2016 mid-year update

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As we’re six months through the year, I thought it would be a good idea to check in and see how things are going. In January I set out a few shows that I really wanted to see, and made a few theatrical new year’s resolutions – how have I done so far?

By the end of June, I’d managed to see 52 different shows (it was ‘only’ 55 in 12 months last year) – with repeat visits, the total comes to 135. So I’m on course to beat my total of 231 from 2015…

Shows to see

Of the 12 shows I wanted to see, I’ve ticked off 9 (Private Lives, Chicago, Footloose, Guys and Dolls, The End of Longing, The War of the Worlds, The Maids, Red Velvet and Miss Atomic Bomb). Luckily most of these were fantastic, but there were a few big disappointments – as you can see.

By the sounds of it, wonder.land lacked substance and the music wasn’t great… It felt like it wasn’t worth the expense, as it seemed like I probably wouldn’t love it. Motown the Musical is still around, though that also sounds like it wouldn’t really be worth it (for me) – the story side is lacking, by all accounts, and that is something I can’t put up with. Particularly for the prices they charge… I did end up seeing a few songs from the show at West End LIVE, so if I don’t make it to the Shaftesbury before it closes that’s fine.

Groundhog Day hasn’t opened yet – and the demand was ridiculous for its £10 preview tickets, so I’m not sure if I’ll end up seeing it. I do really want to, but if I can only afford to sit really high up it may not happen. There’s only so many times my dodgy eyes can squint that far!

Theatrical new year’s resolutions

I’ve done rather well on these too! In fact, the only one I definitely can’t do now is see Robbie D in Billy Elliot, as it’s now closed – and my timing never quite seemed to work out.

But I have now been to the Globe. So far I’ve only seen A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but I really want to catch the rest of the Wonder season if I can… Plus I’ve got my first midnight matinée booked. And I’ve managed to see a few more Shakespeare plays in general! There does appear to be a lack of originality in choice, despite it being the 400th anniversary, but I do feel quite lucky to have seen one of his rarely played works (King John). I’ve got a few months to add to my tally, anyway!

I saw The Mousetrap early on in the year, bagging one of their front row day seats for a Saturday evening performance. Definitely the best way to see it! It’s something that you probably won’t want to see more than once, unless it’s separated across a few years – and even then you’re bound to remember who the murderer is…

Thanks to Sunny alumnus Philip Bird being director, I’ve now been to my second Read Not Dead performance! This one was a John Fletcher piece called Love’s Pilgrimage. There are a few more scheduled throughout the year, so I will hopefully get to at least one more. At some point I’d also like to see one at a different venue (The Globe, Gray’s Inn).

So what’s left? A night at the opera! I’m sure that can be done. Ideally I’d like to go to the Royal Opera House or the Coliseum, but I’m not really fussy.

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I’m still hoping to catch a few other things (Show Boat, Aladdin, the new casts of Guys and Dolls & 1984, the Young Chekhov series at the National, This House) – and around that I’ll still be going back to Sunny Afternoon, I guess…

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