British summertime; There’s nothing quite like it. Endless days meandering around the capital, sipping cider in quaint beer gardens and blissful evenings watching the sun set over the Thames.
The changing season brings crisp winds, abundant rainfall and chunky sweaters. The nights stretch longer, the leaves float down and the heat of the sun mellows and fades.
As your tan pales you may find yourself engulfed in autumn despondency. So banish fall forlornness with my Top 5 Musical recommendations that will have you in a fevered frenzy before you can worry when the clocks change!
Two words. Imelda Staunton. If you haven’t yet managed to see this revival you are truly missing out. Staunton’s Mama Rose is both despicably ambitious and heartbreakingly charismatic. Her renditions of the show’s stand out numbers including the tremendous 'Rose’s Turn' are truly unforgettable. This performance is unlike anything you will see elsewhere in the West End. Do not miss out.
Scintillating and saucy this show struts straight into my top 5. The multi award-winning musical has finally come to the West End and it does not disappoint. Bravo to star Matt Henry for spending 2 hours each night performing in 6 inch heels with not so much as a wobble (in his voice or his ankles!) His fierce, impressively well balanced Angels, athletic dance routines are executed in a multitude of skyscraper stilettos and make this show visually fabulous. It’s universally appealing humour, phenomenally talented cast and poignant story of friendship, acceptance and equality ensures audiences are left with flushed cheeks that have nothing to do with the weather.
With its raucous atmosphere and the irresistible beats of the Kinks back catalogue it’s impossible not to love Sunny Afternoon. The story of how 4 lads from Muswell Hill formed one of the most iconic bands of the Sixties is teeming with nostalgia. The cast of actor-musicians give outstanding performances, taking the audience on their journey through the highs and lows of their fight for fame and fortune. With countless surprising ear worms and unmistakable hits, this show is a rollercoaster of emotions and if you don’t cry, you’re probably dead.
Featuring stunning vocals from Beverley Knight, Memphis is a high energy, roof raising extravaganza of a show, with a heart rendering love story at its core. Confession? I saw Memphis a little while back and Killian Donnelly’s Huey was a firecracker on that stage. It’s hard to know how anyone could out do it. However I did get a taster of Matt Cardle’s performance at West End Live way back in the summer and Wow! That guy can sing. A return trip is most definitely on the cards before the show closes in October.
Not a conventional musical, as the songs aren’t interwoven with the narrative. The musical numbers only occur when the band in the show are performing. This doesn’t stop The Commitments from being an immensely enjoyable night out. This production has got heart and soul, with an abundance of classic tracks guaranteed to get the audience up on their feet.
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