My 3 current theatre turn-offs
My 5 biggest theatre disappointments of 2017

My theatre 'StOlivier' awards 2017

Step aside best actor/actress/play etc this is what was noteworthy for me in theatre land, in 2017.

Menagerie award The Ferryman was an award winning play in many way but for me it deserve an extra gong for fur and feathers - a cute little rabbit and a goose both made scene stealing appearances. Babies? Schmabies. Real, live animals on stage are the thing.

Exhibit A: Roman Tragedies, Barbican Theatre
Exhibit A: Roman Tragedies, Barbican Theatre

Event theatre and star studded audience award Ivo Van Hove's  six hour Roman Tragedies at the Barbican was an event for many reasons not least for allowing audience members to wander onto the stage between scenes and perch wherever they could get a seat. Photos, without flash, and tweeting (see exhibit A) were also encouraged. It also attracted probably the most thespy audience I've seen so far: Simon Stephens, Rupert Goold and Kate Fleetwood, Kyle Soler and Pheobe Fox, John Heffernan, Angus Wright, Jamie Lloyd, Ruth Wilson, Ian McDiarmid, Jonjo O’Neill, Jeremy Herrin and Leo Bill.

Best kiss When Paddy Considine and Laura Donnelly's characters kissed in The Ferryman, Royal Court it was so charged with years of repressed feelings it took my breath away and broke my heart a little bit.

Best spit - Not since I (probably) gave an award to the cast of Richard III for all spitting on Ralph Fiennes has their been a gobbing incident worthy of note but step forward Jasmine Hyde who spat so spectacularly on Harry Melling during Jam, Finborough Theatre.

Hottie of the month kinda lives on...these were my particular favourites in 2017: Theo James, Andrew Garfield, Douglas Booth and James Norton but if I had to choose one it would be Theo because I'm such a huge fan and it was the first time I've seen him on stage.

jack o'connell cat on a hot tin roof young vic
Jack O'Connell, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Young Vic production photo

Revelation award During a cast interview for Against, Almeida, it was revealed that Ben Whishaw likes playing volleyball. Who'd have thought?

Over it much more quickly than everyone else award Angels in America, National Theatre was really good but I didn't think it was really, really, really good. There was so much eulogising over it in the weeks (and months) after its run, I couldn't finish my review because it just made me start picking fault with it. That's my problem, not the Angels fans, I know.

(Not helping) Stage management award Spare a thought for those who have to clean and clear a stage ready to start over again and in particular those who worked on Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Apollo Theatre, who had to sort out the soggy carpet after Jack O'Connell took long on-stage showers in the minimalist designed shower cubicle (there was no cubicle - see pic).

(Helping) Stage management award This goes to the cast of Albion, Almeida who during the course of the play filled the soil plant beds that surrounded the stage with shrubs and flowers and then removed them again towards the end. Thoughtful production design.