Mind the Blog’s 2017 review

In Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Debbie GilpinLeave a Comment

 

With Sunny Afternoon officially off the radar (I’d kept Wimbledon in mind, but timing & prices sealed it), 2017 was set to revolve almost entirely around the Globe. There was also the tiny thing of my solo trip to New York to think about early on…

Despite a slow, measured start, I upped the pace after a while and (after today) will have somehow managed to see 212 different shows (my P.B.) – and 291 shows in total, equalling 2016. What’s not included in that number is the amount of concerts and the like that I’ve also squeezed in, so I’ve basically had very little time off – I even went straight back to reviewing the day after I flew back from America!

The most repeat visits I managed was Twelfth Night at the Globe (16 shows – four above my target of 12), with Much Ado coming in just behind on 13. In fact, I had 43 shows in the Summer of Love (all standing, bar a press ticket for a few) and four Festival of Independence shows, included in the summer season; I even managed my first non-Sunny Afternoon challenge week at the end of August.

I did all three midnight matinées, and another study day. All in the name of making the most of Emma Rice’s final outdoor season… And I’m doing my best to take advantage of the winter (indoor) season more this time around too. I’m alternating between nervous and intrigued about Michelle Terry’s inaugural season, so I’m glad there isn’t much longer to wait for her programme announcement; what’s clear is that I won’t be effectively living at the Globe next year, but I’m open to what lies ahead.

Gillian Hardie, Kay Milbourne and Emma Clifford
Photo credit: Richard Cave

I’m still keeping up with the Sunny alumni, where possible – possibly the most significant was Kay alternating the lead in the Mamma Mia! UK tour, as well as Gabriel and Lloyd taking on big roles early on in the year. I also managed to see nearly all of the shows I previewed in January, though my prediction about being thwarted by the Harry Potter fandom for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead tickets ended up being correct – and I was unsuccessful with the ticket lottery for Don Juan in Soho.

Looking back at my theatre resolutions, I’ve had mixed success! Finally I managed a night at the opera, though I do still need to go to the Royal Opera House or the Coliseum (or both) to see an opera. I’ve also made a couple of trips to Stratford-upon-Avon and ticked off both of those theatres, and there have definitely been many more features published throughout the year.

Sadly I missed out on the RADA graduates’ shows (they came at an incredibly busy time for me), and there was just no convenient time to attempt the Book of Mormon lottery. I will definitely give it a go soon though!

Giles Terera and the cast of Hamilton
Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

After refusing to give in to the massive hype, I found myself in the insanely fortunate position of getting to see the West End transfer of Hamilton in its first week. I was, of course, instantly sucked in – and all that effort of avoiding the cast recording (as well as anything to do with the story) became so worth it. Being able to go in with a completely blank canvas is something I’d recommend to anyone. Now I just have to wait until July to definitely see it again…

Mind the Blog has recently joined the ranks of My Theatre Mates, and undergone a little bit of a revamp to celebrate its third anniversary. With several dates booked up already, 2018 is looking very bright!

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Tags:#GlobeChallenge, Emma Rice, Gabriel Vick, Globe Theatre, Hamilton, Kay Milbourne, Lloyd Gorman, London, Mamma Mia!, Michelle Terry, Much Ado About Nothing, Off West End, opera, Shakespeare’s Globe, Stratford-upon-Avon, Summer of Love, Sunny Afternoon, theatre, Twelfth Night, West EndCategories:all posts, theatre

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Debbie Gilpin on FacebookDebbie Gilpin on Twitter
Debbie Gilpin
Debbie Gilpin stumbled into writing about theatre when she moved to London after studying for a degree in Human Genetics at Newcastle University. She started her website Mind the Blog in November 2014 and also tweets from @Mind_the_Blog. She spent the best part of 2014-16 inadvertently documenting Sunny Afternoon in the West End, and now also writes for BroadwayWorld UK. Debbie’s theatre passions are Shakespeare and new writing, but she’s also a sucker for shows with a tap routine.
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Debbie Gilpin on FacebookDebbie Gilpin on Twitter
Debbie Gilpin
Debbie Gilpin stumbled into writing about theatre when she moved to London after studying for a degree in Human Genetics at Newcastle University. She started her website Mind the Blog in November 2014 and also tweets from @Mind_the_Blog. She spent the best part of 2014-16 inadvertently documenting Sunny Afternoon in the West End, and now also writes for BroadwayWorld UK. Debbie’s theatre passions are Shakespeare and new writing, but she’s also a sucker for shows with a tap routine.