That was January in London theatre - news, views and celeb spots
Start of what might become a thing, let me know what you think:
* RSC finished their annual winter residency at the Barbican with the RII-HV tetralogy, four plays in three days for those with the stamina, and a triumphant return to the role of Richard II from David Tennant.
* Game of Throne’s star (and hottie) Kit Harington was rumoured then confirmed as taking the lead in Jamie Lloyd’s production of Dr Faustus. Flagged as a 'return' to the West End I was more surprised that I'd forgotten I'd seen him in War Horse and Posh (I've even dug out the production pictures for Posh and I still can't remember him in it, sorry Kit). But a debate was sparked by Harington casually mentioning in an interview that a woman would be playing Mephistopheles, now who could/should that be?
* The Vault Festival kicked off and if you haven’t yet been to the cavernous warren under Waterloo Station it is worth it for the atmosphere alone - it’s like discovering some secret theatre society.
* Hot on the heels of the Kit announcement, Dominic Cooper graced headlines with the announcement that he is to star in The Libertine. I still have the image in my head of him looking rather hot in combat trousers and a black vest in Phedre at the National back in 2009.
* Ralph Fiennes proved himself a man of no short play once again (does he have it in his contract that he doesn't get out of bed for anything with a run time under two and a half hours?). An early preview of The Master Builder at the Old Vic ran to more than 3 hours - the two intervals were quite long, presumably because they were having problems with the set change so I'm sure this will come down to nearer the 2 hrs 45 running time advertised on the website.
* Missed Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the National this week which I’m already regretting going by the enthusiastic tweets I've seen. I’m blaming The Master Builder, such a late night at the beginning of the week, I was just too tired to sit through another 2hr 45 play.
Celeb spot corner: Leo Bill, Robert Lindsay and Gary Lineker (what a handsome man he is) watching Herons at the Lyric. And not quite theatre but I’m mentioning it because I’m a bit of a fan girl: Natalie Dormer at the Digital Theatre screening of True West, she's a very pretty lady.
...And three things I'm particularly excited about seeing in February: Uncle Vanya at the Almeida, Rupert Goold seems very excited about it if his tweets are anything to go by; Hand To God just because it's got Harry Melling and a hand puppet in it and it sounds a bit mental and Complicite's Encounter at the Barbican because it's Simon McBurney.