Review of the Year 2010

Here are the Chrisparkle awards for 2010, awarded to the shows that I saw last year. A few odd shows didn’t get blogged for whatever reason, and they have not been considered for the awards.

Let’s start with Best Dance Production

Easy! I’ve seen it so many times but it’s simply unbeatable. Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake at the Milton Keynes Theatre.

Not going to give a “worst” award, as I only saw two other dance productions in 2010 and they were all very good – Richard Alston and Deborah Colker.

Classical Music Concert of the Year

Enjoyed them all, but I’m going to award the top prize to the Royal Philharmonic at the Derngate in Northampton with the programme that culminated with that breathtaking performance of Holst’s The Planets. A close second was the RPO’s programme that included Natalie Clein playing Dvorak’s Cello Concerto.

Again no “worst” award.

Best entertainment show of the year

Although the Birmingham panto was pretty fantastic, the absence of Joan Collins prevents me from giving it the award. Therefore the easy alternative is the wonderful celebration of Sondheim’s 80th birthday at the Derngate and starring Maria Friedman. I’d also like to give a special mention to Doon Mackichan’s Primadoona at the Menier Chocolate Factory for its unpretentious hilarity.

Best stand-up at the Screaming Blue Murder nights in Northampton

We saw 32 comics over the course of the year, but the really brilliant ones stood out:
3rd place – Marlon Davis
2nd place – Otiz Cannelloni
1st place – Paul Sinha

Best musical of the year

It’s got to be the first show we saw this year – Legally Blonde. OMG you guys it stands out!

Definitely worthy of worst musical of the year – Paradise Found.

Best Play/Comedy of the year

5th place – Honest at the Mail Coach in Northampton
4th place – Duchess of Malfi at the Royal Northampton
3rd place – Shirley Valentine at the Menier Chocolate Factory
2nd place – End of the Rainbow at the Royal Northampton
1st place – Out of Joint’s The Big Fellah at the Royal Northampton

Worst Play/Comedy of the year

5th place – My Zinc Bed at the Royal Northampton
4th place – The Talented Mr Ripley at the Royal Northampton
3rd place – Jus’ Like That at the Royal Northampton
2nd place – Educating Rita at the Menier Chocolate Factory
1st place – Calendar Girls at the Derngate Northampton

(None of these productions was bad. I didn’t see a bad production all year. It’s just that they were the five that disappointed most.)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical

3rd place – Jill Halfpenny in Legally Blonde
2nd place – Tamzin Outhwaite in Sweet Charity (Menier Chocolate Factory)
1st place – Sheridan Smith in Legally Blonde

Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical

3rd place – Marcus Brigstocke in Spamalot (no singing but a great performance)
2nd place – Mark Umbers in Sweet Charity
1st place – Alex Gaumond in Legally Blonde
NB Gavin Creel in the London production of Hair would have been in here somewhere but I never got around to blogging the show!

Best Performance by an Actress in a Play

3rd place – Janie Dee in A Month in the Country (Chichester Festival Theatre)
2nd place – Meera Syal in Shirley Valentine
1st place – Tracie Bennett in End of the Rainbow

Best Performance by an Actor in a Play

3rd place – James McArdle in A Month in the Country
2nd place – Hilton MacRae in End of the Rainbow
1st place – Thomas Morrison in Honest

Best ensemble performance by the company

3rd place – Sweet Nothings at the Royal Northampton (Young Vic production)
2nd place – The Duchess of Malfi
1st place – The Big Fellah

Favourite theatre of the year:

The Royal, Northampton

Here’s to another happy year of theatregoing!

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