The month isn't quite over but I feel it's time to reflect on August's theatre going. Despite the throngs of tourists who flood into London for what is supposedly our warmest month, most theatres seem reluctant to launch new productions and as a result there have been slim pickings.
But there has still been a handful of complete gems, three in fact that all earned five stars from me. Sadly it wasn't enough to counter the less than sparkling productions with August officially my worst month of the year so far with an average rating of 3.13 stars. Ouch.
Two plays didn't make it onto the scoreboard albeit for different reasons. The first, Lady of Pleasure had me running for the tube at the interval and therefore I thought it unfair to rate just half and the second was Wild Child, part of the Royal Court Rough Cuts season which is a work in progress - a very good work in progress - but again, I didn't feel it fair to rate.
Anyway onto the gems:
1. Wittenberg - breathed fresh life back into pub theatre, clever, witty and intelligent. I gave it 87% putting it up there as a contender for play of the year.
2. Broken Glass - my first experience of this Arthur Miller play and Antony Sher. Wow is all I can say. It gets 86%
3. Anna Christie - Another hit from the Donmar and not just because of Jude Law's ultra buff body, the play and performances also had the wow factor. 85% is it's Stan rating, yep it was that close this month.
Worst play of the month, aside of The Lady of Pleasure sadly goes to another White Bear Theatre production: La Ronde. It wasn't a bad production as such just a play that is dated and needs a fresh contemporary take that was lacking here. I gave it 48%.
So that was August but what of September? Well the Autumn is chocker full of promise with so many new production but next month I'm most looking forward to the as yet untitled Mike Leigh play at the National, Faith Machine at the Royal Court and a brace of plays at the Arcola: Tell Them I Am Young and Beautiful and Phaedra's Love.
I must also mention that I'm stupidly excited about seeing the final performance of the Tennant/Tate Much Ado About Nothing on Saturday not just because I enjoyed the play but also because I've never seen a last night before and I'm expect all sorts of fun and japes.