Bunny at the Tristan Bates Theatre is a one-woman show that plays with the ideas of surprise & suspense, thrillingly performed by Catherine Lamb – well worth a watch.
Mates blogger: Debbie Gilpin
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You might be forgiven for thinking that only certain Shakespeare plays are allowed to be produced in any given 12-month period – for example, last year I saw five different Twelfth Nights, and this year there are at least three Macbeths already on my radar.
We first encounter Charley Wace on the streets of Seven Dials, asking passersby if they have seen a valuable item; he happens to spot famous author H.G. Wells in the crowd and asks for his help.
In Wine, West has come up with an interesting hour of theatre; at times laugh-out-loud funny, but also heartbreaking and provocative. It is cleverly put together, slowly teasing out the couple’s history, building up to the explosive reveal.
Kicking off my challenge was the Old Vic’s production, which I’ve seen four times (and by some bizarre providence I managed to see each actor playing Tiny Tim).
When you see around 200 different shows, you’re bound to come across a few duff ones, but I’m pleased to say that nearly all of the bad shows I saw can be found in this post.
What is personally the most galling is the programming of Twelfth Night. Emma Rice’s production was my favourite show of 2017. It almost feels like they’re trying to brush it under the carpet by putting it on again so soon.
Lots & lots of shows have their first performances in London and across the country this month, including new productions of Pinter’s The Birthday Party, Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan, and Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well.
Well, we’re all still here… The big red button hasn’t been pushed yet and theatre is better than ever! But what’s coming up this year?
I get rather drawn to the stats page of the blog at times. But it’s always interesting to see the search terms that bring people here – and which posts get the most hits!
Any number of shows could have been included in this post; frankly it’s ludicrous that I decided to stick with my whole top 12 idea… As I’ve seen about 90 more individual shows than last year.
Despite a slow, measured start, I upped the pace after a while and (after today) will have somehow managed to see 212 different shows (my P.B.) – and 291 shows in total, equalling 2016.
After choosing in 2016 to focus on Shakespeare (in the 400th anniversary of his death), I went completely different this year and made it my mission to learn more about, and see more shows featuring, puppets.
This year variety has been the thing (though I’ve still managed to stack up certain repeat attendances), so that means I’ve seen a serious amount of performers – some even two or three times!
Much of my ‘touring’ has been concentrated in Bristol and Chichester; there are a few other UK venues to add to the list, as well as some from my week in New York, of course.
You know what time of year it is – so I’ve just been through my annual Mind the Advent countdown! As I’ve seen a personal best number of different shows this year, the sheer volume of actors (and performances) have really been stacking up and making my life difficult – in terms of summing up my favourites of the year, that is. So here is a bit of a sneak preview of what’s to come in my highlight posts…
Simon Callow has joined forces with the celebrated Brighouse and Rastrick Band; the double album features the five-stave narration (backed by the band) on one disc, with the full versions of the carols played featuring on the second CD.
My verdict? A superlative debut play by Niall Ransome that taps into a very important issue, brilliantly written in verse – a must-see alternative Christmas production.
My verdict? A top-class transfer of an all-American musical, spreading Alexander Hamilton’s story ever further – you won’t want to miss your shot to be in the room where it happens!
Award-winning John Tiffany directs, bringing to life a show that has been in his thoughts for several years now – he’s joined on the team by long-standing collaborator Bob Crowley, as well as Toby Olié as puppet director.
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