110+ plays and my first visit to the Edinburgh Fringe (15 plays in 6 days), 2018 was quite a year...
Magic and memorable moments:
Feeling part of the set: Sitting on a bean bag on the carpet in Patsy Ferran's 'bedroom' for My Mum's a Twat at the Royal Court (and she said hello to me).
Audience reaction #1: The audience gasping at the 'snap' during a scene in the RSC's Julius Caesar where a little boy's neck 'was broken’. Obviously, no child was harmed etc.
Audience reaction #2: Finding myself stood up singing Amazing Grace with the entire audience at the Royal Court during 'Notes From The Field'.
Actor interaction: Kia Charles winking at me and grinning during Quiz, Noel Coward Theatre (benefits of on-stage seating).
Surreal moment #1: Alex Hassell introducing himself to me and Poly was a bit surreal (stopped myself from blurting out 'I know, I saw you play Prince Hal/Henry V etc.)
But what made it more surreal is that we were in a church hall in Pimlico and after the meet and greet we sat in a circle to watch and sometimes be part of a production of Macbeth.
It was part of the wonderful surreal experience of the fringe where actors, theatre-makers and audience all seem to muck in together.
It's rude to stare but...If I say the 'washing in the sink scene' in The York Realist at the Donmar Warehouse you know what I mean right or were you sat on the wrong side of the stage?
Best flirtation/sexiest play - I've already mentioned the kitchen sink moment but The York Realist also has to take the award for on stage flirtation.
It was all in the looks between Ben Batt and Jonathan Bailey not even a kiss was shared.
Best entrance - Lia Williams in Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Donmar Warehouse, sweeps on to the stage wearing red and with an electric magnetism that had everyone immediately eating out of her hand.
Lost its shine award - The Bridge Theatre has had its first full year and kicked off in style with Julius Caesar and My Name is Lucy Barton.
However, then we had Nightfall, which was so 'meh' I couldn't be bothered to review it, Allelujah which had me ducking out at the interval and the disappointing A Very, Very, Very Dark Matter.
Best audience experience - Nine Night at the National Theatre was superb and attracted a diverse and engaged audience that was a delight to be part of.
You were never in any doubt how the play was making people feel and that is how theatre should be.
Even the two ladies sat whispering well-known phrases to each other was delightful.
An honourable mention should also go to the RSC's Hamlet at the Hackney Empire where a group of teenagers were so swept up in what had happened they spontaneously got up and danced with the drummers at the end.
Most emotional watch - Amadeus always got me a bit teary but A Monster Calls at the Old Vic was another level. I had to walk around for a bit afterwards to compose myself.
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