Reviews from the Year: 2014 Theatre in Revue

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87267BEST ADAPTATION Spring Awakening – Nuffield Southampton (Headlong)

Wedekind’s tale of burgeoning sexuality and responsibilities of education, made utterly current by Anya Reiss. Tackled porn, internet streamed suicides, homosexuality. Still managed to be the most emotionally affecting play I saw this year.

crucible richard armitageBEST DIRECTION The Crucible – The Old Vic

Yael Farber hits the nail, hard, staging The Crucible in the round and making the audience feel like a horribly implicated jury. Richard Armitage starred.

BEST SET The Nether – The Royal CourtThe Nether by Jennifer Haley, Royal Court, London

Crime drama meets internet dystopia. The most beautiful set captured the nostalgic netherworld of The Hideaway, for the escapist fantasies of Papa to be set free. Virtual reality becomes reality on stage.

234353_2_previewBEST LIVE SCREENING A Streetcar Named Desire – Young Vic

Expert filming managed to make a set surrounded by the audience feel intimate to its cinema audiences. The first time I’ve been to a live screening and never been frustrated by a camera angle or distracted by its focus. Gillian Anderson’s nonchalant descent into madness as Blanche DuBois will not be forgotten.

BEST CLASSIC Ghosts – Trafalgar Studios (Almeida Theatre)

Naturalism taken to a haunting, emotional peak with the performance of a lifetime by Lesley Manville.

BEST BOOK ADAPTATION Wolf Hall – The RSC

Brilliant theatre storytelling with wit and danger, effortlessly interweaving the many strands and characters that populate the world surrounding Thomas Cromwell. Adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s prize winning novel.

BEST ONE MAN SHOW Not I, Footfalls, Rockaby – Duchess TheatreRockaby_6635

Lisa Dwyn gets Beckett. Enough said.

BEST REVIVAL Red Velvet – Tricycle Theatre

Adrian Lester returned again to play Ira Aldridge, a black man in the nineteenth century whose confidence-verging-on-arrogance allowed him to star on the stage in spite of racial prejudice. Lovely choreography between scenes. Forever haunted by Aldridge cruelly having to white up to play Lear, as the lights went down.

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