I went to see a lot of Theatre in 2017 so decided that as well as my Top 10 Theatre Shows I would also for the first time ever list my favourite performances from the year. This created some very tough decisions as the level of Theatre in 2017 was very high and managing to pick just ten performances out of the amazing shows I had the pleasure of watching has proven to be very tough!
10. Jodie Prenger (Shirley Valentine)
In a one woman show I thought Prenger was outstanding in this role really showing off her fantastic acting skills from start to finish. I will admit that before entering the theatre my knowledge of this was not that it was going to be a one woman show, until looking in the programme and I totally blame the film version for that! That really did not matter at all though as Prenger really was something else from start to finish and talking to that wall and the chips and the rock!
9. Dianne Pilkington (Young Frankenstein the Musical)
You have probably seen by now my total love for this musical and that certainly has something to do with Pilkington as well, who gets some fantastic musical comedy numbers from ‘Please Don’t Touch Me’ to ‘Deep Love’ both of which really do steal the stage. She gets a chance to show off her acting talent as well as that incredible vocal range.
8. Danielle Steer (Bat out of Hell: The Musical)
Bat out of Hell is filled with incredible songs and moments but the one that really stuck out for me was ‘Two out of Three Ain’t Bad’ with Steer commanding the stage. Honestly an incredible talent and she gets so many good songs and moments to really shine in this rock musical. Making the audience gasp when you first sing is certainly an impressive task.
7. Kerry Ellis (Wonderland the Musical)
In a very short space of time I have been lucky enough to see Ellis in lots of different types of musicals. All of which let her show off her acting and vocal talents, this one was no different and as the leading role of Alice she was outstanding. I really did think she was so impressive in this show, really making that leading role her own. She really does have an amazing voice! I will look forward to seeing her on stage again as soon as possible.
6. Imelda Staunton (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)
Nobody better working on the stage who could have taken on the daunting task of Martha. Staunton is out of this world as the woman so unhappy in her marriage. Also the fact she wanted a food ban within the theatre was also fantastic as it meant we could enjoy the tremendous dialogue she has from start to finish. It really is a great play with incredible acting.
5. Bette Midler (Hello, Dolly!)
Well hello, Bette. Honestly I could not miss the chance to see Bette Midler on stage and to do it on my 30th birthday made it even better! Midler had the audience on the edge of their seats before she even appeared on stage and I have never heard anything quite like it when we got to see her for the first time. A truly special performance as Dolly and one I will always remember.
4. Lesley Joseph (Young Frankenstein the Musical)
He Vas My Boyfriend, what an outstanding show stealing moment. Ok I feel that way about most of the musical numbers in Young Frankenstein. But I am such a huge fan of Joseph and it was brilliant to see her doing a part like this. It really is a very biased choice, but I really don’t care as she is brilliant!
3. Amber Riley (Dreamgirls)
I actually cried. I mean tears streaming down my face cried when she sung “And I’m Telling You I’m not going” and sat for the entire interval trying to compose myself. An incredible voice and acting performance showing off all of her different talents. You think her voice sounds good on TV or the recordings of the songs but to actually hear her live on stage is something extra special.
2. Patti LuPone & Christine Ebersole (War Paint: A New Musical)
Yes, I have cheated a tiny little bit with this one but how could I choose one over the other in a musical that was written for them both to be part of. Broadway legends LuPone and Ebersole were outstanding from start to finish as the cosmetic giants competing with each other not realising they would change the shape of everything in that industry. The songs are powerful and they both get the chance to wow the audience.
1. Cassidy Janson (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical)
I was truly honoured to get the chance to see Janson as Carole King three times and the closing night of the show really was such a special performance. The way she performed Natural Woman was out of this world and the emotion could be felt from the everyone in the theatre. She is a true talent and I cannot wait to see what she does next (and what happens with the Leading Ladies). Already a total favourite performer of mine, truly outstanding acting and that voice!