October is a sad month for fans of Hollywood’s golden age as Top Hat will tap its way out of London on Saturday 26th October. Seventy seven years after its movie release, last year Top Hat transferred to the West End following a highly successful sell-out UK tour. Earlier this year the show picked up three Olivier Awards for Best Theatre Choreographer (Bill Deamer), Best Costume Design (Jon Morrell) and the all-important Best New Musical Award.
Although Top Hat is a new musical it has all the ingredients of an old-school, timeless classic. Top Hat features the most beautiful choreography, big sets and dazzling costumes, as well as one of the most talented casts in the West End. The musical is cheesy, harmless fun and makes the perfect family treat as both grandmas and grandchildren will find the show utterly transfixing. Top Hat will be sorely missed when it closes at the end of this month and if you haven’t yet had the pleasure of watching this magical show, you really should try and see it before it’s too late.
The Bodyguard premiered last November, taking the West End by storm as it celebrated opening with advance ticket sale of over £4 million. The show is still going strong, with multi award-winning recording artist Beverley Knight currently leading the cast as superstar Rachel Marron. She is joined by ex-Casualty actor Tristan Gemmill who plays Frank Farmer, Rachel’s bodyguard. The show marks Knight’s West End debut and Gemmill’s return to theatre following a seven year break.
The Bodyguard breaks the trend of cheesy jukebox musicals, as while the finale creates an electric party atmosphere, the story is incredibly dramatic and gritty in places. No cost has been spared as the design is big and arty, making The Bodyguard an unmissable night out for any Whitney Houston fan.
Following two sell out runs at the Young Vic, in August Carrie Cracknell’s production of A Doll’s House transferred to the West End, opening once again to critical acclaim. The West End run has been so successful that following the play’s closure in four weeks time on 26th October 2013, the production will transfer to New York where it will enjoy a run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) early next year.
Hattie Morahan steals the show and gives the performance of a lifetime as Nora Helmer. Although Ibsen’s play about debt, blackmail, friendship, sexism and love was written in 1879, A Doll’s House is still just as relevant today and manages to evoke quite a response from the audience. With a clever, revolving stage the play is also visually engaging and is simply unmissable.
Since returning to the West End towards the end of last year, it has been common knowledge that Spamalot is one of the funniest musicals in the West End. However, now that Life’s Too Short co-stars Warwick Davis and Les Dennis have joined theatrical legend Bonnie Langford in the cast there has never been a better time to see the musical which is lovingly ripped off from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Regardless of whether you are a Monty Python fan or not, Spamalot is guaranteed to have you in hysterics all evening. With a speedy running time of just two hours (including an interval) Spamalot is the perfect show for those people who don’t always enjoy going to the theatre. Warwick Davis plays Pasty until 19th October and Les Dennis plays King Arthur until 2nd November 2013.
Following productions of Macbeth and The Hothouse, The Pride is the third (out of four) productions in director Jamie Lloyd’s season ‘Trafalgar Transformed’ at Trafalgar Studios. Alexi Kaye Campbell’s play seamlessly switches between 1958 and the present day, following a complex love triangle and a character who is struggling to come to terms with his sexuality.
Not for the faint hearted, The Pride is a gritty and sometimes graphic story which, following a successful run at the Royal Court in 2008, had been brought up to date for 2013 audiences making it more relevant than ever. The all star cast features Hayley Atwell and Gavin and Stacey star Mathew Horne as you’ve never seen him before.