It’s that time of year again: *sigh* January. It should be a time of new beginnings, of resolutions and excitement. More often that not though it turns out to be a freezing cold month, which goes on and on, where the prospect of getting out of bed early to do that New Year Resolution Daily Run is the worst thing imaginable. WHY WOULD I MAKE THAT RESOLUTION?!
Fortunately I didn’t. Instead, I said I’d see more…well a similar amount of theatre which I have been doing. And it’s only the 14th! Literally, I’m seeing 5 shows in 4 days! Help!
But the good news is it’s helped to cheer me up and I thought I’d return the favour. So if January has given you a bit of a frosty reception, here are some shows to bring some New Year cheer: whether they warm your heart, or warm you up with dancing!
Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Apollo Theatre)
Great for: all the family!
If you liked The Play that Goes Wrong, then you’ll probably like this! Unsurprisingly, because they’re from the same company! And boy did my parents like that show! So I bought them tickets to see the Christmas special, which looks hilarious. Taking the familiar story of Peter Pan, we see an AmDram society try and stage it. ‘Try’ being the key word. I’m seeing it tomorrow, but I can almost guarantee it’ll be a well spent evening!
Peter Pan: Yes. Amateur theatre group: Yes. Easy to watch farce at its finest: YES!
Cymbeline (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse)
Great for: couples, less so for fathers and daughters (though better than Pericles…)
Yes, maybe not the most obvious choice, but bear with…
I’ve seen the current crop of Globe shows and if you’re looking for something comedic, I’d suggest Cymbeline. The story centres around a King who is surrounded by insurrection, the prospect of a Roman invasion, and who loses his daughter. A hoot, right? Well actually, it is! I was genuinely amazed at how much I laughed at a Romance play. Cloten and Iachimo bring the comedy in spades, while Emily Barber’s Imogen and Joseph Marcell’s Cymbeline bring a heartwarming end to the show.
Guys and Dolls (The Savoy Theatre)
Great for: seeing with family/friends
If you’d prefer something more musical, you can bet on Guys and Dolls. See what I did there?
I’ve already seen this production and it’s great fun: singing, dancing, Jamie Parkr, gambling, Jamie Parker. Did I mention Jamie Parker? Sorry, I’ve got him ont he brain after seeing the Barbican’s Herny cycle! Plus, lastminute.com has a great deal on at the moment: we got tickets for £15 for best availability and for whatever reason, we ended up in the Upper Circle, centre row, centre sets. From restricted view to best view in the house! So check that out if you’re after a thrifty deal and a great show!
In the Heights (Kings Cross Theatre)
Great for: a night out with the girls
Guys and Dolls is an old classic. I guess you could say…a safe bet
But if you want something you probably haven’t seen and a bit more modern go for In the Heights. Set in Washington Heights, the show has heart, soul and a piragua. A free one, if you’re lucky! I’ve seen this and trust me: you will leave dancing down the street. If you don’t want to dance in the street though, that’s fine. The show doesn’t stop once it’s over! Stay on after at the bar for dancing, drinks and more dancing! The perfect night out with the girls!
Great for: anyone, no matter what age!
It is a fact universally acknowledged that a man or woman in want of comedy, must be in want of you’re a pantomime. Aka, you’re never too old for pantomime.
With gags for the kids and winks and nods for the big kids, pantomimes have something for everyone. Easy watching, great fun and a chance to get everyone in the family together, plus you can see which once celebrities have fallen this year *cough* Edwina Curry. There are still some pantomimes going on regionally: support your local theatre and have a great night out!
Anyone else have some recommendations for happy/cheerful shows in January?