10 plays from the past 10 years that stand out - for a variety of reasons (not necessarily overly worthy ones)
Here is a snapshot of my favourite theatre from the past 10 years. I say 'favourite', I've tried not to overthink it, these are simply the plays that stand out most in my memory, the ones I talk about if people ask.
The list is not about plays that broke new ground or changed the theatre landscape - there are plenty of those lists around already - rather these plays just had something in them that I remember fondly.
To say that it has been tough narrowing it down to 10 is an understatement but I get another go next year because my blog is 10 in April. (There, I spoilt the surprise.)
In no particular order (the links are through to my reviews):
This is a play that gets talked about in 'theatre circles' a lot. It had a uniformly standout cast and I can still remember Nancy Carroll's snot crying.
But it has a particularly special place in my memory for being the play which turned Benedict Cumberbatch into 'one to watch' for me.
I'd seen him plenty on TV but this catapulted him from jobbing actor to leading man potential in my eyes.
This was before Sherlock hit the screens and as a result, means I can smugly say 'well I've been a fan since before he played Holmes'.
2. Hamlet, Stratford and Hackney Empire
I've seen a lot of Hamlets, more than one a year, and while technically I did see Ben Whishaw's Hamlet for the first time in 2010, it was a recording rather than the live performance so it doesn't count.
Paapa Essiedu's Hamlet for the RSC was the first, since Whishaw's, where I really felt he was a student and acting his age, he was also the most likeable which made the play all the more tragic.
Setting the play in an African country and having Rosencrantz & Guildenstern as 2 of only 3 white characters was also genius because it put them out of their depth in so many more interesting ways.
When I saw it for the second time, in Hackney, a group of teenagers were so swept up in it they leapt up to dance at the end. I don't think there is higher praise than that really.
It's the play in which director Jamie Lloyd had James McAvoy unicycling around the stage wearing just his pants. Have no idea why that sticks out in my mind. Ahem.
The play was brilliantly bonkers too. Wish I could see it again.