Looking back at 2011

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For me 2011, has certainly been my busiest year theatrically. As I sit here with my Xmas Turkish Delight and box of choccy’s, what were my highlights?

  • Finally getting to see Robert Lepage was certainly a memorable occasion. His play The Blue Dragon I referred to as “Theatrical perfection”.

    Robert Lepage as Pierre Lamontagne

  • I saw my first Burlesque  show, which was certainly an eye opener!

    Mistress of Ceremonies

  • London Road at the National Theatre is certainly one of the highlights for me. An amazing piece of theatre.
  • The best new play of this year I think was The Acid Test by Anya Reiss.

Best new play of 2011

  • The best acting I saw this year was in The Seagull at the Arcola, especially Yolanda Kettle as Nina, who gets my “Best Actress Award”. Best Actor goes to Joseph Milson as Ben Stark in Rocket to the Moon at the National.

    Yolanda Kettle, best actress I saw in 2011, in The Seagull at the Arcola.

Joseph Milson, best actor I saw in 2011, in Rocket to the Moon

  • Crazy for You, was definitely the best musical I saw this year.

    The best legs in London!

  • Manon at the Royal Opera House, wins “best ballet” award.

    Manon left me speechless.

  • Best entertainment award would go to Strictly Gershwin. (so good I saw it twice and my wife saw it three times!)

    Dancing from the beautiful Rhapsody in Blue

  • Best theatre book of the year, without a doubt the publication of Volume 2 Samuel Beckett’s letters from 1941 – 1956, I’m still ploughing my way through them, but they’re one of the most rewarding things I’ve read in a long time.

So all in all a very good year theatrically for me.  Thanks to all my readers and I wish you all a very prosperous 2012.


Hurly Burly Show – Garrick Theatre – Review


Sometimes you need a bit of fun and escapism. Last night my wife and I went to see The Hurly Burly Show, which stars Burlesque star Miss Polly Rae and her Hurly Burly Girls.

This was our first experience of Burlesque, it’s become a very trendy thing and so we thought we should see what the fuss is all about. I hasten to add it was my wife’s  idea to see this!!! The show is a lascivious, sexy, over the top, tongue in cheek extravaganza. The dancing is superb and the routines are cleverly choreographed and done. The music is first-rate and special mention must go to Spencer Day, who is a wonderful foil to the ladies and his singing and playing certainly gives the show a greater depth than it would have if he was absent.

The innuendo was occasionally a bit crass, but generally it’s all good fun. I especially liked the geisha routine done to Rihanna’s “Umbrella” song, and the Marie Antoinette routine was excellent. Each of the girls get their own turn, Kitty Bang Bang’s fire eating/burlesque/ballet point work, routine was stunning.

Mistress of Ceremonies the Fabulous Miss Polly Rae

Miss Polly Rae is an excellent Mistress of Ceremonies and knows her burlesque. Her singing was very good too, and her number “It’s Not About The Tits” was a funny look at what she sees the art of Burlesque as. The show is 1hr 40 mins (including an interval) and to be honest that’s enough as it does begin to feel a bit like you’ve seen it all before towards the end. It’s been described as a “celebration of the female form” and that’s a fitting description.
She and the girls had a vivacious sense of fun which was infectious to the audience. There were a few times of “audience participation” which were all done with a gentle touch but extremely funny. Alas I was not invited on stage to show the girls a few of my moves, but that’s probably best!

This was an extravagant experience and a fun night out, unlike anything I’ve seen before. Below is a video if you fancy seeing some of the action, but I can assure you seeing it live is much better!