This post started life back in June from a question @polyg asked while we were waiting for a play to start. And of course it needed some thought before answering, nearly three months worth in fact.
There are plenty of great actors I enjoy watching on stage but the play and the role often informs the choice of going to see it.
So this has to be about, who I would rush out to see, regardless of what they were in. Well no thought for my first choice, but the remaining four...
1. Ben Whishaw - First saw him in Leaves of Glass at the Soho Theatre in 2007 after being mesmerised by him on screen in Perfume: Story of Murderer. I've seen everything he's done on stage ever since (and TV and Film, yes even the shorts) plus a recording at the V&A archive of his Hamlet from 2004.
I flew to New York to see The Pride - well I'd never been before so it was the perfect excuse and people go for less ie shopping. He's never disappointed me, he always makes interesting choices and he never fails to convince in his performances. He's one of those talents that says just as much without words and I always find my eye wandering over to where ever he is on stage just to see what he is doing.
Plays seen:Leaves of Glass, ...some trace of her, rehearsed reading of Ice Cream, Cock & The Pride
2. Benedict Cumberbatch - BC had been bimbling along at the back of my conscience for a while, mainly for his TV roles. It's funny because he's become intrinsically linked with the character of Sherlock now and yet he first dazzled me in After The Dance at the National Theatre. Emotionally repressed is not easy to pull off without alienating the audience but you could feel his inner turmoil.
And then there was Frankenstein. Such a spectacle requires big performances.
I fear his next stint at the theatre maybe some time off as his dance card seems full with film and TV engagements at the moment.
Plays seen: After The Dance, Frankenstein (creature), Frankenstein (Victor)