Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Theatre 2016: 10 Favourite Productions

Les Blancs (National Theatre)
Review here

Photo: Mark Brenner

The Maids (Trafalgar Studios)
Jamie Lloyd's production was thrilling, disturbing and, finally, deeply moving, with Zawe Ashton, Uzo Aduba and Laura Carmichael giving galvanising, fearless, exposing performances that hot-wired us to the still-potent weirdness and radicalism of Genet's vision.     

Photo: Steve Tanner

A Midsummer Nights Dream (Globe)
Review here

Photo: Alistair Muir
Richard III (Almeida)
Review here

Photo: Manuel Harlan

The Rolling Stone (Orange Tree)
Review here.

Photo: Mark Douet

The Flick (National Theatre)
Review here

Photo: Alistair Muir
King Lear (Old Vic) 
Review here.

Photo: Mark Cocksedge

Bitches (Finborough)
Review here

 Photo: Magda Hueckel

Dogville (Nowy Teatr)
With its Brechtian approach (inspired by Trevor Nunn's Nicholas Nickleby, no less) Lars von Trier’s film seems a (too?) obvious candidate for a stage adaptation. But, faithful to the plot yet theatrical in its own highly expressionistic way, Marcin Liber's production of Christian Lollike's text proved equally compelling. The moment when  Monika Buchowiec's  Grace pulled back the canopy covering the rear of the stage  to reveal a huge wall of tangled chairs was especially sensational: the knotty nastiness of the town exposed.       

Photo: Mitzi de Margary
After October (Finborough)
Waspish but humane, populated by vividly drawn, relatable characters, Rodney Ackland's funny, poignant plays are revived all too rarely on UK stages. This makes Oscar Toeman's perfectly pitched revival of After October all the more special. The production is especially notable for its glorious performances from Sasha Waddell and Adam Buchanan as the ex-actress mother and writer son struggling to survive in '30s London, supported by a great ensemble including Beverley Klein, Josie Kidd, Andrew Cazanave Pin and Jasmine Blackborow.    

Honourable Mentions: Torn Apart (dissolution) (Theatre N16), The Deep Blue Sea (National Theatre), Phaedra(s) (Barbican), German Skerries (Orange Tree), Jess and Joe Forever (Orange Tree), Ziemia obiecana (Teatr Wielki w Łodzi)

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