The Halfway Point

It’s my birthday. Hurrah! It also marks the point exactly halfway through the year, so now seems as good a time as any to look back at the last 6 months of theatre.  Somehow, even having seen 50 shows in 6 months, I am still (relatively) financially solvent. So here are my monthly highlights:

JANUARY
Taken at Midnight – Theatre Royal, Haymarket
Penelope Wilton was exceptional in the lead role as Irmgard, as she fiercely sought justice and the release of her son, Hans Litten. Her final words, delivered with such tenacity, haunted me for days after:

“I started screaming a long time ago. I’m screaming now. I don’t think I’m even half way through, yet.”

Taken at Midnight – Theatre Royal, Haymarket

FEBRUARY
The Wasp – Hampstead Theatre Downstairs
Simply an excellent piece of writing by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm which constantly pulled the rug from under you with clever twists and turns in the plot. You can see my full review here.

MARCH
Radiant Vermin – Soho Theatre
A blistering performance and a really witty satire on greed and the housing market, delivered at breakneck speed. A real tour de force. You can see my full review here.

Deposit – Hampstead Theatre Downstairs
I didn’t get time to write a review of this one, but another housing market play which explores the claustrophobia as two couples move into a one-bedroom flat for a year while they save up for a deposit. What will give first? Their relationships, their friendship or the dream of owning a property? Beautiful writing that really cuts to the bone.

Deposit – Hampstead Theatre Downstairs

APRIL
A Level Playing Field – Jermyn Street Theatre
Wickedly funny with a strong young cast, we see how a bunch of kids cope (and don’t cope) with the pressures of exams and the threat of failure. You can see my full review here.

The Money – Battersea Arts Centre
A really clever and unpredictable piece exploring the value of money – but you have just two hours to reach a unanimous agreement on how best to spend it (or it rolls over to the next group). As a result, I will be spending mine this coming weekend. You can see my full review here.

MAY
World Factory – Young Vic
A fascinating piece of game-theatre which throws audiences into the cut-throat business of running a Chinese garment factory. Every decision you make has a consequence, affecting the lives of your fictional workers. You will never look at your clothes in the same way again. You can see my full review here.

JUNE
buckets – Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond
Another one I sadly didn’t get time to review, but a stunning and emotional little one-act play about seizing the day with both hands and living as if your life depended on it. 25 little moments that will make you evaluate your own life and happiness. Definitely didn’t cry at the end. Just something in my eye.

buckets – Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond

Teddy – Southwark Playhouse
Another one I wish I’d had time to review. Stepping into the dingy gloom of Southwark Playhouse, it’s like being hurled back to grubby bomb-scarred streets of South London. Filled with explosive energy and an infectious foot-tapping 1950s-inspired original score, Teddy and Josie capture the birth of the teenager and show us what it is to be young and reckless.

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