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Letdown list: Musicals that didn’t live up to the hype

It feels like day 4732 of Coronavirus lockdown and I feel like being contentious… I’ve written out all my top shows I’ve ever seen so now it’s time for the most disappointing. Don’t get me wrong these aren’t the worst shows or even necessarily bad shows. Just ones that I expected more from and was left feeling a little flat. 

Okay let’s start with the one that is most likely to get me excommunicated from the theatre world… 

There was so much hype around this show but for me it was a massive disappointment because I love the Wizard of Oz so much. It wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination but I felt the hype around it was far more than it should have been. I didn’t leave on a high, or stream the music afterwards. Defying Gravity is a tune, no question, but sadly it didn’t give me that post theatre buzz. 

An ALW classic, which I loved the film version of as a child but the stage version didn’t blow me away. Not particularly polished and lacking in some elements made it a little meh but still an enjoyable show. 

With a film so good it was going to be hard to top the iconic motion picture. There were some brilliant comedic moments but it failed to provide the hit of nostalgia I went for and was rather weak in other areas such as pace and balancing adult and child humour. 

Similarly to Shrek, a show with a brilliant film so strong that it is tricky to live up to. It’s a favourite for so many people but this show is possibly the biggest letdown on this list. It all felt a little forced, desperate and like a dodgy tribute act than a professional touring show. 

Barnum/The Greatest Showman 

I can almost hear the Hugh Jackman fans protest as they read this addition to the list. I saw Barnum first and was massively underwhelmed by the weak plot, pathetic stunts and unexciting visuals. Obviously The Greatest Showman took this and was able to add a big budget, all-star cast and impressive acrobatics… but it still didn’t do it for me… sorry! 

An iconic tale turned into a show that was sadly totally forgettable. For a show all about dancing, the choreography was dull and lackluster. This dated show fell flat for me but hopefully a future revive will find it back in my favourites list. 

Okay there is my list. Please don’t hate me! Happy to have a civilised discussion with you all on whether you enjoyed these productions or not, head over to my Twitter @cheapseats_blog

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