Shows to see before they close

If there’s one thing London theatre has taught me, it’s that there are not enough evenings in the week.  There are just too many good shows on in London at the moment – and due to some being on restricted runs, if you’re at a loose end in the next couple of weeks, here’s my list of shows that you REALLY need to see before they close:

Urinetown at the Apollo Theatre – final performance Saturday 10th January 2015
Even though I’m not a big one for musicals, this was my kinda show.  Deliciously dark and satirical, Urinetown has a strong story, good characters, infectious songs, some very timely political observations and a wry nod to the fact that this is a musical that knows it’s a musical.  Don’t let the name put you off – I adored it.  It’s been nominated in 7 categories in the upcoming What’s On Stage Awards, and for good reason.  I’m really hoping this gets a reprise later in 2015 – it deserves to.  But just in case it doesn’t, you’ve got  just under 3 weeks to do so.  If you need any more incentive, TKTS in Leicester Square are offering silly discounts on top price tickets.  Go before they change their minds.

The Knight of the Burning Pestle at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse – final performance Sunday 11th January 2015
Not only was this one of my highlights of early 2014, it’s back for the festive season.  Unashamedly silly and boisterous, TKOTBP left me grinning from ear to ear.  What’s more, most of the original cast are back, including Pauline McLynn (Mrs Doyle from Father Ted) and Phil Daniels.  This is also a great chance to see inside the beautiful candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse – and that is worth the ticket price alone.

La Soiree at the Spiegeltent, Southbank – final performance Sunday 11th January 2015
If a night of deliciously grown-up naughtiness appeals to you, then head down to the opulent and cosy Spiegeltent for the saucy treat that is La Soiree.  From acrobats to contortionists to spangly camp, this assortment of curiosities will make you gasp and giggle.  Even the seats at the back are pretty close to the stage, so everyone gets a good view.  If you need any further persuasion, here’s my review from November.

Grimm Tales at the Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf – final performance Sunday 15th February 2015
Once upon a time, fairytales had a slightly sinister streak – then the Disney machine came along and romanticised the stories and toned down the really scary bits.  But Philip Pullman has put the ‘grim’ back into the Grimm Tales.  This stunning and inventive adaptation invites audiences to wander through the forests and take in a story.  Some are more familiar than others and after the show has finished, you are free to wander through their frankly mindblowing set, and even take pictures.  A joy of a performance, suitable for everyone aged 8 and upwards.

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