May 2014 News, Reviews & Interviews

Theatre in London’s West End and Off-West End: May 2014

May 2014 was a vibrant month for London’s theatre scene, with the West End presenting a mix of timeless classics and fresh hits, while the Off-West End provided a playground for bold, innovative productions and emerging talent.

West End Highlights

1. Musical Magic:

  • “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane delighted audiences with its whimsical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved story, featuring imaginative set designs and memorable musical numbers.
  • “Mamma Mia!” at the Novello Theatre continued to attract fans with its feel-good ABBA hits and light-hearted story, proving its enduring appeal.

2. New and Noteworthy:

  • “Blithe Spirit” at the Gielgud Theatre, starring Angela Lansbury, drew praise for its witty and charming revival of Noël Coward’s classic comedy, with Lansbury’s performance as the eccentric Madame Arcati stealing the show.
  • “The Pajama Game” at the Shaftesbury Theatre offered a delightful throwback to Broadway’s golden era, with a lively tale of workplace romance and labor disputes set to a toe-tapping score.

3. Star-Studded Drama:

  • “King Lear” at the National Theatre saw Simon Russell Beale take on the iconic role, delivering a powerful and critically acclaimed performance that captivated audiences and critics alike.

Off-West End Highlights

1. Fringe Gems:

  • “Bad Jews” at the St. James Theatre explored family dynamics and cultural identity with sharp humor and biting dialogue, making a strong impression with both audiences and critics.
  • “1984” at the Almeida Theatre, an adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, offered a chilling and thought-provoking experience, resonating deeply in an age of surveillance and privacy concerns.

2. Experimental Theatre:

  • “The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable” by Punchdrunk at Temple Studios continued to enthrall with its immersive and interactive approach, allowing audiences to explore a sprawling narrative set in a dilapidated film studio.
  • “The Events” at the Young Vic tackled themes of community and tragedy through a unique combination of drama and music, featuring a live choir that added a deeply emotional layer to the performance.

3. Rising Talents:

  • “The Pass” at the Royal Court Theatre introduced audiences to John Donnelly’s sharp, contemporary play about fame and sexuality in the world of professional football, highlighting the Royal Court’s commitment to new voices and cutting-edge themes.
  • “Secret Theatre” at the Lyric Hammersmith continued its run of unpredictable and genre-defying performances, offering an adventurous theatrical experience that blurred the lines between audience and actor.

In May 2014, London’s West End captivated with a mix of beloved musicals and gripping dramas, while the Off-West End buzzed with inventive and thought-provoking productions, ensuring that the city remained a vital and dynamic hub for theatre enthusiasts.

May 2014 News, Reviews & Interviews

The West End Unites for the Philippines raises £15,000
The Vagina Monologues at Tattershall Castle Whitehall
Review of HIDDEN at The Cockpit: Spring 2014 Tour
Review of A Doll’s House at Brockley Jack Theatre
MEMORIES OF WAR by Virtual Theatre Company
VAULT to return to Waterloo Tunnels in 2015
The Manual Oracle at The Yard Theatre Hackney Wick
John and Jen by the Guildford Fringe Theatre Company
Bond and Beyond Tour 2014
Interview with Lydia Leonard
Cast announced for 32 week National Tour of The Full Monty
A Trick To Catch The Old One at The Rose Playhouse
Review of CLOSER THAN EVER at Jermyn Street Theatre
Casting announced for A Streetcar Named Desire at Young Vic
To Kill a Mocking Bird UK Tour 2014 – 2015
Panto Juvenile Chorus Auditions Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford
Microcosm by Matt Hartley at Soho Theatre Upstairs
Billy Elliot The Musical celebrates 9th Birthday with new cast
John Ferguson by St John Ervine at Finborough Theatre
GIRL FROM NOWHERE by Victoria Rigby at theatre503
Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Fuse Medway Festival
Andrew Lloyd Webber receives Honorary Doctorate from Royal College of Music
Review of Waiting for Godot at Arcola Theatre
RSC Midsummer Mischief at Stratford-upon-Avon
Songs for the head, heart and toes with Lizzie Freeborn
West End premiere of DAYTONA starring Maureen Lipman
Interviews of West End Cast and Creatives
Les Miserables London West End cast update June 2014
Miss Saigon’s Hugh Maynard launches his debut solo album
Cameron Mackintosh to take over Victoria Palace and Ambassadors Theatre
Billy Elliot The Musical statement – after sale of Victoria Palace Theatre announcement
Review of JOHN FERGUSON at Finborough Theatre
Entourage’s CJ de Mooi on Zanna Don’t…
West End Eurovision raises more than £66,000 for MAD Trust
The Monotonous Drum at Etectera Theatre
Review of The Girl From Nowhere Theatre 503
We Will Rock You closes at Dominion Theatre London
Review of JUST A HOUSEWIFE at Ye Olde Rose and Crown

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