21 December 2020

Best of 2020 Theatre

What a horrible year, especially for all associated with the arts. The COVID pandemic has been devastating for the industry. It seems strange to think how wonderful my theatrical year started especially around shows like Amelie and The Boy in the Dress (both aren't really mentioned in this because I first saw them in 2019) and how much hope I had at the start of the year, now we're just over a week from 2021 and I've not been able to be back in a theatre since March and quite frankly it's been a pretty crap year. Here's to a better 2021 for us all.

Thankfully though, many theatres have created work for a virtual audience which has been a joy and I'll be celebrating those streamed productions in another post but in this post, I'll celebrate with my end of year 'awards' of the shows I did actually get to see this year.


Set Designs
Philip Witcomb - Mame (UK Tour)
Rae Smith - The Girl From The North Country (Gielgud Theatre)
Maria Bjornson (original designs) and Matt Kinley - The Phantom of the Opera (UK Tour)
Max Johns - King John (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Ioana Curelea - The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel (Told by an Idiot)
Rob Howell - A Christmas Carol (The Old Vic)

King John. Photo by Steve Tanner.


Lighting Designs
Charles Balfour - Alone in Berlin (Royal and Derngate/Oxford Playhouse/York Theatre Royal)
Mark Henderson - The Girl From The North Country (Gielgud Theatre)
Andrew Bridge - The Phantom of the Opera (UK Tour)
Lizzie Powell - King John (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Hugh Vanstone - A Christmas Carol (The Old Vic)

A Christmas Carol. Photo by Manuel Harlan


Costume Designs
Philip Witcomb - Mame (UK Tour)
Max Johns - King John (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Rob Howell - A Christmas Carol (The Old Vic)
Rae Smith - The Girl From The North Country (Gielgud Theatre)

Mame. Photo by Pamela Raith


Choreography/Movement
Nick Winston - Mame (UK Tour)
Lucy Hind - The Girl From The North Country (Gielgud Theatre)
Chrissie Cartwright - The Phantom of the Opera (UK Tour)
Tom Jackson Greaves - King John (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Jos Houben (Physical Comedy Consultant)/Nuna Sandy for ZooNation - The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel (Told by an Idiot)
Lizzi Gee - A Christmas Carol (The Christmas Carol)

The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel. Photo by Manuel Harlan


Direction
Nick Winston - Mame (UK Tour)
Conor McPherson - The Girl From The North Country (Gielgud Theatre)
Seth Sklar-Heyn - The Phantom of the Opera (UK Tour)
Paul Hunter - The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel (Told by an Idiot)
Eleanor Rhode  - King John (Royal Shakespeare Company)

The Girl From The North Country. Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann 

Orchestra/Musical Direction
Jason Carr (Orchestrations) and Alex Parker (Musical Direction) - Mame (UK Tour)
Simon Hale (Orchestrator/Arranger/Musical Supervisor) and Tarek Merchant (Musical Director) - The Girl From The North Country (Gielgud Theatre)
David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber (Orchestrations) and Matthew J Loughran (Musical Director) - The Phantom of the Opera (UK Tour)
Zoe Rahman (Composer)/Sophie Cotton (Song Arranger) -The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel (Told by an Idiot)
Christopher Nightingale (Composer and Arranger) and Oli Jackson (Musical Director) - A Christmas Carol (The Old Vic)

The Phantom of the Opera (UK Tour). Photo by Johan Persson

Supporting Actress in a Play
Charlotte Randle (Constance) - King John (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Katherine Pearce (Cardinal Pandulph) - King John (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Sara Alexander (Chaplin's Mother) - The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel (Told by an Idiot)
Rebecca Trehearn (Belle)- A Christmas Carol (The Old Vic)

Katherine Pearce in King John. Photo by Steve Tanner.


