Theatre: Vanities

Wow, it’s been a very theatrical week on the blog, no? Absolutely not a peep of complaint from me about that – a week filled with books to read and plays to enjoy is just my cup of tea!

On Wednesday I headed over to Trafalgar Studios to see Vanities. I’d heard a lot about this musical and the play it was based on and was excited to see a UK premiere of a work – it’s always so great when shows make it across the pond. I was also intrigued both by the subject matter and the cast of three; I am a sucker for a trio of females heading (or in this case being) a cast. One of my favourite musical scores ever is The Witches of Eastwick, mainly down to that supremely strong female trio at the centre, so I love to see shows with that amazing central core.

Vanities follows the lives of three friends, Joanne, Kathy and Mary as they move from high school to college and then out into the world. As all life paths do, their paths diverge and against the background of the 60s, 70s, and 80s we see these friends grow and change. From naive cheerleaders to mature women the show offers an opportunity to see the relationships alter, break, morph and repair, as friendships so often do.

I loved the show. The story itself is fairly good, if a little predictable at places, but this leaves ample room for some cracking songs and three fantastic performances. In a cast of three there is nowhere to hide, and the three leads all sing beautifully, act their bobby-socks off and show a great amount of comedic timing as well.

As Joanne, Lizzy Connolly is brimful of southern charm and has a judgemental streak a mile wide (hidden beneath a surfeit of sweet tea and ‘bless your hearts’, of course) for the first three acts, before growing up sharply and growing into herself as the show draws to its close. Ashleigh Gray’s Kathy is the quintessential high school queen who loses herself a little as she grows up, and Gray infuses the role with not just pep but pathos. Lauren Samuel’s Mary is a brittle, strong, ambitious character, and I loved her struggle with the mores of the time and the place, and the way that she grew just as much as the other two women, even when she wasn’t expecting to.

The songs in the show fizz and are full of gorgeous melodies and great harmonies – in the small venue you are never more than a few feet from the performers and each note was rich, well-placed and gorgeous. The proximity to proceedings also meant that one particular on stage costume change was a triumph of choreography!

The staging of the piece is great as well – Studio 2 at Trafalgar Studios is small, with a stage the size of a sitting room, but the set design used up the floorspace brilliantly, with shower curtains, mirrors, tessalating furniture and an abundance of time-correct props helping to convey a real sense of place and era.

Vanities was an utter treat. I was thoroughly entertained and so impressed by the whole production. I’ve seen plenty of musicals this year (with more to come, huzzah), but I have a feeling this will easily land in my top three for 2016. Highly recommended!

Vanities is playing at the Trafalgar Studios until October 1st, and you can purchase tickets here. If you’re in the market for an entertaining, tuneful, fun musical, this is a fantastic night out!

Disclaimer: I received a ticket for this performance in return for an honest review. 


  1. Harriet Shearsmith
    9th September 2016 / 11:43 am

    Sounds like you had an awesome time – I'm desperate to go to a show again!

  2. Francesca Nelson
    9th September 2016 / 3:32 pm

    Sounds interesting! I like that it goes through periods of time and through the lives of 3 friends! Its definitely different for a theatre production!

  3. Stressed Mum
    9th September 2016 / 4:08 pm

    This sounds like my type of show, I do love musicals x

  4. Angela Milnes
    9th September 2016 / 6:28 pm

    I've not heard of this play before but am a huge fan of theatre and am very interested in your post.

  5. Kira L Curtis
    9th September 2016 / 7:54 pm

    I'm so jealous of all the shows you've been able to see. I live so far away from London so really struggle to see much in my surrounding area. It's annoying because I will be studying drama soon! Vanities sounds so amazing!

  6. Rhian Westbury
    9th September 2016 / 8:34 pm

    Wow you've been to quite a few shows lately, this one looks really good x

  7. Brand & Beauty
    9th September 2016 / 9:44 pm

    You've been to a lot of shows recently! I must say that Vanities sounds interesting. I should probably get on with shows, I never been to any before x

  8. Samantha Rickelton
    10th September 2016 / 8:23 am

    I love a good trip to the theatre so definitely don't apologise for the theatre overload – this sounds like a fab show x

  9. Melanie Ed
    10th September 2016 / 1:33 pm

    The show sounds really good, I haven't been t the theatre in a while.

  10. beautyqueenuk
    10th September 2016 / 3:03 pm

    I love a visit to the theatre and would quite like to see The Bodyguard x

  11. Leanne Dolan
    10th September 2016 / 3:22 pm

    I havent been to the theatre in a while, I need to get something booked as I always enjoy it when I go!

  12. Candice Nikeia
    10th September 2016 / 4:08 pm

    I love seeing theatre and this one sounds so fun!! Glad you had a good time!xoxo, Candice

  13. GlamGlitzGloss
    10th September 2016 / 9:38 pm

    Nothing better than a theatre trip! I have never heard of this show before, always great to find a new one. Glad you had a good time

  14. Stella Olojola
    10th September 2016 / 10:08 pm

    Sounds like you had a great time. That is good.

  15. Samantha Jeffery
    10th September 2016 / 10:54 pm

    I'd never heard of this show before, but thank you for telling me, it sounds right up my street!

  16. Liz Mays
    11th September 2016 / 3:16 am

    Wow, that's quite an amazing review you gave them. IT sounds like it's a must see!

  17. Baby Isabella
    11th September 2016 / 9:08 am

    Sounds like an awesome intimate performance. We're fans of the Witches of Eastwick too, so this would be right up our street!

  18. ana de jesus
    11th September 2016 / 9:57 am

    I love going to the theatre! I have never heard of Vanities and it sounds like a good production.

  19. Martina Williams
    11th September 2016 / 6:42 pm

    I have recently been to my first ever musical in London and loved it. It was the beginning of a new love. Maybe I'll go to Vanity next, it sounds like an awesome play!

  20. Caffeinated Reactions
    11th September 2016 / 7:44 pm

    I love going to the theatre! Sounds like you had lots of fun

  21. Nicol
    11th September 2016 / 8:02 pm

    this is right up my street! i wish i lived nearer to london to watch them 🙁

  22. Laura Ferry
    12th September 2016 / 12:25 am

    Great to read that you loved the show. I think that this is something that I would enjoy too xxx

  23. The London Mum
    12th September 2016 / 8:03 am

    That sounds like great show!! Something I'd really enjoy.

  24. Lubka Henry
    13th September 2016 / 10:16 am

    Oh I haven't been to a musical for at least a year. I really would love to visit this one!

  25. Tanya Brannan
    13th September 2016 / 11:24 am

    I do love a good musical and this sounds right up my street! I will be checking the availability soon!

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