Theatre related stuff on TV and Radio May 7 - 13
Derry's city of culture 2013 events are shaping up nicely

Stan's theatre best and worst of in far

Wow we are over four months (and 32 plays) into the year already, how did that happen?

Anyway, as I've had a wee break away from theatre-going to feed my other addiction - theme parks - I thought it would be a good time to take stock of what's been good and bad in the first four months of the year. 

Four plays earned five star reviews but, as usual, I've also given everything a rating out of 100:

Misterman, National Theatre, 86%

Cillian Murphy commands the stage in breathtaking fashion for this one man show. Want desperately to see it again

Long Day's Journey Into the Night, Apollo Theatre, 85%

It's a devastating play done devastatingly well and it haunts you for days afterwards.

Mercury Fur, Old Red Lion Theatre  84%

Revived my faith in pub theatre in spectacular style. Well deserved transfer to the Trafalgar Studios this month - go and see it.

Tis Pity She's a Whore, Barbican 82%

My first five star review of the year, Cheek By Jowl take Jacobean tragedy by the scruff of the neck, slap it about a bit and drop it in a contemporary bedroom setting. Tracey Emin's My Bed ain't got nothing on this.

And the not so good. Well there is combination of failures to amuse in this category. They all scraped three stars or 40% but the worst offender because there is no excuse for a theatre of this calibre is Making Noise Quietly at the Donmar

I'm still aghast that it's manage to get five, yes five, four star reviews from the critics. It is just dull, dull, dull and memorable only for a rather tasty looking picnic. The Donmar had a play in my 'worst of' lists in 2011 and at the moment this is looking good as a contender.

The other dud and one that I had to be reminded of as I'd wiped it from my memory was The Shallow End at Southwark Playhouse. Inexplicable sex scenes, contrived, dated and it just took too long to get to decent stuff in the last act.