Scatter has seen over 100 shows this year – musicals, plays and immersive trails. London, New York and Chicago have been explored to find fun, entertaining and enlightening productions. Seven successful shows obtained Five Star reviews from Scatter this year, seven times the amount awarded last year. A few flops were suffered but there was plenty of exciting, challenging pieces to be found in both Fringe and West End destinations this year. This 2016 Review looks back at a few of the fantastic and the failed.
The Dazzle – @Found111
Vanities The Musical – @Trafalgar Studio
The Soul Of Wittgenstein – @King’s Head
Dead Funny – @Vaudeville
If I Go – @Ye Olde Rose & Crown
Off The Kings Road – @Jermyn Street
It has been a particularly good year for new writing. The Soul of Wittgenstein, written by Ron Elisha, sparkled with comedy and broke hearts with its powerful love story. From boarding schools to university, Robert Hughes used real life experiences to create two thrilling texts, Never Have I Ever and Mums The Word – both naturalistic and lively.
New musicals were tested on audiences. Hugely successful, Muted (Sarah Henley, Tim Prottey-Jones and Tori Allen-Martin), played with a non-traditional style and challenging topic. Choreographed movement, unique songs and sensational singing made this a gripping watch. Unfortunately, The Mirror Never Lies, was less fruitful – unable to find its style and a confusing, outdated storyline. Bringing back a classic, over to the UK for the first time – Vanities The Musical brought great delight to its audiences. Grease with a squeeze more of sarcastic juice, Vanities tickled our funny bones as well as offered a range of unforgettable tunes. Vanities The Musical also offered an introduction to Lizzy Connolly, an actress we will be watching out for in future productions.
Out in town and across the UK, The Little Gardener was performed inside James Lewis’ sweet green house full of flourishing flowers and wiggling worms. Getting the children involved, this set was enchanting for all ages. Gregor Donnelly’s set design for Benighted occupied the entire space; a spooky, creaking house. Five star, Sisters used an intricate lighting design to form fire and softly light sensitive storylines.
Andrew Twyman mastered the direction of Odd Shaped Balls, presenting us with a multitude of characters by Matthew Marrs – all clear, witty and engaging. The Local Stigmatic‘s success was largely down to Michael Toumey creative direction of this two-hander play.
Greg Spong kept us vibrant throughout 2016 with his striking illustrations, finding new styles and smashing out designs in even shorter amounts of time. Thank you & I look forward to learning more on the graphic tablet next year.
As Scatter Of Opinion grows, now with more followers and readers than ever before – we need more critics on board to write up reviews of all the shows London has to offer. If you’re interested in writing for Scatter, let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a short introduction on yourself and a snippet of your writing. We hope to welcome you to the team soon!
2016 was an awful year for politics and saw far too many famous faces fall – but trumped 2015 with more exciting, experimental and enthralling theatre productions. Fingers crossed 2017 will uncover even more new talents yet to be seen, plus developed and new productions from the creative teams and actors we’ve experienced so far.
Happy New Year