Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Recap 2015

2015 has been a very theatrical year for me, more so than any previous one. I've worked (and continue to work) part-time in a theatre, with PR and marketing. I've of course also seen plenty of shows. I've gone further outside my comfort zone than ever before, and seen performances ranging from fantastic to less than impressive. It's been a very busy year with plenty of experiences to remember, so I thought to make a little list out of my personal highlights.

Listed, my top 5 theatrical experiences of 2015. In no particular order – but saving the best for the last.

Rocky


Every year, we grow and change. Me and Rocky are a visible proof of that.

Had you told me in early 2015 that before the year is out, I would be counting Rocky as one of my favourite musicals and walking around in a Rocky hoodie... Beforehand, I thought there's no way on earth a boxing musical would be to my tastes. But what do you know. Seeing the show in Hamburg, it was love from the first note, and obsession by Eye of the Tiger. Fight from the heart!

Related reading: review, The Hoodie Story

Desirée



I'm not especially big on Sondheim, but A Little Night Music has been a favourite of mine for years now. I'm very glad Tampereen Työväen Teatteri introduced this brilliant, clever musical to their repertoire. The production flows like a dream, it both touches me and makes me laugh every time – and by now, I've seen it four times. It's a joy to watch.

Related reading: review

The Curious Incident


This one was also Tampereen Työväen Teatteri's production. The reason it left such an impression is simple: as you often believe with favourite books, I thought I liked Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-Time so much no adaptation could ever compare. TTT's production proved me wrong. This fantastic play left me speechless both times I saw it.

Related reading: short review

Jekyll & Hyde



Reading this blog, you've probably noticed I've been thinking about Jekyll & Hyde the musical a lot this year. That's partially because I'm still excited about the first Finnish production that closed in 2014, but I've also the new Finnish production to be grateful for.

At first, I was wary of Jyväskylän kaupunginteatteri's Jekyll & Hyde, but I've grown to enjoy the production with all my heart. It's clear the cast loves performing the show. With such love and such three-dimensional portrayals of the characters, the flawed musical turns into something special.

Related reading: review, interviews with Jekyll and Jekyll and Emma and Lucy

A Christmas Concert


So. All these brilliant shows, and it's Åbo Svenska Teater's Christmas concert that made the biggest impression of them all? But Siiri, you don't even like Christmas songs, you point out – and right you are, I borderline detest them. But let me explain.

If you're a friend or a long-time reader, you probably have an idea of what Åbo Svenska Teater's Les Misérables (2010–2012) means to me. In short, no other theatrical production has ever had such an impact on me. It was a near-perfect version of my all-time favourite musical, but that's not the only reason I have such fond memories of it. It also changed my life for the better. For example, ÅST's Les Mis is where I met two of my current best friends for the first time.

So, imagine this: you're sitting in Åbo Svenska Teater's auditorium with aforementioned friends, watching your favourite performers sing a Les Misérables medley that's – yes – dedicated to you... For a big fan of something, I don't think it gets any better than that. Four years after the last performance, me and my friends got one magical ÅST Les Mis moment more.

The Christmas concert of course also featured those dreaded Christmas songs. But Anna-Maria Hallgarn, Emma Klingenberg, Sören Lillkung and Alexander Lycke (last two of the ÅST Les Mis fame) are such fantastic performers that to me, whatever they sing is worth hearing.

A perfect finish to a busy year.

With this, I wish happy holidays and a fantastic new year to all of you. May 2016 be full of magical, theatrical moments for all of us!

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