It’s that time of year again… here’s View From the Circle’s Top Ten shows of 2019.
Mates blogger: Rachel Williams
Rachel Williams is one of over 45 theatre bloggers who are part of the MyTheatreMates collective. This page features Rachel's posts on MyTheatreMates. Take a look at our full list of theatre bloggers and our aggregated feed of all our Mates' posts. We’re always looking for new theatre bloggers. Could that be you? Learn about how to join us.
The latest from Rachel on MyTheatreMates
‘Fascinating & engaging piece of theatre’: THREE SISTERS – National Theatre
Inua Ellams’ writing is always so multifaceted and beautiful and this interpretation of Three Sisters is no exception, whether you have strong feelings on Chekhov or not.
‘The best thing is its pitch perfect cast’: THE ANTIPODES – National Theatre
The Antipodes is certainly not the play for you if you want an easy, purely entertaining night at the theatre. However, if you’re willing to put in the effort and have something to chew over then it very much is for you.
‘If you’re a Sam Shepard fan, it’s a must’: AGES OF THE MOON – The Vaults
You’d be hard pressed to see a better version of Sam Shepard’s play Ages Of The Moon.
‘Positively bounces along on a wave of its own madness’: PETER GYNT – National Theatre
Peter Gynt, a new adaptation of Ibsen’s apparently unstageable Peer Gynt by David Hare, is a great success as a piece of writing and so much fun.
‘An absolute marvel’: SWEAT – West End
I really can’t recommend Sweat highly enough. It’s not just a great play, and a great production, it’s an actually important one.
‘Fantastic piece of writing’: HEDGEHOG – Lion & Unicorn Theatre
The writing is brilliant, the production is brilliant and it is brilliantly performed. I would love it if Hedgehog at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre were picked up a venue like The Bush and given a chance to find a bigger audience at a theatre where you can’t hear bar chatter through the floor.
‘The play is a wonderful thing’: SMALL ISLAND – National Theatre
Small Island is an absolute joy and an overdue, no reservations at all, win for Rufus Norris at the NT. There’s nothing else to say. Well except this: you must see it, immediately.
‘An absolute belter of a thriller’: ANNA – National Theatre
ANNA is such a great little show. It’s a curiosity, certainly, and it is worth seeing for the technical bravado alone. But it’s also an absolute belter of a thriller too, something which I don’t think it’s getting enough credit for.
‘If this show is saved at all, it’s by some of the acting’: RUTHERFORD & SON – National Theatre
Rutherford and Son is not my cup of tea. The acting does just about salvage it, or at least stop it from being a complete disaster, but it’s not enough.
‘Best Arthur Miller production I’ve ever seen’: DEATH OF A SALESMAN – Young Vic
Directed by Marianne (actual genius) Elliott and Miranda Cromwell and featuring an African American Loman family, this Death of a Salesman is the clearest, most moving and profound vision of this play I’ve ever seen.
‘Punchy, funny & ultimately quite uplifting’: SAD ABOUT THE COWS – Tristan Bates Theatre
First things first, how good a title for a play is Sad About The Cows? Pretty bloody good I would argue. It’s also a pretty bloody good play, as it happens.
‘Emotional impact comes from a genuinely great production’: ALL MY SONS – The Old Vic
All My Sons may not be my favourite Arthur Miller play but The Old Vic’s production of it is undeniably brilliant, especially the heavyweight and stunningly good cast.
‘An absolute masterpiece of writing’: DOWNSTATE – National Theatre
Downstate at the National Theatre is a remarkable thing. An absolute masterpiece of writing, performed so sensitively and with such bravery.
‘Just a beautiful thing’: GOING THROUGH – Bush Theatre
Overall Going Through is just a beautiful thing. Gorgeous writing, a stonkingly good production and a brilliant cast. Seventy-five minutes of humanity and joy. Highly recommended.
‘Demands to be seen’: EMILIA – West End
Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s script for Emilia at the Vaudeville Theatre is spectacularly good: funny, poignant, angry and inspiring. It’s an amazing piece of theatre, yes, but it’s also something more than that. It feels like a movement, almost.
‘Probably about as good as it could be’: ADMISSIONS – Trafalgar Studios
I’m genuinely not sure Admissions could be done much better than it’s done here. If you come expecting an entertaining comedy that will make you occasionally go ‘oh actually that’s a good point’ you won’t leave disappointed.
‘Worth your time & more so than the book’: ALYS, ALWAYS – Bridge Theatre
Look, as a piece of drama Alys, Always isn’t the best thing you’ll ever see. It’s unlikely to be troubling the Olivier nominations next year I wouldn’t think. But, actually, I sort of don’t care. It’s really good fun; sheer entertainment with a little bit of something to mentally chew over after the show.
‘Like meeting someone really cool at a party’: THE FIRST MODERN MAN – Hen & Chickens Theatre
The First Modern Man is an hour of solidly good writing, performed with honesty and commitment, and really well staged.
‘A really fascinating piece of historical storytelling’: THE AMERICAN CLOCK – The Old Vic
I really enjoyed and was really technically impressed with The American Clock. A decent play, in an amazing production by a truly visionary director, brought to life by a brilliant cast.
More from Rachel
See the latest posts from Rachel's own websiteClick here