2016 is coming to an end and to celebrate another year, here is some of Love London Love Culture’s favourite moments of the year:
Grey Gardens, Southwark Playhouse: this heartbreaking production starring Sheila Hancock and Jenna Russell created a genuine buzz with audiences and critics when it appeared at the Southwark Playhouse in January. A show that will hopefully will be revived sooner rather than later again.
Show Boat, New London Theatre: genuinely sad that the revival of this classic musical didn’t manage to stay longer in the West End as the level of talent involved was incredibly high. Even to hear the score performed live was an absolute delight – despite some of the sound issues that caused the music to sound slightly out of focus.
Painting the Modern Garden, Royal Academy of Arts: this was a beautiful exhibition, filled with colour and a true celebration of nature and those who painted it. It remains a highlight of this year.
Curtain Up: Celebrating 40 Years of Theatre in London and New York, Victoria and Albert Museum : filled with props, costume designs and other theatre related objects this was a theatre fan’s dream exhibition. It wasn’t very big and was a concise exhibition, but it was a delight to visit from beginning to end.
Nell Gwynn, Apollo Theatre: it was a delight to watch Gemma Arterton in the title role of this sparkling play by Jessica Swale – plenty of attitude and sharp wit as well as bawdy humour kept the audience entertained in this production.
Botticelli Reimagined, Victoria and Albert Museum: it was interesting to see how one famous piece of art could inspire a number of other artists in a variety of different ways in such a bold exhibition that made you think of art in a different perspective.
Vanities: The Musical, Trafalgar Studios: making its long awaited European premiere earlier this year, this was a really beautiful and entertaining production that fitted in well in the smaller studio space. Light, fluffy and some memorable songs this was such a joy to watch.
Zootropolis: this is a brilliant Disney film that has as much for adults to enjoy as children and proved to be popular with audiences and critics. It feels grown up, yet still has all of the heartwarming qualities that Disney is well known for.
Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones Exhibition, Saatchi Gallery: now in New York, this exhibition celebrated the rise of one of the biggest rock bands of all time, in a vivid and immersive exhibition that was fascinating to walk around.
Frankenstein, Royal Opera House: the world premiere of this new ballet was wonderful to watch thanks to the gothic setting and the emotional impact the ballet and the dancers performing had on the audience.
Aladdin, Prince Edward Theatre: this Broadway transfer of the hit musical finally arrived in London earlier this year to strong and positive reviews. It is light hearted entertainment suitable for all of the family.
American Idiot, Arts Theatre: this hit production returned to the West End following a successful UK tour and proved as popular as ever with audiences. It was a rocking good time!
Allegro, Southwark Playhouse: this rarely performed Rodgers and Hammerstein musical was a privilege to watch and enjoyed by all the audience when I went.
The Libertine, Theatre Royal Haymarket: thrilling, bawdy and filled with fantastic performances, not least Dominic Cooper’s performance as John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester.
School of Rock, New London Theatre: finally making its West End debut, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest musical has an epic score that really rocks the New London Theatre from beginning to end.
Dreamgirls, Savoy Theatre: what can I say that hasn’t been already said about this long awaited premiere? it has a dynamic cast, fantastic and soulful soundtrack and a powerful story and a thrilling night at the theatre.