12 Days of Christmas: London Theatre Style

2017 was a great year for London theatre, and there were certainly more than just 12 things we loved about it. But it’s Christmastime… which means we feel obliged to put a holiday spin on everything. Inspired by “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, here are 12 gifts given to the London theatre world in 2017:

On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

12,000 performances of The Phantom of the Opera in London

Production still from Phantom of the Opera London
Ben Lewis and Kelly Mathieson. Photo by Johan Persson.

That’s right: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical The Phantom of the Opera has now played over 12,000 performances at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London. In fact, it’s the second longest running musical in the West End.

On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

11 years of Wicked in London

The popular musical about the witches of Oz opened in London in September 2006. That means it’s now been defying gravity for a little over 11 years.

On the 10th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

£10 lottery tickets to Hamilton

But seriously, if your true love did get you tickets to Hamilton, marry him or her immediately. The Tony-winning musical from Lin-Manuel Miranda transferred to the West End earlier this month, but tickets are hard to come by. If you’re feeling lucky, try entering the £10 ticket lottery.

On the 9th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

9 Olivier Awards

Production still from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child London
Photo by Manuel Harlan

That’s what Harry Potter and the Cursed Child got for an early Christmas present this year. In racking up all those Tony wins, the play broke a record. Magic? Quite possibly.

On the 8th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

8 theatres owned by Sir Cameron Mackintosh

This year, Delfont Mackintosh Theatres (owned by Sir Cameron Mackintosh) finished restoring the Victoria Palace Theatre just in time for Hamilton. Sir Cameron Mackintosh, producer of shows like Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera, owns a total of eight theatres in London: Prince Edward, Prince of Wales, Novello, Gielgud, Queen’s, Noël Coward, Wyndham’s, and the Victoria Palace.

On the 7th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

7½ hours of Angels in America

That’s the runtime for the National Theatre’s production of Tony Kushner’s landmark play. With a great cast including Andrew Garfield (who won Best Actor at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards for his performance), no one seems to mind the incredible length of this production.

On the 6th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

6 autism-friendly performances

We counted at least six theatre performances this year that catered to autistic audiences – including plays in both London and New York. Here’s to even more autism friendly performances in 2018.

On the 5th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

5-star reviews

The Ferryman banner

That’s what Jez Butterworth’s new play The Ferryman got this year – in addition to a host of awards and a great deal of hype – which according to The Evening Standard is fully justified. The Ferryman received five-star reviews from The Independent, The Stage, The Guardian, The Evening Standard, The Financial Times, and others.

On the 4th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

4 ghosts

Production still from A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic
The Old Vic’s production of A Christmas Carol by Jack Thorne

You’re very likely to see four ghosts if you attend The Old Vic’s new production of A Christmas Carol this holiday season. This version of the Dickens classic, which looks gorgeous, stars Rhys Ifans and features a script by Jack Thorne.

On the 3rd day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

3 Hamlets

2017 was the year of Hamlet. At the same time last summer, there were not one, not two, but three productions of Hamlet running in London. In one production, Kenneth Branagh directed Tom Hiddleston in the role of the Danish prince; in another, Robert Icke directed Andrew Scott; and yet another starred Gyles Brandreth at the Park Theatre. Now, which one to go to? That was the question.

On the 2nd day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

2 Norwegian diplomats

Production still from Oslo
Photo by Brinkhoff/Mögenburg

After making a name for itself on Broadway, J.T. Rogers’ Tony Award-winning play Oslo touched down in the West End in September and is now playing at the Harold Pinter Theatre. The play tells the story of two Norwegian diplomats who arranged top-secret meetings between Israel and Palestine, culminating in the Oslo Accords of 1993.

On the 1st day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

1 Day More

The Act I finale from Les Misérables is officially Britain’s favourite showtune – according to a recent poll by theatre website WhatsOnStage. “Defying Gravity” ranked as the second most popular, followed by “The Phantom of the Opera”, “Bring Him Home”, and “Being Alive.” All good songs, indeed.

What was the best theatre-related gift you received this year?

5 thoughts on “12 Days of Christmas: London Theatre Style

  • 2017- there are two shows that stand out among the other and both were shows on tour. I had waited since Fall 2012 to see it and when I found out it was touring the US in 2016 and coming to Charlotte, I started convincing my parents to take me and they did. I had a bigger emotional response than I thought I would. Waiting five years was worth. Loved they particular cast.

    The other standout show was Les Mis and like Rent was an emotional wreck. I had seen Les Mis at community college and in the West End, but 2017 was the first year I saw it on tour. I saw it in Greenville with my school and it was the 25th anniversary productions and loved the use of projections and loved how it flowed so smoothly. The cast altogether were quite powerful and were excellent. They brought out what comes to mind when I think Les Mis. I am still not tired of seeing Les Mis live.

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    • Some people are puzzled as to why I am not tired of Les Mis. It is just this beautiful story that moves you each time you see it. It is this incredibly story of love, hope, sacrifice, forgiveness, compassion, humanity and redemption. It is so powerful, epic, revolutionary, and inspiring. Not matter where you see it and what cast you see, you will still be moved.

      What is interning about this list you wrote is the Wicked one. I first saw Wicked the same year Wicked opened in the West End. I was NYC with my mom when I was 12 summer of 2006 so I have been in love with Wicked for about 11 years and couple months now.

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