seating plan. SeatPlan offers an interactive seat map for the majority of the big theatres in the west end and a handful nationwide. They rely on their members to upload seat reviews and many of them include photos of the view of the stage from that particular seat. These are completely honest reviews which are monitored. So far it has never failed me. They also provide an incentive for their members to review seats with credit which can add up to theatre tokens. Another great way to save money! Currently, you will receive 40p for each photo you upload once your review has been approved. You can start doing this now if you haven’t already! Just head to their website and sign up for free. They also offer great ticket deals through their website so that is also worth checking out.

The website Get Into London Theatre only comes around once a year and is always a good one to know about. I have to be completely honest and say their 2018 selection of shows wasn’t too great this year and I only purchased tickets for one show when normally I go crazy! Each December the website goes live with deals for a range of different shows with tickets for £10, £20, £30 and £40 (great for all budgets) The location of the seats are also normally really good and it tells you just how much you saved. Normally the £69 tickets are the ones reduced to £40, £49-£39 reduced to £30 and so on. Previous years I have been able to get ticket to big shows such as Phantom of the Opera in row D in the stalls for £40. Like I said before, this year wasn’t great but hopefully come December the 2019 selection will be a lot better.

That is about it when it comes to the best sites to use when looking for theatre tickets. I always recommend you stick to the main websites such at ATG, Love Theatre and  TodayTix as you won’t have to pay any commissions fees. Many of the other tickets sites sell legit tickets that comply with the ‘STAR’ standards however they do add an additional fee for using their service. Just be aware of that. Always look around on different websites as the prices will change dependant on the website.

I really hope this has helped you gain a further understanding on how to still see theatre on a limited budget. All of this works for me which is why I was able to see over 70 shows in 2017!

Disclaimer – things mentioned in this blog aren’t always guaranteed and are subject to change at the various company’s discretion. As of the time this blog was published, 16th January 2018, all show information was correct.

Top 10 Shows of 2017

Top 10 Shows of 2017

In my personal opinion, I think that 2017 has been a great year for theatre. There have been so many great shows which I have seen over the past year…and the odd few which were awful! As we are nearing the end of the year I have decided to put together a little post about the top shows that I have had the honour of seeing.

I am currently sat here going through my ticket scrapbook refreshing my mind on what I have actually seen this year alone (which is a lot!) and what ones I enjoyed and still stand out head and shoulders above the rest. The way I’m writing this is in no particular order, it’s simply what comes to mind first. I am also not writing this in the ‘traditional’ way by just listing a short description of the show. I’ve decided that I want to reveal why they stood out/meant a lot to me.

(If I have reviewed the show, the review will be linked to the title)

1. Dreamgirls, Savoy Theatre

I’ve seen this one about 40 times this year alone so its a good one to start with! To be honest, I have lost track just how many times I have seen the show since it opened last November. That is embarrassing! It has just been a very special show for me. It has always had the ability to make me laugh and cry my heart out and provides 2 hours 20 minutes of pure escapism. I have relied on it heavily as therapy! It was also amazing seeing friends on stage (before cast change) and see them develop. The new cast are just as good!

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2. Tick, tick…BOOM!, Park Theatre

This show always jumps to mind. I  saw this show on a whim as I managed to get a cheap ticket and I fell in love! Jonathan Larson is a genius and creates beautiful musicals (Including Rent which pops up later on). I clearly remember going into that show feeling rather deflated with life. I left with a new fire ignited within (that sounds so cheesy!) I came out loving the show and believing that my own personal dreams are not too far out of reach.

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3. Alice’s Adventures Underground, The Vaults

This was outstanding! Such an incredible immersive theatre experience and I loved every single minute of the show. My inner child was released as we all relived this iconic childhood classic.

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4. Honeymoon in Vegas, London Palladium

A one off concert performance of the show conducted by the one and only Jason Robert Brown! It was incredible seeing this show for the first time. Everyone was in such high spirits and you coult tell that everyone on stage was having the time of their lives. It would be great to see Honeymoon in Vegas back in the west end soon and for a longer run!

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5. Shitfaced Shakespeare, Leicester Square Theatre

This is a strange one to put on the list however I really enjoyed it (considering just how much I hate Shakespeare!). Very rarely you find a show that leaves you crying with laughter and questioning “what the f*ck have I just watched?!”.

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6. Jesus Christ Superstar, Regent’s Park

Flawless. The staging. The cast. Everything was flawless! It definitely gave me a new appreciation for the story and music. If I’d have caught it earlier in its run I could have easily seen this numerous times.

