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My Top Shows of 2022

Updated: Dec 24, 2022

So it’s coming to the end of the year, and what a year it has been! Theatres have been open, lots of new shows and lots of fan favourites closed or imminently closing. It looks like its going to be a great 2023, but let's talk about my favourites, in no particular order.


Can you guess which ones they are from the thumbnails? Comment, telling me your favourite show from 2022.



Cabaret


No 2022 theatre round-up would be complete without Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club in it's line up. It is simply a wonderful production, don't expect a cheesy night of classic musical theatre. This production is immersive, dark, grungy, sexy... basically all the good stuff.


My partner and I were lucky to get last minute tickets in the front row tables, including a three-course dinner, early access and champagne. While this experience was indulgent and the epitome of immersive theatre, they are currently selling for £375 each (you have to book two seats) which is far too expensive!


Tammy Faye


The Almeida's production of Tammy Faye was exquisite, with (in my humble opinion) this years standout performance by Olivier Award-winner Katie Brayben in the titular role, a cracking score by legendary duo Elton John and Jake Shears and a gorgeously simple set by my favourite designer Bunny Christie.


This would have been perfection, if not for a lacklustre performance by Andrew Rannells of Book of Mormon fame (whom an early 20s LTD would have cried to see in person). I've previously experienced the incredible talent of this performer so I felt slightly let down. Maybe he was just outshone (what could be worse) by Katie Brayben's Tammy Faye.


The Crucible


I'm ashamed to admit it, but I had never seen The Crucible on stage, nor the movie, nor read the text, prior to seeing the National Theatre's production. I was simply mesmerised the whole time.


Arriving in the Olivier Theatre was a breathtaking storm, rain pouring from the roof, eerily lit, creating an immediate sense of unease in the audience (especially those in the splash zone. Well done to Es Devlin (Set Designer) as well as Tim Lutkin (Lighting Designer). I have few words to say than just outstanding.


To see more of the rain in action and how it was made, see this clip.


Beauty and The Beast


This was an example of what can be done with Disney money. Stunning costumes: from a steaming Mrs Potts to Lumiere (the candlestick to those non-Disney lovers) with real fire bursting from his arms. The set, with rotating golden rococo walls descending to partition off areas of the stage, and a truly dazzlingly choreographed Be Our Guest.


The performance was sadly marred by a misbehaved audience constantly taking photos and videos on their phones. Listen to Patti Lupone people, it's live theatre you will survive without a phone for two and a half hours. I would know, I am the Theatre Doctor.


42 Balloons


To describe the plot of this 1980s, four performance, musical in short is going to be a challenge but here we go. In 1982 a man called Larry dreams of flying, he creates a plan with his wife to tie 42 weather balloons to a lawn chair, he flies 16,000feet in the air, gains his 15 minutes of fame and ultimately tragic public ridicule.


Despite the insane (but true, look it up) story, you might be saying "that's pretty crazy, why did you go see a musical about balloons?". The reason, theatre is fun and I love 80s nostalgic bangers and synth music performed by an incredibly talented cast and band. This musical demonstrated that it is is one to look out for in future. A purely joyous show. Here is an example of the opening song... if you listen closely I've quoted it an exceptional amount in this review (and a lawn chair).




What were your favourite shows?


These were my top 5 shows. What do you think? Did you see any of them? Were there any I missed? Get involved in the comments.




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