10 top theatrical moments of 2021

As distinct from my favourite shows of the year, this list celebrates the fact that sometimes the good and the not-so-good co-exist right next to each – some of my favourite moments.

For reference, here’s my 2020 list, 2019 list, 2018 list, 2017 list2016 list2015 list and 2014 list.

Helen McCrory, in memoriam
I still don’t really have the words to talk about how sad the passing of Helen McCrory is, such a favourite actor of mine for so long. But what was joyful was hearing the absolute esteem in which seemingly every one of her colleagues held her, a testament to the person as well as the performer.

Being scared, by women
After having declared that scary theatre just didn’t work for me, the Terrifying Women made me eat my words in quite some style with their Halloween special.

Getting to grips with graduates
One of the more rewarding reviewing assignments of the year was covering the Graduates at Cadogan Hall concert series, three concerts (#1, #2, #3) a great showcase for emerging talent when opportunities were thin on the ground.

Talking Gods with Arrows & Traps
15 Heroines did it for me last year but Arrows & Traps put their own spin on the revision of Greek mythology this year with lengthier, weightier examinations of how the gods might speak to us today.  

Finally getting to County Hall
Witness for the Prosecution has been trying its case for a few years now but it took me this long to get to its wonderfully repurposed venue of County Hall where you can’t help but be impressed.

Linzi Hateley’s return to Joseph
For once, my idea of stunt casting actually came true, as Linzi Hateley returned to a role she created 30 years ago and deservedly blew the roof off of the Palladium. Such a special moment.

Channing and Ronan and Jumbo oh my
I may not have been big fans of any of the productions in which they starred and moreover, I knew I wouldn’t necessarily like the shows either. But still, the thrill of seeing Stockard Channing, Cush Jumbo and Saoirse Ronan onstage again was one I couldn’t – or wouldn’t – resist.

The continuing delights of The Theatre Channel
Producing high quality online musical theatre really wasn’t as easy as many people thought, but with the high mark set by the folks behind The Theatre Channel over and over again, there was definitely something to aim for.

Just getting to see The Rhythmics
As Omicron took over the latest wave of Covid, it scythed through the festive programming of so many theatres, not least the Southwark Playhouse where it knocked out The Rhythmics just before it was about to open officially. 

Waiting for Lefty, and Alex Andreou
My first experience of this play was this appropriately rough and ready live Zoom performance which really worked, and was aided immeasurably by a great post-show talk including the always insightful Alex Andreou

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