You may or may not recall me creating this rundown of my favourite shows of the first 6 months of 2015. If you don’t (where have you BEEN?!), have a look now to see the first half of my favourite shows last year and then return to this post to see the second lot of shows I loved in 2015. In common with my last post it’s a little delayed, but hopefully an enjoyable read nonetheless!
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about 2015’s best theatrical excursions has to be The Spitfire Grill. I went in with no idea what to expect – hardly even an idea of what the show would be about – and left with a smile on my face and a whole load of songs stuck in my head. The Union Theatre’s cast were outstanding and James Valcq and Fred Alley’s score was incredibly enjoyable. I only wish I could get the soundtrack without having to pay £30 to ship it from America!
I could hardly go through my favourite moments of 2015 without mentioning the experience that I still miss every single day: The Wombats at Alexandra Palace. There are hardly enough words in the English language to describe what a genuinely life changing gig this was for me but rarely a day goes by where I don’t mourn the Let’s Dance to Joy Division mosh. Unfortunately every other concert looks resoundingly underwhelming in comparison, though I have high hopes that All Time Low might challenge their crown for the best gig of my entire life in February.
Along a similar vein is my short but sweet visit to Reading Festival in August. Spending only a day there was really not enough and I have booked my full weekend ticket for this year’s festival. I’m very excited already… only 224 days to go! I can’t wait to see Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Rat Boy, and I wake up every day hoping that Foals will be announced as the next headliner.
Going back through my reviews and posts of the last six months really has reminded me of how lucky I was to see so many brilliant things in the second half of the year. Surely one of the best theatrical experiences has to be going to see the first preview of Kinky Boots. The atmosphere in the Adelphi theatre that evening was something which I have never witnessed before – everyone was so up for it and I don’t think I even embarrassed my friend Sean too much by dancing and singing along with Raise You Up / Just Be at the end (though he might tell you differently).
Another notable mention has to go to the Arcola theatre’s production of Clarion. It followed the antics of a British tabloid newspaper and was totally hilarious and actually quite thought provoking, particularly with its references to xenophobia in the press. I could definitely see this transferring to the West End and being quite successful as it was pretty accessible and dealt with some really current issues.
2015 was certainly a great year for me and I feel really lucky to have been to see so many great shows. 2016 is already looking very exciting and I have high hopes for it being even better than last year (although it has definitely got a lot to live up to!).