Supporting Actor in a Play
Joseph Marcell (Inspector Escherich) - Alone in Berlin (Royal and Derngate/Oxford Playhouse/York Theatre Royal)
Andrew Langree (Father/Marley) - A Christmas Carol (The Old Vic)
Brian Martin (Lewis, The Dauphin) - King John (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Michael Abubakar (The Bastard) - King John (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Nick Haverson (Various Roles) - The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel (Told by an Idiot)

Joseph Marcell, Clive Mendus and Jessica Walker in Alone In Berlin. Photo by Manuel Harlan

Leading Actor in a Play
Denis Conway (Otto Quangel) - Alone in Berlin (Royal and Derngate/Oxford Playhouse/York Theatre Royal)
Jerone Marsh-Reid (Stan Laurel and others) - The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel (Told by an Idiot) 
Paterson Joseph (Ebenezer Scrooge) - A Christmas Carol (The Old Vic)

Rebecca Trehearn, Myra McFadyen and Paterson Joseph in A Christmas Carol. Photo by Manuel Harlan


Leading Actress in a Play
Charlotte Emmerson (Anna Quangel) - Alone in Berlin (Royal and Derngate/Oxford Playhouse/York Theatre Royal)
Rosie Sheehy (King John) - King John (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Amalia Vitale (Charlie Chaplin) - The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel (Told by an Idiot)

Rosie Sheehy (centre) in King John. Photo by Steve Tanner.


Covers/Understudies
Emma Jane Morton (Gina) - Amelie (The Other Palace)
Jamie Tyler (Mr Hawtrey) - The Boy in the Dress (Royal Shakespeare Company)

Jamie Tyler as Mr Hawtrey in The Boy in the Dress.
Photo credit Jamie Tyler.

Supporting Actress in a Musical
Harriet Thorpe (Vera) - Mame (UK Tour)
Laura Baldwin (Cynthia Well) - Beautiful (UK Tour)
Rachel John (Mrs Neilsen) - The Girl From The North Country (Gielgud Theatre)
Gloria Obianyo (Marianne) - The Girl From The North Country (Gielgud Theatre)
Saori Oda (Carlotta Giudicelli) - The Phantom of the Opera (UK Tour)

 Oliver Boot, Adam Gillian, Daisy Wood-Davis, Cameron Sharp, Laura Baldwin in Beautiful (UK Tour) Photo Helen Maybanks


Supporting Actor in a Musical
Cameron Sharp (Barry Mann) - Beautiful (UK Tour)
Shaq Taylor (Joe Scott) - The Girl From The North Country (Gielgud Theatre)
Colin Bates (Gene Laine)  - The Girl From The North Country (Gielgud Theatre)

Colin Bates (Gene Laine) and Gloria Obianyo (Marianne) in The Girl From The North Country. Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann


Leading Actress in a Musical
Tracie Bennett (Mame) - Mame (UK Tour)
Daisy Wood-Davis (Carole King) - Beautiful (UK Tour)
Katie Brayben (Elizabeth Laine) - The Girl From The North Country (Gielgud Theatre)
Holly-Anne Hull (Christine Daae) - The Phantom of the Opera (UK Tour)

Tracie Bennett (Mame) and the Company of Mame. Photo by Pamela Raith


Leading Actor in a Musical
Donald Sage Mackay (Nick Laine) - The Girl From The North Country (Gielgud Theatre)
Killian Donnelly (The Phantom) - The Phantom of the Opera (UK Tour)
Rhys Whitfield (Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny) - The Phantom of the Opera (UK Tour)

Killian Donnelly (The Phantom) and Holly-Anne Hull (Christine Daae) in The Phantom of the Opera (UK Tour) - Photo by Johan Persson

Plays
Alone in Berlin (Royal and Derngate/Oxford Playhouse/York Theatre Royal)
King John (Royal Shakespeare Company)
The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel (Told by an Idiot)
A Christmas Carol (The Old Vic)

King John. Photo by Steve Tanner.



Musicals
Mame (UK Tour)
Beautiful (UK Tour)
The Girl From The North Country (Gielgud Theatre)
The Phantom of the Opera (UK Tour)

The cast of The Girl From The North Country.  Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann


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