Top Ten Theatre Breaks in November 2011

Eight London Musicals, Two West End Plays

For the first time this year two plays have snuck into the top ten theatre breaks: Warhorse at the New London Theatre and James Corden starring in One Man Two Guv’nors at the Adelphi Theatre.

Normally the domain of the big musicals, it is good to see some popular plays, and what with Driving Miss Daisy and Jerusalem there is quite a dramatic comeback! The Pitman Painters has extended and The Mousetrap has just celebrated entering its 60th year (which is marketing speak for saying happy 59th birthday!)

There have been some not so succesful productions. Cool Hand Luke, whilst getting some good reviews from theatre breaks audiences didn’t do well at the hands of the critics and consequently suffered at the box office.

Death and the Maiden has done OK but just OK and Broken Glass also didn’t really light the blue touch paper but was only on for a short run anyway.

So back to the Theatre Breaks Top Ten.

As always the top show for London Theatre Breaks is Jersey Boys. It really has gone from stregth to strength. I don’t know whether it has something to do with the free castlist that they give away each night so you don’t have to dig deep for a programme but I have always thought that was a nice touch.

Next, for the first time in the top 3 is Shrek. Amanda Holden is out and it seems that Kimberly Walsh is even more of a draw – which I can see to be honest. The really sad news is that Nigel Harman will be leaving the show early next year. His peformance is in no small way part of the reason for the shows success. If I was doing a 10 Chrsitmas Tips I would definately say see Shrek before he leaves.

Third is Billy Elliot. I’ve said enough about how great this show is, so I won’t keep boring you – and you are obviously getting the hint because so many of you are booking to see it.

Les Miserables was 4th. November saw the end of Aflie Boe‘s season so it was always bound to be popular. Having said that. the amazing Ramin Karamloo is now Jean Valjean, so the show really is going from strength to strength.

Legally Blonde is 5th. Again that doesn’t seem to have suffered from a series of cast changes. It is great fun and the perect antedote to a rubbish winter night.

Still going and still hugely popular, The Phantom of the Opera is 6th. Will it be still going in another 25 years? yes probably.

7th is Ghost the Musical. Again it has really picked up towards the end of the year and bookings continue to look strong into 2012. The producers have really tried to add something to the film and the set, effects and the choreography are excellent.

Wicked is the last of the Musicals in 8th. If you want to go over the Christmas holidays I really would book as soon as possible as this is one of those shows that apeals to everyone.

So, those plays – Warhorse in 9th and One Man in 10th.

The film of Warhorse is out next week. Personally I would see the stage show over the film every day of the week… but I have only seen exerpts of the movie so I am willing to be pursuaded. But what the film will never have is the stage craft of the play and that is what makes it remarkable.

One Man is just very funny and James Corden is just very funny. If you are looking for a laugh, look no further!

Next month we will take a look back at 2011 to see what is still going, what we’ve missed and what shouldn’t have ever happened in the first place.

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About Simon Harding

Simon Harding has grown up in and around London's Theatreland and has been working here ever since he left school: promoting its shows to anyone who will listen!

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