Finally the South Downs/Browning version review
Straining to see The River Line

That was September - theatre round up

After the August lull in theatre-land, September saw new plays opening all over the West End and beyond. Mike Leigh returned to the West End with a new play which wasn't given a title until the week before. Ralph Fiennes was probably the biggest name to step onto the boards, this time as Prospero in The Tempest.

September saw me travelling to Chichester for the first time (what a curious place that is) and I also saw Kathryn Hunter for the first time - a complete star. I also went to my first last night and quite a spectacular one it was too: Much Ado About Nothing* at the Wyndhams complete with buggy crashes and extra face slapping (the actors not me getting annoyed with sweet wrapper rustling).

Three plays broke the five star barrier and the bottom spot? Well read on...

1. When Did You Last See My Mother, Trafalgar Studios 84% 

Great play and a brilliant showcase for the talented Harry Melling, who finally gets a lead role.

2. Di & Viv & Rose, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs 83%

There have been so many new plays that have tried to nail down the big, big issues, this was a breath of fresh air for having friendship at its heart and as a result was warm and funny.

3. Tell Them That I Am Young And Beautiful, Arcola 80%

Theatre pared back to simple story telling. Had me rapt. (And I got to 'buy' a coconut from Kathryn Hunter.)

So those were the creme de la creme but which play was a little bit sour? Well it's the third time this year the National Theatre has staged my least favourite play of the month and this time the honour goes to The Kitchen which I gave 53%. It earned points for spectacle and the quality of the production but fell down by putting all its eggs in the first half basket.

* Much Ado isn't included in September's scores as this was a repeat viewing.