List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. Earthquakes in London (Richmond Theatre)2. How To Be Happy (Orange Tree Theatre)
3. The Importance of Being Earnest (Rose Theatre, Kingston)
4. Farewell To The Theatre (Rose Theatre, Kingston)
5. Othello (Sheffield Crucible)
6. South Downs/The Browning Version (Minerva, Chichester)
7. Street Scene (Young Vic)
8. Grief (National Theatre, Cottesloe)
9. Dr. Marigold and Mr. Chops (Richmond Theatre)
10. Boys Plays (Above the Stag)
Who was the best performer in number one (Earthquakes in London)?
Toss-up between Tracey-Ann Oberman and Paul Shelley.
Why did you go to see number two (How To Be Happy)?
Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (The Importance of Being Earnest) that you liked?
Even people who’ve never seen this play can remember lines from it! Stick a pin in the text and you’ll find a memorable epigram. I think my favourite is Gwendolen’s "I am pleased to say that I have never seen a spade."
What would you give number four (Farewell To The Theatre) out of 10?
A charitable 4.
Was there someone hot in number five (Othello)?
Ahem! West! Gilbreath! Shame on Shakespeare for not giving them a happy ending, though.
What was number six (South Downs/The Browning Version) about?
Oh, lots of things. Mainly, perhaps, what unexpected acts of kindness can do.
Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Street Scene)?
A strong ensemble but I suppose Elena Ferrari just takes it.
What was your favourite bit in number eight (Grief)?
The scene in which Marion Bailey’s Gertrude finds Lesley Manville’s Dorothy in distress and the characters almost - but don’t quite - break through to honest communication touched me a lot. Classic Leigh, brilliantly done.
Would you see number nine (Dr. Marigold and Mr. Chops) again?
What was the worst thing about number ten (Boys Plays)?
The first play in the double-bill was fairly lacklustre.
Which was best?
Not a fashionable view, but I thought Grief was absolutely wonderful.
Which was worst?
Farewell To The Theatre. All too aptly titled, I’m afraid.
Did any make you cry?
In approximate order of amount of tears shed: Grief, The Browning Version, Street Scene, Othello.
Did any make you laugh?
Earthquakes in London, How To Be Happy, The Importance of Being Earnest, Othello, Grief, Dr. Marigold and Mr. Chops.
Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
Judging by two of the locations in which it ended up in this production, Desdemona’s handkerchief looked to be having a rather jolly time. Alternatively, Sam in Street Scene so I get to sing “Lonely House.”
Which one did you have the best seats for?
How To Be Happy and Grief. Go small theatres!