Sunday, 17 November 2013

Next Interviewee....Mark Johnson

Now we will interview Mark Johnson, a fellow theatre fan and blogger from Leicestershire who loves seeing musical theatre and plays in the West End and regionally.

Mark Johnson (Photo Credit: Mark Johnson)

Please tell me how you’ve got into musical theatre and/or theatre general in the first place? 

Originally the first shows I saw were the big Christmas pantomimes here in Leicester at De Montfort Hall when I was 4/5 years old and then the first real memory of theatre was seeing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with my family again at De Montfort Hall in 2001.  From here I developed but my true love of theatre came from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in London, I ended up seeing it over 10 times during its West End run at the London Palladium, from there I've seen shows ever since.

What inspired you to get into blogging? 

I think I first started blogging when a friend did, and from then on I began doing blogs after shows and it just grew from there.

What have been your favourite posts you’ve blogged/reviewed? 

I've been very fortunate to take part in four Blogging/Social Media events for the Royal Shakespeare Company covering their productions of A Soldier In Every Son , Much Ado About Nothing , Boris Godunov and Titus Andronicus. The first two (Soldier and Much Ado) of these involved watching a scene from the plays, and then having a question and answer session with the cast involved with that scene. The latter two Blogging events (Boris and Titus) involved getting a free ticket to a full performance of the play and then attending a question and answer session. All four of these events have been brilliant and I've really enjoyed writing the blogs up for them. I also have a personal awards blog I do, where I update it after every show and have a big list and pick my own awards from the shows I've seen, look out for my blog at the end of the year!!

Are there any shows/performers that you haven’t reviewed/interviewed that you would like to? 

I'd love to just cover any musical really.

What shows do you recommend which are currently playing in the West End or on tour nationally?

Forthcoming to the London is the Royal Shakespeare Company's Richard II starring David Tennant in the title role, I was fortunate to see the production in Stratford-Upon-Avon and if you can get a ticket I'd definitely suggest you see the show at the Barbican. Also in London I'd suggest that you check out Matilda, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Jersey Boys and in general any West End Musical.

On tour, I'd suggest checking out the 20th Anniversary concert tour of Rent. I'd also recommend checking out the forthcoming production of Chicago at my local theatre Curve in Leicester. Seeing as I'm writing this blog in November (2013), I'd also say that you should check out your local pantomime. 

For 2014, Betty Blue Eyes, Shrek, Rock Of Ages and then 2015, Lord Of The Rings would be the highlights ahead for me. In general though I'd say wherever you are check out a show at your local theatre.

What is your piece of advice would you give for anyone who is new to blogging/reviewing? 

Write about things you enjoy, for example theatre, cause if it's something you enjoy you'll enjoy writing about it and it'll come out naturally.

Finally, what have been your 2013 theatre highlights? 

Theatre highlights for me this year would be the Royal Shakespeare Company's outstanding production of As You Like It in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the 40th anniversary touring production of the Rocky Horror Show. In London, Shakespeare's Globe production of A Midsummer Nights Dream was hilarious and great fun and also the wonderous Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

Mark with Rachel Grundy, Rocky Horror Show, 2013 (Photo Credit: Mark Johnson)
Mark with David Bedella and Kara Lane, Rocky Horror Show, 2013 (Photo Credit: Mark Johnson)

May I take an opportunity to say a big thank you to Mark for taking part in this interview.  He can be contacted on Twitter:@leicestermark and also his blog 

Please keep tuned for my next interviews!

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