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2011 in the West End

Saturday, 31st Dec 2011

2011 is now over and as a result a whole year’s worth of West End and London theatre productions have been and gone, whilst others have opened their doors for what are likely to be long and successful runs. But which shows stood out? What are the play and musicals that audiences will remember well into the next decade? From blockbuster musicals that have captured the hearts of audiences in and out of London to compelling plays that have earned awards and acclaim, it has been quite a year.

Beginning with musicals, 2011 has seen the opening of many productions that are likely to continue for some time. “The Wizard Of Oz” opened at the London Palladium back in March and on the back of its televised search for its star performer it has attracted a wealth of theatregoers. There’s also “Shrek The Musical”, which delighted audiences on Broadway ahead of its arrival at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, “Ghost The Musical” at the Piccadilly Theatre and “Rock Of Ages” opened its doors at the Shaftesbury Theatre in August (this is a show to keep an eye on as 2012 sees the release of a movie version starring Tom Cruise).

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the years in regards to musicals is “Matilda The Musical”, which first of all appeared at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon and is now running at the Cambridge Theatre with acclaim and audience success.

Add to these “Million Dollar Quartet” and the anniversary concert of “Phantom of the Opera” and it is clear that it has been a great year for musicals.

There are also musicals that have been and gone, such as “Betty Blue Eyes” which starred Reece Shearsmith at the Novello Theatre and “End of The Rainbow” at Trafalgar Studios.

Onto plays and it has been another stand-out year for such shows and the highest profile production was perhaps “Frankenstein” from director Danny Boyle and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller at The National Theatre. David Tennant and Catherine Tate also turned heads at the Wyndham’s Theatre with “Much Ado About Nothing” and 2011 also saw the successful production “Ghost Stories” complete its run at the Duke of York’s Theatre. Meanwhile, Kevin Spacey starred in “Richard III” at the Old Vic Theatre and “One Man, Two Guvnors” appeared at the National Theatre and then the Adelphi Theatre.

Article filed under: Theatre News |