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.
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.
The First Modern Man is an hour of solidly good writing, performed with honesty and commitment, and really well staged.
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.
There’s a line in Trial By Laughter, the new touring production of Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s play about freedom of the press, where one of the main characters says to the other: “But where are the jokes?” As neat summaries of a play in one line of dialogue go, it’s one of the best I’ve seen.
The way that the story of Violet is told elevates it to something really quite lovely, with huge emotional impact and a surprising timeliness.
Anomaly is a really exciting play. For all that it’s hard to watch and challenging to process, it is immensely rewarding and a great hour of theatre all round. It’s also an amazing showcase of young, female talent doing stuff on their own terms. And I think we can all agree that’s A Good Thing.
Somehow, despite the fact it’s been around for about a billion years, it’s taken me until 2019 to finally see War Horse on stage. Weird right? It’s done the National Theatre, it’s done the West End, it’s done Broadway, it’s done countless other countries around the world and tours around the UK but I’ve always missed it.
Normally I do two of these – Top Ten Shows and Top Ten Performances – but this year I’m combining the two – plus some sundry other awards.
Currently my favourite partnership of Simon Russell Beale and Shakespeare is at work in The Tragedy of King Richard the Second (or Richard II if you prefer, and as the person typing this I very much do) at the Almeida.