January was a fringe fest for me with some cracking productions. I definitely recommend Out There On Fried Meat Ridge Road at the White Bear (finishes Feb 4) and BU21 at Trafalgar Studios 2 (finishes Feb 18) and from the off West End sphere Dirty Great Love Story at the Arts Theatre is a real hoot (finishes Mar 18).
And while I was busy...
* Biggest news, obviously, is Ben Whishaw treading the boards at the Almeida again. He's moved on from playing a Greek god in Bakkhai to playing a tech billionaire who thinks god is talking to him. It's a new play called Against by Christopher Shinn and to say that I'm excited to see it, is an underestimate.
* The Ben Whishaw news has almost over shadowed the announcement of a new James Graham play, Ink, at the Almeida as part of the the same season. This time Graham is taking on Fleet Street at the end of the sixties. Given how much I enjoyed This House, this has a lot of promise.
* The Bush Theatre reopens its doors after redevelopment work and kicks things off in April with Jamie Lloyd directing Guards at the Taj by Rajiv Joseph. It seems to be a theme for Jamie Lloyd this year to direct in smaller theatres - his current production is Pitchfork Disney at Shoreditch Town Hall which will be followed by a new Philip Ridley play Killer at the same venue.
* Stan fav Ann Marie Duff is back on stage from May, this time in a new DC Moore play at the National Theatre called Common, directed by Jeremy Herrin.
* Joe Wright dipped his toe in the stage directing pool back in 2013 with Trelawny of the Wells at the Donmar and he's back with Brecht play Life of Galileo at the Young Vic. His film Atonement is among my all time favourites and I love a bit of Brecht so this should be good.
Thesp spots: Jerome Flynn at the White Bear Theatre (with woman sat three people away saying very loudly ‘it’s him from Game of Thrones’). Harry Melling walking near the Tristan Bates Theatre - I smiled at him like an idiot because his face was so familiar. Philip Ridley at his own play Pitchfork Disney at the Shoreditch Town Hall. Then a great trio: Anneka Rice, Tim McInnerny and Nick Payne all at Dirty Great Love Story, Arts Theatre. And Poly spotted Tom Burke at the New Diorama Theatre. Quite a haul I think.