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.
Stories swirl around each other in Midnight Movie at the Royal Court, growing and fading like variations on a theme in a piece of classical music. It’s heady and disorientating, like a surreal bad dream, yet strangely compelling.
I wanted to love this Midnight Movie, but — like almost any screen experience — I couldn’t quite connect with it. Despite some disturbing passages, it feels like less than the sum of its parts.
Acting honours go to Andrew Scott & Maggie Smith at the 2019 Evening Standard Theatre Awards while Sweat wins Best Play.
On BearRidge, the first Ed Thomas play for 15 years, is a post-apocalyptic metaphor-fest which is tragic, lyrical and funny too.
In our continuing series, editor Lisa Martland picks out some of her Top Picks from the last week of theatre (to 3 November 2019). Libby Purves emphasises the significance of Anumpama Chandrasekhar’s new play When The Crows Visit at the Kiln Theatre.
On Bear Ridge, Ed Thomas’ story of being left behind and trying to hold onto the memories that give us a sense of self, is crafted at the Royal Court Theatre with care and sensitivity.
The densely poetic On Bear Ridge offers a thoughtful experience at the Royal Court, with Rhys Ifans and Rakie Ayola on fine form.
A surreal, existential tragi-comedy, On Bear Ridge is at times tense, laugh out loud funny and heart-wrenchingly sad.
Sabrina Mahfouz’s feminist account of British imperialism in A History of Water in the Middle East is energetic and passionate but also turns out to be a very slender piece of theatre.
Caryl Churchill’s Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp. at the Royal Court is wonderfully bright and incisively perceptive.
As a body of work, Caryl Churchill’s four plays Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp complement each other well and offer a bold social commentary that is dark, foreboding and surreal.