News, Reviews & Interviews December 2019

Here are the highlights in theatre across London’s West End, Off-West End, and regional venues in the UK for December 2019:

West End Highlights:

  1. “Hamilton” at Victoria Palace Theatre:
    • Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking musical “Hamilton” continued to reign supreme in the West End, captivating audiences with its dynamic blend of hip-hop, jazz, blues, and R&B. This compelling retelling of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton’s life remained a must-see, celebrated for its innovative storytelling and powerful performances.
  2. “Les Misérables” at Sondheim Theatre:
    • The beloved classic “Les Misérables” continued to draw audiences with its epic tale of love, sacrifice, and redemption set against the backdrop of revolutionary France. The soaring melodies, powerful performances, and dramatic staging ensured its place as a staple of West End theatre.
  3. “The Lion King” at Lyceum Theatre:
    • Disney’s spectacular “The Lion King” mesmerised theatre-goers with its stunning visuals and evocative music by Elton John and Tim Rice. The breathtaking puppetry and vibrant costumes brought the African savannah to life, creating an enchanting and unforgettable experience for audiences of all ages.
  4. “Mary Poppins” at Prince Edward Theatre:
    • The magical musical “Mary Poppins” delighted audiences with its enchanting tale and splendid production. Starring Zizi Strallen as the practically perfect nanny and Charlie Stemp as the charming Bert, this revival featured dazzling choreography, stunning effects, and beloved songs, making it a festive favourite.
  5. “Dear Evan Hansen” at Noël Coward Theatre:
    • The critically acclaimed “Dear Evan Hansen” continued to resonate with audiences in the West End. With its poignant exploration of social anxiety and the search for belonging, this moving musical, featuring a heartfelt score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, captivated theatre-goers with its emotional depth and powerful performances.

Off-West End Highlights:

  1. “Cyrano de Bergerac” at Playhouse Theatre:
    • James McAvoy starred in this bold and contemporary adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac,” directed by Jamie Lloyd. This innovative production brought a fresh perspective to the classic tale of unrequited love and poetic brilliance, earning widespread acclaim for its dynamic staging and compelling performances.
  2. “Fairview” at Young Vic:
    • Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Fairview” offered a provocative and thought-provoking examination of race and privilege. Directed by Nadia Latif, this groundbreaking production challenged audiences with its inventive narrative structure and powerful themes, making it a standout in the Off-West End scene.
  3. “A Christmas Carol” at The Old Vic:
    • Matthew Warchus’s heartwarming adaptation of Charles Dickens’s timeless classic “A Christmas Carol” returned for the festive season. Starring Paterson Joseph as Ebenezer Scrooge, this joyous production, featuring enchanting music and evocative staging, captured the true spirit of Christmas and delighted audiences of all ages.

Regional Theatre Highlights:

  1. “The Bodyguard” at Bristol Hippodrome:
    • The thrilling musical adaptation of the iconic film “The Bodyguard,” starring Alexandra Burke, continued its UK tour. Featuring Whitney Houston’s greatest hits, this sensational production captivated audiences with its dramatic storyline, high-energy performances, and spectacular staging.
  2. “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” at Theatre Royal, Plymouth:
    • Neil Gaiman’s magical tale “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” continued its tour, enchanting regional audiences with its imaginative storytelling and stunning visuals. Directed by Katy Rudd, this spellbinding adaptation offered a haunting and beautifully crafted theatrical experience.
  3. “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” at Newcastle Theatre Royal:
    • The uplifting musical “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie,” inspired by a true story, continued to charm audiences on its UK tour. With its infectious score, vibrant choreography, and heartwarming narrative, this exuberant production celebrated individuality and acceptance, delighting theatre-goers across the country.
  4. “An Inspector Calls” at Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury:
    • Stephen Daldry’s acclaimed production of J.B. Priestley’s classic thriller “An Inspector Calls” continued its tour, gripping audiences with its powerful message and striking visual style. This timeless drama, set in 1912, unravelled a mysterious death with profound social implications, leaving a lasting impact on regional audiences.

These highlights from December 2019 illustrate the rich diversity and vibrancy of theatre across the UK, from the grandeur of West End spectacles to the innovative productions in Off-West End venues and the dynamic offerings in regional theatres. Whether in London or beyond, theatre enthusiasts were treated to an array of compelling and memorable performances.

