From war-time high kicks to memories that overshadow a lifetime. A show boat full of promise to a streetcar laden with lust. Infidelities, secrets, dreams and a day that goes on forever. The past year has been one full of dramatic storytelling and astonishing performances for Bruno Wang Productions, as we celebrate being a partner and supporter of some of the UK’s most thrilling shows of 2016.
One of the highlights of spring was the opening of Mrs Henderson Presents at the Noel Coward Theatre in February which saw show girls standing up to Hitler’s Blitz. The production was nominated for four Olivier Awards including Best New Musical.
In March, the mood was very different for People Places Things, a stark examination of the rehab process which left audiences stunned and thrilled. Denise Gough rightly won an Olivier for Best Actress as addict Nina.
A “knockout” production of Show Boat in April lit up the New London Theatre with those iconic songs Ol’ Man River and Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man. Audiences were sent home singing.
Another strong female performance was at the heart of the transfer of A Streetcar Named Desire starring Gillian Anderson from the Young Vic in London to St Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn in May. Having been a huge hit last year in the UK, the New York production also gained rave reviews.
In June, it was time to welcome Michael Crawford back to the London stage after five years’ absence, in a tender and beautifully textured version of The Go-Between. A complete contrast, the same month, was the lavish Anish Kapoor production of Tristan and Isolde at the London Coliseum.
Groundhog Day opened in August, and the creative team – director Matthew Warchus, choreographer Peter Darling and composer Tim Minchin who had a runaway success with Matilda: the Musical – have pulled off another masterpiece. Who would bet against it at the Oliviers next year?
At Sadler’s Wells, another premiere took place – the first UK performance of Under Siege. A stunning vision of the climactic battle between the Chu and Han armies by renowned Chinese choreographer and dancer Yang Liping was reimagined and staged with searing poignancy.
Two different type of music – Motown and rock – began to inspire audiences as winter set in. Dreamgirls opened in November and features classic songs such as And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going, I Am Changing, One Night Only and Listen. Meanwhile School of Rock the Musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest production, sees a wannabe guitar hero taking a group of children to a dynamic Battle of the Bands competition.
Throughout the year, we were also pleased to support productions at pop-up space Found111, in the former Central Saint Martins art college. The Dazzle, Bug, Unfaithful, and Sam Shepherd’s Fool for Love provoked audiences to question their most intimate relationships.
Looking back, the range and quality of productions we have been honoured to be involved in is amazing and humbling. I hope you have had the chance to see some of these marvellous performances, and that we can continue to play a part in supporting the world’s most exciting theatrical events.