2019 was a very busy year for me, in terms of theatre. Most of it was spent at the Gielgud Theatre watching Company end but I did get to see some truly brilliant new shows that arrived in town. In true Hayley fashion, I’ve reviewed none but 3 of these. Enjoy!
10. Lungs at the Old Vic
A moving and engaging look at a couple debating whether to have a child in today’s climate. With plot twists, hilarious humour and 2 great performances from Claire Foy and Matt Smith, Lungs was utterly brilliant.
9. Come From Away at the Phoenix Theatre
The hit Broadway show exploded onto the West End racking up awards left, right and center. With a wonderful ensemble of actors and a moving story at the heart of it, Come From Away is still playing at the Phoenix Theatre and it comes highly recommended. You can read my review here
8. A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Bridge Theatre
Nick Hytner’s glorious immersive revival of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream was a true spectacle. Funny, engaging and with a few twists thrown in, I adored every single second of this production.
7. Once On This Island at the Southwark Playhouse
The British Theatre Academy’s production of Once On This Island lit up the stage in the Large space at the Southwark Playhouse. An array of soon to be stars of musical theatre and truly wonderful staging, I adored every second of this. You can read my review here.
6. Wife at the Kiln Theatre
A brilliant turn on Ibsen’s A Doll’s House which follows 3 different couples through a span of 60 years and how they are all connected by this one play. Brilliantly written and a superb cast. You can read my review here.
5. The View Upstairs at the Soho Theatre
A truly wonderful and moving musical taking place in a vibrant and colourful 70s gay bar in New Orleans and highlights a forgotten piece of LGBT+ history. Incredible performances from a cast of West End favourites, I do hope this production comes back!
4. Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre
I loved every single second of Mary Poppins when I saw it in November. Zizi Strallen and Charlie Stemp are forces to be reckoned with. The staging, the choreography, the set design. Everything genuinely was practically perfect.
3. Evita at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
After my first attempt to see this production was rained off, I was determined to get in to see this. And I was not disappointed. I often find Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals a bit hit or miss. But Jamie Lloyd’s production was absolutely sensational with Samantha Pauly leading as Evita, her voice could fill stadiums. I cannot wait to see the transfer to the Barbican in June.
2. & Juliet at the Shaftesbury Theatre
A surprise favourite for me because I didn’t think I’d like it that much when I heard the concept. But after theatre twitter started raving about it and a successful run in Manchester, I just had to see it for myself. And I loved every single second of it. I thought all of the songs worked well within the context of the story (apart from 2 but I think they were purposely shoehorned in. Even then, it still worked within how the show was written!). With a superb diverse cast, a hilarious script and the fact it didn’t try to take itself too seriously makes this a winner for my favourite musical of the year.
1. Fleabag at the Wyndham’s Theatre
Another surprise favourite for me this year. If you had told me this time last year I would have watched Phoebe Waller-Bridge perform her original solo show Fleabag, I wouldn’t have believed you. An utterly captivating evening watching Phoebe Waller-Bridge hold a 900 seat theatre in the palm of her hand. Exquisite writing, acting and directing from Vicky Jones. So glad I managed to see this.
What was on your 2019 top shows of the year list? Let me know!
Until next time,