I set out to chronicle and celebrate the return of live theatre since May 2021. And this will follow. But when I totted up the 2021 score – 60 theatre nights, 30 being completely new plays and 19 brand-new productions – it seemed to me only decent to pause, look back at the year before.
‘I left very happy’: PLAYING SANDWICHES / LADY OF LETTERS – Bridge Theatre
With the West End dark and real fear for theatre’s survival, trips to the – unsubsidised, gallant – Bridge Theatre to see productions like Alan Bennett’s Playing Sandwiches and Lady Of Letters are sustaining.
‘Blends wry reminiscence, personal experience, poetry & music’: AN EVENING WITH AN IMMIGRANT – Bridge Theatre
This is a masterly revival of An Evening with an Immigrant, Inua Ellams’ 2016 autobiographical one-man show which is both poetic and engaging.
‘Absorbing & thrilling & touching’: THE SHRINE / BED AMONG THE LENTILS – Bridge Theatre ★★★★★
The Talking Heads monologues The Shrine and Bed Among the Lentils are absorbing and thrilling and touching and – here is the surprise – amid Alan Bennett’s wry pathos the playlets are often enormously funny.
‘Hytner has envisaged both stories with considerable care’: THE SHRINE / BED AMONG THE LENTILS – Bridge Theatre
The Bridge Theatre’s most savvy decision is in teaming The Shrine with Bed Among the Lentils, placing together two of our finest actors who effortless and regularly transition between stage and screen – Monica Dolan and Lesley Manville.
NEWS: Bridge Theatre announces plans to reopen with star-studded rep season
London Theatre Company has announced its repertoire plans to reopen the Bridge Theatre during September and October 2020, “assuming that the Government gives the go ahead for indoor performances with socially distanced audiences”.
NEWS: Nicholas Hytner remakes Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads during lockdown
Filming has begun on new productions of Alan Bennett’s critically acclaimed and multi-award-winning Talking Heads monologues, to be broadcast on BBC One with an all-star cast.