Since launching SincerelyAmy in February I have reviewed some astounding shows at a variety of beautiful theatres across the UK. It wasn’t easy, but I compiled a top ten of my favourite shows that I reviewed this year.
10. Romeo and Juliet, English National Ballet
The Palace Theatre
“Romeo and Juliet is a heart-rending ballet immersed with deep passionate emotion.” (Review)
This was my first time seeing the Royal Ballet and I was blown away by Romeo and Juliet. They poignantly told the story of the Shakespeare tale through exquisite classical ballet. This was the first ballet that left me in floods of tears, they used simplicity and raw emotion to portray such a beautiful story.
The Birmingham Hippodrome
“The musical brings the story to life as it delves deeper into the storyline, it is an unforgettable show that I just want to watch over and over again.” (Review)
I was skeptical that this musical wouldn’t do the film justice and it would appear too pantomime for my liking, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. After doing a backstage tour of the show I was amazed by the amount of set and costume, it truly is a spectacle of a show. However aside from the production elements the score is uplifting, powerful and emotional, it’s an all round outstanding musical.
8. The Rise and Fall of Little Voice
The Birmingham Rep
“The play is faultless, it has pace, comedy and emotion. I laughed endless amounts and had goosebumps at the end, it is a true emotional rollercoaster and a fascinating journey of one Northern family’s life.” (Review)
The well known Jim Cartwright play was done magnificently. Mainly due to the flawless casting, the production had the perfect balance of comedy and emotion creating an all round phenomenal show.
7. Guys and Dolls
The Palace Theatre
“Guys and Dolls is a flawless revival that is bound to leave you dancing out of the theatre, a show with hysterical comic scenes and phenomenally choreographed musical numbers.” (Review)
I adored Guys and Dolls because it reminded me of how incredible musical theatre is, it is the epitome of old-school musical theatre. It had me in fits of laughter, it’s a comedic production that shines from start to finish. I was particularly impressed with the stunning choreography by Carlos Acosta and Andrew Wright.
6. Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty
“Matthew Bourne creates a production that incorporates all the classical elements of a ballet with a compelling modern gothic twist.” (Review)
I was mesmerised by the innovative production by Matthew Bourne, he really pushed the boundaries in terms of style. From intimate duets to gripping ensemble numbers, the intensity of the production was potent through the sharp choreography. One of the most compelling pieces of theatre I’ve ever seen.
5. Hetty Feather
“Hetty Feather is a show that takes storytelling to the next level with the use of stylistic theatre and an abundance of imagination.” (Review)
Hetty Feather was a show full of wonder, it was one of the best shows I reviewed this year because it was incredibly creative and the whole production was remarkable. They explored such a mixture of emotions throughout the show, intertwined between the funny and playful nature of the show are scenes of heartbreak.
4. Peter Pan
Regents Park Open Air Theatre
“It was one of the best shows I’ve seen all year because every single detail was incredibly thought through. The whole performance was sensational, it’s the perfect summer night out and an enchanting piece of theatre.” (Review)
The setting played a huge part in this production, set in the middle of the park surrounded by trees and the natural sounds of nature. It was a magical show that used puppetry creatively, each puppet was made up of items that would have been found on the battlefield, fitting with the underlying metaphor that the lost boys were soldiers that never came home. One of the most ingenious productions I’ve ever seen.
3. The Bodyguard
The Birmingham Hippodrome & The Palace Theatre
“The Bodyguard is chilling, fast paced, emotional and packed with energy.” (Review)
Whitney Houston is the greatest singer in the world so Whitney classics combined with a gripping storyline and sparkling set created one of the most magnificent musicals I’ve seen this year. Alexandra Burke was exceptional as Rachel Marron, after reviewing her in Birmingham and then again in Manchester I was highly impressed by her vocals as she belted out the iconic numbers. The Bodyguard was not only heaps of fun but it was packed with emotion and power.
The New London Theatre
“War Horse is moving, emotional and highly poignant. t’s a story of love, friendship and family and the sentimental nature of the horse is uplifting as he fights against all odds to survive.”
The intimate setting of the New London Theatre allowed me to feel like I was really in the heart of the performance. It was a beautiful yet heart wrenching story, it is storytelling at it’s finest and the use of puppetry was simply breathtaking. The chemistry between the horse Joey and the young boy Albert was unbelievably convincing, I was moved to tears during the final scene of the play.
1. The Curious Incident of The Dog In the Night-Time
The Birmingham Hippodrome & The Lowry
“Curious Incident is a contemporary play that is profoundly thought provoking, engaging and utterly remarkable. I was absolutely astounded by the staging, movement and captivating story line.” (Review)
Curious Incident is not only the best show I’ve seen this year, but it is quite frankly the best show I’ve ever seen in my life. It is creative, powerful, humorous, poignant and expressive. I remember leaving the theatre after seeing it for the first time utterly amazed by the piece of theatre I had just witnessed, I was blown away by every theatrical element. The National Theatre never fail to produce striking pieces of theatre and Curious Incident is an example of this, I hope it will be running for a very long time.
So that’s my top ten of 2015! I can’t wait to see what I’ll be reviewing next year…watch this space.