January 2014 News, Reviews & Interviews

Theatre in London: West End and Off-West End in January 2014

January 2014 was a dynamic month for theatre in London, with the West End showcasing high-profile productions and Off-West End venues offering innovative and diverse performances. The theatrical landscape reflected London’s reputation for blending traditional and cutting-edge works, captivating audiences from across the globe.

West End Highlights

The West End, famed for its grand productions and star-studded casts, offered a range of must-see shows in January 2014. Noteworthy highlights included:

Musical Sensations

  1. “The Book of Mormon”:
    • This satirical musical comedy, continuing its successful run at the Prince of Wales Theatre, remained a major attraction. With its witty script and catchy numbers, it continued to draw in audiences eager for a night of laughter and entertainment.
  2. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”:
    • At the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, this imaginative musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic tale delighted families with its stunning sets and enchanting performances, providing a magical experience for theatre-goers.
  3. “Les Misérables”:
    • The long-running epic at the Queen’s Theatre maintained its powerful grip on audiences, with its moving story of love, sacrifice, and revolution continuing to resonate deeply.

Compelling Dramas

  1. “Mojo”:
    • At the Harold Pinter Theatre, Jez Butterworth’s darkly comic play about 1950s London gangsters featured a star-studded cast, including Rupert Grint and Ben Whishaw. The production was lauded for its sharp dialogue and intense performances.
  2. “The Commitments”:
    • This musical adaptation of Roddy Doyle’s novel at the Palace Theatre brought the spirit of Dublin’s music scene to the West End, with energetic performances and soulful renditions of classic rock and soul hits.
  3. “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”:
    • After a successful run at the National Theatre, this adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel, performed at the Apollo Theatre, captivated audiences with its innovative staging and poignant storytelling, exploring the world through the eyes of a boy with an extraordinary mind.

Off-West End Highlights

Off-West End venues offered a diverse array of productions, often spotlighting emerging talent and experimental works that pushed the boundaries of traditional theatre.

Innovative Productions

  1. “The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable”:
    • This immersive production by Punchdrunk at Temple Studios took audiences on a unique journey through a dark, dreamlike world. With its immersive and interactive format, it challenged conventional theatre norms and provided a truly unforgettable experience.
  2. “The Lyons”:
    • At the Menier Chocolate Factory, this black comedy by Nicky Silver offered a biting and humorous look at family dysfunction, receiving praise for its sharp writing and strong performances.
  3. “The Knight of the Burning Pestle”:
    • Performed at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, this revival of Francis Beaumont’s 17th-century play delighted audiences with its humorous and meta-theatrical approach, showcasing the versatility of Off-West End theatre.

Championing New Voices

  1. The Royal Court Theatre:
    • The Royal Court continued its tradition of fostering new writing with productions like “Teh Internet Is Serious Business”, a play that explored the world of hacktivism and internet culture, reflecting the theatre’s commitment to contemporary and relevant themes.
  2. The Bush Theatre:
    • The Bush Theatre presented fresh and provocative new works, including “Jumpers for Goalposts” by Tom Wells, which combined humor and heart in its exploration of LGBT issues and amateur football.
  3. The Almeida Theatre:
    • Known for its innovative programming, the Almeida staged “1984”, a chilling adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, which received acclaim for its powerful portrayal of totalitarianism and surveillance.

Conclusion

January 2014 showcased the vibrancy and diversity of London’s theatre scene. The West End dazzled with blockbuster musicals and compelling dramas, while Off-West End venues pushed the envelope with innovative and thought-provoking productions. This dynamic range of performances solidified London’s status as a leading global theatre destination, offering something for every theatre enthusiast.

January 2014 News, Reviews & Interviews

Louise Dearman ‘It’s Time’ Tour Cancelled
Full cast announced for RENT 20th Anniversary Concert UK Tour
The Blue Moon Burlesque Revue Valentine’s Day Guildford Fringe
Paradigm Theatre Company presents A Bad Case of the Mondays
No Way to Treat a Lady starts 2014 at The Landor Theatre
Camden People’s Theatre presents Hard to Resist
Hampstead Theatre Drawing the Line to be streamed online
The White Carnation transfers to Jermyn Street Theatre
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time to move from Apollo Theatre
Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch 1980 – A Piece by Pina Bausch
Boy George Musical Taboo 10th Anniversary Reunion Concerts at New York’s 54 Below
Cast announced for English Touring Theatre’s Eternal Love
David Essex stars in UK Premiere of The Dishwashers
The Peculiar Tale of Pablo Picasso and the Mona Lisa
Spring 2014 Tour of HIDDEN Written and performed by Laura Lindsay and Peter Carruthers
A Bad Case of The Mondays at Park Theatre review by Alan Franks
Zoe Birkett in Thriller Live and The Tina Turner Experience
Cool Rider The Cult Musical Sequel in Concert at Lyric Theatre
Lauren Samuels and Louise Dearman sing Waiting For You from WATER BABIES
Mark Strong and Nicola Walker to star in A View from the Bridge
THE EVENTS set for UK and US Tour and Young Vic return 2014
Rose Playhouse: Christopher Marlowe’s Massacre at Paris
Cast announcement for H.M.S. Pinafore 2014
OUR BIG LAND first play by a Romany Traveller writer presented in the UK
Running on Empty at the Soho Theatre and Tour Dates
REVIEW of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory musical January 2014
Review of Don Gil of the Green Breeches at the Arcola Theatre
One Man, Two Guvnors set to tour from May 2014 after West End run
The Final Revelation of Sherlock Holmes at Pleasance Theatre
Full casting announced for Cool Rider at Lyric Theatre
Exploring Harold Pinter at The Cockpit Theatre
Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter at Matthews Yard Croydon
Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts stays longer at Trafalgar Studio One
The Tiger Who Came To Tea at Lyric Theatre July to September 2014
Michael Caine Teaches Acting In Film
WestEndFest returns for its first concert of 2014
SONGBIRDS Heart and Soul at the Battersea Barge
Kinky Boots musical to open in the West End 2015
Interview with Steve Toussaint star of A Doll’s House
The Secret Life of You and Me at Ovalhouse
Jerry Mitchell to adapt Becoming Nancy to stage musical
New images released for From Here To Eternity
Martyn Ellis to Step in as The Wizard of Oz in Wicked
Hedda Gabler by FiasCo Theatre at Etcetera Theatre
Kinky Boots wins Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album
GSA present Grease at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford
Theatre Critics of Wales Awards January 2014
Victoria Melody with Major Tom National Tour
New Grim is announced from The Untold Theatre Company
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory invites applications for GOLDEN TICKET work placements
Casting announced for From Page To Stage at Landor Theatre
Boeing-Boeing flies in to Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre
Winners of Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards 2014
Olivier Awards announce new partnership with Rosewood London
Yorkshire Festival 2014 Full Programme Announced
Haslemere Travel join Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre with Surrey Young Superstars Awards
The Union Theatre presents Finian’s Rainbow
Bunker Girls at Waterloo East Theatre
Dorian Gray theatrical debuts for Fox and Redgrave Families
A Severed Hand and Other Tales at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre
Finborough Theatre’s Variation on a Theme by Terence Rattigan
Back To The Future Musical London West End
National Theatre’s The Cat In The Hat at Greenwich Theatre
LIMBO fires up the Southbank Centre May 2014
Review of Chris Thompson’s Carthage at Finborough Theatre
10 Tips for Buying London Theatre Tickets and West End Seating Plans

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