We are charging into February and a chocolate box rammed full of theatre delights but before January becomes a dim and distant memory, I thought I'd take a moment to reflect on some of its offerings.
I have my (nerdy) new spread sheet to help me and while I rate each play in my review out of five, I also give it mark out of 100 on the spread sheet - it makes it a hell of lot easier to rank stuff. So this is based on those scores with links to my original reviews:
- Vernon God Little, Young Vic 85%
- A View From the Bridge, Lyceum, Edinburgh 77%
- The Boy James, Southwark Playhouse 75%
- Tiger Country, Hampstead Theatre 72%
- Rough Cuts, Royal Court 70%
- Comedy of Errors, Greenwich Playhouse 55%
- Twelfth Night, Cottesloe, 45%
- Get Santa 25%
So am I surprised by the results? Well yes and no. Vernon coming out top isn't too much of a surprise as I saw the original production back in 2007 and really enjoyed it. But I am surprised that Twelfth Night rated so low considering how much it had going for it: Peter Hall directing and the likes of Simon Callow in the cast. It just fell flat which was a real shame.
One thing that is interesting, to me anyway, about rating the plays I see in this way is that it means you get shoestring budget production like Comedy of Errors at the Greenwich Playhouse scoring higher than the polished and luxurious production of Twelfth Night. The acting was better in the latter, by far, but I enjoyed Comedy of Errors more. It just goes to show that money and big names aren't necessarily everything.
Not surprised that Get Santa! came out so low but that is because it really wasn't my type of thing and I'm judging it on that rather than the fact that it was a bad play and production.
The play that I'd say sticks most in my mind after Vernon, I have to say is The Boy James mainly because it was an interactive piece in a unique setting.
So that was January. February has already got off to a roaring start with Julius Caesar and last nights Our Private Life which I will be writing up very soon...