Top Picks of Touring Productions 2018: Casts & Creatives

My top theatre productions of 2018 are up! You can read them all here. But there’s more praise to go around when I look back at the performances and productions to have impressed over the last year. So, with no actual awards to deliver, here are my top cast and creatives of 2018, who shall receive only a sincere nod of respect and appreciation for performances which stood out amongst so many other wonderful performances given this year. 

I make absolutely no apology for the length of this three part round-up. When 110 shows have been seen, I feel no need to be unnecessarily restrictive when it comes to far-reaching recognition. I also stand by my selections of categories – I’m praising what I’ve loved, meaning made-up categories feature and I’ve chosen to separate my Top Picks into London, Regional and Touring Productions to ensure fair coverage across theatreland…

Here’s the third and final instalment of my Top Picks Of Casts and Creatives 2018: Touring Productions

Best Performance in a Touring Production

Sophia Ally – Matilda The Musical

Best Lead Performance in a Touring Musical

Rosie O’Hare – Hairspray

Best Supporting Performance in a Touring Musical

Craig Els at Miss Trunchbull Miss In Matilda The Musical

Best Female Vocals in a Musical

Rosie O’Hare – Hairspray

Best Male Vocals in a Musical

Michael Watson – Jersey Boys

Best Duet

Matt Rixon and Graham MacDuff – Hairpsray 

Best Lead Performance in a Touring Drama

Victor Oshin – Othello

Best Supporting Performance in a Touring Drama 

Kitty Archer – Othello

Best Lead Performance in a Touring Comedy

David Coomber – The Comedy About a Bank Robbery

Best Supporting Performance in a Touring Comedy

George Hannigan – The Comedy About a Bank Robbery

Best Touring Ensemble Performance

 Miss Saigon

Best Touring Production Direction

Emma Rice – The Flying Lovers Of Vitebsk

Best Touring Production Choreography

Peter Darling – Matilda The Musical

Best Touring Production Set Design

Totie Driver, Matt Kinney and Adrian Vauxhall – Miss Saigon

Best Touring Production Costume Design

Susan Hilferty – Wicked

Best Touring Production Lighting Design

Rick Fisher – An Inspector Calls

Best Touring Production Puppetry Design

Tim Hatley – Shrek the Musical

Best Music 

Tim Minchin – Matilda The Musical 

Best Writing

J.B. Priestley – An Inspector Calls. Still so relevant and resonant.

Top Five Memorable Moments:

The utterly hilarious duet of You’re Timeless to Me from Matt Rixon and Graham MacDuff in Hairspray

The epic, dramatic opening sequence of An Inspector Calls

The entirety of Tim Minchin’s score for Matilda The Musical

The Helicopter scene in Miss Saigon

The stunning sounds of the ensemble in The Last Ship

…and just a few more nods, just because I have you here…

Favourite Discovery of the year:

Forget About the Dog Theatre and Selina Thompson

Favourite Theatre Discovery of the year:

Hampstead Theatre, London

A hip, spacious space with a real London vibe despite not being as central as others. Excellent line-ups too.

Companies to watch:

Forget About the Dog Theatre (100 Ways to Tie a Shoelace) and Kulunka Teatro (André y Dorine)

One to watch:

Leanne Stenson

Leanne’s performance in 100 Ways to Tie a Shoelace has put her firmly on my radar.

Most fun to interview/ best The Show Must Go On stories:

Matthew Warhurst – an absolute delight to chat to – I hope to catch up again with him sometime in the future!

Here’s to another year of theatrical glory in 2019!

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