These are a few of our favourite theatre things: @pocketful's not so Trivial Pursuit
What the critics made of Absent Friends and will it have longevity?

That was January for Stan in theatre-land

Well what a jam-packed theatre month that was. One really interesting and exciting casting announcement was that Jonjo O'Neill is take on Richard III for the RSC this year. And then there was the news that the V&A is giving some of its play recordings an airing on the big screen. (Trevor Nunn directed, Ben Whishaw starring Hamlet was last Sunday but plenty of other gems still to come, definitely worth a look - and it's free.) 

There was also talk of Prof Snape (other Alan Rickman roles do exist) treading the West End boards once again, which really would be a treat. 

The West End also bid farewell to Jerusalem although its star Rylance has said he would be interested in revisting the role of Rooster but not for a while. The end of the production was marked by the uncermonious chopping up of Roosters caravan so it would fit in the back of a lorry.

Doing my bit for the arts I saw 11 plays and there was certainly an interesting mix although nothing quite stood out enough to get five Stan stars. 

Of my two favourites the first was Constellations at Royal Court upstairs which saw the fab Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins using beautifully nuanced performance to examine choice vs pre-destination. It finishes this Saturday but is all sold out and from stories I hear of Monday scrambles for day seats, the queue for returns is likely to be long.

And the second fav was Execution of Justice at Southwark Playhouse which used a cast of many to cleverly re-enact the trial of Dan White who murdered Harvey Milk using a verbatim script. A thought provoking and affecting production but you'll have to take my word for it as it finished last week.

My least favourites of the month were The Changeling at the Young Vic which I felt was trying a little too hard to be contemporary and symbolic for my liking but seems to be getting some quite good reviews so don't take my word for it. It runs until February 25. And The Tempest at the White Bear which had a very irritating Miranda.

February is not going to be quite so jam packed (there are fewer days for a start) but I'm already excited about The Way of the World at the Sheffield Crucible and In Basildon at the Royal Court.