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7.  Little Beasts, The Other Palace

Considering I don’t normally see children’s theatre, I thought this was great. This was a workshop production but was already very strong. With a bit more fine tuning this could really be an amazing family show. I adored the concept of ‘what happens to naughty children?’.

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8. Rent, UK tour

If any of you saw this production you will know why I’ve put it on the list! I, like many other rent heads had waited years to see this in the UK and it finally happened. It was everything I was hoping for and so much more. The cast. The set. It was all just a little bit too much! It is the only show I cried uncontrollably through. Even leaving the theatre I was still sobbing. No show has ever had that effect on me so it was something pretty special. I saw it a couple of times on this tour and it just got better and better.

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9. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Harold Pinter Theatre

So, I don’t normally see plays (something I am hoping to change in 2018) and I wanted to see what all the hype for this show was for. I’d managed to find a relatively cheap ticket so went along. To say this play was around the 3 hour mark, it flew by. I have never been to engrossed in a show. Imelda Staunton was sensational.

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10. The Braille Legacy, Charing Cross Theatre

A very moving piece. Once again I saw this one on a whim (cheap tickets on the day!) and wasn’t really expecting much. The story was so touching. This was its first run in the west end as it is a new musical and I really hope this goes somewhere. I was beautiful and really tugged on my heart strings.

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There we go, my top 10 shows of 2017. Do you agree with this choice or are there some you’d change? Let me know in the comments believe and once again please share with friends and follow ginger in the theatre on all our social media accounts! Here’s to 2018!!

Hamilton next week?!?!

Hamilton next week?!?!

We’re a week away. Repeat. We. Are. A. Week. Away.

I’m beyond excited!!!

Lin is in the country and tech week is in full swing AND full run-throughs are happening!!! The week is almost upon us. I managed to get my hands on a preview ticket back in January and I cried so bad. My poor housemates had to deal with me and honestly thought someone had died when I screamed the house down! I still laugh at Cleve fooling us all with his tweets that day “attempting” to get tickets as they went on sale before the cast was announced. I believed it all too! He’s a good actor.

It’s going to be incredible to see my ITH familia back on stage. It’s been too long. Crissie, Cleve, Alexzandra, Johnny and Courtney-Mae. I visited them far too many times in el barrio during ITH. Kings Cross theatre definitely became my second home during 2016. It may have led me to, unintentionally, follow in Nina’s footsteps and fail my second year at uni…but that’s another story! It was a year of no savings, solo trips to the theatre and drawing teeny tiny headshots of the cast. Ha! I wonder if Lin actually saw that?!

Hamilton next week piece

It’s so exciting to be able to see new faces on stage too! It’ll be really interesting to see what Jamael Westman brings to the role of Alexander Hamilton with him being a newcomer to the industry.

From all the tweets, we are all going to be blown away! No one will be prepared! Next Thursday can’t come sooner! Will I be able to take it all in?…..No. Another trip to the theatre where I’ll be sat on my own crying.

Have you got tickets? And for what date?

*All credits for the featured image goes to Hamilton*

World Premiere of The Phantom of the Opera, Roy Budd score – REVIEW

The Phantom of the Opera – Roy Budd Score

London Coliseum, London

Seen October 8th, 2017

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★★★

The Phantom of the Opera – Roy Budd Score

London Coliseum, London

 

Seen October 8th, 2017

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★★★

After the silent films premiered in 1925, it quickly became the most successful film adaptation of the 1910’s novel, titled The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. Saturday October 8th 2017 marked the world premiere of Roy Budd’s score along with the 1925 film. This date was originally scheduled for September 1993 conducted but the man himself at the London Barbican Centre but sadly Budd suddenly passed 5 weeks before this scheduled date. This 2017 premiere was lovingly put together by many helpers lead by Budd’s wife, Sylvia.

I have to say that it was the most beautiful thing I have had the privilege of seeing. It started with a very moving pre-recorded speech from his wife retelling key points for his expanse career including how his love for The Phantom of the Opera grew over his lifetime.

The Docklands Sinfonia Orchestra were beautiful and so was the film. I can see how easily Budd was inspired by it and his score complimented the whole silent film perfectly from start to finish.

I went into this concert loving the musical version created by Andrew Lloyd Webber however I now very much believe that it has great competition. I love things that captivate me during the moment and also play on my mind for the next few days, weeks or even months and this score by Roy Budd has most definitely done this.

Whether you love Phantom of the Opera or are unfamiliar with the story, I urge you too take time out and witness one of Roy Budd’s greatest pieces.

You can now own the score on CD and DVD. Available on www.amazon.co.uk