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!

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!