It’s almost time to see in the new decade, so that gives me one last chance to reflect on some of the great theatre I saw in 2019. It was a year of new experiences and I saw a grand total of 80 shows! I continued my 2018 resolution to see more plays, four of which feature below…
1. Come From Away
It will come as no surprise to friends and followers that this Oliver Award-winning musical was top of my list for this year. I have been desperate to see Come From Away since before the transfer was announced and I bought myself one of the best seats in the house for previews! I was lucky enough to see it four times this year and even review the show. I also picked out my favourite things about the show in another blog, because I just can’t give this one enough love!
— Rochelle Bisson (@rochellebalboa) February 15, 2019
Emilia may have just been pipped to the top spot this year but it is a show that will stick with me for a lifetime. I don’t think I’ve ever bought the playscript before leaving the theatre before, but Emilia had that effect. I went back several times and even went to the final performance. It’s empowering and unforgettable. It’s a truly groundbreaking show and I hope it gets to make a grand return to the stage one day.
BURN THE WHOLE FUCKING HOUSE DOWN. 💙🔥 pic.twitter.com/XLhwHxPkcu
— Emilia The Play (@EmiliaThePlay) June 1, 2019
And to think… I almost didn’t see this show as I was having a drink with friends in a pub after work! I legged it over to the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, to pick up a last minute ticket and I wasn’t disappointed. The choreography was outstanding and the emotional kick at the end left me in tears. I’ll definitely be catching this again as it continues to tour the UK in 2020.
Honestly so impressed with the new UK tour of #Cabaret. Not only is the choreography amazing (Javier de Frutos is truly top notch) but the direction is sound and the cast are so so good. Result… wow, that message hits home. You *must* catch this one over the next few months. 👌 pic.twitter.com/N3cDhxGb8z
— Rochelle Bisson (@rochellebalboa) August 30, 2019
Blink and you may have missed the National Theatre’s Anna, but you may regret it if you did! This revolutionary show was performed behind a soundproof glass and you listened to the entire thing on headphones. It was an amazing experience. I hope it has another life as it was probably the most gripping hour I had in the entire year!
5. Amelie the Musical
I first caught this wonderful adaptation on tour at the New Wimbledon Theatre and I was simply enchanted! It got a five star review from me and another gushing post about my favourite aspects of the musical. The soundtrack is gorgeous and Audrey Brisson is just fantastic as Amelie. I took my boyfriend back to see the show at The Other Palace and he loved it too! Maybe there’s time for one more trip in early 2020…
6. Mary Poppins
This was a show that my boyfriend loved as a child and when I heard it was returning to the West End I knew I had to get us tickets. It was so fun and boasted amazing sets and costumes. It’s hard to say too much without spoiling all of the magic but you should definitely see this one in 2020 if you haven’t already!
So Mary Poppins was totally amazing. The choreography is stunning. The casting is spot on. The staging is just a dream. Oh I could go on… I loved it! ☂️ pic.twitter.com/1ZAZpyBK1r
— Rochelle Bisson (@rochellebalboa) November 11, 2019
7. Cyrano de Bergerac
I booked this one on a whim after hearing James McAvoy talk about it on the radio. It was brilliant! They took an original story and brought it up to date in the best way. I’ve never really been into spoken word before but this play really spoke to me. Another script was purchased before leaving the theatre! Great casting all round and I only paid £15 for the ticket too. Win win!
The last time I bought a script straight from watching the show was Emilia! This version of Cyrano De Bergerac was pretty great. The script was outstanding in its own right, but James McAvoy and the rest of the cast just made it fly. Witty and fresh. 👏 pic.twitter.com/eNy5miHOnT
— Rochelle Bisson (@rochellebalboa) December 2, 2019
8. Twelfth Night
This was my first time at one of the Globe Theatre’s ‘audience choice’ nights. What a great concept – three shows and the audience picks one to be performed, in the most Shakespeare way possible… shouting, screaming, clapping and stamping for your favourite! We ended up with Twelfth Night, which wasn’t my first choice but I loved it. There was some serious gender role reversal going on too which really worked.
My first #AudienceChoice at @The_Globe! Absolutely loved it! Didn't go for my first choice but by the end I didn't care… Twelfth Night was brilliant. Living for Mark Desebrock in those yellow stockings 👌 he was an amazing Malvolio. Top cast all round really. LOVED IT. 👏🔥 pic.twitter.com/p9bzeHLVmK
— Rochelle Bisson (@rochellebalboa) August 17, 2019
9. West Side Story
I wish I had time to see more regional theatre, but I definitely wasn’t going to miss West Side Story at Curve, Leicester this year. I was blown away by so many things with this production – the set, the staging, the choreography. A great all round revival, and there’s still a few weeks left to catch it!
West Side Story was brilliant last night. Really gritty and emotional, amazing choreography (loved the use of costume and the set within the dance), fantastic performances from so many. I really enjoyed it. Well done @CurveLeicester 👏 pic.twitter.com/gQVgtdiM9D
— Rochelle Bisson (@rochellebalboa) November 27, 2019
This was one of those shows that I was pleasantly surprised by this year. I’m not hugely into the film, but the musical version is great and the choreography is brilliant. I loved the cast too and the staging was really clever for a touring show. You can read my review here.