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Is anything a MUST this winter season???

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Play Esq.
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Is anything a MUST this winter season???#1
Posted: 11/3/10 at 2:43pm
I'm in London for the New Year and I am rather disappointed by London offerings this winter. Aside from the Donmar Lear (which I may skip and simply see here in NY), there seems to be absolutely nothing catching my attention. Where are all the great new plays and classical revivals???

Dear friends across the pond...say it ain't so?
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Phantom of London
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Is anything a MUST this winter season???#2
Posted: 11/3/10 at 5:09pm
It is not the best Christmas in London, but there is still rich pickings to have.

I don't know the last time you came to London, or if you are biased to plays or musicals?

But you have Blood Brothers which is worth checking out, as it is quintessential English.

Olivier, which Ben Brantley seemed to like.
Legally Blonde, where Brantley loved the production but hated the show.
The Railway Children, which Brantley loved.
Warhorse, which Brantely Loved.
Love Never Dies, Brantley hated this.
Priscilla, Brantley hated this.

Also Love story which is opening sounds promising.

Play wise, Deathdrap, Blackwatch and The Country Girl sounds promising.
Updated On: 11/3/10 at 05:09 PM
DeNada
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Is anything a MUST this winter season???#2
Posted: 11/3/10 at 6:46pm
Season's Greetings at the National has a pretty stellar cast from a British point of view (if you're here in time for it) and Ayckbourn's usually reliably... Ayckbourn-esque. Marianne Elliot will do a good job I'm sure. I'm a bit quaint and rather like a bit of Ayckbourn so I'm quite excited about it. Might close before you get here though.

Oh, but Twelfth Night with a cast to die for opens in January - Rebecca Hall, Simon Callow, Simon Paisley Day as Malvolio (brilliant casting there!)... and with Anthony Ward designing it should be pretty sumptuous.

Ideal Husband at the Vaudeville could be good - Alex Hanson and Samantha Bond are reliable troupers. In a similar vein Peter Hall's production of The Rivals hits the Haymarket - Penelope Keith is a national treasure - or there's A Flea In Her Ear at the Old Vic with Richard Eyre directing and the delightful Tom Hollander in the lead. And the Almeida's doing The Master Builder with Stephen Dillane and Gemma Arterton, which will certainly be starry enough. Oh, and The Country Girl is supposed to be half-decent.

If you're here long enough then I'd recommend checking out the transfer of Clybourne Park at the Wyndhams, too - there's a good new play for you.

If it's still running then Deathtrap at the Noel Coward is an okay evening. It's impeccably directed, acted and designed - a typical David Pugh production - but I think the play itself is a bit naff and repetitive. Not a popular opinion so you may like it a lot more than I do - it's certainly the most high profile of the current play revivals in town, although perhaps it's beaten in the commercial stakes by Yes Prime Minister (don't bother, it's based on an old TV show and is nowhere near as funny as it should be).

Musicals-wise, Love Story got great reviews in its run in Chichester so I'd recommend checking that out while it's still running (I'm not optimistic about its chances commercially). Everything else either came from Broadway, has already been and gone or is on the way across the Atlantic. Except perhaps Oliver! (beautiful design, irritating panto-esque direction).
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MariusPontmercy
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Is anything a MUST this winter season???#3
Posted: 11/3/10 at 6:53pm
Well I'm very much looking foward to these revivals:

The Master Builder at the Almeida
The Glass Menagerie at the Young Vic
Les Parents Terribles (aka Indiscretions) at Trafalgar Studios
Season's Greetings at the National
A Flea in Her Ear at the Old Vic (maybe)

As well as the RSC London season - I wouldn't be surprised if I never see a more effective Romeo and Juliet than they're offering this year (I saw it when it was in Stratford and am going again when it comes to London).

Deathtrap with Simon Russell Beale and the National Theatre's Hamlet with Rory Kinnear have already opened but will still be running in the New Year and are well worth a visit. I haven't seen Men Should Weep yet but it's had good reviews. Sir Peter Hall's new production of Twelfth Night opens very early in the New Year but good luck getting any tickets for that.

New plays? Erm... not so many of them around.

To pick one "must see" that I know is amazing: Romeo and Juliet. Check it out even if you don't like the play (I didn't much beforehand), it's amazing. Of the ones I haven't seen I'm most looking forward to The Glass Menagerie. Tennessee Williams + Deborah Findlay + Leo Bill + Sinead Matthews + Young Vic should definitely = amazing.

