Not to sound dramatic or anything but 2018 has been big for all of us. Brexit, (who knows what’s going on with that????), England’s success in the World Cup (we didn’t win but we gave it our best shot, chaps) and another Royal Wedding, the UK has been through it all.
UK’s theatre has also been through some changes this year that has left us shocked, happy, inspired, blessed. In the wise words of Aunty Willy from MTAS “Theatre land 2019…has left their basic ex for good, hit the gym, become vegan, only eats gluten free food, got a new weave, actually knows how to play minesweeper and knows what Meatloaf won’t do for love. #MusicalTheatreIsLife”
And not to brag, but I’ve had a pretty fantastic year myself.
So here’s a 2018 roundup: personal and theatre-based!
I think some of the biggest UK theatre news this year has to include the amazing Broadway shows that were announced to be coming to the West End next year. Come From Away and Waitress will both be landing in London early next year and quite frankly, I can’t wait. Dear Evan Hansen was also announced to be gracing London with its presence and the talk of the town has been who will be reprising the role this side of the Atlantic?
It has also just been announced that Frozen on Broadway will also be joining us. Ladies and Gents, UK theatre is on the up!!!
My biggest news for this year has probably been landing my dream job in theatre marketing. I know I’ve mentioned it before, on my home page, on my Instagram, on my Facebook…okay I got a bit excited, but what do you expect?! I love my job and my colleagues and I’m so proud of the hard work I put in this year to get it. Dreams come true kids.
UK Theatre this year has shown that it’s not just dependent on its older brother Broadway to succeed but can make a life for itself. SIX the musical opened to storm reviews, originally in the Edinburgh festival, then to a limited run at the Arts Theatre in London, then a UK tour, extended back to London and now just announced it will be hitting Chicago?! UK theatre knows how to party. Other successful UK shows this year have included the FABULOUS Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Eugenius, Mythic, Broken Wings, Misty and more. UK theatre isn’t taking no sh*t from no one anymore. 2018 has been the bomb.
As well as landing my dream job, this year I also graduated from Cardiff Uni with a 2:1 in journalism, media and culture, as well as gaining a 1st in my dissertation. When thinking about this year and what I had accomplished can you believe I nearly forgot this??? It honestly seems like so long ago with everything else that’s happened but was something I’d been working towards throughout my entire education and I was so pleased with myself when I finally did it, especially after developing depression in my second year especially and thinking I’d drop out. I did it!!!!
I am quite frankly SHOOK at how many theatre films/DVDs have been announced this year?! Not just UK theatre, but globally. This year we’ve seen the film releases of Funny Girl and The King and I in cinemas, and we have heard of the upcoming releases of Cats, Kinky Boots and RENT. Theatre is coming home people and I am ready for it.
This year I think I have officially become an adult, which terrifies me. You know how I know? I have my own flat!!!! (Well, shared with my boyfriend but let’s ignore that for now). But yes, I moved to Cardiff – the city I wanted to live in after university, and we got a flat together! Being hashtag adult is terrifying but I haven’t injured myself too badly yet so I’ll say that’s a good thing for now.
The diversity in theatre this year has also been a huge step in the right direction. From the first black Evan Hansen on Broadway (played by Roman Wellington Banks), to a gender swap in Company in the West End, as well as age-appropriate casting for Evan Hansen too, diversity in theatre still needs its improvements but it’s refreshing to see producers and casting directors taking some all-important steps.
One thing that really has meant a lot to me this year is my blog. While I started the theatre blog back in 2017, I didn’t have the time to focus on it. Since graduating I’ve really had the time to put in effort and it’s really shown!! I can’t express how grateful I am to everyone reading this that you have supported me on here and on my Instagram! I can’t believe I have over 400 followers on Instagram and that people care what I have to say! I love u all xxx
PS if you don’t follow me you totally should here
Now, who remembers the shambles that was StageCon? 2018 saw the announcement of an event called StageCon that was, in my opinion, a scam to fans, a let down and overpriced. Through the power of the people expressing their opinions, the prodcuers postponed the event until next year. Let’s hope that when the announcement comes back in the new year, it offers fairer prices and an event that more people will be excited by.
This year I decided to treat MA SELF. Knowing that I would be going into work this year, I spent the summer going all out. I went on multiple holidays with the money I’d earned from working in a pub throughout my second and third years at uni and tbh had the damn time of my life. I will always treasure those memories and holidays I had with amazing people and now that I’m working full time, can dream of a world where I can pop to Spain for a week without the repercussions. RIP to my social life.
Social media in theatre this year has been one of hot-topic. Something that really caught my eye though, was the play I and You, starring Maisie Williams, streaming live on Instagram. It really got me thinking as to the future of theatre. We all know about the live streams and DVDs (as aforementioned), but will more shows take to social media to attract audiences? 2018 has shook the UK theatre world, I tell ya.
As pretentious as this sounds, this one is so important and so true. This year I have learned to love myself (barf). Seriously though, this year I have learned my own value, not beaten myself up about negative things and gained some real perspective. I have always struggled with body image but for the first time in my life, despite being the heaviest I have ever been and nothing in my wardrobe fits me (!!!), I look in the mirror and I’m like damn who dat. In all seriousness, this is such an important thing for me and it’s something I hope to carry into the new year.
Here are the shows I’ve seen this year:
- January – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
- February – Hamilton
- July – The King and I
- August – Fun Home
- October – Company; Heathers; Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo; Wicked
- November – The Last Five Years; Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Part I; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part II; Wicked; Saturday Night Fever
- December – Matilda; Icons
Racking up a total of 15 shows! Hoping for more next year!
I hope you’ve all seen some amazing shows this year. What were your favourites? Let me know in the comments!
So there we have it. My personal and theatre-based roundup. I hope you’ve all had a wonderful year and looking forward to 2019. May your days be merry and stagey, enjoy the festive times with families and friends, and I hope that you are sincerely happy.
I’ll see you all in 2019.