The latest West End hit that’s got the critics’ tongues wagging sees some of TV’s famous faces dazzling in a revival of the sixties hit Sweet Charity, which has now transferred to the Haymarket Theatre due to popular demand.
This is the same production that opened for a limited time at the Menier Chocolate Factory late last year, but don’t let its fringe origins fool you – with a stellar cast and impressive production values, Sweet Charity is another welcome addition to this year’s already impressive roster of London musicals.
While everyone seemed to agree that the music, choreography and performances were all first-rate in last year’s brief run – including recognisable hits like Hey Big Spender, which surely everyone knows even if they haven’t seen the show before! – there was one particular aspect that divided critics: namely the star performance from Tamzin Outhwaite in the lead role of Charity Hope Valentine.
Although I didn’t catch that earlier version of the show to verify for myself, the decision to keep Tamzin on board for the West End transfer couldn’t have been better, as the former EastEnder is still one of the show’s biggest draws for audiences, and has won back praise from her former detractors with glowing reviews. It really shows the difference a few months can make to a performance!
Theatre buffs have long held the Menier company in high regard, with the theatre’s Broadway transfers recently being nominated for no less than 15 Tony Awards in the USA. But even looking at the bigger picture, the successful opening night of Sweet Charity is just the latest sign that London’s West End has a real knack for successfully staging Broadway musicals that are every bit as good as the originals. Just look at the critically acclaimed Hair, playing at the Gielgud Theatre to rave reviews, and you’ll see what I mean.
There are plenty of opportunities for you to catch Sweet Charity at the Theatre Royal Haymarket from now until the end of the year, but that’s no reason to delay your theatre trip, especially when you could save £25 off the cost of your break at a top London hotel with Superbreak.
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