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Highlights/ Lowlights Of 2012.

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#31 Lynette


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Posted 22 December 2012 - 05:12 PM

Welcome Ruperto. Take the kids to Matilda as soon as they are old enough, say about 5+ and can sit still ish.  I reckon it will be on for yonks.

#32 xanderl


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Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:33 AM

Highlights -

Backbeat (I still don't understand why this flopped!)
Einstein on the Beach (I saw the Bianca Jagger-free version)
Cymbeline (Barbican)
Richard III (Rylance, Globe)
Three Sisters (Old Vic)
In the Republic of Happiness
Death of Klinghoffer (ENO)
Globe to Globe


Travelling Light
Last of the Haussmans
Scenes from an Execution
Damned by Despair
Kiss Me Kate

There's a common theme to 4 out of 5 of my lowlights so Hytner gets a "Must Do Better" in my end of year report.
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#33 Abby


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Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:14 AM

View PostLatecomer, on 22 December 2012 - 12:05 PM, said:

It just seemed very uncertain what is was trying to do exactly - would have liked them to take more risks really. My review is here from Oxford dates...no spoliers! The set is pretty!

Thanks, that's a really interesting review - think it exactly sums up where Kneehigh go wrong  when they get it wrong. Oh well, it was only £12 so I'll just focus on enjoying the good bits!

#34 Reich


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Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:18 AM

Ho ho ho Ruperto and Happy Christmas to you and everyone :-)

Broadway has been very good to me. But then, I've been very good to broadway.

#35 Nicholas


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Posted 23 December 2012 - 01:08 PM

Highlights:  Too many to mention without boring people, but I loved Written on the Heart and I think too few people did, so I'm going to single that out, even if it's not actually my play of the year.  I thought it was engaging, tender and challenging whilst feeling effortless and far from worthy.  Too few people saw it and no-one's singled it out here, so I'm going to hold that up as my highlight of 2012, even if it's just in the top ten of the year.  The Master and Margarita is the play that's haunted my thoughts most and just blew me away completely.  All That Fall was remarkable.  Gatz was an experience I'll treasure.  Cillian Murphy and Enda Walsh worked wonders together.  Constellations was beautiful.  These I'd single out as extraordinary evenings, though plenty more could be mentioned and plenty more were perhaps better.  And, of course, joining the WOS board.

Lowlights: The King's Speech.  A terrible, terrible play, made all the worse by the knowledge that nothing creative had gone into it but instead it was motivated by producers with money signs in their eyes.  Had it just been a play and not a film first I think it might be my lowlight simply as it was a tedious, bland and banal evening with nothing to charm or excite or engage - as a play it didn't engage emotionally or intellectually or stimulate me in any way - but as it was put on stage mainly to ride the wave of the film's success and bring audiences in I felt my soul dying.  I've left plenty of plays thinking "This is terrible", but very few thinking "I need to see a priest and confess my sins".  I contributed (mercifully not much) to this tripe that existed only to place piles of money on tables.  I can remember whilst watching thinking "I've seen this all before, there's not even any artistry behind it, I've seen those performances but closer and better, I've seen those scenes but with much greater control, I've heard these lines delivered in a far more authentic way and nothing, nothing, nothing justifies this existing bar the fact it will make money.  And I have given it money."  Setting the last speech to Nimrod, for God's sake, was only marginally better to setting it to Land of Hope and Glory or The Dam Busters Theme; it was a terrible unartistic and manipulative way to engage the audience's prejudices.  And that was one of few points where it wasn't just a carbon copy of the film.  It did make you appreciate why Tom Hooper deserved the Oscar for direction, though.  Give me the Travelling Lights of this world - bland and undemanding, yes, but well-intentioned and with something between its ears, as it were - over the King's Speeches any day.  In fact, its closing was a highlight of my year.  Other than that it's been quite a good year.  I suppose my only other lowlight would be two Uncle Vanyas within a week both missing the marks.  But I've got to say 2012 has been a sterling year.

#36 xanderl


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Posted 23 December 2012 - 01:23 PM

Agree with you on Written on the Heart - think I might have seen it in 2011 though.

I think you need to stop sitting on the fence and say what you really thought of The King's Speech :P
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#37 fringefan


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Posted 23 December 2012 - 02:16 PM

I've no idea how to compare or rate fairly all the plays/shows/musicals I've seen this year, since they've included new plays and musicals in tiny fringe venues; revivals of classic plays and musicals in locations large and small; lots of touring productions in theatres which tend to house these and new plays in more prominent places such as the NT, Almeida, Royal Court, etc.  So I've decided to highlight those which I found particularly thought-provoking or enjoyable and others on which I felt I'd wasted my time and money, even if mine was a minority view.

Enjoyable and/or thought-provoking:

Our New Girl (Bush)
Lucky Stiff (Landor)
Vera, Vera, Vera (Royal Court Upstairs)
Written On The Heart (RSC @ Duchess)
Three Kingdoms (Lyric Hammersmith)
Chariots Of Fire (Hampstead)
A Marvellous Year For Plums (CFT)
The Importance Of Being Earnest - The Musical (Windsor)
Dandy Dick (Richmond)
Cornelius (Finborough)
Soul Sister (Savoy)
Hindle Wakes (Finborough)
This House (NT)
The Busy Body (Southwark Playhouse)
Bully Boy (St James)
You Can Still Make A Killing (Southwark Playhouse)
Daddy Long Legs (St James)
Blue/Orange (Richmond)
NSFW (Royal Court)
The Effect (NT)

Wish I Hadn't Wasted My Time/What Was All The Fuss About?:

Travelling Light (NT)
Farewell To The Theatre (Hampstead)
Filumena (Almeida)
Play Without Words (Sadlers Wells)
Mack And Mabel (Southwark Playhouse)
The Judas Kiss (Hampstead)
Victor/Victoria (Southwark Playhouse)
Ignorance (Hampstead Studio)

#38 Lynette


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Posted 23 December 2012 - 03:54 PM

I liked Written on the Heart. It just didn't fulfil a West End brief. Would have gone ok in Cottesloe or the Almeida. I saw it at the Swan Stratford where they used the upsy downsy facility but a small intimate venue would be better.

#39 Latecomer


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Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:08 PM

Filumena....so standout that I had forgotten all about it!

#40 foxa


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Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:35 PM

Richard II (Donmar)
Henry V (Globe)
King Lear (Almeida)
The Effect (National Theatre)
Curious Incident (National Theatre)
The River (Royal Court)

Bingo (Young Vic)
Comedy of Errors (National Theatre)
Antigone (NT)
Last of the Haussmans (National Theatre)
A Doll's House (Young Vic)

The Physicists (Donmar)
Haunted Child (Royal Court)
Three Sisters (Young Vic)

Looking at this list, I see how conservative my theatre-going has been this year.  New Year's resolution - more adventure in 2013.

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