We are living, I have frequently been told, through weird times. Maybe. But do weird times necessarily require weird art? Do bad times provoke bad art?
The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown has thrown a whole new light on certain plays, the ones about isolation, loneliness and surreal landscapes.
Five minutes ago, I finished watching Cyprus Avenue and I am bursting to write something, anything, down.
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.
Shoe Lady at the Royal Court is not the most involving play in the world, but it does have an evocative resonance.
Shoe Lady is an intriguing and well-considered examination of the social and domestic pressures placed on women to perform multiple and often contradictory roles in our society.
If the intimate play A Number feels a bit lost in the vast space of the Bridge, the performances are big enough to give it the required punch.
As rap and spoken word emerge as the primary storytelling modes in Poet in da Corner, along with some evocative dancing, there’s a compelling sense of the potential of what theatre can be.
Andrew Scott, Sharon D. Clarke, Juliet Stevenson, Sam Tutty and Hammed Animashaun have won the top acting honours at the 2019 Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards.
The entire seventy minute show feels like a pan on the boil, continuously moving and flowing and engaging. Poet in da Corner is funny, truthful, inventive and really worth seeing.
Excellent revival of Lucy Prebble’s disturbing debut play The Sugar Syndrome about loneliness, the internet and illegal desire.
Female friendship is such a fickle, flighty thing so difficult to get right, and Miriam Battye nails both its positives and negatives in Scenes With Girls.
Scenes with Girls at the Royal Court is like an exciting blast of fresh air blowing through the often stale world of contemporary new writing.
Ever behind the curve, I present 10 of my top moments in a theatre over the last ten years (plus a few bonus extra ones because whittling down this list was hard, and it will probably be different tomorrow anyway!).
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.
The family tragedy at the heart of A Kind Of People is emotionally powerful but also oddly incomplete and unsatisfying.
Not much festive cheer around at the Royal Court, but plenty of grimly insightful writing in Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti’s A Kind of People.