New Year, New Shows

Saturday 9th January 2016 by Will Langdale

Photo by Tony Hisgett via Flickr.

Welcome one and all to 2016! We hope you had a fantastic holiday period and received what every theatre lover wants for Christmas: cast recordings for shows that staunchly refuse to transfer over here from Broadway, a poster for the original run of Les Miserables, and of course, a TicketTree theatre break. I got my family the gift of bellowing bits of Lion King in the shower during my brief stay. Merry Christmas mum!

We’ve got a cracking start to the year, with three exciting new shows landing within days of chucking my battered old calendar out and callously replacing it with a shiny new one, traitor that I am. Godspeed, old friend, maybe in a new life you’ll become ticketing cardboard.

While technically it’s been in previews since December, the West End revival of Guys and Dolls opened this week to smashing reviews. It’s an “expert revival”, according to the Guardian’s Michael Billington, that “teems with funny lines”. The effusive reviews from various box office staff and customers we’ve spoken to is beginning to make us very jealous theatregoers, very jealous indeed. This is definitely not a production to be missed. Time for a TicketTree night out, methinks!

More excitement is on the horizon with the first performance of In the Heights on Thursday, though it doesn’t open properly for a while. Seats were scarce for its run at the Southwark Playhouse, and we breathed a sigh of relief when it announced an interesting transfer to the Kings Cross Theatre. Aha, I’m sure you’re thinking, that’s the purpose built venue for staging what’s become a yearly Christmas production of The Railway Children. And you’d be right – with seating flanking the stage this promises to inject an extra buzz of theatrical excitement into an already exhilarating musical about a poor neighbourhood in a New York heatwave. Presumably the train doesn’t have a part, though part of me hopes it auditioned.

Finally, a show already tipped for success, if the packed-out Saturday nights are anything to go by, is Funny Girl, and the wait until April for it seems achingly slow. Damn you, time! The ever-amazing award-winning TicketTree favourite Sheridan Smith heads the cast in one of the most iconic musicals ever, and we can’t wait to be sat in the Savoy Theatre, lights down, curtain up, overture playing, the show about to start. If Sheridan’s past work is anything to go by, she could make serious waves at the Olivier Awards. Our fingers are firmly crossed!

So, it might be grey outside, and you might be gazing dolefully at that gym membership you’re struggling to use, but inside the world of theatre it’s bright and warm and the only cardio is from excitement and laughter. 2016’s going to be great!

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