By Sophie Reed
5) Legally Blonde
I went to see this with my best friend, Beth, for her birthday because it is her favourite musical. The musical follows a blonde named Elle Woods, who just got dumped by her ‘perfect’ boyfriend Warner. To win him back she follows him to Harvard Law school and ends up learning, not just a lot of law, but a lot about herself.
I was nervous seeing the UK tour because I am a big lover of Laura Bell Bundy’s version of Elle, but Lucie Jones made the role her own. Her performance acting wise and vocally was outstanding, maybe even surpassing Laura Bell Bundy. They accommodated well the set, baring in mind they are a touring production. I loved it.
This show is all singing, all dancing, glittering spectacular! Dreamgirls tells the story of 3 girls trying to break it into show business. I was lucky enough to see Amber Riley, who won an Olivier for her role as Effie White, and I’ve never felt more privileged to see a performance in my life. Her ‘And I’m Telling You, I’m Not Going’ left me feeling breathless, a reaction that I have never had to a performance before and then the talented ensemble’s constant energy has made it my number 4.
3) Venus in Fur
Theatre Royal, Haymarket
The only play I saw this year. This 2-hander play tells the story of a Director, Thomas, played by Victoria’s David Oakes, auditioning women for his play, an adaptation of Venus in Fur. Vanda, played by Game of Throne’s Natalie Dormer believes she’s the one for the role. They perform parts of the play, so it becomes a play within and play and the actors play characters within characters.
This play is so enticing, it plays with the concept of domination and submission and questioning who is the one in control. It may be a difficult play to describe, however, the play itself is simple and easy to follow for the audience. I’m also a big fan of both Dormer and Oakes and it was refreshing to see them in something different to what they usually do. Also, there’s nothing like seeing actors live and it really showed the insane talent they both possess.
2) The Woman in White
Charing Cross Theatre
I was lucky enough to see The Woman in White on its 2nd Preview. The musical is adapted from the novel of the same name. A painter, while travelling to a stately home to tutor two well brought up ladies, is confronted by a woman in white warning him of a man named Percival Graves. After he arrives at the home, he falls in loves with the youngest go the two sisters, later to find out she’s is promised to marry Percival Graves.
The small theatre was fitting to this musical. Its not a big song and dance musical, not showy. It’s simple and intimate with beautiful melodies and songs. It has to be my number two because of the intimacy of it, it struck a chord with me. Though I have never been in a situation like the ones that are shown in the musical, it was personal to me.
1) Half a Sixpence
Noel Coward Theatre
This has got to be my top show! Half a Sixpence tells the story of young man names Arthur Kipps, who has just come into some money, being stuck between choosing his childhood sweetheart and a new, richer sweetheart. With a crazily talented cast, special shout out to leading man Charlie Stemp, who’s heading to Broadway’s Hello Dolly in the New Year, a brilliant, catchy score and choreography that makes the audience feel tired. This show is one of, if not, the most uplifting, visually beautiful musicals that was on the West End this year.