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1 January 2022

My 2021 in Theatre

 What a year we have just had. The virus we all thought would be over in a few months is still with us almost two years on. It has affected us all in many ways, from physically to mentally and for Theatre it has been for some devastating.

For me personally, the year started with a variety of streamed shows which kept my theatre heart beating if only lightly but the return of live and in the room theatre brought me such happiness and joy, if not a good deal of nervousness and trepidation.

For me, nothing is better than sitting in a theatre, whether it be alone or with friends and family and the lights go down, the overture starts and the show begins. So to return to the theatre after eighteen months away was absolutely glorious. My return came in the shape of RENT at the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester. The show itself was absolutely amazing and fantastic, the cast were incredible and everything about it was brilliant but for me what made it one of my most favourite experiences in theatre this year was that I got to see it with some of my favourite people, people that I gained as friends (almost theatre family) through three lockdowns and a global pandemic. They have literally made the last two years liveable and without them I'd hate to think where I would be.

September saw me finally being formally introduced to one of my favourite musicals of the year and maybe the decade, Amelie the Musical. This show was drip fed to me throughout many a zoom quiz and through months of listening to the Original London Cast recording but nothing could have prepared me to sit in a theatre and watch it in person, so much so that in the space of two weeks I watched it twice. I do wish that I'd seen it more because my love for this show is so strong but the memories of the show that I have will live with me for a very long time.

Out of London, I was able to see a few things more locally on UK tours including Everybody's Talking about Jamie, School of Rock and Groan Ups which were lovely to see and all of which I'd one hundred per cent see again and recommend to anyone to watch if they're coming anywhere near you.

Frozen the Musical currently playing at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is definitely up there as one of my favourite shows I've seen in 2021, the complete spectacle of the show from the costumes to the sets, the cast and the front of house staff too it was so amazing to finally see the show after the pandemic had pushed back our visit to Arendelle. From the moment you first step in you can feel the air thick with Disney magic and it is glorious, I definitely want to return next year with my friend Elle and her daughter so they can witness the magic too.

There is final show that I wanted to mention (if this post has not been enough theatre for you all, check out my YouTube Channel The Theatre Necessities, in which I will be uploading a complete recap of all the theatre that I saw this year very soon) and that is What's New Pussycat at the Birmingham Rep theatre as it was the show surprised me the most this year. I had no expectations or knowledge really of the show prior to taking my seat but it was absolutely fantastic. What's New Pussycat uses the songs of the Welsh rather famous singer Tom Jones to tell the story of another Tom Jones, based on the novel by Henry Fielding called The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. It sounds confusing but it's very easy to follow and a great watch that I hope gets as many awards as it is nominated for.

I can't wait to see what 2022 has in store for me and for theatre and I can't wait to see what the year has ahead.

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