The 10 Best Performances of 2016

I've seen a countless amount of amazing performances this year both in plays and in musicals so it's been incredibly hard to narrow down this list. It seems as though 2016 has blessed us with such a huge and wide variety of stage talent that I've found myself with far too many to pick from but nonetheless, here are what I consider to be the 10 best of the year and why...


10 - Sharon D Clarke as Ma Rainey in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom at the National Theatre


Sharon D Clarke gets her knighthood in the New Year's Honours tomorrow and what better a year to receive it than after her star turn in this classic August Wilson play.


9 - Andy Karl as Phil Connors in Groundhog Day at the Old Vic Theatre


I saw Andy Karl in his Tony-nominated performance in On The Twentieth Century last year so seeing him take centre-stage in this fantastic new musical let him shine even brighter.


8 - Sophia Anne Caruso as Newton's Muse in Lazarus at the King's Cross Theatre


Sophia's haunting presence and stunningly smooth voice has stayed with me for weeks after having seen the show and I cannot wait to see where her career takes her next.


7 - Harriet Walter as Brutus / Henry IV / Prospero in Shakespeare Trilogy at the Donmar


Harriet Walter has the Midas Touch and it extended to this trilogy of plays as well. It showed her versatile of an actress she is and it was a turn that I won't be forgetting any time soon.


6 - Sheridan Smith as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl at the Savoy Theatre


It was probably the most controversial theatrical event of the year when Smith bowed out of Funny Girl for a stint for personal reasons, but she was a star nonetheless.


5 - Glenn Close as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard at the London Coliseum


We've always known that Glenn Close was a star, but her return to this role made her shine brighter than ever. We can only dream of having a voice like hers.


4 - Adam J Bernard as Jimmy Early in Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre


I'd never thought much of the male characters in Dreamgirls until this production and Adam J Bernard sure knows how to steal a show. He's funny, charismatic and truly charming.


3 - Amber Riley. Liisi LaFontaine and Ibinabo Jack as The Dreams in Dreamgirls at the Savoy


I am majorly cheating here but I do truly think that all three of these girls are equally as talented as one another. The day you hear them sing together, you will be changed forever.


2 - Charlie Stemp as Arthur Kipps in Half a Sixpence at the Noel Coward Theatre


This is one of Stemp's earliest professional performances, but he somehow has the talent of someone who's been at it for decades. Charlie Stemp is the breakout star of the year.


1 - Denise Gough as Emma in People, Places and Things at Wyndham's Theatre


I will never forget this performance for the rest of my days. Denise Gough is the best actress I have ever seen on a stage and I can't wait to see her in Angels in America next year.


Fancy more? Read my Top 10 Best Musicals and Top 10 Best Plays of 2016, too.

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