As somebody who loves a listicle plus a bandwagon to jump on, how could I NOT compile my list of my top 20 new (to me) shows of 2022? It’s been 12 months in which live entertainment has come back with an encouraging roar, although the impending cost of living crisis is inevitably, and understandably, causing anxiety in theatrical circles. Please do get out there, if you can, and support your local venue in 2023.
Rev Stan chooses her Top Ten Plays of 2022
This feels like a moment; I haven’t been able to do a best of theatre list since 2019 because of ‘you know what’. It’s been huge fun revisiting the plays I’ve seen – nearly 50. And while that total is down on pre-pandemic levels, it was still tricky to narrow down my choices, but here goes.
‘A relevant & timely production that will stay with you long after it has finished’: HENRY V – Donmar Warehouse ★★★★
This powerful and thought-provoking production is electrifying to watch from start to finish.
‘As much calculating businessman as inspirational ruler’: HENRY V – Donmar Warehouse
There’s way too much going on in this production of Henry V at the Donmar Warehouse, despite Kit Harington’s return to the stage.
‘Kit Harington combines drop-dead gorgeous with an innate everyman likability’: HENRY V – Donmar Warehouse ★★★★★
This thrilling Donmar revival comes at a particularly interesting time in global history, where an unchecked leader invading a neighbouring country on which he has no authentic claim is likely to provoke a particularly vehement reaction.
‘Kit Harington is nuanced, often quiet & considered’: HENRY V – Donmar Warehouse ★★★★★
Henry V opens with a burst of energy at a club with a worse for wear party prince. It’s lifted from Henry IV part 2 and is an important reminder of Henry V’s past and subsequent transformation into a serious king.
‘This is easily Kit Harington’s finest career performance on stage or screen’: HENRY V – Donmar Warehouse
Henry V is the greatest war play ever written and is the template for all literary responses to conflict since produced.
NEWS: Rory Kinnear & Kit Harington are cast in Donmar Warehouse’s new season
London’s Donmar Warehouse has announced its reopening season following extended closure and completion of essential building works, beginning with with Inua Ellams’ audience-led poetry event Search Party.
‘The whole company impresses’: HENRY V / THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR – St Albans
A return to live theatre is well marked by these vibrant open-air productions of Henry V and The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Roman Theatre of Verulamium in St Albans.
‘My favourite part of working in casting is meeting fresh, exciting talent’: Sydney Aldridge on the casting process for The Show Must Go Online
I’ve really admired the work of Sydney Aldridge throughout the course of The Show Must Go Online, so who better to talk to about casting and her experiences with this innovative Zoom theatre project?
‘I could have written an entire post about Ruth Page’s performance’: HENRY V – The Show Must Go Online (Online review)
I’m running out of superlatives for The Show Must Go Online. Each show is exceptional, including the latest staging of Henry V, and manages to improve upon the previous week in as many ways as possible.
‘This is a real theatre of war’: HENRY V – Cirencester (Online Review)
The Barn Theatre in Cirencester is not a venue I have been to in person, so I am happy to be able to go “once more into the breach” in the ultramodern version of Shakespeare’s Henry V.
‘Pulsates with energy, tension & passion’: HENRY V – Cirencester (Online Review) ★★★★
Henry V is a vibrant and insightful production that also reveals the importance of regional theatre in keeping the industry alive.
Mind the Blog’s Favourite female performances of 2019
As with last year, there were too many brilliant performances to restrict this to one combined list – so once again I’ve split them up into male and female performances.
‘Highlighting its relevance to the present climate’: HENRY V – Cirencester ★★★★
Henry V at The Barn Theatre, Cirencester is an exceptionally well conceived production, with a clear focus on storytelling and great visuals – a Henry V for our times.
‘Inventive & entertaining treat’: HENRY V – Cirencester ★★★★
The Barn Theatre’s Henry V is an inventive and entertaining treat. A strong, well directed cast bring a classic to life with a verve and energy that should be seen and appreciated.
‘A fresh perspective’: HENRY V – Shakespeare’s Globe ★★★★★
A fresh perspective on the classic Henry V, concluding Hal’s journey from errant prince to conquering king – an action-packed end to the trilogy.
‘Can you have too much of a good thing?’: Sex, plays and casting
Anything which makes me think about these plays in a new way is a bonus. I also want actors – irrespective of their sex – to have maximum opportunities.
NEWS: Aaron Sidwell & Lauren Samuels lead the cast in Barn Theatre’s production of Henry V
From musical theatre to Shakespeare, Aaron Sidwell and Lauren Samuels will star as Henry and Katherine respectively in The Barn Theatre’s upcoming production of the Bard’s Henry V.
NEWS: Barn Theatre Cirencester’s new season includes comic thriller The 39 Steps & musical Daddy Long Legs
Winner of Best Fringe Theatre in the 2019 Stage Awards, The Barn Theatre has announced its line-up of five in-house productions for the upcoming 2019 season, including Michael Morpurgo’s The Butterfly Lion, Shakespeare’s Henry V, a brand new production of the comic thriller The 39 Steps, the award-winning musical Daddy Long Legs and a reimagining of Charles Dickens’ festive masterpiece A Christmas Carol.