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Posts Tagged ‘Waterloo East Theatre’

I’ve decided it’s time for my very own awards, but I’m going to stick to productions rather than recognise individuals and I’ve chickened out of ranking them, so here’s the best (39! )of 2010, in four categories but no particular order! A terrific year…..

BEST NEW PLAY – an impressive year, particularly for the Royal Court

Clybourne Park, Tribes, Posh & Sucker Punch – all at the Royal Court / The White Guard & Blood and Gifts – both at the National / Canary & Dunsinane – both at Hampstead / Women Power and Politics – Tricycle / The Big Fellah – Lyric Hammersmith / My Romantic History – Bush / Ruined – Almeida / The Animals and Children Took To The Streets – BAC

…..and all in subsidised theatres!

BEST NEW MUSICAL – less than a handful!

Love Story – Chichester to Duchess / Legally Blonde – Savoy / Departure Lounge -Waterloo East / Reasons to be Cheerful – Theatre Royal Stratford

BEST PLAY – REVIVAL – an embarrassment of riches; the NT shining

After the Dance , Men Should Weep, London Assurance, Hamlet, Beyond the Horizon & Spring Storm – National / Love on the Dole – Finborough / The Crucible – Open Air / Beauty Queen of Leenane – Young Vic / Broken Glass – Tricycle / Design for Living – Old Vic / All My Sons – Apollo Theatre / Measure for Measure – Almeida Theatre / Shirley Valentine – Menier Chocolate Factory

BEST MUSICAL – REVIVAL

Assassins & Bells Are Ringing – Union Theatre / Into The Woods – Open Air Theatre / Sweet Charity – Menier Chocolate Factory / Sweeney Todd – NYMT / Me & Juliet – Finborough / Pins & Needles – Cock Tavern

Not qualifying as they weren’t staged, but a special mention for the Donmar Warehouse Sondheim at 80 concert performances

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This is the second of the Edinburgh ones-that-got-away that I’ve caught up with back in London and boy am I glad I did!

It’s a musical where four lads in the departure lounge at a Spanish airport look back at their hedonistic week in the sun and reflect on life at the crossroads between school and university. I was expecting mere ladishness, but what surprised me was how much depth the rights-of-passage story has, the richness of the characterisation and how much it has to say about friendship.

In some musicals the songs seem artificially ‘slotted in’, but here Dougal Irvine’s excellent music is completely in keeping with the context, the tale and the characters. Accompanied by two acoustic guitars, the brilliantly funny lyrics are all clearly audible and the singing is first class – I was particularly impressed by the voice of Liam Tamne, but Chris Fountain, Jack Shalloo and Steven Webb also sang very well.

I felt a bit sorry for Verity Rushworth in the role of Sophie which is pivotal but a bit under-written, making her seem an ‘extra’, but she played it very well indeed. Spesh Moloney and the composer provided fine accompaniment.

This is an uplifting feel good show which I really hope has a life beyond this short run at Waterloo East Theatre (itself a welcome addition to the cultural landscape of SE1), but don’t wait, go now while you can.

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