August always used to be a quiet month for theatre; it was as if everyone decamped to Edinburgh for the fringe. But even though the Royal Court still shuts up shop, elsewhere it just seems to get busier and busier. There is more fringe - and not just pre-Edinburgh shows - and more productions opening at the bigger theatres. As a result I ended up seeing 12 plays and yes I know there are people that see more than that each month but it's above my average.
* The 'hold the front page' story for the month (and possibly the year) was the announcement of funds to be made available to theatres to improve the ladies toilets. There is general under provision in the older theatres which means long queues and they are often so cramped and badly designed you have to be child-sized to get in and out the cubicles.
* The month was also notable for having only one steamy theatre watching experience and by that I mean the 'joy' of sitting in a non-air conditioned theatre on a hot summer evening with sweat trickling down your back while feeling sorry for the actors because at least you can wear shorts and T-Shirt. Yep thanks to Found III for that one.
* Casting excitement came with the announcement that Harry Lloyd will star in the Good Canary, at the Rose Theatre in Kingston directed by John Malkovich. And Stan-favs Tamsin Greig and Jessica Hynes are starring in the Tony Kushner play at Hampstead Theatre which has a stupidly long title so I'm just calling it 'The Guide'. It has a long running time too (that trend continues unabated), so long Poly and I have opted for a matinee. Or perhaps we are just getting old?
* LATE ADDITION Only spotted this morning but it's an August story: After the launch of the night tube there was a suggestion that theatre could start later so The Stage ran a survey and 90% of respondents basically said 'no'. Regular readers will know my feelings on this but glad I'm not on my own. In fact there are at least two plays on at the moment that I won't see because they just finish a bit too late.
* Thesp spots: Daniel Kaluuya, Fiona Shaw and Andrew Garfield were all at the Drink It In The Congo press night. Andrew Garfield and I spoke actual words ('sorry' 'thanks' etc) as he shuffled past me to get to his seat. Then I saw the RSC’s Richard Leeming on Clapham High Street. It's not as random as it sounds as the RSC has rehearsal rooms on CHS and they are obviously preparing for the Barbican transfers. I still have hopes of bumping into Antony Sher picking up a sandwich in Sainsbury's at some point.
Stage blood corner where you can never truly remove the stains