Favourite Theatre Shows of 2023
It’s time for another Favourite wrap-up! Today I’m sharing my Favourite Theatre Shows of 2023. And I saw a lot this year!
Favourite Theatre Shows of 2023
Canterbury Panto – Jan 23
To start the year I went to see a pantomime with friends and family. Sadly I was unwell, but it was still very funny, and Carrie Hope Fletcher has an amazing set of lungs so of course her songs were excellent. I’ll be returning to the panto – oh no you won’t, oh yes I will! – in 2024 with Aladdin.
Frozen – Feb 23
Next up is my mum’s favourite, Frozen. I didn’t mind Frozen; the singers were fabulous and the staging was incredible. But it’s tailored very much for children – no bad thing – but not one I’d rush back to see without having a younger family member with me.
Vanilla – March 23
In March, I headed to The Vaults festival in Waterloo with some friends to see this off-West End production. A friend of a friend was in it. It was very good, with lots of laughs and relatable, whilst being mysterious and ending on a compelling yet ambiguous storyline.
A Streetcar Named Desire – March 23
A superb play. Paul Mescal as Stanley was perfectly cast, but Patsy Ferran as Blanche DuBois was inconquerable. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better performance on stage. I had seats in the Royal Box – odd, but cheap! – and the staging was very simple, but the production value was in the actors entirely and they delivered.
A Little Life – May 23
Not going to go into too much detail on A Little Life as I shared a full review, but this production was harrowing and unforgettable. I never want to see it again but it was well worth the price of admission for a front-row seat to this insanely strong performance. A career-defining turn from James Norton.
Guys & Dolls – Aug 23
My mum and I enjoyed this immersive production of Guys & Dolls immensely! The singing was great, the staging was fab and the actors had great comedic timing. The songs were incredible and the singing was sublime – I’ve never seen a better performance of ‘Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat’. Also, the highlight after the show was meeting Hugh Bonneville, Emily Mortimer and Antonio Banderas – not a combo you’d expect to find at an off West End theatre!
Blood Brothers – Aug 23
I’d never seen Blood Brother before, but my mum and I headed to the touring production and I was very impressed. It’s incredibly hard to watch by the end, but moving and thought-provoking.
Crazy for You – Aug 23
Apart from a child screaming continuously in the first part of the second act, this show was great. As ever, Charlie Stemp danced up a storm and his scene-stealing moment with Bela Zangler had me in fits. Very easy and light-hearted, it’s old-fashioned theatre at its best.
I’ve never been to the Almeida Theatre, but when I got front-row tickets for £10 to see Jonny Lee Miller and Tanya Reynolds on stage in this brand-new production I jumped at the chance. I’m so glad I did as it was one of my favourite performances of the year. It’s transferring to the West End in January and I highly recommend you go and see it.
King Lear – Nov 23
I’ve always been told to go to the theatre if an actor you admire is in the show, as you never know when the opportunity with arise again. So when I saw Sir Kenneth Branagh was going to be directing and starring in a production of King Lear I bought my tickets immediately. Unfortunately, Branagh’s performance was fairly hammy and not quite as emotive as I think he thought it was. Corey Mylcreest, who played King George in Queen Charlotte, was fantastic as Edmund though. And there were some great moments including the fight scene, the switch between fool to Cordelia and Edmund’s monologues.
Peter Pan Goes Wrong – Dec 23
And finally, in early December my friend, Rob, and I went to the Lyric Theatre to see Peter Pan Goes Wrong and it was hilarious. We were front row – how?! – and I don’t think I stopped laughing when the actors were on-stage (which included before the show started!). Very funny, well worth the price of admission and I’d happily go back and see it again. A great Christmas production.
Lots of theatre shows this year! I don’t think I’ll be going to quite so many next year, but we’ll see. Living in London has its benefits! What were your favourite Theatre Shows of 2023? Let me know in the comments below.