Thursday, 31 December 2020

The Best Shows we've seen in 2020!

2020.... well, that happened. 

Its been a rubbish year for our industry, but we mustn't dwell on the negatives! So, we thought we'd collect together our top shows that our wonderful reviews have seen this year! Even though these are our top reviewed shows, we just want to say a huge well done to all those who have been involved in creating content this year, as an industry we have pulled through and proven our place in society. Even if the government still don't value us, we must value one another and we wish everyone the utmost success in the new year! 

Without further ado, let's take a look at some of our top shows from 2020! 

"The whole production is directed with great skill and ingenuity by Shaun Kerrison and backed by some excellent video and graphics by George Reeve projected on the large screen above the band and has the feel of a high production value West End show with great musicality and fresh and lively touches. This is no concert; this is a joyous celebration of musical theatre with a powerful and meaningful message that resonated as much today (perhaps more so) than when Charles Dickens wrote it in 1843. Bravo London Musical Theatre Orchestra. We hope you will return to the stage even stronger in 2021." 

"There’s been many other horror plays on stage; notably the long-running Woman in Black and more recently The Exorcist, but this stands head and shoulders above the rest. This is witty, tense and the perfect length for a show that will get your heart racing rather than give you long-lasting nightmares. The production utilises great lighting, sound and other effects to give your senses a real feast. You don’t quite know what to expect when you enter, and the secrets are held safe when you leave. For a fun, jumpy and engrossing night out, don’t miss Ghost Stories."

"We hear a wonderful, fuller voice from Schoenmaker in Can That Boy Foxtrot, beautifully contrasting her famous soprano, whilst Girls Of Summer is sultry and full of yearning... Houchen’s performance is every bit as masterful as his colleague’s. He flits between rich, deeper tones and lighter, romantic notes, keeping us hooked throughout...The show is brilliantly directed for the streamed event; the filming never feels like an afterthought and is peppered with interesting close-ups, transitions and camera angles."

"The Red Shoes exudes high production value - costume changes aplenty and epic lighting on some truly gorgeous set pieces. It is immaculately presented and yet not at all pretentious... I will dream of this production for nights to come. It’s a very special piece of theatrical magic and perhaps the most emotive ballet I’ve ever seen. Completely flawless from start to finish. A must-see for seasoned ballet fans and newcomers alike."

"Starring Molly Lynch and Oli Higginson, they are such a gorgeous duo. Lynch is truly one of the most talented actresses I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing, a truly versatile performer with an incredible range... Oli Higginson, in his musical debut, has the performance skills of someone beyond his years and experience. Having only graduated from drama school in 2019, his performance was simply exquisite... This show is honestly one of the best things you’ll see, such detailed and stunning performances with stunning visuals. O’Boyle has crafted this show to a tee. This is definitely the best show you’ll see this year, maybe even this decade."

"This is a wonderful play bringing understanding of the human stories of refugees and the context of the countries they leave. It is what theatre does better than any other media, an escape from the local news, an emotionally engaging entertainment and an education about a different culture and time."

"This was a perfect show for the time. Well judged in its mix of content, brilliantly executed by the talented cast, and safely managed by the super front of house staff. It offers a hopeful glimmer that life in the theatres for cast, crew and audiences can return to normal and that Michael Ockwell’s fine venue will soon see 2000 plus in the house again. My only regret is that it has not been captured to stream to all those around the country who had or would have booked to see a Pantomime this year who would have enjoyed this show. Is it too late or will they have to wait until next year?"

"It is a compelling one-man performance, fast-paced, humorous and showing off Slater's talents. It deserves a bigger audience but the warm applause at the end was fully deserved not just for his efforts but those of this theatre and staff at getting the show open and showing the bigger venues that by clever programming, careful attention to safety and some creative thinking about meeting our challenges we can get back to watching and enjoying live performances."

"The score is stunning, Rachel Tucker’s vocals stole the show whilst she was supported by a fiercely strong cast, ensemble and the PPA, Arts Ed and Mountview choirs... Julian Kelly directed the 11-part orchestra to an exceptional standard, deservingly taking centre stage throughout the performance. Every element of the production was of the highest quality, pulling out all the stops to create an outstanding piece of theatre."

"This is classic Morecambe and Wise that brings back wonderful memories of their great stage show which I saw in the seventies in the Gaumont Southampton and at a TV recording at Thames TV in the early eighties. Stephens and Ashpitel have got better since I saw them earlier on the tour at Salisbury Playhouse. The jokes may be old but the delivery feels fresh and sparkles. It reminds us of what made the comics great and that there will never be another act as good as Morecambe and Wise."

" has heart and passion in it with loads of comedy and lightness to it. It remains tight and fresh as the day it started... Having seen this show quite a few times, I can officially say this show is one of the best on the West End right now and I think this may be the strongest cast Jamie has ever had so get down to the Apollo Theatre and support this wonderful British musical."

"It’s very rare to leave me speechless, believe me, but Tawala and their Tales From the Front Line have managed it... gaining new perspectives is so important in times like this, and Tales From the Front Line gives you perspective in buckets. The short films use verbatim interviews to ‘explore the historic Covid-19 crisis and its seismic impact on those at the front line’; and its impact on black key workers specifically."

"In my view, this is one of the best pieces of new writing I have seen in the last few years fully deserving its nominations for prizes and although it sensitively focuses on LGBT themes it resonates with us all in thinking about our human relationships and the how we share our innermost feelings and recognise when to move on."

"I felt moved, exhausted from laughter and witness to a television pilot-level performance aching for someone to pick up and do something amazing with. Laura’s a powerhouse of creativity and Patsy fronted something greater than just a puppet show tonight. The applause was deafening and sustained at the end, and deservedly so."

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