Sunday, 13 November 2016

In the Heights | Kings Cross Theatre

I was so thrilled when I heard In the Heights was returning to London. The first production of the musical I saw was an amateur performance well over a year ago (if you're a long time blog reader you may remember my review) although I'd been loving the soundtrack for even longer. It's been open in London for over a year but I've only just got round to seeing it and I'm incredibly glad I did!

Traverse staging, where the audience are seated on either side of the stage, is very unusual in West End theatres but gave the show a really intimate feel. Often the cast lined either side of the stage and sang directly to the audience, creating a sense of unity (which is one of the key themes of the story). The music is loud and lively from the opening and there were times when I just wanted to jump up and dance. The choreography is stunning and complex, combining so many different styles of dance, and there wasn't a single scene that was lacking in atmosphere or emotion.

I was really pleased to see Sam Mackay as Usnavi as he's had constantly brilliant reviews since opening the show last October. He had such great stage presence and was captivating to watch- you can tell he really loves this role. Other standout performances for me were Gabriela Garcia as Nina, whose rendition of Breathe had me in tears, and Norma Atallah as Abeula who gave a really powerful and moving performance. The cast is so big that I couldn't possibly name everyone here but I honestly mean it when I say that each performance was equally strong and memorable.

As you can probably tell I have nothing but love for this production. I left the theatre bursting with joy having laughed and cried through the duration of the performance. What makes it even better is the ticket prices: under 25s only have to pay £15 for a ticket (or £25 for a premium seat) and it's such a small theatre that you'll get a good view from most seats. It's probably for this reason that the show has been such a huge success with young people- I know many other bloggers who have been to see the show so many times- and I definitely think that offering cheaper tickets for young people is something that other theatres should be looking in to as it is so important to get youth into the theatre to keep it alive.

In the Heights is set to run until the 8th January 2017 so if you've not yet seen it, try and get yourself down there ASAP. I'm going to try and make it back before the end of the run because I just adored the feeling this show gave me. To find out more or book tickets head to the In the Heights London website.


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