In The Heights Celebrates 1 Year at the King's Cross Theatre

On Friday 30th September 2016 In The Heights celebrated its first birthday at London's Kings Cross Theatre. Lin Manuel Miranda's Tony and Olivier Award winning show opened at the Southwark Playhouse in 2014, where it received rave reviews. As a result it transferred to the King's Cross Theatre in October 2015, and has been running there ever since. At the 2016 Olivier Awards In The Heights was nominated for 4 Olivier Awards and won 3 for Outstanding Achievement in Music, Best Choreographer and Best Supporting Actor for David Bedella.

Photo credit - Johan Persson
The show is a personal favourite of mine, and so I was excited to be invited to its 1st birthday party. The evening began with drinks in the King's Cross Theatre foyer. It was nice to mingle with other theatre bloggers and reviewers, and also just enjoy the vibe of the room. 

The foyer is decorated with New York inspired signage, which is taken down and replaced with archaic Victorian signage before every performance of The Railway Children, which runs in rep with In The Heights. This attention to detail is important, as it means that the audience is already immersed in the atmosphere of Washington Heights before the show even begins. 

Having chatted to the other guests for a while it was time to move into the auditorium, where we were greeted by cast members Raffaella Covino and Johnny Bishop. The pair informed us all that we would be learning some of choreographer Drew McOnie's choreography, specifically a move called 'The Arm Breaker' which features in the show during the club scene at the end of act 1. As someone with a notorious pair of left feet, I was a little bit apprehensive to say the least. However, we were taken through the choreography step by step and shockingly Emily (my sister, dance partner and plus one for the evening) and I actually nailed the steps in the end. So much so that Raffaella gave us some advice on how to finesse our performance! Once everyone was fairly confident in what we were doing, some more of the show's cast members joined us on stage, and we all performed the dance together! Learning a little bit of salsa dance was fantastic fun, and getting to dance with some of the amazingly talented cast was brilliant too. We all tried our best but they made every step look effortless!

Once we'd all caught our breath we made our way back into the foyer to enjoy a buffet of lovely food (there was hummus, there were tortilla chips... I was in heaven!) and have a little chat to some of the cast members. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview Arun Blair-Mangat, who recently joined the show as Benny, as well as Sarah Naudi who is currently playing Vanessa, but had been with the production since its Southwark run, where she played Carla.

Finally the rest of the audience began to arrive and we took our seats. The theatre was buzzing with excitement. In The Heights is a show with a very dedicated and vocal fanbase, and it was clear that many of those fans were in the audience, which only made the atmosphere of the show more enjoyable. In The Heights is a story about family, community, hopes and dreams, themes which resonate universally. Perhaps that is why it is received so positively night after night!

In The Heights has extended its London run at the King’s Cross Theatre for the third and final time and is now booking until Sunday 8 January 2017. Tickets start at £22.50, with a selection of best seats available for Under 25s at a special rate of £15 at every performance. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.