Bristol Theatre Reviews

Our Favourite Theatre Shows 2019

You can’t really come up with a list of The Best theatre you’ve seen in a year, because it’s impossible to fairly compare contrasting styles, budgets and backgrounds. So here’s five of my favourite shows from 2019, along with the ones I’ve loved the most throughout the year.

woyzeck spies like us

Woyzeck – Spies Like Us
This beautifully directed and choreographed physical theatre ensemble’s take on Büchner’s play is my favourite piece of theatre from 2019. Spies Like Us’ production of Woyzeck, was inspired. Five actors, five buckets and a descent into paranoia and madness, every movement was made to count.

koo koo the bird girl Sarah Houbolt

Koo Koo The Bird Girl – Sarah Houboult
Circus performer Sarah Houbolt, has created a fantastic thought provoking and challenging piece of physical theatre telling the story of Minnie Woolsley. Minne had Virchow-Seckel Syndrome, a mild intellectual disability and was blind. She was a freakshow performer most well known for her performance in Todd Browning’s 1932 movie Freaks. Sarah combines circus skills, storytelling to tell a story that was sometimes hard to watch but also warm and inspiring.

kid carpet noisy nativity

Kid Carpet Noisy Nativity
This is a family show aimed at young children, but the songs are exceptional and the quirky take on the nativity inspired. I rarely do audience participation, but I joined in with Penguin Race and even got to be a king on stage. Jesus is a Hedgehog is my new favourite Christmas song.

a midsummer nights dream tobacco factory theatre

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Tobacco Factory Theatres
I missed the official press night for this show, but after a teacher told my child the language of Shakespeare was too difficult for him, I set out to prove this wrong. This funny production was given some modern twists on the relationship dynamics and proved that Shakespeare can be accessible to all audiences when in the hands of the right director.

Review: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Arnos Vale Cemetery Bristol

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Red Rope Theatre
Well this was unexpectedly brilliant. I knew it was going to be good, but what a tense, thrilling piece of theatre. A cast of three, Matt Grinter’s writing and a suitably spooky location came together for an edge of the seat ride in November.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – Apollo Theatre London
This wonderful musical, based on a true story, will be visiting the Bristol Hippodrome as part of a UK tour in 2020. It tells the story of Jamie New, a 16-year-old school boy from Sheffield who wants to become a drag queen. With the support of his mum and friends, he overcomes bullying and bigotry to make his dreams come true. This year I’ve caught the fantastic John McCrea and equally fabulous Layton Williams in the role of Jamie.

The Lion king bristol Hippodrome

The Lion King – Bristol Hippodrome
Famed for its outstanding puppetry and breathtaking design adaptation, this musical packed out Bristol audiences for its second touring visit to the city. It might seem like a lazy choice for a favourite given the show’s international popularity, but Lebo M’s outstanding African chorus really makes this musical. The Act Two opening number One by One, one of Lebo M’s own compositions is a beautiful moment in the show, which feels like a true celebration of African voice.

The Full List of our 2019 Favourites:

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – Apollo Theatre London

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Tobacco Factory Theatres

Woyzeck Spies Like Us – Loco Klub Bristol

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime – Piccadilly Theatre London

The Two Character Play – Red Rope Theatre

Rocky Horror Show – Bristol Hippodrome

Two, Four, Six, Eight – Shoofly Theatre

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Palace Theatre

Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet – Wales Millennium Centre

John Barrowman Fabulous – St David’s Hall Cardiff

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake – Bristol Hippodrome

WNO The Magic Flute – Bristol Hippodrome

Koo Koo The Bird Girl – Bristol Circus City

The Lion King – Bristol Hippodrome

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Red Rope Theatre

Peter Pan Goes Wrong – Cardiff New Theatre

Nativity! The Musical – Wales Millennium Centre

Snow White – Tobacco Factory Theatres

Kid Carpet Noisy Nativity – Spielman Theatre

Kirk Vs Ming – Spielman Theatre

We love to hear about all types of theatre coming to Bristol. You can email us information about any forthcoming productions here: