My intention is, honestly, to see less theatre this year and try and regain some semblance of a normal life again on the odd evening. But the curse of advance booking and grabbing cheap(er) tickets whilst you can has meant that there’s already an awful lot of theatre booked for 2011. Some have been booked without a huge deal of enthusiasm, but others have a dangerous amount of anticipation attached to them…and so I present to you, the shows I am most excited about seeing this year (so far).
The Roman Tragedies was hands down one of the most exhilarating and refreshing theatrical experiences of 2009 and possibly my life, I’m even headed to Amsterdam in May to see a surtitled production of their Angels in America. So when I heard that the same Dutch theatre company were returning to the Barbican in February, tickets were booked instantly and I am feverishly over-excited for this now!
Winner of the Best Actor award at this year’s fosterIANs, there was no doubt that I would travel (again) to see John Heffernan wherever he played next, and so I’m off to Bristol for my first visit to the Tobacco Factory in February to see him take the lead in Richard II: mark my words, this is a man to watch now and for the future.
Nina Raine was responsible for the number one play that I saw all of last year, and though she is taking on a completely different topic here, the modern NHS, I am very much looking forward to seeing this play which she is also directing. An exciting looking ensemble cast means this should be an excellent start to the year at Hampstead and I have to say, the rest of their programme also makes for a potentially great set of shows.
Last year saw me throwing myself into immersive theatre with gusto, You Me Bum Bum Train, Cart Macabre and staying up all through the night with Hotel Medea. Duckie’s Lullaby has the opposite required effect though as the intention is to lull us to sleep and whilst it may sound insane to pay good money to go to sleep at the Barbican, I for one cannot wait.
I am a sucker for a quality cast and whilst the main attraction of Peter Hall’s Twelfth Night is rightly billed as his daughter Rebecca Hall’s NT debut as Viola, a cast that also contains Simon Callow, Amanda Drew, Simon Paisley Day, Ben Mansfield and Finty Williams among others, has left me salivating.
Richard Bean’s new play for the Royal Court sees the return of the luminous Juliet Stevenson to the London stage, need I say any more?
The Comedy of Errors – Propeller at Sheffield Lyceum
I loved Propeller’s Richard III and found it a great introduction to their work so I am looking forward to the other production they are touring with, plus another trip to Sheffield.
And a few others: catching up with both Matilda at the RSC and Me and My Girl at Sheffield will help to keep any January blues at bay; so many people have talked up The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Donmar that I am now looking forward to it though I am resisting finding anything out about the show beforehand; Thea Sharrock is returning to Terence Rattigan with Cause Célèbre at the Old Vic which should be excellent but the Old Vic’s dodgy form for me in 2010 provokes a little apprehension and though I’m not sure how much I’m looking forward to the show in general, I cannot wait to see the simply lovely Nigel Lindsay as Shrek.