Self proclaimed travel enthusiast, bookworm and notebook obsessive, Kirsty Herrington blogs over at From Page to Stage . As well as reviewing independently, she also writes for London Love Culture, Jonathan Baz, Mind The Blog and London Theatre Reviews. I was able to talk to Kirsty all about her love for the theatre, how she got into writing and how she has continued to support theatre throughout the ongoing shutdown.
Can you tell us how you got into writing about theatre?
It was thanks to the Old Vic’s #OVConnect on Twitter. I responded to a tweet asking for anyone interested in reviewing theatre, and then I started reviewing for Love London Love Culture and Mind the Blog and later other websites. From there I then developed my own site and have continued to write about theatre ever since.
Can you remember what the first show you saw was?
I’m not sure if you mean in general or review show! My first show ever was a pantomime, Cinderella at Colchester’s Mercury Theatre and the first show that I reviewed was An American in Paris (unless you count me reviewing A Streetcar Named Desire for my GCSEs many years ago).
How have you been managing during the theatre shutdown?
It’s been tough as I’ve realised how much I rely on theatre – it’s a great distraction and the perfect way to lose myself from the real world. I have enjoyed watching online theatre though and also connected with a great group of fellow theatre fans. We’ve been doing a lot of quizzes and group watches of shows and it’s been great to keep the theatre conversation going through lockdown.
Have you been able to keep your blog running during the lockdown?
I have but I have to admit it’s been a real struggle to keep motivated to keep it up to date at times. At the moment I’m mostly posting news articles but I need to get back into reviewing more online shows.
Do you have a favourite show, and why?
I love We Will Rock You; it was the first musical I ever really got in to and I must have spent most of my student loan at university on seeing the show! I love Queen so automatically loved the soundtrack and the story, although ridiculous in a way, was also entertaining. I also adore Priscilla, it was just SO much fun and I loved every second. Then of course there’s Come From Away which I just think is so beautiful – everyone should see it
Desert Island Discs! What five show tunes could you not live without?
This is tough!
Defying Gravity – Wicked
She Used To Be Mine – Waitress
Being Alive – Company
You Can’t Stop The Beat – Hairspray
When The Booth Goes Bright – Amelie
Old classics or modern marvels? Do you have a preference between the older and newer shows?
I tend to prefer the more modern shows, but there are still some of the classics I’ve yet to see so maybe one day my preference will change!
What is your favourite movie musical?
Mary Poppins, I’ve adored it ever since I was little. Moulin Rouge is a close second.
What show are you hoping will be the first show you see after the lockdown and why?
It’s a toss-up between Come From Away and &Juliet – maybe I’ll do a two-show day! I think Come From Away is the show a lot of people need right now and it’s a beautiful, heartwarming story and a reminder that people need to be nice. &Juliet is just great fun and full of energy, and the soundtrack is fabulous.
Have you felt able to continue to support the industry during the shutdown?
Yes, I’ve signed petitions and emailed my MP and where possible have donated money and the cost of my tickets to theatres. It’s so frustrating and upsetting to see the arts ignored for so long and theatres having to make redundancies. I wish there was more I could do.
If you could go back in time and watch any show from the past, what show would it be and why?
Play wise it would be Jerusalem with Mark Rylance (I’m excited it’s coming back next year!) and musical it would be Into The Woods at Regent’s Park or Follies (I’m so sad I missed them both).
Have you been watching shows that have been streamed during the lockdown? If yes, do you have a top three and why?
I do, it’s helped me get through lockdown! My top three are:
1.A Monster Calls (Bristol Old Vic) – so creative and clever but SO devastating.
2.Flowers for Mrs Harris (Chichester Theatre) – such a beautiful story
3. A Midsummer Nights Dream (Bridge Theatre) – Such a fun show and just what we needed in Lockdown.
I would like to thank Kirsty for her time and her answers to this interview, as well as wish her the very best for the future. Stay safe x