Cormac McCarthy isn’t known for cheery topics as anyone who has sat through (or read) The Road will testify and his play The Sunset Limited is no exception.
Given everything that is going on in the world politically and environmentally You Stupid Darkness! feels like it has captured the mood, the battle to stay cheerful and hopeful when everything feels like it is falling apart.
Andrew Finnigan, Lydia Larson, Andy Rush and Jenni Maitland in You Stupid Darkne…
Lullabies For the Lost is one of two plays by Rosalind Blessed about mental health that are being performed in rep at the Old Red Lion.
While I’ve seen circus shows with more thrilling moments, the air of carefree fun and mischief in Lexicon made me laugh out loud and put a smile on my face.
A magnetic stage presence, Lydia Wilson is a strong woman in The Duchess Of Malfi, clever, kind, stoic and justifiably angry. It makes her an all the more tragic figure.
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.
While A Kind of People generates a lot of laughter it is nonetheless an uncompromising reflection of modern British society that sometimes makes for uncomfortable viewing.
Teenage Dick is one of those play titles you have to be careful mentioning or googling, a bit like Cock at the Royal Court – but it is wholly appropriate for Mike Lew’s play.
The beauty and rawness of Cyrano de Bergerac pull you in and envelopes you and the performances combined with the tragedy of the story haunted me for days.
Land Without Dreams at the Gate Theatre is a surreal, existential meta ‘drama’ created by Danish company Fix & Foxy.
Queens of Sheba is a play of contrasts it is angry and joyous, fun and sad, quietly contemplative and in your face loud.
There is a festive start to the La Clique cabaret of song and acrobatic show but naturally, it is ironic. This is the church of misfits and weirdos where difference is celebrated in a decadent, saucy and sometimes humorous way.
A surreal, existential tragi-comedy, On Bear Ridge is at times tense, laugh out loud funny and heart-wrenchingly sad.
Vassa, adapted from Maxim Gorky’s original by Mike Bartlett, is a pitch-black comedy rather than a farce, so pitch black that you struggle to see where the laughs are.
Sean Foley’s adaptation of the 1950s Ealing comedy The Man In The White Suit stars Stephen Mangan as clever but hapless scientist Sidney and Kara Tointon as Daphne, a posh, mill owner’s daughter.
Peter Nichols’ 1967 comedy A Day In The Death of Joe Egg demonstrates both how far we’ve come in our treatment of and attitudes towards disability but equally how the moral dilemmas and struggles remain.
Master Harold & The Boys is a play about lessons and devastating loss, about how you can’t dance around injustice and its impact.
Black Chiffon is an interesting play, slowly building enough psychological intrigue and drama to keep you hooked.
Appropriate isn’t my favourite Branden Jacobs-Jenkins play but it has enough in it of what I love about his writing to enjoy.
The performances are superb in The Doctor at the Almeida Theatre, Juliet Stevenson is as formidable as her character and Ria Zmitrowicz’s dry one-liners are a refreshing light relief particularly as the persistent tension can become a bit numbing.