This is my overview of 2017 at the Theatre which has been a very special year with plenty of trips to London and even a trip to New York and squeezing in some Broadway shows. All to go along with the trips to Newcastle’s Theatre Royal and the Sunderland Empire to catch the latest UK touring shows.
In 2016 I managed to see 31 shows. In 2017 I managed to see 36 shows! So just beating the 2016 total! You can see a list of all of these shows here. This also included trying to get plenty of deals and really using the day seats to help save money.
January started off with a play and that was The Play That Goes Wrong which had fantastic reviews during its West End run and I could easily see why. Such a hilarious night at the theatre and much needed to start the year off, Read the full review here.
February turned into a pretty busy theatre month with a trip to London. But it started with Wonderland the Musical which is a pretty new musical and a new adventure for Alice heading back to wonderland, I really thought this was outstanding especially with Kerry Ellis in it too! Read the full review here and Stage Door with Kerry Ellis! Then onto a London trip and that included getting Day Seats for Dreamgirls with the incredible Amber Riley in it! A truly fantastic show that really does have so many good musical numbers, Read the full review here and stage door with the Cast! The following day a matinee performance of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical which has quickly became one of my favourites. Then that night it was over to the London Palladium to catch Whoopi Goldberg doing a stand up show, it had been a very long time since she had done that in the UK! Read full review here. I finished off this month with another UK Tour this time The Wedding Singer based on the popular film of the same name, which pretty much is what you would expect, Read full review here.
March included another trip down to the West End to see Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? which I have wanted to see live on stage since first watching the film. With Imelda Staunton taking on the role of Martha I just had to see this, Conleth Hill was outstanding as well! Read the full review here. The next trip was to see Million Dollar Quartet on its UK Tour in Newcastle, looking at the night when legends came together and what just might have gone on, a very interesting show, read the full review here. A repeat of a show I first saw many years ago in the legendary Blood Brothers which you can easily understand why it is still going to this day, read the full review here.
April I had only one show originally booked with two very last minute deals. Since totally loving Les Mis last year I went to see Beyond the Barricade which features previous members of Les Mis cast and it is a fantastic musical theatre concert to check out if you love musicals, read the full review here. A very unknown and new musical was next up with All or Nothing the Small Faces musical which was very impressive and in the same format as Sunny Afternoon, read the full review here. The Woman in Black was next up and it is a very interesting play, really pushing the boundaries and keeping everyone on the edge of their seat from start to finish, read the full review here.
May would see another trip down to London and a rather busy few days at different theatres. Taking in Funny Girl with Sheridan Smith taking the hit West End production on tour, read the full review here. The first show of two in the day in London was 42nd Street which was a very impressive show and even better that I managed to get the tickets from the Today Tix app! I have always been such a huge fan of tap dancing and this is the perfect show for that, read the full review here. Then another trip to see what had become my favourite show of the moment with Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, read the full review here.
June for whatever reason ended up with only one show Dirty Dancing, which is pretty much the film just redone on the stage which is a little bit disappointing really as the tickets are rather on the pricey side for this one, read the full review here.
July was probably the most impressive month considering during the New York trip I managed to see three shows! Including some absolute legends on stage at the same time. Started off the trip with War Paint: A New Musical which had none other than Patti LuPone who I have always wanted to see in a show, along with Christine Ebersole and the songs had been specially written just for them, read the full review here. It was then also a fantastic experience to go to the CD launch for the show as well! I had just missed Groundhog Day the Musical when it premiered in London so managed to snap up some rush tickets for this one, a very clever musical considering the day is repeated over and over again but some very impressive songs to help this along, read the full review here. Then moving onto Hello, Dolly! Starring Bette Midler, yes really I had managed to get tickets for this well before we went and it was outstanding. The ticket prices taught me that the West End isn’t quite that bad (yet) but this was more than worth it as the theatre was pretty small the seats weren’t as high up as I expected them to be, read the full review here. To finish this month off I went to see local lad Joe McElderry and his Saturday Night at the Movies Tour, I had these tickets for so long that he actually changed the name of the tour in that time. It really was a good night of songs from the movies and I guess fits in so very well with what this blog is all about, read the full review here.
August ended up having a very last minute London trip to catch the closing night of Beautiful but started off with La Cage Aux Folles which eventually got its UK Tour having cancelled one a few years ago now. It is a show that won’t be for everyone but very impressive and I enjoyed seeing it again after many years, read the full review here. When heading to London for the last show of Beautiful I just had to squeeze in a matinee as well so I decided on Bat out of Hell the Musical, I have always been a fan of Meatloaf so just had to see this one. It was a very loud and amazing rock show which I was so pleased to get to see, read the full review here. Then the emotional trip to see Beautiful: The Carole King Musical as it closed in the West End, read the full review here. Then a truly spectular event happened in Newcastle at the Theatre Royal when Young Frankenstein the Musical made its UK debut with Mel Brooks present! Read the full review here and Mel Brooks on stage!
September really pushed my obsession with Young Frankenstein the Musical so much that I went back to see it twice more during it’s Newcastle run as it really is such an incredible show, makes you laugh and happy which let’s face it is what everyone wants in life not just from a show! Stage door with the cast, stage door with Lesley Joseph and stage door with Susan Stroman. The next touring show was Flashdance the Musical and lucky last minute cheap tickets as well, considering I had never seen the film before and it wasn’t really my type of thing, read the full review here. The next was a brand new show Son of a Preacher Man and using Dusty Springsteen songs, being a huge fan I was very interested to how this one was going to work, read the full review here. Love Letters a show starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw was coming on tour but it was cancelled due to O’Neal having back surgery. The last show this month was the UK Tour of Hairspray the Musical which for some reason I had never actually seen on stage before and it is such a fun show, read the review here.
October would see my final London trip of the year and I actually didn’t have any tickets booked before going, attempting to get day seats for both shows. I was supporting a very local show as the first one this month with Geordie the Musical which had moved to another venue after seeing it at the Customs House a couple of years ago now, read the full review here. Then another show that I had never actually seen on stage before Mamma Mia as I didn’t really think I would be a huge fan of it even though I like the film as a guilty pleasure, read the full review here. Another new show and play Shirley Valentine which saw a truly fantastic performance from Jodie Prenger in this one woman show, read the full review here. My day seat challenge then happened in London as I went to see Aladdin the Musical which has always been one of my favourite Disney films and it really is a magical theatre experience, read the full review here. Obviously I had to go and see Young Frankenstein the Musical again since it settled in the West End and it see if they had changed anything since the previews in Newcastle, read the full review here and stage door with the cast.
November would see only two shows and starting with entertainment legends Des O’Connor and Jimmy Tarbuck on a UK Tour, which included a night of laughs and reminiscing about the older days, read the full review here. Finishing the musicals off for the year just had to be Beautiful: The Carole King Musical as it came to Newcastle on it’s UK Tour.
December is always a pretty slow month now in terms of Pantomimes taking over the Theatres. Plus I couldn’t have my Wednesday before Christmas matinee trip this year (don’t worry I am starting 2018 with plenty of West End Theatre). This meant that I only went to see one production this month being at my local theatre The Customs House for their Pantomime The Lambton Worm, read full review here.
There you have it my very busy 2017 at the Theatre which I managed to fit in a lot of shows and was very obsessed with Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Young Frankenstein the Musical, both for different reasons in terms of musicals but the enjoyment of both shows really was something else. I will be starting 2018 in London and taking in a few shows, but other than that I don’t really have many tickets booked yet so will be looking to try and get some last minute deals and seeing which other shows will be announced for UK Tours during 2018!