News, Reviews & Interviews December 2019

Robin Hood at The Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch | Review
Q2 Players’ Living Memory at The National Archives, Kew | Review
Vox Vanguard’s immersive performance of The Nutcracker
Review of Cinderella at The Vaults
Review of Chickenshed’s Snow White
Review of Jodie Irvine’s Gobby at The Pleasance Theatre
Harry Shearer and Judith Owen Present… Christmas Without Tears
New Lights Production’s OVA at The Tristan Bates Theatre
Disney Theatrical Productions announces public on sale dates for Frozen
Full Line Up Announced For 2020 Strictly Arena Tour
Matthew Bourne’s NUTCRACKER! returns to London in December 2020
Dick Whittington and His Cat at Hackney Empire | Review
Dick Whittington at Theatre Royal Stratford East | Review
The Boy Friend at the Menier Chocolate Factory | Review
The Nativity Panto at The King’s Head Theatre | Review
Amélie The Musical at The Other Palace | Review
Million Dollar Quartet UK and Ireland Tour
A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic | Review
Bells and Spells at The Coronet Theatre | Review
BAT OUT OF HELL UK Tour in 2021-2022 Tickets Booking Now
History of Indian migrant workers in new play The Great Experiment
Whistle Down The Wind at The Union Theatre | Review
ABBA: Super Troupers – The Exhibition | Review
Birmingham Royal Ballet UK tour of Swan Lake in 2020
Jack And The Beanstalk at Theatre Peckham | Review
Bring It On The Musical Announces UK and Ireland Tour
Q&A with Lucy Phelps: As You Like It and Measure for Measure
One Million Tiny Plays About Britain by Craig Taylor at Jermyn Street Theatre
Kneehigh’s Ubu! A Singalong Satire | Review
Singin’ in the Rain: The Mill at Sonning’s Christmas Musical | Review
Oi Frog and Friends! at the Lyric Theatre | Review
Radio & Juliet – Faun – MсGregor + Mugler | Review
My Best Friend’s Wedding The Musical UK & Ireland Tour
Sunny Afternoon UK Tour in 2020
King Arthur in Space – the Panto at Hampton Hill Theatre
The Fairytale Revolution: Wendy’s Awfully Big Adventure
Dance To The Music 2020 UK Tour
Cyrano de Bergerac at The Playhouse Theatre | Review
A Taste of Honey at Trafalgar Studios | Review
The Sound of Music UK and Ireland 2020 Tour Cast Announced
Review of Cinderella at New Wimbledon Theatre
Review of Aladdin at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley
Three Sisters by Inua Ellams at Lyttelton Theatre | Review
Ravens: Spassky vs. Fischer at Hampstead Theatre | Review
Aimie Atkinson and Danny Mac Cast in Pretty Woman The Musical
The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster at The Almeida Theatre
English National Ballet: Nutcracker | Review
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Richmond Theatre | Review
Blood Orange at the Old Red Lion Theatre | Review
The Signalman by Charles Dickens at the Old Red Lion Theatre
The Cat and The Canary UK Tour 2020
A Little Princess at Drayton Arms Theatre | Review
The Invisible Man at the Jack Studio Theatre | Review
Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis at Park Theatre | Review
Teenage Dick at the Donmar Warehouse | Review
Sleepless: A Musical Romance Troubadour Theatre
STORIES: Exploring Matters of the Young Mind | Review
Cinderella at The Phoenix Concert Hall – Fairfield Halls
Snowflake by Mike Bartlett at Kiln Theatre | Review
Jack And His Giant Bigstalk at Karma Sanctum Hotel | Review
FITTER by Mary Higgins and Ell Potter at Soho Theatre
This Play Will Solve Climate Change at John Lyons Theatre at City Lit
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre: Lead Creatives for Romeo and Juliet and Carousel
LW Theatres announce one-of-a-kind restaurant at Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Review of Cinderella at Trafalgar Studios
Curtains at Wyndham’s Theatre | Review
On Blueberry Hill London West End Transfer
The Nutcracker, Curzon Cinema Screening
Priscilla Queen Of The Desert The Musical at Theatre Royal Brighton
Peter Pan Goes Wrong at Alexandra Palace Theatre | Review
Black Beauty at Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room | Review
Billionaire Boy at Bloomsbury Theatre | Review
The Pirate Queen – A Charity Concert at London Coliseum
Les Misérables: Matt Lucas Steps In To Play Thénardier
Emilia Clarke to make her West End debut in Anya Reiss’ The Seagull
Nellie Limelight and the Oysters of Time | Review
Mel and Lenny’s Christmas Ding Dong at Crazy Coqs | Review
Top shows of 2019 from reviewers at LondonTheatre1.com
Review of Soho Cinders at Charing Cross Theatre
My Best Friend’s Wedding The Musical Starring Alexandra Burke
A Christmas Carol is ‘an engaging and memorable production’

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