Looking Forward: Our Picks of 2012
Date: 1 January 2012
With each new year, it brings a fresh batch of theatre. The North West is no different with new productions clambering for your attention in brochures in every regional venue. What are you looking forward to seeing? We asked some of our reviewers and here's what they said.
American Idiot looks incredibly promising and is one of those productions I have kept missing whenever I have travelled across the pond. I am hopeful for this one as it has a great pedigree. Phantom of the Opera on tour has the wonderful Matthew Bourne connected to it this time round which can only lead to magical consequences. I am also keen to see Saturday Night, Sunday Morning at the Royal Exchange as many of the cast are from the This Is England film and TV series.
I am looking forward to Wonderful Town at the Lowry, since it brings together two Manchester institutions and a woman who is an institution in her own right. The Halle is a wonderful orchestra and the fact that it will be conducted by Sir Mark Elder is an added bonus. Plays at the Royal Exchange seldom get fewer than 4 stars and, I am sure it will be the same when they are involved with a musical. The final bonus is Connie Fisher, who I know has had problems with her voice but hope she has recovered by then so we can hear the sweet sound of her singing. She is a sincere woman whom I admire greatly.
American Idiot at the Palace Theatre, Manchester as this show is fantastic and the music really is incredible. I have seen it in the States and it is one of the best rock musicals in many years. I can't wait to see it again!
The production to which I’m most looking forward in 2012 is Betrayal at the Sheffield Crucible. Apart from One for the Road - it’s the last truly great play that Pinter wrote and John Simm has the smouldering resentment that should fit in perfectly. Besides I admire the attitude of Sheffield Theatres – they put their money where their mouth is and run seasons by playwrights like David Hare and Michael Frayn that audiences outside of London are perceived as being too dim to appreciate. But the show is in Yorkshire and I’m writing this for a website about theatre in the North West.
Tricky. To stretch the brief and write about the show for which I have the highest hopes (why not? I’ve already written about the wrong region) I’d go for Wonderful Town. This time my choice has nothing to do with the production itself but rather what I hope it represents.
Monkee Business - If Ghost the Musical is anything to go by, then it seems that the Manchester Gets It First scheme is set to bring some theatrical gems into the city. Premiering in Manchester, this Monkee-based production should hopefully bring the energy of the sixties to life, have some catchy adaptations to some well-loved tunes, and have the ability to eventually sell-out audiences in the West End. I'm definitely a believer already!
It's Jerusalem for me. Ok, it's London but I have queued twice for day tickets when it was on originally and missed out both times but I am thrilled to have the opportunity to see this show in the early part of the year having heard so much about it.
Phantom of the Opera at The Palace - because it is years since I saw this spectacular musical and I'm sure that Cameron Mackintosh's new production to celebrate 25 years of the show will make me fall in love with it all over again.
What about you? What are you looking forward to seeing on stage this year and why? Leave your comments at the bottom of this feature.
- by Glenn Meads
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