We may be over half way through January 2023 already, but since we’re still getting emails that begin with “Happy New Year” we reckon we can get away with publishing a belated blog celebrating the shows we saw in 2022.
Please note that if we refer to having reviewed a show (either on this website or for Broadway World UK), we received complimentary press tickets to that show. If we do not refer to a review, we paid for the tickets with our own money.
Stagey stats 2022
In total, we racked up 76 shows in 2022, kicking off with a family trip to Back to the Future and finishing with a rare date night for Mummy and Mrs Mummy at Cabaret. Of the 76 shows, 40 were press invites (32 reviewed on this site and another eight over at Broadway World UK) and the remaining 36 were shows we booked ourselves. We saw 21 shows as a family of four and eight as a trio (without Mrs Mummy). Mummy paired up with Quaver to review 10 children’s shows, and saw another seven shows with Crotchet. Mummy and Mrs Mummy managed to see three grown-up shows together and another 11 separately (doing our usual trick of taking it in turns to be on munchkin duty). Mummy saw two with Auntie Poppins as her +1 and 14 all on her own (including two aimed at toddlers).
Southwark Playhouse was our most visited venue with seven shows (a mix of reviews and our own money), with Polka Theatre coming in just behind on a tally of six shows (all reviews). We saw four shows at Jacksons Lane (all reviews), and three each at Greenwich Theatre (all reviews) and Little Angel Theatre (a mix of reviews and shows we booked ourselves).
With so many trips to Southwark Playhouse, it’s no wonder that it features on our list of highlights. You can usually rely on Southwark Playhouse to put on a bonkers musical and 2022 was no exception (as anyone who saw Yeast Nation can attest). Our highlight was Alex Young’s performance as Mayoress Cora Hoover Hooper in Anyone Can Whistle. We also branched out and caught a few plays there last year, including Rosie Day’s fantastic one-woman show, Instructions for a Teenage Armageddon. (Read our review).
Another solo performance which makes it onto our highlights list with ease is Jodie Comer’s exceptional West End debut in Prima Facie. Mummy was lucky enough to nab a return ticket to this one and was very glad not to have missed out on this stunning performance.
2022 was also the the year in which we finally got to see some of our favourite lockdown performances in-person (meaning even more solo shows making it to our list of 2022 highlights). The Fabulist Fox Sister was a clear contender for the best online musical production, so we were incredibly excited when we heard that it would be playing a one-off performance at the Crazy Coqs. We very nearly missed it, with tickets selling out before we even saw the announcement, but thankfully a second date was added and Auntie Poppins was available to babysit. It was every bit as good as the online version, and brilliant to finally catch the inimitable Michael Conley in-person at the most perfect venue.
Like many people, we really enjoyed watching Rob Madge’s childhood home videos featuring young Rob’s living room re-enactment of Disney productions. In 2022, Rob re-created the now infamous Disney parade in their show My Son’s a Queer But What Can You Do? Hilarious and heartwarming, this was a must-see production. It’s back in the West End this month and we would encourage everyone to see it (with tissues at the ready).
Another lockdown show which we were delighted to finally see in the flesh was the brilliant Little Angel Theatre adaptation of Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back (and the two other books in the Hat Trilogy). The books are firm favourites in our house (so much so that we can’t bear to get rid of them even though the munchkins have grown out of picture books) and this cardboard puppetry production absolutely does it justice. It’s out on tour in 2023 so make sure you catch it if you haven’t seen it already.
Another Little Angel production making it to our list of 2022 highlights is also a picture book adaptation; this time Michael Rosen’s classic We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. It’s an absolutely beautiful interpretation of a classic and Mummy was really glad that she went along to this one, even though Quaver was a bit over the recommended age range. You can read her review over at Broadway World.
We enjoyed lots of family productions at Polka Theatre too, particularly their Christmas shows. Quaver really enjoyed Crackers. (Read her Broadway World review), while Mummy was very impressed with their early years production, Grandad, Me and Teddy Too (Read her Broadway World review).
We also enjoyed some great circus in 2022. We have long been fans of the brilliant Tweedy the Clown but have never previously made it to a Gifford’s Circus show. We rectified this last summer with a trip to see Carpa! and it was utterly brilliant. We will definitely be catching their 2023 production. Mummy also saw a fair few productions up at Jacksons Lane. Her favourite was Three Men From the North because how could a show featuring IKEA furniture not find itself on this list?! (Read her review).
As usual, we also saw a lot of big musicals in 2022, including some new shows and some long-running productions. Mummy and the munchkins loved Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World, the cast recording for which has been a Spotify stable ever since. (Read our review.)
We had been wondering whether the munchkins were quite old enough for Come From Away yet but the closure announcement meant it was now or never. We grabbed last minute tickets during half term to share this special show with them before it left the West End for good. Mummy and Mrs Mummy also snuck in a further visit to the closing night but that’s a story for our 2023 round-up……
All the shows we saw in 2022
For the first time ever, we managed to keep up a Twitter thread of all the shows we saw. (It came in handy for writing this round-up, although Mummy spotted several mistakes and is cursing Twitter’s continued refusal to provide us with an edit button!) Check it out below: