[Gifted – this post is written in collaboration with The Opera House and Palace Theatres – I have been gifted tickets to attend a number of shows, but my views are purely my own and recommendations entirely genuine.]
I have always been an avid lover of the theatre and live performances. When I used to live in London, I’d regularly attend shows in the West End and since moving to Manchester, I’ve become a regular at two of Manchester’s best theatre venues: The Opera House and Palace Theatre. This year, I’ve seen some amazing shows and I’ve got some more lined-up too, so I thought I’d best put together a post of the 5 reasons to go to the theatre, right here in Manchester…
5 reasons to go to the theatre in Manchester
1.) Dirty Dancing on stage!
This is technically not Manchester related anymore, as the show has just left the city BUT, it was so incredibly good that I had to tell you about it! AND it’s coming back up North to liverpool next week and then back again to Leeds in August. So it’s well worth the short trip to go and see it!
I’ve seen Dirty Dancing on stage in London, years ago, in the West End and it was fabulous BUT this current production knocks the socks-off of it (a tall order!). The show is everything every Johnny & Baby lover out there would want and expect from it. An soundtrack epically sung and performed live, insane dancing, giggles at just the right moments and steamy chemistry that left the audience all-a-flutter!
For me, Baby, played by Kira Malou, brings a sense of humour to the role and totally gets your on side with her within minutes. Michael O’Reilly plays the best Johnny I’ve seen, aside from the man himself, Patrick Swayze. He has entirely the right demeanour, swagger and voice! I mean, he sounds so much like the Swayze! He plays a strong lead, moody and sexy, like he should be and a couple of the scenes left me and my date Vicki, blushing in the aisles! You NEED to go and see this production! You won’t be disappointed.
2.) The King and I!
I went to the press night of The King and I at The Opera House, Manchester just this week and gosh, I was blown away! I invited my mum up from London, a fellow musicals and Rodgers and Hammerstein lover and we both agreed that it’s one of the best productions we’ve ever seen on stage. It was a different class of performance – entirely absorbing and at just about 3 hours long, the cast are truly epic. Their voices, their performances…remarkable.
My favourite moment had to be the eagerly awaited Shall We Dance performance and Annaleene Beechey (who plays the lead female, Anna), has the most extraordinary voice.
I admit, it’s been a long while since I’ve seen the movie, which I’m glad about, as I was totally absorbed in this stage show and lost in the fabulous story-telling. If you are a fan of musicals, you just can’t miss this one!
3.) A great night out…midweek!
This point is not performance-related, instead, I want to remind you that reasons to go to the theatre go far beyond the productions themselves. It’s a great night out! Whether you’re familiar with the play/show/musical or not, getting dressed-up for a night at the theatre is a total feel-good evening out. Perfect for a date-night, evening with friends or a trip with the parents – that’s the thing, the theatre is suitable for everyone, young and old. That’s what I love about it most!
Of course you can head-out and make the most of your Friday and Saturday nights, but my favourite time to head to the theatre is mid-week. It’s a great way to break up your week and do something different on a Tuesday or Wednesday night.
4.) It’s affordable…
With tickets generally starting at £16, I think the theatre is an approachable cultural activity that you get so much out of! We had a fairly cheap meal at Wagamama before seeing The King and I, spending less than we do on an average night out but getting so much more! Plus, near most theatres, there’ll be restaurants doing a pre-theatre meal deal!
5.) A variety of performances…
From festive pantomimes, to family interactive performances, to deep and meaningful, to light-hearted and fun…the theatre has something for everyone. Checkout what’s on near you! I can’t wait to spend more time at the theatre this year.
Which shows are you looking forward to seeing?