I took a look back on all the shows I’ve seen in 2017; and, boy has it been a lot – over 30 different shows to be precise! I have definitely exceeded last years total, and it’s not easy to narrow down such a vast array of show into a top 10, but I thought I’d give it a crack!

While I’m here, I’ve also highlighted a few shows to keep an eye on for 2018. Hope you enjoy reading some of my highlights…

  1. Young Frankenstein – This show is utterly hilarious. I am three visits in with a fourth booked, and I just know I’ll keep going back for more. It’s silly, but “sooper dooper” and pure fun. The cast is incredible, (and naturally, Dianne Pilkington steals every scene she’s in). Here’s to many more visits and laughs in 2018!
  2. Half A Sixpence – I’m always unsure about revivals of more traditional musicals, but after hearing nothing but positive remarks about the show since it opened in late 2016, I couldn’t resist giving it a try, and how glad I am that I did! Not only one of the best revivals I’ve seen, but it’s just simply a wonderful and joyous show. I loved it, and my only regret was going near to the end of the run meaning I only got to see it the once.
  3. Whisper House (Off-West End) – This may seem an unusual choice, but this show completely won me over. I love The Other Palace and what they’re trying to promote; sadly living outside of London I don’t get to visit it as much as I’d like, but I did manage to see this show twice. Held together by some of the West End’s best talents (yes, Dianne Pilkington was stealing my heart again). It was chilling and charming, and being a person with anxiety it felt really relatable in parts. I hope it makes a comeback in some form eventually because it deserves it.
  4. Sex with Strangers (Off-West End) – Probably another unusual choice, considering it didn’t quite hit the mark for many, but this show really meant a lot to me. Firstly, due to its portrayal of writers – as a blogger in the digital age, I really connected to elements of both characters but particularly Olivia. In addition, it meant I got to see one of my favourite actresses, Emilia Fox, live on stage. Perhaps it’s more the happy memories attached that puts it so high in my list, but it was a truly a wonderful time supporting her, and the daring new play at the lovely Hampstead Theatre not just once but three times!
  5. The Addams Family (UK Tour) – After pleading with my parents to take me as a treat a few weeks ahead of my birthday, I felt very lucky to have caught it and been given the tickets as a gift. I had never been a huge fan of the films or stories, but I am fascinated by the characters, and the show is kooky and crazy, but joyful with a wonderful cast attached. I really loved it, and I personally think it deserves a West End stint.
  6. Matilda – It wasn’t until seeing their performances at West End Live for the last two years that I really bothered to take an interest in this show, I guess mostly because I never really grew up with the story, but I eventually decided to give it a whirl as it hit its 6th year and my, what a show. It completely exceeded my expectations, and I hope to return at some point. It’s feel-good family fun, but great for the big kids too.
  7. Mamma Mia (UK tour) – After seeing the 2015/16 West End cast of Mamma Mia three times, I wasn’t sure about how I would feeling seeing the show away from London and with a different cast, but the UK tour absolutely cemented my love for the show. It felt so similar to the London production, and the audience loved it just as much in Norwich. I firmly believe the UK tour cast deserve to get a stint in London too, especially the 3 Dynamo’s (though I saw the superstar alternate Donna, Kay Millbourne). I only wish I could have seen it on tour more!
  8. Kinky Boots (2nd Year Cast) – I happened to see this show twice this year, which takes my total view count up to 4, but the second year cast change on the evening of Matt Henry’s final performance on Pride Day was just one of the most memorable theatre experiences I think I’ll ever have. The energy from the audience was incredible, and many tears were shed. It’s just always such a beautiful and uplifting show, and I’m sure I’ll return at some point in 2018 to catch the 3rd year cast as it’s a firm favourite.
  9. Dreamgirls – I went into this show unsure I’d like it based on my feelings about the film, and although it isn’t my favourite story, the talent on that stage was incredible, and it had the power to move me to tears and left me leaving the theatre on a high. The music is beautiful; if you love soul/RnB style music, big voices and high energy – you can’t let this show pass you by!
  10. Annie – After seeing and enjoying both versions of the film, I was rather excited to see this iconic story on the West End stage and it didn’t disappoint. It’s just pure fun, and perfect for families. I loved getting the chance to see Miranda Hart, who I thought made a great Miss Hannigan, and it’s just a joyful show with great music.

Other notable mentions include: Funny Girl (UK tour) with Natasha Barnes was wonderful as I sadly missed it on the West End, Abigail’s Party (UK tour) left me in awe of Amanda Abbington and 42nd Street (West End) is a tap-tastic visual spectacle, Labour of Love (West End) took me by surprise and had me in admiration of Martin Freeman and Tamsin Greig.

Ones to watch in 2018: In terms of the West End, I’m personally looking forward to Hamilton (after having my show date pushed back by two months!) and Fun Home (West End); and I’m hoping I’ll get to catch Company, Chess, The King and I, Chicago and I still need to catch up on Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. As for UK Tours, I already have tickets to Sunset Boulevard, Beautiful and Miss Saigon, but there’s many other exciting ones to look out for such as An Officer and a Gentleman.

Let’s make 2018 even bigger, better and stagier…