Thursday, 27 December 2018

Stand out Performances of 2018

2018 saw many kinds of theatre; ground breaking theatre like The Inheritance, gender swapping in Company, new musical theatre like Unexpected Joy at the Southwark, twisting and retelling of loved  shows like Little Shop of Horrors and revivals of classic like Pinter at the Pinter. Within that we have seen some incredible performances and we wanted to highlight some of our top performances of the year. What are yours?! 

Rosalie Craig in Company at the Gielgud Theatre

The first Female to tackle the role of Bobby (Or Bobbie in this adaptation) in Stephen Sondheim's Company, she succeeds in every way possible. She gives a real and genuine performance that is natural and precise, this role could have been written for her. Alongside one of the best ensemble of actors in the West End, she proves exactly why she is the true meaning of a Leading Lady. Company closes on the 30th March, so get down to see her quickly!

Marc Antolin in Little Shop of Horrors at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

After seeing Marc in quite a few things over his career, we knew he was great but after seeing him as Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors over the summer at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, we finally saw how truly versatile and brilliant he is as an actor. Maybe not the obvious choice for the role aesthetically but he was absolutely the perfect choice in this wonderful and ground breaking production.

Jodie Jacobs in Unexpected Joy at the Southwark Playhouse

This charming original musical only did a short run at the Southwark Playhouse but left a lasting impression on us. Especially the wonderfully talented Jodie Jacobs. She has been one we've watched since we discovered her in Rock of Ages but she proved in this show not only how much of a talented singer she is but also an incredible actor. Playing the religious stuck up mother, Rachel, she gave us everything you could ever want from an actor in a musical.

Samuel H. Levine in The Inheritance at the Noël Coward Theatre

Playing Young Man 1/Adam/Leo in The Inheritance, his performance just blew us away completely. In a company filled with outstanding acting, we had to mention Samuel individually because his performance was something we haven't seen on stage before. He is a fine actor and his performance in this play is absolutely not one to be missed. You have until the 19th January to see this show, one of the best of the year

Kate O'Flynn in Pinter at the Pinter at the Harold Pinter Theatre

Kate appeared in One for the Pinter at the Pinter - One for the Road/New World Order/Ashes to Ashes/Mountain Language and was a stand out performer in this. We first became a fan of her in The Glass Menagerie at the Duke of York's Theatre but in this production she proved just how much of a versatile actress she is. Her performance was captivating, if you missed this one you should be angry with yourself!

Gavin Spokes in Quiz at the Noël Coward Theatre

Currently in Company at the Gielgud Theatre as Harry, Husband to Sarah played by Mel Giedroyc. Gavin previously graced the West End stage as the lead role in the new play, Quiz. His perfjoamcne was outstanding and he really held this show together. An intelligent and interesting interpretation of the role and we're very happy he's back in the West End now.

Caroline O'Connor in The Rink at the Southwark Playhouse

This could not have been more perfect casting if they tried, casting Caroline O'Connor in the lead role in this show was one of the highlights of the year and she did an amazing job. The show itself was outstanding and this role could have easily been written for this incredibly talented woman. If you missed this one, you missed one of the most important shows of 2018.

Alan Richardson in Chicago at the Phoenix Theatre

Mary Sunshine may be a smaller role in the hit musical Chicago but Alan Richardson makes it one of the most memorable things you come out with after the show. His performance has certainly stayed with me and anyone we talk to about this show always, without doubt, mentions him. This show is on its way out in January so make sure you head over to see it, even if its just see see Alan hit those top notes.

Cassidy Janson in Chess at the London Coliseum

Cassidy Janson is one of the best leading ladies we have at the moment in the West End, a true professional she has played Elphaba and featured in Avenue Q but you might know her best after playing Carole King in Beautiful. She played Florence in the revival of Chess at the London Coliseum, this should be one of her greatest achievements. Why? Because she held that show together and gave an honest and truly brilliant performance.

Jonathan Carlton in Pippin at the Southwark Playhouse

One of our best shows of 2018, Jonathan performed the title role in Pippin at the Hope Mill Theatre and then later at the Southwark Playhouse this year, a role that we hear being sung at cabarets and auditions all the time but he gave it new life and stunned us with his fantastic voice. Having not graduated very long, he is now in the West End cast of Kinky Boots covering the lead role of Charlie Price.

Katherine Kingsley in Dusty on Tour around the UK

Every one loves a bit of Katherine Kingsley and her performance as Dusty Springfield in the recent tour of Dusty, directed by Maria Friedman, around the UK was outstanding. She really embodied Dusty as a character and made her lovable and told her heart breaking and empowering story so well. She is currently featured in the cast of Pinter at the Pinter, featuring in Pinter 6.

Louis Maskell in The Grinning Man at Trafalgar Studios

I think anyone who saw this show would agree it was out of this world, and the same can be said for Louis Maskells performance in it too. His ability to not only sing out of that mask and make up but to sing like he did just baffles us. His voice is insane and we can't wait to see more from this man. He is currently in Doctor Faustus at the Globe playing through till February.

Cary Mulligan in Girls and Boys at the Royal Court

Renowned as one of the finest British actresses, it really was no wonder that this one-woman show starring Carey Mulligan was such a success. The pressure may have been even greater given what a famous face she is; she had something to prove perhaps. She was, spellbinding: an expert storyteller, with subtle transformations which lulled us in, making the sucker punch ending even more breathtaking. She affirmed her place as one of the most skilful actresses out there. 

Oliver Tompsett in Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre 

We've been a fan of Oliver Tompsett for a while now, seeing him in many shows over the years. But after seeing him in the long running show Kinky Boots, Closing in the new year, we couldn't have imagined anyone more perfect for that role. His voice is stunning and is just the perfect fit for this role. Its such a shame the show is closing, but if you caught him in it you'll know exactly what we're talking about!

Article by Mark Swale, with additional material by Chester Clark
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