My Top 5 Picks for 2016

Yesterday, I looked back at some of my favourite shows I saw heard in 2015.

And what better way to start the New Year than looking forward to what’s coming up in 2016. Thus far I’ve only booked about 20 shows…’only’…so it was a tough choice, but here are my Top 5.

 

5) Basic Space (Peckham 16th-21st February 2016)

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Last year, I enjoyed my visits to a few pop up style theatre sites, which are growing in popularity off West End. I saw The Kitchen Sink which saw a pub at the heart of a community transformed for a community drama. And in a similar vein, The Dazzle transformed an old university building in Charing Cross into the intimate Found 111 theatre. How do I know what it was before? Weirdly my friend used to go there and remembered as we arrived!

This year, there are already a few pop up style events announced. One which I’m particularly looking forward to is Basic Space, a site-sensitive theatrical experience. It’s a bold enterprise to stage one show in a temporary venue, let alone six which is what Artistic Director Mark Rolland aims to do! For one week only, two warehouses in Peckham will become a hub of theatrical activity, playing host to a range of shows. From zombies to Shakespeare, there’s something for everyone.

Another great thing about this is it’s message behind it. It’s making theatre accessible for emerging talents, not charging them for taking part and splitting the profits 50/50 with the companies. Because of this, they’re looking for a bit of funding to secure the venue and there’s still time left to donate and help Kickstart this great theatreical (ad)venture! And be sure to follow them on Twitter for all the latest updates!

 

4) Aladdin (Prince Edward Theatre, 27th May onwards)

We’ve got a few Broadway transfers this season: Hand to God, Aladdin…no sign of Hamilton…yet!

The one I’m most looking forward to most though is Aladdin. Half because I’ve seen clips from the Broadway version and it looks like it’s transferred really well to stage from film.

And half because I just Jade Ewen in In The Heights, who’ll be playing Jasmine and she was incredible. I can’t wait to hear their version of A Whole New World.

Well, those and finally have you heard the songs?! They’re so catchy!

 

3) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Palace Theatre, 30th July 2016 onwards)

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Potter heads everywhere are in for a treat this year. Not only is the new film Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them coming out, but a new play as well!

Following on from the events of the books, we pick up many years later with a grown up Harry. Of course, this involves recasting the famous trio and this was recently announced. I may have been a bit too excited about Jamie Parker.

The only downside of this production is that it’s only on in London at present. This either means devoted international fans will either 1) have to travel and spend a lot of money, 2) hope for bootlegs which isn’t good for business or 3) go without. Unless they broadcast it like NT Live. Which would be the only sensible option.

 

2) Old Vic Season 2016:

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Couldn’t really pick one stand out show from the The Old Vic, so just decided to go for everything!

I’ve always been a fan of the Old Vic and probably see more there than anywhere else…aside the Globe! It’s a great long running part of London theatre and I’m always amazed at how adventurous they are in terms of space, production and movement. So I’m really looking forward to seeing what it has to offer this year!

The Lorax saw in the new year. And it’s only getting better!

I’ve already got my tickets for two of the new shows: The Master Builder with Ralph Fiennes and Jekyll and Hyde. The latter is a production which combines drama and dance. And we all know what I thought of the last production which ‘attempted’ this went…But I’m hopeful it’ll work better, given the source material.

 

1) Shakespeare (EVERYWHERE IN 2016)

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In case you didn’t realise from pretty much all my posts this week, it’s a big year for Shakespeare. It’s the 400th anniversary of his death and I can’t wait for celebrations to start!

…that still sounds really morbid…

Barbican starts us off with the History Cycle, following in the footsteps of the Rose Theatre Kingston last year. Then we have the Globe’s incredible Wonder Season with new Artistic Director Emma Rice. And then the RSC. And Kenneth Branagh’s Romeo and Juliet. And Regents Park Open Air Theatres Henry V. And that’s not even mentioning the exhibitions, conferences, or even the second part of the Hollow Crown!

I’m starting my celebrations already, as next week I’m heading to the Barbican for the History Cycle. A three day event! And I’ve got a whole year ahead full of more fun! Expect a dedicated Shakespeare 2016 post for all the info on where to catch what!

 

And what are you all looking forward to in 2016? Any suggestions?

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