Mark Ravenhill at the RSC (or when am I going to see Shopping and F*cking at last?)
Theatre on TV and Radio: Week 5 - 11 December

Mark Rylance versus Whatsonstage Awards

By guest writer polyg

Alas, it's not what you think. Mark Rylance didn't attack the Whatsonstage Awards, or indeed the Whatsonstage Awards didn't attack Mark Rylance. But today, among theatre lovers, it's the only two things worth talking about.

Mark Rylance is coming back to the Globe next summer, to play Richard III (or Dick the Shit, as Kevin Spacey calls him) and Olivia in an all-male production of the Twelfth Night. I have had enough of Richard III lately (and for me, Richard Clothier made more of a lasting impression than Kevin Spacey), but Mark Rylance anywhere is a big event, and Mark Rylance at the Globe is huge. If that wasn't enough, the prospect of an all-male Twelfth Night is mouth watering. I missed the original production in 2002, and I don't intend to make the same mistake. Back then, Ed Redmayne had his first big break as Viola, who will play the role this time? (Freddie Fox, if the rumours are true).

And of course, today the Whatsonstage Awards Nominees were announced. At the best of times, I have conflicted feelings towards awards, as they often miss the point entirely. But strangely enough, reading the nominations, I don't feel as irate as I normally feel. Granted, the nominations lean towards the big and the popular (bigger names, bigger productions), but that was a given, and there is a lot I can get behind: Matilda, Jumpy, Collaborators, Tamsin Greig, David Tennant, Sheridan Smith, Josie Rourke, Bertie Carvel, The Passion on the streets of Port Talbot, to name a few. I can live with that.

And I am very happy for at least one nomination: Mark Gatiss in Season's Greetings has been one of my favourite performances in the last year, funny, heartbreaking, fragile. But when it was time to vote, I forgot about it (I voted for Paul Higgins in Luise Miller instead). I don't necessarily regret my vote, but Mark Gatiss deserves all the recognition he can get.