MInd the Blog’s most popular 2017 reviews

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

I get rather drawn to the stats page of the blog at times. But it’s always interesting to see the search terms that bring people here – and which posts get the most hits! This time I’ve decided to compile all of the most popular ones in one place, just in case you missed them the first time around.

12. Twelfth Night (Merely Theatre)
Partway through their second national tour, Merely Theatre are currently performing Twelfth Night in rep with Romeo & Juliet using their genderblind company. The cast for this particular performance had a fairly even split, with Tamara Astor and Sarah Peachey opposite Robert Myles, Simon Grujich and David Gerits.

11. Doomed Resistance
Initially appearing as part of one of Falling Pennies’ scratch nights, Doomed Resistance recently premièred in its new hour-long form at the Plymouth Fringe and is now providing lunchtime entertainment is part of this year’s Camden Fringe. Written by Simon Godfrey, it is a farce set in the early days of the First World War in Belgium.

10. The Merry Wives of Windsor (Merely Theatre)
Merely Theatre are a busy bunch. Not only are they still touring their productions of Twelfth Night and Romeo & Juliet in rep, but they’ve also recently revived their A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Stratford-upon-Avon – and for the past two nights they’ve debuted a production of the rarely played The Merry Wives of Windsor at south London’s Theatre N16.

9. The Woman in the Moon
Initially performed as a Read Not Dead piece, before a production at the Rose Playhouse, The Dolphin’s Back have begun a limited run of John Lyly’s The Woman in the Moon in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. It has been billed as his “astrological sex comedy”, and a likely source of inspiration for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Read more…

8. 9 to 5 (Gillingham Dramatic Society)
Originally a 1980 film from Colin Higgins and Patricia Resnick, 9 to 5 was adapted into a musical by Resnick with the help of Dolly Parton (one of the film’s stars) and opened on Broadway in 2009. Its run was incredibly limited, but the show’s appeal hasn’t dimmed; a production toured the UK in 2012, there have been recent London productions, and now Gillingham Dramatic Society have taken it on as their latest show. I was lucky enough to be invited along to their dress rehearsal to give you a preview of what you can expected from their short run. Read more…

7. The Duchess of Malfi
The first part in their ‘The Face of Decadence’ season, Scena Mundi’s latest offering is a full production of John Webster’s dark, murderous tragedy The Duchess of Malfi. Written c. 1613/14, around the same time as Fletcher & Shakespeare’s The Two Noble Kinsmen, it remained a popular play for the next century – though its violent nature proved too much for the more genteel tastes of the Georgians and early Victorians. Read more…

Liam Joseph, Thomas Lovell and Charlotte Price in PLUTO
Photo credit: Moonchild Theatre Company

6. PLUTO
Moonchild Theatre‘s debut venture, a play written and directed by co-founder Callum O’Brien, recently had its first run at Barons Court Theatre in southwest London ahead of summer performances at the King’s Head and Cockpit theatres. One of their key interests is creating pieces that millennials can engage with, and make their audiences think about important social and political ideas. Read more…

5. Gloria
The final production in the current season at Hampstead Theatre is Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Gloria – overlapping with another of his plays An Octoroon, which recently closed at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond. It is a tale full of twists and turns surrounding the lives of people who work in a New York magazine office, exploring some people’s daily struggle to survive in a demoralising environment. Read more…

4. Behind the scenes at Half a Sixpence
Last week (thanks to Raw PR) the Noël Coward Theatre opened its doors to a whole host of bloggers, giving an exclusive look behind the scenes at smash hit musical Half a Sixpence. Since transferring to the West End from Chichester it has enjoyed huge success, seemingly every other month announcing extensions to its run. To celebrate this, rather than simply invite us in to watch the show (obviously a treat in itself) we were given the chance to hear about Charlie Stemp’s experiences from audition to West End leading man, learn a snippet of the Flash, Bang, Wallop choreography from dance captain Jaye Juliette Elster and hold a brief Q&A with cast members Emma Williams, Sam O’Rourke, Bethany Huckle and Charlie Stemp too. Read more…

Edward Hogg and Blythe Duff in Romeo & Juliet
Photo credit: Robert Workman

3. Summer of Love: Romeo & Juliet
“For never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo.” And I’m fairly sure there has never been an instance of a Shakespeare piece being played out in something akin to the Marvel Universe before – that’s where Daniel Kramer comes in. The ENO artistic director has taken on this most famous of tragedies as the season opener for the Globe’s Summer of Love, making a bold statement with his thrillingly modern interpretation. Read more…

2. Bat Out of Hell
For Meat Loaf fans, the stage production of Bat Out of Hell (written as a musical but more famous as the classic albums) has been a long time coming. After an initial run in Manchester, it’s come to London’s West End, where it has been extended due to phenomenal demand. Read more…

1. Breaking Up is Hard to Do
Jersey Boys may have walked like a man from the West End, but luckily London has a natural successor in Breaking Up is Hard to Do. Featuring a choice pick of Neil Sedaka’s back catalogue, it transports Upstairs at the Gatehouse to Catskills in New York for a whirlwind romantic comedy musical that will make you leave with a smile on your face and the songs stuck in your head. Read more…

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Tags:9 to 5, Bat Out Of Hell, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Dolly Parton, Doomed Resistance, Falling Pennies, Gillingham Dramatic Society, Gloria, Half A Sixpence, John Lyly, John Webster, Meat Loaf, Merely Theatre, Moonchild, Neil Sedaka, Pluto, Raw PR, Romeo and Juliet, Scena Mundi, shakespeare, Simon Godfrey, Summer of Love, The Dolphin’s Back, The Duchess of Malfi, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Woman in the Moon, Twelfth Night, William ShakespeareCategories: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.