Ahead of rounding up various publications #theatre2016 highlights, I’m taking a moment to reflect on my own theatregoing year and my favourite plays, musicals, performances and other events.
Quirky, exaggerated entertainment is just one way to describe this show, which combines fiction and reality quite effectively.
Have you seen the myriad five-star reviews for our Featured Show, the 25th anniversary revival of Bryony Lavery’s bodice-ripping musical comedy HER ACHING HEART. A selection of some of our favourite review quotes are gathered below
Small, perfectly formed, alternative Christmas treats: I saw two two-hander musical gems last weekend: Her Aching Heart at the Hope Theatre in Islington and, on the opposite side of town, Another Night Before Christmas at the Bridge House Theatre in Penge.
It might be more of a ‘play with songs’ than a full blown musical but Bryony Lavery’s Her Aching Heart now playing at the Hope Theatre, is one of those rarely performed gems that displays just the sort of quirky wit in its writing that many of today’s new musical offerings could do well to emulate.
Bryony Lavery’s Victorian send-up Her Aching Heart has all the OTT melodrama and silliness of a pantomime, but this two-character, lesbian love story is decidedly not a panto. Full of innuendo and comedy, the play-within-a-play is a well executed, richly designed and utterly delightful affair.
How can something manage to be irrevocably silly, challenging, and touching, all at the same time? Through a combination of scenery, song and superb character acting, Her Aching Heart manages to be all of these things at once.
Yes it is universal but yes, it is also unashamedly all the shades of the LGBTQ+ rainbow – and as director Matthew Parker gives us one final fabulous surprise at the last, my heart filled with pride. A vital and vibrant alternative to all those pantomimes out there and hugely recommended.
The one that absolutely blew me away in performance was Wigmaker, which is billed as a “modern hairy fairy tale” about a beautiful wigmaker whose wigs come to life at night. The music and lyrics to this piece by Douglas Hodge are stunning.
Her Aching Heart is a fast-paced, funny and fruity romp, pastiching Gothic literature with a sapphic twist. Two actresses play eight roles between them and keep bursting into song. It’s theatrical, sexy and hilarious. What’s not to love?!
Watch our exclusive video announcement from the Hope Theatre revealing cast and first-look images for the much-anticipated 25th anniversary revival of Bryony Lavery musical HER ACHING HEART….
The Hope Theatre is thrilled to announce that West End producers LWL Entertainment Ltd will co-produce their third 2016 in-house production, the 25th anniversary revival Bryony Lavery musical HER ACHING HEART. The production, directed by Hope artistic director Matthew Parker, runs for a strictly limited season 29 November to 23 December 2016