Friday, 19 January 2018

Who to watch out for in 2018

Hello Pocketers!

What a year we have had! 2017 has seen some great theatre over the year. La Strada was beautiful, Toxic Avenger - Hilarious, Evita… received mixed reviews; but there are some people who are so intricate to these performances that without them, we wouldn’t have had the shows we did this year; the rising talent.

So this is a little homage to them and those we should be watching out for in the new year to come from all of the shows we have seen. Teaming up with a couple of the other reviewers we’ve ben able to put together a list of those who have stood out in 2017.

Freya Tilly

I first saw Tilly in ‘The Quentin Dentin Show’ and was blown away. Her presence and showmanship was fantastic - Her stand out performance attracted my attention and when I later saw her in the (in my opinion) not so good revival of Metropolis it’s clear that she is a consistent performer and an absolute joy. Keep an eye on this one as she’ll be blowing everyone away in no time. @freya_tilly 

George Jaques

The fabulous Anna Williams has strongly pushed for this young man. George is a young playwright who’s been picking up momentum through 2017. At 17 he’s already set up his own company, written a play and sold out a short run at the Doodlebar in Southwark. The level of talent this boy has makes me sick! @George_Jaques 

Gemma Scholes 

I headed to Young Frankenstein on a whim the other day and bought a day seat and I was pleasantly surprised to see Gemma on for the role of Inga, usually played by Summer Strallen. She is a recent graduate from Bird College and was previously in 42nd Street in Paris. She was stunning, her presence on stage was fantastic and her voice is beautiful. A very high standard of performer that matched up to her wonderful and well experienced colleagues 

Chris Whittaker 

Having seen two of the musical that Chris worked on this year, we have been witness to his incredible skills as a choreographer. His work is West End worthy and is beautifully done and performed by his performers. His most recent work, Top Hat at the Gatehouse, was stunningly put together and I can't wait to see his work in 2018. @whittakerchoreo 

Karen Mav

I’m completely in love with the voice of Karen Mav. In fact I’m on the verge of emailing her to ask if she will record ‘Listen’ with me from the 2017 revival of Dreamgirls at the Savoy. I saw Karen on my first visit to Dreamgirls. Her energy and voice doesn’t sit out of place with the mammoth role of Effie White. She carried that show and our hearts from walking on stage to the last number. This is her west end debut and I can’t see it being her last show. @karenmavx 

Jack Bannell

Jack completely took my senses by surprise for his portrayal of the hero and a villain in ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ in October at the Greenwich Theatre. His control over both intricate personalities was masterful and the audience left in awe of his ability. Who needs CGI when you have an actor with control over his whole body. @JackBannell 

Patsy Ferran

I saw Patsy Ferran in Speech and Debate at the Trafalgar studio 2 earlier this year but I have seen her previously in Treasure Island at NT and several times during her final year at RADA. Even in the small part of a maid in High Society at RADA she got noticed and secured her west end debut opposite Angela Lansbury in Blythe Spirit. She has a distinctive look, younger than her 25 years, brilliant comic timing and a real stage presence. @PatsyFerran 

Luke Thallon

Luke is a recent graduate from Guildhall and I saw him in Albion at the Almeida earlier this year where he delivered a captivating performance the likes of which I’ve never seen. Quietly remarkable. Now appearing in Misalliance at the Orange Tree which I also saw just before Christmas, in a completely different role, but equally as impressive. Seems to have a modest but solid catalogue of work.

Joshua Lay 

Mark Swale saw Joshua star in Top Hat at the Gatehouse not so long ago and was blown away by his talent. He's been around in the industry for a while now having an extensive list of credits that include Matilda, 42nd Street, She Loves Me, Funny Girl, Crazy for You and a bunch more! He came into his own leading this company and I can't wait to see more of him. @FakeJoshLay

Emma Ralston

I saw Emma in FROGS in 2017 and I couldn't believe the voice this young lady has for her 5'3 stature; laryngeal powerhouse for sure. She's currently staring in the critically mixed Banana man at the southwark playhouse and it certainly will not be her last stop this year. What was that saying about small packages? @Emmaralstonuk

Ben Sell

Legs - Check, Voice - Check, Can paint a mug - Check, Dance: 10. This young man really impressed as one of Lola's Angels (And first cover referee). His energy and presence on stage was awe full and impressive; I simply couldn't take my eyes off him. I'm sure 2018 will see him high kicking on another stage and too soon wouldn't be soon enough. 
Jacques Miche

Jacques Miche we saw in Faustx2 at the Watermill theatre Newbury playing Mephisto opposite the outstanding Ian McDairmid. Though only 20 he matched up well against the experienced actor who adapted the story for this production. He trained at the National Youth Music Theatre and was in the revival of Bugsy Malone at the Lyric Hammersmith and starred in Saving Jason at the Park theatre in 2016. He too has the potential to develop in musical theatre and drama. @Jacques_Miche 

Speaking from experience this is a tough industry and it can wear you down. There are so many talented young and older people (to paraphrase Lady Gaga) living for the applause and this is just a small mention to the stars that have shone this year.

Keep working hard and making us smile/laugh/cry/love and hate into 2018.

Article by James-Lee Campbell 

With additional material by Nick Wayne, Alex Coppola, Anna Williams and Mark Swale. 

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