Wednesday, 31 December 2014


This is going to be a slightly longer and different blog post to what I would usually do. With 2014 coming to a close and 2015 beginning I felt it was appropriate to blog about some of the things that I really enjoyed in 2014 and would recommend that others would check out too. Some of the things may not have been released etc in 2014 but I just discovered them in this year or they have been a big part of my life in one way or another in 2014. I also figure that this blog will also be a good one for me to look back on in the future to see what I was enjoying this year.

For me one of my musical highlights of the year was McBusted. They joined forces at the end of 2013 but 2014 has brought a sell out arena tour and an album. I'm sure I've mentioned in posts before how much of a fan I am of both Busted and McFly so I was thrilled that they created a super group. The tour they did early in the year is up there in one of the best live concerts I've ever seen, it was so well thought through and I loved the set list. The newly released self titled, although I don’t feel any of the tracks are stand outs like Crashed The Wedding or 5 Colours In Her Hair, it is a very good album from beginning to end. 

It is hard to not feature Taylor Swift as part of this blog. I think you'll be hard pushed to find someone who wouldn't agree that 2014 has well and truly been the year of Taylor Swift. She undertook a sell out world tour at the beginning of the year including five dates at London’s 02 Arena and released her new album, 1989, towards the end.  Although her 1989 album isn't my personal favourite that she's released you can't deny that her new pop sound has taken the world by storm and she still remains to be one of my favourite musicians. For that reason alone I would have to recommend that you listen to Taylor Swift. I'm choosing 1989 for this blog post solely on the fact that it was released in 2014, however, I would strongly suggest listening to her back catalogue too.

I read a lot of books in 2014 – 46 to be precise. Some of them better than others. Looking at my goodreads ratings on the 46 books I only rated three that I read this year with a five star rating so I will recommend those. The three books that I rated five stars are

  • The Time Of My Life – Cecelia Ahern
  • Not Without You – Harriet Evans
  • Not In The Script – Amy Finnegan
Me giving a five star rating on a book involves the book completely taking over my life. When I am enjoying the book so much my entire life tends to revolve around it, it’s all I think about and what’s happening in the book tends to affect my day to day mood. For example, I end up worrying about things the characters in the book are worrying about. I completely enjoyed these three so couldn’t recommend them more.

I managed to see a few musicals in 2014. However, all of them but one I have seen before. For that reason my favourite of 2014 is going to have to be Cinderella. It was such a magical performance of the tale and the songs are just so catchy. Although it isn’t in the UK yet and is shutting on Broadway very shortly if you find yourself in distance of the US tour of it and you love the story of Cinderella I’d say it’s definitely worth checking out.

My two stand out theatre performers of the year are Savannah Stevenson and Carrie Hope Fletcher. I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful performers I think they both are and they both have been a pleasure to meet at stage door after I saw their respective shows. Savannah Stevenson is currently performing as Glinda in Wicked London. I’ve said before in a blog post how impressed I am with her portrayal as Glinda and I’m so excited to hopefully get to see her in Wicked again, everyone in the cast is unbelievably good I really couldn’t suggest going to see it more. Carrie Hope Fletcher is currently playing Eponine in London’s Les Miserables and very recently played Beth in the final arena tour of War of the Worlds. Carrie Hope Fletcher is someone I’ve been aware of for a number of years but getting to see her in theatre just put emphasis on how ridiculously talented she is. She leaves the cast of Les Miserables in June and I definitely think she’ll be someone to watch out for in the future.   

I’m going to leave this blog post at this otherwise it’ll just be far too long. I think that covers some of the main things of 2014. I hope anyone reading this had a good 2014 and will have an even better 2015.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Wicked The Musical - London

Wicked the musical is based on Gregory Maguires novel and tells the back story of the Wizard of Oz witches. Although as expected, references are made to the film I don't think it is a requirement to have seen it to be able to thoroughly enjoy the show. The story focusses around popular girl, Glinda Upland and outcast Elphaba Thropp who is the governors green daughter. Glinda and Elphaba start the musical hating each other but unexpectedly they end up being friends. The pair meet at Shiz University and before you know it a love triangle has formed with Fiyero (played by Jeremy Taylor) and they even get a trip to visit the Wonderful Wizard of Oz where their fates will be sealed.

London's Elphaba is currently being played by Jennifer DiNoia, who despite making her West End debut has been in six different Wicked companies in four countries so she is very familiar with playing the role of the green witch. Her performance is very impressive and she so effortlessly belts out Elphabas songs including Wicked's most popular song Defying Gravity. Unfortunately her run in the London production is only limited and DiNoia's final performance will take place 31st January.

My personal favourite character in the musical is Glinda the good who is currently being played by Savannah Stevenson. I have been in the audience for multiple performances of Wicked so have experienced many different actresses play Glinda but Stevenson is by far my favourite. From her entrance to the stage by bubble, Stevenson brings so much energy to the performance and has the audience in stitches particularly during the song, Popular. Stevenson managed to play both the funny and seriously aspects of Glinda perfectly. 

DiNoia and Stevenson act together so incredibly, it's hard to believe they've only been working together for just a few weeks. They are an incredible pairing and if you get the opportunity to visit a show in London I can highly recommend Wicked. It's so obvious that both actresses know their characters inside out and exactly how they want them to come across to the watching crowd and I feel that really comes across in the performance.

Wicked has been in London for almost a decade now and even on the Christmas Eve performance that I attended, the theatre was almost full. It's no wonder the musical is still so popular, the story is heartwarming and funny, the set is visually stunning and I can guarantee you will be leaving the theatre singing along to some of the songs biggest hits. You are truly transported through the story thanks to the sets and costumes. The differences between the sets and costumes are phenomenal. I think Wicked is one of the best musicals for the entire family in the West End right now and if you haven't seen it yet you certainly need to plan a journey to the Apollo Victoria to see it.