theatre thoughts

Theatre – 2019 Plays

In 2019 I managed to see 49 different productions, of which I saw one (Present Laughter) 10 times, and another (Betrayal) 5 times. It was a lot of 3 play weekends, which was unusual, mainly because there were so many plays that were good/I wanted to see. I don’t think the there will be as many this year.. well, hopefully for my bank account there won’t LOL.

  • The top 21 were all excellent in their way, and am glad I got to see them.
  • The next 15 (22-36) were good, and worth the time to watch.
  • The next lot (37-46) were ones that were ok, but if I hadn’t seen them I wouldn’t have worried about it.
  • The last 2 (47-48) were ones I wished I hadn’t spent the time or money to bother.

Obviously this is my opinion, and probably/may differ completely from yours.. that’s the joy of art, it’s in the eye of the beholder.

#PlaySnapshot Thoughts
1On Bear Ridge
The Welsh-ness, the things not said, and the delicious language
2Present LaughterNoel Coward done right – hilariously heartbreaking
3The Lehman Trilogy3 actors playing such diverse parts, surprisingly funny, as well as interesting
4Grief is the Thing With FeathersPowerful, memorable, dark, but with hope
5BetrayalIntense performances, with a eye catching look, 3 parts on stage at all times
6LungsConveying changes of time or location through minimal words, and real sounding tiffs
7Pinter – A Slight Ache, The Dumb WaiterA Slight Ache – a ratio play on the stage with dark foreboding.   Dumb Waiter – the build up in enclosed space to good effect
8Death of a SalesmanAn old standard given a whole new perspective by changing the cast to African Americans, powerful
9Leave to RemainA musical with a sweet heartfelt soul, rooted for the 2 lovers throughout and was rightly rewarded
10Pinter Plays – The Room, Victoria Station, Family VoicesAll with stellar cast, especially Victoria Station?s solo taxi dispatcher
11Pinter Plays – Party Time, CelebrationA glossy sheen over a dark foreboding reality
12Curious Incident of the Dog in the NightimeAn excellent production, with imaginative staging, was not expecting it would be as good
13Thrill MeA tiny theatre venue, but with big ideas – stunning performance by Bart Lambert elevated the production
14King JohnImaginative production, swapped John to be female but changed no lines and it worked totally.
15Duchess of MalfiExcellent staging, and intense and engaging cast
16Richard IIICould have gone quite wrong but Tom Mothersdale?s performance was superb and made the whole play
17A Very Expensive PoisonFrom such a terrible real story comes a brilliant, funny, imaginative, and thought provoking production
18A German LifeTotal immersion into Maggie Smith?s solo performance, with a difficult subject excellently written
19A Midsummer Nights DreamAnother excellent Shakespeare at the Bridge – energetic production with hilarious gender swaps that work so well
20Gently Down the StreamThe leads brought heart and soul to the characters and swept you along with their story
21The House of YesAgain this tiny venue delivers so much more depth, and again Bart Lambert shone, along with the twists and turns
22The End of HistoryAn unexpectedly moving end, with engaging cast
23The Night of the IguanaA difficult play to get really right, but this cast and production created a cohesive and engaging production
24All About EveA master performance by Gillian Anderson, although the rest do not shine as brightly
25RosmersholmExcellent cast, with a truly lovely set, but I dislike the ending which however it?s done marrs the whole
26All My SonsAn all star cast who take us with them on their journey through tragedy
27The American ClockArthur Miller with musical numbers and multiple cast as same character, interesting take which mostly worked
28The PriceCould have tightened up the running time, but excellent cast
29FleabagWish I could have seen it the first time it was performed, and unknowing of the Series, but still worked well
30A Day in the Death of Joe EggAnother difficult play to get really right, and on the night seemed not on which took a bit of the sheen away
31Dark SublimeA small production which took a bit too many plot points to do all justice, but engaging, fun and funny
32Sea WallHard to see his with any one but Andrew Scott, decent but when you?ve seen definitive where can you go
32Taming of the ShrewA solid production with gender swaps to have the females doing the chasing of the males, solid performances
33Two LadiesStarted quite slow, and when it got the denouement it felt a little rushed, but the two leads were brilliant
34 As You Like ItAudience participation, and laughs, not a play I really enjoy as find too many sub plots which blur the main theme
35 A LifeReasonably interesting premise but sickly silver lining ending marred it somewhat, would have preferred darker
36WhodunnitLead was not aware of the plot or other?s line until the actual performance which made for fun and games
37Nine NightAll the characters nipped and argued with each other and were generally unlikeable, despite a good cast
38Home I?m DarlingReasonably fun, but ultimately easily forgotten story, but well produced and acted
39Summer and SmokeThe production didn?t work for me, so despite loving Tennessee Williams, the cast did not engage
40Sherlock and the Invisible ThingA fun and light production for an afternoon theatre production
41The Tragedy of King Richard IIToo much of the story removed, and having cast play multiple characters confused, overall not interesting enough
42Vienna 1934 – Munich 1938 – A Work in ProgressAs this was a Work in Progress can?t really judge, but an interesting peek into Michael Redgrave?s world
43Sydney and The Old GirlMiriam Margolyes is a fine actor, but the story didn?t really engage
44VassaAn interesting set, but the production didn?t stay in the mind for long, despite a good cast
45The DoctorThe first part was engaging, but lost it?s way, and the plot twist was easily discerned
46EuropeNot sure what the writer was going for, but there was a really impressive use of fire which is about all I remember
47FairviewAm not sure what this was, and reviews seem to think the same – but the obviousness of the theme missed for me
48Sweet CharityCould not get past this production?s lead?s singing voice which did not work for me at all, left at interval

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