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Five star reviews

April 28, 2013

Today would have been my mum’s 83 rd birthday. One of the many things she gave me was a love of live performance, but particularly theatre. We only came up to London twice that I remember; once when our Australian cousins lived there for a while and once for my interview for medical school. Both times she made sure we saw a show. One was Billy Liar with Michael Crawford and the other A Chorus Line. I was blown away by both of them. Two huge production numbers in Drury Lane.
And I was reminded of them when someone asked me the other day if I ever give any theatrical production 5 stars. And I probably would have given them 5 stars at the time for I was not as critical as I am now, but neither am I a completely miserable cow who can never be satisfied. But I do ask pretty highly of my entertainment if it wants to get five stars. I do enjoy things that are less than tip top rating, and can have a great time at a three star production – it’s just that for me it could have been even better.
So I thought I would list the things I have seen in London that I would have given 5 stars to if I’d been blogging!

  1. Adele at Hammersmith
  2. Mark Rylance in Jerusalem.
  3. Our New Girl at the Bush theatre.
  4. Memory at the Bush theatre
  5. Billy Elliot the Musical
  6. Lion King the Musical
  7. History Boys
  8. La Boheme by Opera Up Close and also at Royal Opera House
  9. Madame Butterfly at Royal Albert Hall
  10. Pigeon Detectives at Brixton Academy
  11. Midsummer’s Night’s Dream by Propellor (all male cast), and at the Lyric Hammersmith and by an Icelandic gymnastic troupe
  12. La Fille du Regiment at the Royal Opera House
  13. Warren Mitchell in Death of a Salesman
  14. Madness somewhere in Camden. I want to say Dingwalls but I’m not sure . It was a loooong time ago.
  15. 42nd Street
  16. Imelda Staunton in Entertaining Mr Sloane atTrafalgar Studios
  17. Dead Funny at the Comedy theatre

There has been other stuff too but the details escape me – Janie Dee was in a fabulous production, as was Neil Pearson – I think it was Closer before it was a film. I have loved going to live performances – and even when they have been disappointing at least we were out and about seeing them rather than plonked in front of the TV being fed mostly pap. And seeing mediocre stuff does mean that when you see the great stuff it really blows you away and you realise what all the fuss is about. And how hard it is to get it right.
So thanks Mum. This has been a gift that has just kept on giving. Xx

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5 Responses to “Five star reviews”


  1. […] of Jez Butterworth’s debut play and so I had high expectations having loved  his more recent Jerusalem. It also had a good cast and was on at the intimate Harold Pinter (aka the Comedy theatre to old […]

  2. Edward Says:

    Isn’t The Snowman at the Festival Theatre Edinburgh missing from this list?!


    • haha! Well naturally that gets 5 stars, but I think you’ll find I was only including London shows in my list – otheriwsie of course would be top of the list! 🙂 x

  3. Natalie Says:

    this is the main reason I give for wanting to live in London – the theatre! Looking forward to Book of Mormon. WIsh I had seen Chorus Line with you and Grandma – New York one wasn’t great was it. ps can’t believe you didn’t include my performances…..SEEK TO KNOW NO MORE


    • Do you know I nearly did – not to mention the Three Kings or Mr Nobody – but felt it would be erring on the cheesefest if I did. was it you that did the hula hooping all the way through a performance too? Aged about 6? Ah sweeet memories. Wish I’d video’d more. xx


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