Shows I Saw in May

I've decided to start a new monthly series here on Flower Crowns and Revolutionaries. While I used to do monthly goal posts, I was growing tired of them and felt neither I nor you readers were enjoying them. Instead, I thought it might be nice to do a round up of all the shows I saw in a month with links to reviews and general thoughts on them. 

The Grinning Man - Video, Blog Post 
It's no secret that I spent most of the winter and spring obsessed with a beautiful strange and haunting musical called The Grinning Man. On 5 May, my friend Rhiannon and I went to the closing night of the London production. I'm desperately hoping that it will get a Broadway or off-Broadway production soon and eagerly awaiting the cast album's release later this summer.

West End Does Magic of Animation Concert - BWW UK Review
I was very excited when Rob Houchen announced that he, along with two others, was starting a concert production company called West End Does. This animated movie themed concert featured some of my favorite Disney songs and some of my favorite West End performers, including Carrie Hope Fletcher, Eva Noblezada, Fra Fee, and Marisha Wallace.

The Writer 
I admittedly wasn't thrilled with The Writer at the Almeida. It definitely spoke to a lot of relevant topics about the life of an artist and how women function in the creative industry and just what it means to be a woman in general and I love seeing new work produced. However, I felt that it was an hour longer than it needed to be and smacked of pretentiousness.

Red - BWW UK Review
Red originated at the Donmar Warehouse in 2009 and I was thrilled to be able to see the new West End production, led by the same creative team and with Alfred Molina reprising his role as artist Mark Rothko. The piece questions what it means to be an artist and what art is, without ever falling into pretentiousness or stuffiness. Alfred Enoch is absolutely lovely as Rothko's assistant, Ken. I'll definitely be returning a second time.

(I'm also feeling incredibly fond of this show because a quote from my review is now up on the side of Wyndham's Theatre. That's definitely a first!)

The Lion King
I went with my friend Aeron to see The Lion King and was reminded of what a truly impressive production it is. It was very nostalgic as The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre here in London was the first professional show I ever saw, on a family trip when I was seven years old. It felt a bit crazy to return to that same theatre now that I'm living in London and working in the industry. Now I know where my love of animal puppets and revolving stages came from!

The Play That Goes Wrong - Video, Blog Post 
My best friend from home, Alex, was in town for about 30 hours so I decided to take him to see The Play That Goes Wrong as an early birthday present and we were both blown away. It's a technical marvel and delightfully funny as well.

With A Little Bit of Lerner - BWW UK Review
I'm not a huge fan of Alan Jay Lerner's work (aside from Gigi, which I adore) but the Lerner tribute at the Royal Festival Hall was a lovely night. With so many talented performers and a wealth of music to draw from, it was a fitting celebration of a great lyricist's life's work. My personal highlight was Rob singing "On the Street Where You Live" from My Fair Lady.

Confidence - BWW UK Review 
I wanted to like Confidence so badly. I've watched Tanya Burr's YouTube videos for years and love her makeup line, so I was predisposed to like her performance. However, the play itself is bizarre and personally completely unappealing and Tanya was absolutely miscast. I actually cried writing the review, because I hated to give something two stars. But when you end up complimenting the set's carpet while trying to say something nice about a play, you know it's gone wrong.

A Little Princess - BWW UK Review 
I returned to Royal Festival Hall to see the concert staging of Andrew Lippa's A Little Princess and was rather disappointed. I remember the book fondly from reading it multiple times as a child, but this musical fails to capture the charm and spirit of the novel. A talented cast, and especially brilliant child cast, weren't enough to save the show.

Tartuffe - BWW UK Review
While most of the critics didn't, I actually rather enjoyed Tartuffe, a modern reimagining of a classic Molière comedy. It's the West End's first dual-language production and while it was a bit distracting at times having to watch the subtitles for translations of the French half of the play, I thought it was worth it for such a cool and exciting new venture. Plus, I got to see one of my favorite TV and film actors, George Blagden, on stage.

Rotterdam (RADA) - Review Coming Soon
My last show of May was Rotterdam at RADA, where my friend Rhiannon goes to school. Rotterdam is about a trans man coming out to his family and girlfriend and going through his transition. It also focuses strongly on the impact on his girlfriend, who struggles to cope with her own identity as a gay woman now that her partner is male. The RADA production had a beautiful set and incredible performances from all four people in the cast.

What shows have you seen this month? Let me know in the comments down below. x
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