Rev Stan's 2011 theatre review - the good and the bad lists
The revised Richard II review or how Eddie made me cry on New Year's Eve

The most important theatre awards (after the Whingies*): The StOliviers 2011

That's the sound of me jumping on the awards bandwagon again and lets face it the only ones I'll ever wholly agree with are my own. So here is my attempt to honour (and dishonour) the theatre world for it's work and effort (or lack of it) in 2011...

The 'Ooo hello' moment award:

Jude-law-anna-christie-prodution-photosJude Law, Anna Christie

Boat in a storm. A drenched Jude Law struggles aboard and then immediately takes his top off revealing a torso so buff I had to stifle a gasp. I know I'm not alone in this (click on pic for full size). 

Highly commended: The shirt-ripping Oliver Rix and Alex Hassell in Cardenio dubbed Phwoar Cardenio here at the vicarage.

The keeping fake blood manufacturers in business award

Propeller for Richard III

Propeller leads the way when it comes to gore in fact they laugh in the face of dry stabs or armpit stabs. And they don't just stab, they chop and saw and spray, spray, spray stage blood by the bucket loads. 

The upstaged award

The Ladykillers, Gielgud Theatre

When you urge people to go and see a play because the set and what is does is amazing, it does stop and make you think.

The living on a different planet:

Royal Court theatre

Hello marketing/ticket sales/admin people at the Royal Court *waves*. In the world of real people, working normal jobs (that's jobs that start at 9 just in case you weren't aware) we don't reveal details of our new season online at 7am and then put the tickets on sale at 9am as this leaves only 2 hours to organise friends and suitable dates at a time when you are getting ready and going to work. 

The most annoying audience award:

First night of Much Ado About Nothing with David Tennant and Catherine Tate

Nothing kills the humour in a play more quickly for me than squeeing fans laughing hysterically at the slightest little thing. Thank goodness things calmed down during subsequent performances.

The not knowing quite where to look award:


Having to split this two ways, well three if you count the fact that there are two actors that qualify in Frankenstein. So firstly, who didn't feel slightly uncomfortable watching the Cumberbatch and/or JLM squirming around on stage stark b*llock naked (to put it delicately) for 20 minutes at the beginning of Frankenstein, particularly if you were sat on the front rows.

And similarly who didn't think about the view front row audience members would get when putting young cast members in micro-mini's and making them stand at the front of the stage in Jumpy at the Royal Court? 

The PolyG favourite curtain call moment (because Poly loves curtain call moments)

Pitman Painters, Duchess Theatre

Can't remember which actor it was but he leaned towards Trevor Fox as they were turning to leave the stage after a rapturous applause and was seen the mouthing the words: 'You were rubbish though'. Actors, such wags.

Stan's least favourite theatre award

The Globe

I've already whinged about the Lyttleton for having the most uncomfortable and restricted view second and third row stalls seats in theatre land but at least I can still be tempted back to see plays there. It's going to take Mark Rylance to get me to The Globe again after my first outing there in 2011.

For some it's their favourite theatre, quirky and charming. For me the seats are uncomfortable and cramped (I don't stand for three hours) it inevitably gets cold, the lighting is only ever right for a portion of the performance and the sounds of planes and London generally distracting.

Oh and there are far too many tourists. Yes I'm a snob on such matters. I'm not 14 any more I don't want to experience Shakespeare or a night at the theatre as if I was living in the 16th century. I want to sit in a theatre with 21st century mod-cons or 20th century mod-cons will do the old theatres.

The notable by their absence award

Ben Whishaw

The Evening Standard included him in its 'most influential people in theatre' list but he hasn't actually trod a British theatre board since 2009 or a theatre board anywhere since Spring 2010. Seeing plays doesn't count, so come on Mr W you must surely have had your fill of work in front of the camera let 2012 be the year you come back to theatreland.

New discoveries in 2011: Arcola and Tricycle Theatres, Propeller Theatre Company, Richard Clothier, Antony Sher, Mark Rylance and Kathryn Hunter

 * The Whingies can be found over on the West End Whingers blog