Sunday, 27 February 2011

24. Company - Southwark Playhouse

I’m something of a late convert to Sondheim, having caught my first last year (Passion followed shortly after by Into the Woods – not a bad start I feel) -  but I’ve been instantly won over by his quirky stories, complicated music and clever lyrics.  So spotting that Southwark Playhouse were putting on Company it immediately jumped onto my to-see list, seeing that one of my all time favourite musical theatre performers, Cassidy Janson was in it pushed it right to the top (actually there was a rather impressive number of familiar faces for me in the cast). And I certainly wasn’t disappointed, in fact, it’s the first new show of the year that has provoked a second booking.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

RST Re-Opening

Decided I’d probably be best off writing about these two together as, although I do love both productions dearly, what I was really there for was to see the new theatres in action at last. Plus having just written a 2,000 word or so... well, essay on this King Lear, I’m still feeling a little burnt out (it may have made me cry multiple times again, but that’s all I’m going to say).

Saturday, 19 February 2011

23. Little Platoons - Bush Theatre

Must admit that this play has been a nightmare to write about because whilst I liked everything, I didn’t love anything (or hate anything either for that matter) and as it turns out ambivalence is a difficult place to find inspiration.

Friday, 18 February 2011

22. Edward II - Rose Bankside

Oh… I really loved this one, despite it being frequently, utterly ridiculous – I came out glowing and wanting to babble continuously about it and the only thing that stopped me from buying another ticket for it was the utter lack of time I had to fit another performance in.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

21. Our Private Life - Royal Court Upstairs

This is a really difficult play to review and not just because of the difficult, uncomfortable subject matter. It’s more, in fact, that I came away with the sense that whilst there was a huge amount to enjoy and admire in the production, I was having the difficulty of appreciating that through the shadow of the production I wanted to be seeing. Alas, I fear that sentence makes absolutely no sense.

Perhaps the easiest way to explain is to talk about Colin Morgan. He is one of my favourite young actors in the UK at the moment; I think he has a truly exceptional quality to his performances which make me want to see everything he ever does. But (in what I suspect will be a hugely unpopular opinion) I didn’t like his performance here. I suspect it was more a directorial choice than an acting one as it was a problem I had across the board.

Monday, 14 February 2011

20. The Heretic - Royal Court Downstairs

My second climate change play of the month and though I still think I’ll give Greenland a miss (promises of impressive polar bears and all) – I really enjoyed this one too. Given that comparisons are going to be somewhat inevitable between the two, I might as well get it out of the way here and admit that if I were forced to choose between the two, that Water had the edge for me – it’s hard to resist the eclectic inventiveness of Filter.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

19. Water - Filter at The Tricycle

It was a bit of a last minute decision to go and see this one, once I realised that Becky Shaw was all booked up after the last minute changes to my schedule. I'd put off booking it before, because I wasn't sure about Filter's Twelfth Night - I liked some of the ideas greatly (Malvolio having an inner rock god was a personal favourite) but overall felt the story got lost along the way. Thankfully this piece worked much better for me. Actually, I really loved it - it's a definite contender for my play of the month.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

18. Love Story - Duchess Theatre

This was another repeat visit for me as I couldn’t bare not to see it again before it’s far too premature closure, especially given that it ended up being my third favourite musical of last year – I saw the first preview with a friend last year based purely on the fact that we had a gap in our schedule and there was a pleasing symmetry to doing the first performance of this against the last performance of Design for Living on the same day. I also had vague memories of Michael Xavier being rather good in Into The Woods...

Friday, 4 February 2011

17. The History Boys - Rose Kingston

Was a bit worried when I got  to my seat for this one, I'd gone for restricted view seats just to try them out (and because I can't afford non-restricted view seats - despite the discomfort I think it's the floor seats for me) and it looked like I was going to be missing half of the set. Thankfully though it turned out that the set was a lot more awesome than it appeared at first sight, I ended up really falling in love with it - very simple but there was something warmly familiar about watching them rearrange the mismatched tables in the classroom. Plus the regular use of a slow revolve was excellent, allowing us to catch different reactions and different people at different moments. Really lovely.