It’s the end of the year so now it is time to take stock for a life without year-end lists can hardly be a life worth living (I think it says that in the blogger handbook somewhere…)
So, 2012 saw me see 274 in the final analysis and after some not inconsiderable thought, here is an attempt to make some sense of it all from the sublime to the ridiculous .
There’s much to love and hate about the Barbican, so many elements can frustrate and delight in equal measure but primarily in 2012, it was all about the women. Tempting both Cate Blanchett and Juliette Binoche onto their stage had me at hello and closing my eyes at ticket prices in order to get as close as possible to 2 bona fide screen goddesses. There’s always disagreements about theatre… …but this year saw it move to another level as a tranche of the upcoming theatrical writing establishment tried to convince critics (and audiences) that they were wrong about Three Kingdoms. For what it’s worth, I went to Florence for my birthday when it was on. See also: In The Republic of Happiness. There’s prolific, and there’s prolific. And then there’s Simon Stephens. Everywhere you turn, there’s a new Stephens play or adaptation appearing – the man’s recent workrate has been incredible, at least the upcoming Port at the NT is a revival. Unreserved seating continues to be a bugbear: its return to the Young Vic for The Changeling was most unwelcome, it makes getting into the Bush a nightmare.
This is just a feeling rather than a statistical truth, but there have been several occasions where I have come close to absolutely just losing it. Lovesong at the Lyric, Constellations at the Duke of York’s, Curious Incident at the NT, Propeller’s Winter’s Tale, all left me unable to speak at the end for fear of just bawling. And I have to mention Laura Howard’s performance in Lost In Yonkers at the Watford Palace which although most everyone found some humour in, I thought to be one of the most quietly devastating things I’ve seen all year.
My Fair Lady, Hello, Dolly!, Crazy for You, Gypsy, Boy Meets Boy, Victor/Victoria and Salad Days
The thought of seeing any of these again
Jesus Christ Superstar, Troilus and Cressida, The Sunshine Boys, Farewell to the Theatre, Bingo, Making Noise Quietly, The Conquest of the South Pole and The Duchess of Malfi.
Yes Prime Minister, Written on the Heart, Volcano, What The Butler Saw
Very disappointing indeed.
And grumbles out of the way, here’s the Top 10 plays of the year that I had the pleasure of seeing.
1 My Fair Lady
4 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
5 Long Day’s Journey Into Night
6 ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore
7 Hello, Dolly!
8 A Doll’s House
9 The Busy Body