Sunday, December 31, 2017




Lots of retrospectives, with critics picking their favourite treats of the year gone by.
I’ve not done too well in 2017, to judge by the Guardian’s choices – several lists, including this democratic selection. Just Emma Rice’s lovely Romantics Anonymous, and the National’s superb Follies. And of course I was not invited to either.
But this, my last year in the reviewer’s seat, has provided many delights, from the obscure and unlooked-for to old favourites.
Musically, an outstanding year for the Waltham Singers. With Music for Lent and Gerontius in the Cathedral. Of many other concerts, the inspired Devil’s Violin lingers in the memory, and on the Civic stage, Chelmsford Ballet Company’s Alice proved a remarkable achievement, followed by another stunning Ballet Central show.
Many marvellous musicals, I’m pleased to say: Forbidden Planet at Witham, Hot Mikado at Brentwood, Miss Saigon at school. The most inventive Shakespeare ? The fairground Dream at the Rose Playhouse.
Strong showings from Colchester Mercury, with a “definitive” Spamalot as well as the Peter Pan summer show, and from our own CTW, who staged a superb Casa Valentina and a “near faultless” One Day When We WereYoung.

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