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Amy Hart’s Top 5: Musicals that were gone too soon

Amy Hart’s Top 5: Musicals that were gone too soon

Published 23 February 2021

The below has been taken from the transcript of our YouTube video

Reality TV star and theatre enthusiastic Amy Hart gave us a rundown of her top five musicals that were gone too soon.

In her very own words: “It’s a celebration, an extravaganza if you will of those musicals we absolutely adored but left us that little bit too early.”

Number 5 – Memphis

In at number five we have Memphis. This starred Killian Donnelly and Beverley Knight and only ran for one year at the Shaftesbury Theatre and I think we can all agree it deserved a much longer run. The show was loosely based on Dewey Phillips who was one of the first white DJ’s to play black music in the 1950s. It was nominated for a whopping nine Olivier Awards and won too but for some reason only lasted a year in the West End. I think it might be coming back for a tour though so there is going to be another chance to see it.

 

Number 4 – City Of Angels

Rebecca Trehearn and Rosalie Craig in the original Donmar Warehouse Production of City of Angels. Photo by Johan Persson.Rebecca Trehearn and Rosalie Craig in the original Donmar Warehouse Production of City of Angels. Photo by Johan Persson.

Number four on our list is the most recent gone too soon of the list which is City Of Angels. It was due to have its grand opening at the Garrick Theatre in March. It starred Hadley Fraser and Rosalie Craig reprising their roles from the 2014 Olivier Award-winning production at the Donmar Warehouse. I couldn’t wait to see this but sadly due to the coronavirus pandemic it closed before it had its big opening night. The show is set in the 1940s in the glittering Hollywood with two stories running side by side – a Hollywood comedy and a detective drama. We’re all keeping our fingers crossed it’ll be back soon and we’ll get to see this fabulous show.

 

Number 3 – Betty Blue Eyes

Sarah Lancashire (Joyce) – (Photograph Michael Le Poer Trench © Cameron Mackintosh Ltd)

Now I love Stiles and Drewe and number three on my list is probably my favourite show that they’ve done. Betty Blue Eyes was a 2011 musical that only ran for six months at the Novello Theatre it was Cameron Mackintosh’s first new musical in over 10 years and I utterly adored it. It was based on the film at a private function and starred Sarah Lancashire and Adrian Scarborough and even a little bit of voice acting from Miss Kylie Minogue herself. It did hit the road on a 2014 tour and luckily for us the soundtrack is available on Spotify and Apple Music so if you haven’t listened, go and listen now.

I would just like to take this moment to say to everyone who loves a long-running musical think yourselves very lucky because those of us whose heart belongs to the short-run musicals we we never know the 25th anniversary concert, we never know this. The last two musicals in my list are my top two musicals of all time so let’s find out what they are.

 

Number 2 – Made In Dagenham

Coming in at number two we have Made In Dagenham. This opened at the Adelphi Theatre in 2014 and ran for six months. We were robbed of a long run of this show. I cannot tell you how much I adore it. I still listen to the soundtrack now, start to finish in the car. There are no skips, there are no songs left unlistened to, honestly if you haven’t listened to it go and listen to it now.

The musical was based on the 2010 film of the same name which in turn was based on the 1968 strike of the Ford sewing machine workers. It starred former bond girl Gemma Arterton and future West End royalty Sophie Isaacs. This show was absolutely amazing and we need a UK tour pronto.

 

Number 1 – From Here To Eternity

And now the end is near so we face the final curtain and the final curtain is very emotional for me because number one on my top five of musicals gone too soon is my all-time favourite musical From Here To Eternity. Now this was Stuart Brayson and Sir Tim Rice’s musical based on the 1953 film and a book before that but I’m not sure what year. I’ve actually read the book, it’s like 5000 pages and I think I prefer the musical.

Now, the musical opened in 2013 and it only lasted for six and a half months but I managed to see it 10 times. In that time I learned what the stage door was – what a time to be alive. The cast included Darius Campbell, West End superstar leading ladies Rebecca Thornhill and Siobhan Harrison and the standout star Robert Lonsdale. Now he’d never done a musical before I don’t think and he blew us all away with his portrayal of Prewitt and I actually got to meet him at a press night party post-Love Island and he said that when they watched Love Island and I came on the screen they said “that’s Amy from the stage door.” I think I only ever met him once at the stage door, once seen never forgotten. This show had everything, the soundtrack was brilliant, the story was amazing, you really went on a journey with the characters.

The cast were faultless and the boys were really really fit and there was like 15 of them all in army uniforms dancing, all muscly. They went on an army boot camp before they did the show and also the video is still on YouTube so if you’re bored go and watch that. Now I was such a massive fan of the show that I have actually got a signed poster and a friend of mine work backstage so he got me a signed ukulele and to top it all off I have actually forced quite a few members of the cast to be my friend!

But luckily for me and you From Here To Eternity is still available to watch because towards the end of the run I think it was the last week actually it was filmed over two nights, so you can buy it on DVD if you still watch DVDs, it’s available on Broadway HD it’s available on iTunes, so it’s still there to watch and honestly it’s not the same as watching it in the theatre but it’s a very good second place so go and watch it guys. Thank you so much for joining me today for my top five musicals gone too soon.

 

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Tagged:
adelphi theatre Betty Blue Eyes city of angels Donmar Warehouse From Here To Eternity Garrick Theatre Made In Dagenham Memphis novello theatre shaftesbury theatre

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