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 .
2012 was the year in which love and science proved to be unlikely but extremely effective bedfellows... ...whether in Nick Payne’s
Constellations or Lucy Prebble’s The Effect.
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
I feel like I’ve cried more in the theatre this year.
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.
Once again, the best UK musical theatre (and in some cases, it was absolutely
sublime) happened outside of the West End, whether on the London fringe or
beyond the M25.
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.
And the nadir of my theatregoing year…Hero at the Royal Court. Rarely have I
been so angry and annoyed by a piece of theatre and its sheer irresponsibility.
I was tempted to go the post-show talk just to ask…
Very disappointing indeed.