I am a little behind with my reports because some private life issues and work things – and not working Hardware (!!!) – prevented me from writing. But I promise you: there I will be a lot coming in the next days – if nothing unforeseen happens that is.
But as the first half of this year has passed now, here is my favourite UK theatre list 2015 part one:
It has been a strong year so far and I have also already seen more musicals than usual. And it is already difficult for me to create a Top 10 – and that’s only the first half of this year! In no particular order:
City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse), The Ruling Class (Trafalgar Studios), The Fever (The Mayfair Hotel), My Night With Reg (Apollo Theatre), Assassins (Menier Chocolate Factory), Oppenheimer (Swan Theatre Stratford-upon-Avon/ Vaudeville Theatre), Farinelli and the King (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), The Vote (Donmar Warehouse), Golem (Trafalgar Studios), Man and Superman (National Theatre)
The Beaux’ Stratagem (National Theatre), Sweeney Todd (Eno) and High Society (Old Vic) just missed the Top 10.
I am quite sure, Oppenheimer – I preferred the Stratford staging to the London one – and Man and Superman will make it into my final Top 5 of this year. Those two productions were both absolutely outstanding and have challenged me intellectually, touched my feelings and were also a lot of fun. And both had great ensemble casts with outstanding leads. John Heffernan and Ralph Fiennes will certainly both be in my Top 5 of the best actors of this year. And James McAvoy belongs into the Top 5 until now! So – the challenge is open! Still – I have high expectations of some of the actors who’s turn will be next. Loads of my favourite actors are treading the boards this year.
Least Favourites Top 5 – in that order:
Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (National Theatre), The Elephant Man (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Closer (Donmar Warehouse), The Changeling (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), How to Hold Your Breath (Royal Court Theatre)
Great actors cannot completely save a bad or boring play. But only in one case I regret seeing the play. Light Shining was just not good and so boring I cannot forgive myself I did not leave in the interval or that I booked it in the first place. Precious time of my life wasted – thank god it was a cheap ticket! The Elephant Man was certainly not worth the money, but I am still glad I saw it, if only for Bradley Cooper. Closer was the biggest disappointment. I blame the director. The Changeling was just not my play – and maybe I had a bad day too. How to Hold was not really working as the script was not good enough, but Maxine Peake was wonderful and only for her alone I liked it a bit more than the other 4 plays in that list.
Looking forward to watching these plays during my next visit in London:
Three Days in the Country (National Theatre), Bakkhai (Almeida Theatre), Richard II (Globe Theatre) and Hamlet (Barbican Theatre) – and I am looking forward to seeing John Simm, Mark Gatiss, Ben Whishaw, Bertie Carvel, Charles Edwards, Ciaran Hinds and Benedict Cumberbatch.