It’s that time of year again… here’s View From the Circle’s Top Ten shows of 2019.
Best of the Blogs: Curtains, Three Sisters, Peter Pan Goes Wrong & more
In our continuing series, our editor Lisa Martland picks out some of her Top Picks from the last week of theatre (to 23 December 2019), ranging from Jonathan Baz’s enjoyment of the musical and visual treat that is Kander and Ebb’s musical Curtains at the Wyndham’s Theatre.
‘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.
Best of the Blogs: The Mates give their verdicts on Lungs, Botticelli in the Fire, Sinatra: Raw, Ages Of The Moon & more
In our continuing series, our editor Lisa Martland picks out some of her Top Picks from the last week of theatre (to 27 October 2019). Maryam Philpott is gripped by the work of Claire Foy and Matt Smith in Lungs at The Old Vic…
‘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.
Best of the Blogs: The Mates give their verdicts on Joseph, Jesus, Kylie Jenner, Peter Gynt & more
It’s all in a name this week as our editor Lisa Martland picks out her Top Picks from the last week’s theatre in the West End, London Fringe or beyond.
‘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.
Best of the Blogs: From Brexit via Plenty to A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Amidst editor Lisa Martland’s seven Top Picks from the last week of theatre are Libby Purves’ description of her blissful time at Nicholas Hytner’s immersive production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Bridge Theatre and Aleks Sierz’s thoughts on the Kiln Theatre’s new opening, Samuel Adamson’s take on A Doll’s House in Wife.
‘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.
How the Mates Rate: Death Of A Salesman at the Young Vic Theatre
Directors Marianne Elliott and Miranda Cromwell have brought their unique vision to one of the greatest plays of the 20th century by Arthur Miller, seen through the eyes of an African American family. So what did the Mates think of this Young Vic production of the American drama classic?
‘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.