(edit: Oh well, DeNada beat me to it. Never mind! Is anything a MUST this winter season???)
Updated On: 11/3/10 at 06:53 PM
DeNada
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Is anything a MUST this winter season???#4
Posted: 11/3/10 at 7:00pm
You've picked some up I've missed! I think, rather embarrassingly, I wrote off Trafalgar Studios and the Young Vic as being too low profile for "great new plays and classical revivals". Bit remiss of me.

I look at everything I've listed and feel a bit guilty that what I'm actually looking forward to the most at the moment is seeing Bill Bailey at the Wyndhams next week...
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MariusPontmercy
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Is anything a MUST this winter season???#5
Posted: 11/3/10 at 8:26pm
I'm looking forward to Bill Bailey too. Going right near the end of the run. Very nearly ended up seeing him right after The Glass Menagerie - Tennessee Williams and then Bill Bailey in a day would no doubt have made an interesting combination. Is anything a MUST this winter season???

Don't really know what to expect from the Donmar/Trafalgar production - I wouldn't have thought of it as remotely high-profile were it not for the cast.
BNN2
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Is anything a MUST this winter season???#6
Posted: 11/3/10 at 9:08pm
You MUST see A Flea in Her Ear, it is easily one of the funniest farces I've ever seen/read/held in my hands and I confident it will be terrific at the Old Vic.
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Is anything a MUST this winter season???#7
Posted: 11/3/10 at 9:15pm
Phantom Brantley did not hate LB, hes always thought it was fun fluff, not the best show but fun.
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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ClapYo'Hands
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Is anything a MUST this winter season???#8
Posted: 11/4/10 at 4:12am
Love Never Dies.

Seriously, ignore what people say on here - if you want to see a good musical, I don't think you can go wrong with this - the score is a masterpiece.
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Is anything a MUST this winter season???#9
Posted: 11/4/10 at 9:06am
I agree with everything above
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MamasDoin'Fine
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Is anything a MUST this winter season???#10
Posted: 11/4/10 at 9:24am
Hackney Empire pantomime - one of the very best!
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Play Esq.
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Is anything a MUST this winter season???#11
Posted: 11/4/10 at 3:49pm
Bless you all! Exactly the response I was hoping for. I too neglected Trafalger and both the Young and Old Vic.

I was inclined to see R&J especially since Goold is directing, but I'm now excited to see it. This too will transfer to NYC next year, though something tells me I won't be troubled seeing it twice. That said, Julius Caesar will not be touring in NYC. Any word on that production? A Flea In Her Ear looks promising too, and despite the mixed reactions about Deathtrap, that also seems like a must. Seasons Greetings has a great cast, but I think I may rely on all of your early opinions before I buy tickets. Considering the limited availability, prob have to day ticket a performance.

Thank you! Anything else come to mind, feel free to offer!
rjm516
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Is anything a MUST this winter season???#12
Posted: 11/7/10 at 9:49pm
I'll be traveling to London over New Year's too! So I appreciate all this advice and would welcome any more. It seems like the NYC season is much more exciting to me (and I'm here), but I think it's because I don't know what sites to check for any news or even for a calendar of West End shows. This site doesn't really have much (eve clicking on the 'upcoming shows' in the London tickets section didn't have anything you guys have talked about!). What do you all look at for all this info?
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Mark_E
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Is anything a MUST this winter season???#13
Posted: 11/8/10 at 6:02am
www.theatremonkey.com is good.

whatsonstage too
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Play Esq.
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Is anything a MUST this winter season???#14
Posted: 11/11/10 at 5:55pm
http://familycircle.typepad.com/family-circle/2010/11/conversationwithstevensondheimthemasterspeaks.html

Mr. Sondheim raves about Hytner's "Hamlet"...I must follow his instruction and see it.

Is it really *that* incredible?!?!?

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hotjohn
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Is anything a MUST this winter season???#15
Posted: 11/11/10 at 6:44pm
"When We Are Married" at the Garrick, which I'm seeing tomorrow night, has had great reviews - the casting looks pretty good too.
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theatrepaul
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Is anything a MUST this winter season???#16
Posted: 11/18/10 at 3:24am
An Ideal Husband at the Vaudeville seems to have gone down very well
juggles
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Is anything a MUST this winter season???#17
Posted: 11/20/10 at 11:17am
Please do not miss. 'End Of The Rainbow' at Trafalgar Studios. It opens on the 22nd Nov until the 5th march. There is a page on Facebook under that title and the comments from people seeing the previews this week are phenomenal. It's a powerful drama with music and is about Judy Garland's last six months of her life when she came to London.
It is outstanding and as I said on another thread, it is the best production I have seen in 60 odd years of going to theatre.
Search on the net for it, there's loads. When it played in Northampton earlier this year, Whatsonstage said....'A jaw dropping masterpiece of a performance by Tracie Bennett' [as Judy].....and it is.