I’ve given some thought to the various actors and actresses on stage and screen who have ‘made’ 2016 for me, and these choices are from my heart and my head.
My favourite moments of the shows that I saw in 2016 are below and include performances from across the UK, together with the USA and also Europe. Theatre, cabaret, dance and concert performances are all included and there’s no ranking.
From Chichester to Charing Cross, the Globe, Southampton, Menier Chocolate Factory, the Union and the RSC – for those of you who’ve already read our roundup of our favourite performances from 2016, some of our picks will come as no surprise, but here are the shows we’re still talking about.
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.
2016 is nearly over and, despite not getting to see nearly as much theatre as we’d like at Sitting in the Cheap Seats, we’ve seen lots of performances that we will long remember. We couldn’t list all the people who have really impressed us over the past year but the folks below brought their characters to life with performances that made us laugh, cry and kept us thinking long after we left the theatre!
The Union Theatre’s founder Sasha Regan, who is a wonderful facilitator and supporter of young talent and vital to a growing industry, doesn’t have to play by the normal rules
July was a big month for Q&As for me so I’ve been a little pre-occupied by follow-up blogs on those. But in addition to musicals I’ve hosted events at – I’m Getting My Act Together and Through the Mill, both of which have now completed their strictly limited runs at, respectively, Jermyn Street Theatre and Southwark Playhouse – here are three more musicals I’ve seen recently and can recommend.
Taking on the role of Violet Chandler in The Fix has been a challenge for her, but it’s one she’s embraced and it’s led her to a nomination for an Offie award. I caught up with Lucy while she was metamorphosing into the musical’s determined widow!
In a plot which is The West Wing: The Musical before the interval, and The Sopranos after, his Jackie Kennedy-esque widow (scenery chewing fun and tiptop vocals from Lucy Williamson) shifts her manipulative sights to her son, Fra Fee.
The show, however, is driven by the astonishing performances of Lucy Williamson as Violet and Ken Christiansen’s Grahame. Williamson’s performance is a powerhouse.
I was already familiar with the original soundtrack to this controversial yet exceptionally current piece of musical theatre; I have also watched clips of other performers playing the main roles. However, in three years of theatre blogging, I have never seen a performance that matches the magic of Lucy Williamson’s genius portrayal of Violet Chandler.
A perfect, no-frills performance space for a political musical statement awaits us. The Fix is a story of a senator who dies “on the job” with a prostitute.
There are times when theatre can seem almost too prescient, where a show can offer a glimpse into a possible future that seems a little too real. There are moments in Michael Strassen’s production of The Fix that make you wonder just how much we are manipulated by the public view of politicians, and just how much they are all hiding.