Monday, 21 December 2009

2009 Best Ofs [Theatre]

The Merchant of Venice (Propeller)
Where Sam Mendes’s cross-cast The Cherry Orchard/Winter’s Tale productions were solid but rather staid and unsurprising, Propeller’s artful, prison-set all-male Merchant reinvigorated the play.

All’s Well That Ends Well (NT)
Ditto for Marianne Elliot’s entrancing re-imagining of All’s Well as Tim Burton-esque Gothic fairytale.

Phedre (NT)
Not all it could have been, due to a compelling but overly contained Helen Mirren and a bombastic Stanley Townsend. But Nicholas Hytner’s elegant production had some fine, memorable moments.

Mother Courage and Her Children (NT)
Deborah Warner’s thrillingly messy production of Brecht’s classic, with a magnificent Fiona Shaw.

Allison’s House (Orange Tree)
A rare outing for, and a beautiful production of, Susan Glaspell’s neglected 1932 Pulitzer-winner.

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