Welcome to All That Dazzles - a new blog about all things West end and Broadway.
I know what you're thinking - Is this REALLY the time to launch a new theatre website when there's nothing to talk about?
To that I say "Well, why the Hell not?"
If anything, this pandemic and the closure of our beloved theatres has not only put into perspective just how important theatre is (as if we didn't already know) but also shown what an amazing community we have. The way everybody has come together trying to keep the spirit of theatre alive, be it via live from their living room concerts, online streams or anything else, has been nothing short of admirable. It proves that not even a global pandemic can stop the world of theatre.
I have wanted to create a website to log all my adventures in theatre for a while now but never had the time to do it. It really did feel like it was now or never, so now was definitely the time. I'm the kind of person who will come out of seeing a show for the first time talking about everything I loved about it in great detail (and sometimes, the things I didn't quite love). My friends have always said I should put it in writing (If only to spare them the never-ending reviews that spew from my mouth afterwards).
I have worked out that up until now I have seen close to 200 different shows in the theatre, though the majority of them have been the last 5 years (not as in the show though I have seen that one). My first foray into theatre was being taken to seeing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as a kid and being amazed at the sight of Phillip Schofield swishing his coloured coat. It never fails to astound me how theatre can stir such emotions and memories (though the less said about CATS, the better). Seeing the new production of Joseph at the Palladium last year was a surprisingly emotional experience. Around 25 years had passed and the joy it brought me to see my first musical theatre experience again was a bit of a shocker.
For me, one of the great beauties of theatre is how subjective it is. Some of my favourite shows are hated by some of my friends - one of them even walked out on me in the interval of a truly marmite show I adore, leaving me alone in act 2. Similarly, shows that some of my friends love I have a completely different opinion of. I even have a friend who raves about Viva Forever, which is worrying in itself. Confession time - despite two Chicago puns in the blog name, it really isn't one I'd voluntarily see again. This is what makes theatre so great! How boring would the world be if we all agreed on anything? I saw a review of a show years ago which gave it both 1 star out of 5 and 5 stars out of 5 - the same review. It couldn't decide whether the show was amazing or awful. I think that's fantastic.
On this blog I will be posting all the latest theatre news from the West end, Broadway and the world - yes, even Birmingham! I will post reviews from the shows that I go to see - I love a first night in the theatre and have booked for most upcoming shows in the next 6 months (though it's not so much fun with the influx of cancellation emails at the moment) so expect some preview reviews when everything reopens hopefully in the not too distant future.
In lieu of anything new to review at the moment, I will be being as creative as possible in what I talk about, reviewing old shows in throwback theatre moments, shows that are online and anything else that is vaguely related to this amazing industry.
Please interact with the blogs on here or on social media. Have a different opinion? Please share it - as I said the joy of the theatre is how subjective it truly is.
Bear with me over the first few weeks as I try to navigate this and forgive any mistakes. In the meantime, let's share our mutual love of All That Dazzles!