The magical theatre season is upon us! Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a musical or two and of course a dose of everyone’s favourite – panto! If you are looking for some suggestions of which shows to see this winter, look no further than some of the UK’s best theatre blogs, which you can find online by the dozen. Here are our favourites:
West End Whingers – westendwhingers.wordpress.com
Phil and Andrew – known to their followers as the West End Whingers – cover the London theatre scene through a series of reviews on their blog and cleverly decide whether or not they are worth going out to see, to whether you should stay home with a glass of Merlot. Each production is given a rating out of five, measured by glasses of red wine. Their most recent entry is a review of Paul Taylor Mills musical “Street Pier,” receives a respectable 3.5 glasses of merlot out of five. The boy’s blog also features a comic strip of photographs of them schmoozing with the actors back stage. It’s a great blog with regular updates, so if you are lucky enough to be spoiled for choice in London, take a peek on their page before buying tickets.
London Theatre Blog - www.londontheatreblog.co.uk
The London Theatre Bloggers are a group of theatre loving critics founded by Andrew Eglinton, a PhD student researching documentary drama. The blog delves a little deeper into the ideas and creation of each performance reviewed, and seeks to contribute to London, the UK and International theatre cultures by giving writers a platform upon which to share their ideas about various plays and musicals they have seen, and their significance in today’s society. The site also features a small interviews section, where budding writers have interviewed their favourite stage stars about up and coming or current works. If you happen to be perusing this site, take a look at Lilly Dominic’s article on “The Life and Times of a New Graduate Working in Theatre,” for a really interesting insight into the difficulties faced by budding theatre critics keen to make a living out of loving theatre.
TheatreVOICE - www.theatrevoice.com
TheatreVOICE markets itself as the web’s leading resource for audio about British theatre. It’s key feature is a series of podcasts available to listen to or download by users. The podcasts take the form of reviews, interviews with various stage favourites, or discussions around other elements of stage performance, such as local and regional theatre or physical and visual. It’s a really interesting take on the traditional theatre blog, and could actually be described as a news platform for all things theatre in the UK. This is definitely a go to blog if you are a theatre lover in the UK.
There Ought to be Clowns - www.oughttobeclowns.blogspot.co.uk
There Ought to be Clowns is a brilliant place to find reviews of plays, musical theatre, TV and film, describing itself as a “theatrical diary” which actually turns out to be a very accurate description. The lady (or gentleman) in question does not mention a background or where he or she is from, only that they consider themselves a theatre critic, which certainly comes across in the reviews on this site. There Ought to be Clowns is a very carefully thought out theatrical journal, with top notch reviews and a deeper look into both TV and film as well as on stage productions. This is a great place to get inspiration if you are thinking about starting a theatre blog yourself.
West End Wilma - www.westendwilma.com
West End Wilma prides herself on being an all-round theatre expert – from in depth and honest reviews to booking tickets online, where to sit and when to go. The blog features articles on interesting topics such as theatre etiquette and advice on booking tickets in various theatres, restricted view seats and what to avoid when trying to pick up budget tickets. It’s a great platform to check out if you are unfamiliar with the London theatre scene, or indeed if you are buying tickets for the first time, as some websites can be confusing, and it’s often impossible to tell if “restricted access tickets” are really restricted. This lady knows her stuff so definitely check it out!