The Jowheretogo Theatre Year
So what were the productions that made the Jowheretogo team smile, laugh and/or cry the most this year? Stephen Oliver looks back at an exciting 2014.
Funny play of the year: The Play That Goes Wrong which we saw at the Darlington Civic Theatre. This play had us laughing from start to finish – memories of watching Airplane! the movie at the cinema when we were very young. The show is still on in the London West End and a sequel Peter Pan Goes Wrong reaches Darlington Civic and Newcastle Theatre Royal in 2015. http://nomorepanicbutton.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/review-play-that-goes-wrong-at.html
Musical of the year: Urinetown which we saw at the St James Theatre in London and became the play we love to quote thereafter. Great memorable songs, coupled with a cracking storyline – a feature that was missing on a number of musicals this year. We would love to see it tour to the North East. http://nomorepanicbutton.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/review-urinetown-musical-at-st-james.html
Moving Play of the Year: the revival of Wet House at Live Theatre was superb. Joe Caffrey was in great form as one of the trouble souls in Paddy Campbell’s debut play. http://nomorepanicbutton.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/review-wet-house-at-newcastle-live.html
Small scale show of the year: Thirsty from The Paper Birds which we saw at The Arts Centre Washington was a rollercoaster of emotions as Jemma McDonnell and Kylie Walsh consumed large amounts of liquid whilst exploring friendship and the demon alcohol.
Whodunnit of the year was Jason Durr’s portrayal of Agatha Christie’s Poirot in Black Coffee which had us guessing to the end at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal. We saw a number of murders of stage this year but this show was a cut above the rest. http://nomorepanicbutton.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/review-black-coffee-at-newcastle.html
Amateurs showing the professionals how it is done play of the year has to be the moving Duet For One at the People’s Theatre in Newcastle. A fabulous look into some really difficult questions. http://nomorepanicbutton.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/review-duet-for-one-newcastle-peoples.html
Kids show of the year is one we hand over to the wee-man of the team. Robert loved Get Santa! at Newcastle’s Northern Stage. A funny show that wasn’t afraid to connect with the young audience. It was funny and heart warming without any unnecessary innuendo. http://nomorepanicbutton.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/review-get-santa-at-newcastle-northern.html
Dance show of the year was the incredible The Five & The Prophecy of Prana from Boy Blue Entertainment. The mix of manga style characters and strong storyline had the Northern Stage audience captivated. http://nomorepanicbutton.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/review-five-prophecy-of-prana-at.html
Wedding of the year? Well we see a lot of coupling on stage and the great farce that was Perfect Wedding at South Shields Customs House was very funny and showed that the North East produces entertaining theatre. http://nomorepanicbutton.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/review-perfect-wedding-at-south-shields.html
A massive thank you goes to the actors, producers, directors and theatres that have invited us along to the shows this year. Theatre remains a great night out and is not just about the Panto at Christmas. We have never seen a broadcast of a West End Show at a cinema because we now there is plenty of live entertainment out there in our wonderful theatres.
Looking ahead – 2015 is going to be another cracking year too!