The 2018 most popular shows in London’s West End theatres as always show a range of shows that vary from those that have been running for a long duration of time to those that are newly released. The shows also vary in size from those that have a huge cast to those that employ just a few peoples. What these shows do have in common is that provide entertainment that the world’s harshest critics seem to appreciate as their positive reviews have encouraged large audiences to attend the shows. No show in the West End can survive poor reviews from the critics as they need their theatres to be filled night after night in order to generate income.One of the most popular shows being performed at the moment is 42nd street. The show has been performed in theater since 1980 and is a typical American production, large and glitzy. The current show playing at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane stars Sheena Easton, Tom Lister and Clare Hulse singing and tap dancing. The production has received rave reviews and is playing to sell out audiences. One of films greatest productions “Brief Encounter” that was made in 1945, has been adapted for the theatre by director Emma Rice and is being played at the Empire, Haymarket. The show manages to successfully combine one of the greatest love stories ever made with blending it with almost comical scenes that are occurring in the back ground. The two main roles are played by Isabel Pollen and Jim Sturgeon and recreates the almost platonic love affair between two people who married to others. The ability to combine this sensitivity with the light hearted scenes in other areas of the show is what makes it so popular to London’s audiences. “Maltida the Musical review” is an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book and has been playing at the Cambridge Theatre in Covent Garden. The musical about a school girl genius combines a great story line with masterful musical
performances. The cast includes David Leonard, Paul Kaye, Annette McLaughlin and numerous child actors, that make the stage come to life with their enthusiasm and boundless energy. One of the West End’s newest shows is “Everybody’s Talking about Jamie”, that is playing at the Apollo Shaftesbury in Piccadilly Circus. The show has adapted a story about a teenager from Sheffield who wanted to be a drag queen. The show was first performed at the Sheffield Crucible but has recently opened in London. The show is full of energy and is typical of a teenager’s life. There is a band playing back stage that blasts out the songs and these tunes are brought together by the casts energetic dancing.The show is full of fantastic acting performances. The star of the show is John McCrea who plays Jamie and in his role combines the vulnerability of the character with also being sassy and witty. His single mother is played by Josie Walker, and his best friend is played by Lucie Shorthouse in her West End debut.
The show is superbly directed by John Butterell and brilliantly choreographed by Kate Prince. Its emergence as a major hit is a good illustration to how the West End can unearth shows that are not seen as normal fare. The creativity of writers, producers and directors can result in many different issues being featured in hit shows.