Although this blog is looking forward to 2019, I feel I should take a little bit of time to mention some of the best and worse shows of my back catalogue so far. Mainly because there have been a few theatrical experiences that have absolutely blown me away. I can’t name them all but along with favourite gig’s, venues and restaurants, here’s my top ten from high to lower, drum roll please………………… (ps I promise no spoilers). 1. Lazarus – David Bowie’s musical masterpiece, created by a genius (bit of a Bowie fan me!) and performed by a quality cast. Hard to explain this one, best description I can think of is a musical emotional experience that has to be lived (you really had to be there, so to speak). Mental breakdown, evil personified, lust, love, bonkers moments that can only be created within Bowie’s mind with his incredible sound track and the most gentle innocent beautiful relationship between a father and child. Outstanding. 2. Sunny Afternoon – there are a lot of musicals out there these days that follow the format of the rise of a musical band or genre, some good, some rather boring. However this story of the Kinks is superb. Raw, funny, honest and all played live, it is just great fun with fantastic music (bit of a Kinks fan me!) and a fast flowing energy that leaves you singing and dancing all the way home. 3. The Kiterunner – not for the faint hearted. The most spine chilling, honest, shocking, humbling, emotional (two of my friends sobbed through most of it) play I have ever seen. A true example of the power of theatre with minimal scenery and no special effects. Just a powerful beautifully written script transformed to the stage. 4. Blondie at the Roundhouse – This is a double whammy, fab gig at fab venue. I love Blondie and 11.59 is my favourite song ever (if you don’t know it Spotify it). I’d always wanted to see them live but was worried that my dreams would be shattered and they wouldn’t live up to my expectations – WRONG – Debbie Harry is officially the coolest rock chic alive and Blondie are the best gig I have ever been to, need I say more!!!!! 5. The Savoy – Yes very posh I know and it really is. But OMG they do it well. Had afternoon tea here which was expensive and was a treat but was lovely from start to finish. But we also went here on a Bookatable.com meal deal, paid £35 a head for three courses and a glass of champagne. The food was amazing and the service outstanding. So if you see a meal deal give it a go. 6. Parliament-funkadelic with George Clinton – again at the Roundhouse in Camden. Didn’t know quite what to expect but got over two hours of partying on down with a stage over flowing with musicians and singers having the time of their lives. Their vibe filtered down through the crowd and even the pillars were moving and a grooving. Loved it…….. 7. Trafalgar studios – Whitehall. Fantastic, intimate little venue with two studios holding 380 (studio 1) or 150 people (studio 2). Saw Orlando Bloom in Killing Joe in studio 2, fast paced black comedy and Orlando Bloom, need I say more! And then Misty, a poetic drama written and performed by Arinze Kene about a youth growing up in Hackney. Amazingly lyrical and very moving making me both smile and cry. 8. Jesus Christ Superstar at Regents Park Open Air Theatre – another spine tingling experience. I’m not a fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals but I do love this one. Went on the recommendation of a friend who said the setting made the whole show come to life. Modern production with not a well known, but incredible cast and the most flowing, incredibly choreographed performance set amongst the trees. I’m singing along in my head as I write this and probably will be now all evening ……….hosanna hey sanna, sanna, sanna hosanna ………………. 9. Les Miserable – I’ve seen this musicial more than any other in the West End and I never get tired of it. It is definitely a marmite play either loving it or hating it but I’m a lover and have to go back every so ofter just to get a Les Mis fix. Now I’m singing Les Mis tunes in my head!!! No still singing hosanna hey sanna! 10. The Globe – saw ‘As You Like It’. Paid £5 to stand in the yard. I love a good Shakespeare play as long as I’ve read about it first so I have some idea what might be going on. This was superb. Incredible acting, very funny play with a profoundly deaf actress completely integrated into acting within the play by using British Sign Language, with the other actors seamlessly interpreting her speech, so well integrated that you would have thought Shakespeare had written this character as someone who was deaf. Be prepared though if you do choose the £5 standing tickets as you have to stand at all times during the performance and if you sit down the staff come round and ask you to stand up again. I would definitely go again but I think I would splash out and pay for seat which range from £7 to about £30 so still affordable but bring a cushion! So that’s my top ten. There are so many more I could comment on but from here onwards it’s all about the new. But before I sign off for today I do have one play to mention that has been the only complete disaster. ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ starring Christian Slater, Kris Marshall and Stanley Townsend to name but a few. What was that all about????? 45minute first half when nothing happened and if it did we couldn’t understand anyone’s attempt of an American accent, even the Americans, an interval that consisted of a lot of wine to get us through the second half and a second half with even less substance – sorry boys but that’s an hour and 45 of my life that I’m never going to get back. Oh well you can’t win them all!!!! Well that’s me for today but I’m off to see ‘The Band’ followed by dinner at The Ivy Grill next Saturday so please come back to my blog to see what I have to say ………with thanks.