Well, we’re all still here… The big red button hasn’t been pushed yet and theatre is better than ever!
I’m starting as I hope to go on, and making sure I have the odd night off here & there – as much as I like being busy and seeing as much as possible, there were occasions where I felt completely wiped out. I like to get reviews out as quickly as possible, but being out every night (and then working during the day) made this very difficult. I have loved my gallivanting though, so maybe that’s the answer: combine theatre with more sightseeing and breaks. Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, I really need to get to some scratch nights again – I missed the 2017 Falling Pennies ‘On the Night’ as it clashed with New York, so I need to make up for that.
A reminder also that I’m still doing a thing or two for BroadwayWorld UK (subscribe for updates if you like), and am now also a ‘Mate‘. I’ve also decided that Mind the Blog needs to get out into the world of Instagram – so give us a follow!
But what’s coming up this year?
In the summer, the Bishopsgate Institute are bringing a production of West Side Story to the Great Hall. Based on a Jerome Robbins conception, the show was created by a musical theatre dream team: Arthur Laurents (book), Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) & Leonard Bernstein (music). It’s set in New York and see the Jets up against the Sharks, bringing Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet kicking and screaming into the 20th century. This particular production commemorates the 100th anniversary of the births of Bernstein & Robbins; this top quality amateur production will be performed in the round and backed by a full orchestra.
Scena Mundi are back – this time offering some classical theatre courses. They range from a Shakespeare Weekend Workshop to private tuition & audition classes, catering for beginners, enthusiasts & professional actors. They have some trial classes coming up on Saturday 13 January at St Giles-in-the-Fields: classical theatre for beginners (12-1.30pm), scene study & monologue (2-3.30pm), and script adaptation (4-5.30pm).
Hoping for some more good news for the Sunny alumni throughout the year, though for now we still have… Amy starring in the Wicked tour, Lloyd as Shere Khan in The Jungle Book tour, Harriet in Mamma Mia! on the West End, John doing his final few Bob Cratchits in A Christmas Carol, Philip in Cell Mates, Liz in The Cursed Child for the next few months, Lia remaining part of the swing team at Hamilton (I know!), Emily finishing up in Follies, Ryan about to start in the new Tina Turner musical, Tam heading to the RSC in the spring for The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich, Luke staying with Everybody’s Talking About Jamie on the West End, and Helen Hobson (Hampstead cast) & Kay continuing to tour with Mamma Mia! around the UK. More than I initially thought!
Talking of Sunny, Joe Penhall has written a new play (Mood Music) which will be part of the new Old Vic season – and we already know that Rhys Ifans has been cast! It sounds really interesting, looking into the “dark side of the music industry” – I’m not saying anything…
The Winter Selection continues at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. I’m trying not to think about Romantics Anonymous finishing at the end of the week! But there is at least more Emma Rice to come, as The Little Matchgirl and Other Happier Tales closes the season – as well as All’s Well That Ends Well, The Captive Queen and The Four Seasons. And Michelle Terry’s summer season is set to be announced on Thursday.
I’m also looking forward to:
- The Birthday Party, Harold Pinter Theatre
- Strictly Ballroom, Piccadilly Theatre
- Macbeth, National Theatre
- Julius Caesar, Bridge Theatre
- Mary Stuart, Duke of York’s Theatre
- Beginning, Ambassadors Theatre
And there are a few things I want to remove myself from London for… Obviously Flying Lovers will take up most of the first half of the year, and I’m all booked for The Jungle Book in Liverpool (I also want to see Golda Rosheuvel as Othello there). 20th Century Boy seems to have popped up on several regional theatre websites, and I wish I’d seen that one before; I need to return to Stratford-upon-Avon for a few shows in its new season, plus The Little Matchgirl has some more venues left before the Globe.
So, what are my theatre resolutions for the year? (A couple have been carried over from 2017.)
- Enter the Book of Mormon lottery (or just book to see it)
- See more shows at RADA
- Start doing monthly preview posts
- Set more challenge weeks
- Try to tick off the remaining West End theatres
- Do Edinburgh!
I’ve done ‘Shakespeare‘ and ‘Puppets‘ – and it’s really fun to have something to keep coming back to through the year, so I’m doing the same this year too. As a tribute to her final few months at the Globe, and to look forward to the adventures ahead, I’ve decided to focus on Emma Rice in 2018! As devastated as I am about her departure from the Globe, there is lots to be excited about.
One last thing… Ever wanted to write about theatre but don’t want to run your own blog? Well, I’m hoping to cover a bit more news & previews, as well as accept a few more invites that I can’t fit into my diary. If you’re interested in (to start with) primarily writing some news posts for me, with the occasional review thrown in, please get in touch!