Not to let a decade of theatre bloggery go by without marking the occasion, to kick things off, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite play for each year I’ve been blogging. It has been fun revisiting my best-of lists but absolute agony narrowing each list down to just one.
Here is a snapshot of my favourite theatre from the past 10 years, the plays that stand out most in my memory, the ones I talk about if people ask.
Fifty-four years is quite the wait for a sequel but the sweetness and charm with which Mary Poppins Returns lands on our screens makes it pretty much worth it.
For Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre, Hytner has taken out the stalls seats of the new Bridge Theatre and created a promenade performance which begins, like a Trump rally, with a warm-up. It’s one of the best pre-shows I’ve ever seen.
From its rock fest opening to its fast and furious battle finale, Nicholas Hytner’s modern-dress Julius Caesar packs a powerful punch.
If Nicholas Hytner’s concept for Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre was applied with as much thought and skill as the staging, this would be a truly fantastic production.
Julius Caesar really isn’t Shakespeare’s best play, there’s very little poetry in the lines and after the assassination, the plot’s far from clear, but this production makes it accessible.
So would I go to more Shakespeare after this experience seeing Julius Caesar,? Yes, I would. More importantly, could I see myself as a regular visitor to the Bridge Theatre? That has to be an emphatic yes.
There is no option of falling asleep because if you aren’t being shoved around as if on a rush hour tube then gunfire is constantly going off. Being in the pit is an intensely exciting and quite emotional experience.
Surrounded by those with seated tickets and lorded over by scene after scene of masterclasses in the craft, the cheap seats in the pit for Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre are without doubt the best.
This production of Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre captures the audience’s attention (no matter where you sit or stand) to such great effect that the (just over) two hours passes quickly and powerfully. Well worth a visit.
It is rarely a play that moves you and so it is here, even though Nicholas Hytner’s production of Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre, London does provide moments of intellectual stimulus.
Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre is a visceral and dynamic take on the classic Shakespearean political thriller with star performances and innovative staging.
In Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre Nicholas Hytner has pointed up the current parallels – populism, fake news, regime changes – and gleefully refashioned his new theatre to allow some 200 of us, on foot in the pit, to represent the Roman mob.
Nicholas Hytner’s production of Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre is nothing short of a Roman triumph, capturing the wonderful lyricism of Shakespeare’s writing, in what are some of his most beautiful speeches, with an urgency of action that means two hours just races by.
Whishaw is brilliant as the Jesus-like character of Luke, capturing his unrelenting devotion to his quest to understand violence. Without Whishaw, it is hard to imagine the production would have held together as well.
Reviewing in list form: for and against Christopher Shinn’s new play AGAINST, starring Ben Whishaw and Amanda Hale, at the Almeida Theatre.
New American drama about God and violence is a bit baggy, but it is also often brilliantly perceptive.
I’ll give them this; it’s timely. After the violence in Charlottesville, we’ve all been asking what on earth is happening with American society.
Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr have announced the opening programme for their The Bridge Theatre venture – the 900-seat commercial venue near to Tower Bridge which marks their re-entry into the London theatre landscape.
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