Theatre Ratings 2017

Choice to favour small, local companies and avoid the big players after some horrors last year paid off- lots of entertainment and cheaper on the pocket. Trips to the TKTS booth in Leicester Square have also been fruitful.

Ruthlessly leaving at the interval when I don’t like it, or earlier if I can do so without disturbing anyone else, is also a winner.


The Almeida Hamlet is absolutely unforgettable and there have been lots of other highs


Obsession at the National, awful


My hope for a revival of Lettice and Lovage materialised but I managed to miss it – too much work. I have also failed to book tickets for King Lear with Ian Mckellen and it’s sold out. Bother! Otherwise Obsession at the Barbican-abysmal.


And finally, can someone please cast Peter Capaldi as Lear with Clara (I can’t remember her name!) as Cordelia?


(*Full reviews on my blog)                        11/10

Hamlet *                               Almeida & West End                   Andrew Scott              Icke

Prism*                                     Hampstead                                 Robert Lindsay


Imperium I & 2                       RSC Stratford

Coriolanus                                RSC Stratford

Julius Caesar                            RSC Barbican

Twilight Zone                          Almeida

(Highly entertaining, innovative, witty and totally bonkers)

Richard III*                              Arcola                                            Greg Hicks                 Ergen

Mary Stuart *                           Almeida (x2)                                                                     Icke

Much Ado About Nothing*  RSC, Haymarket                                                          Luscombe

Love’s Labour’s Lost*              RSC, Haymarket                                                          Luscombe

All the Angels*                         Wanamaker (Globe)                                                  Munby

The Ferryman                         West End transfer                                                      Mendes


Persuasion                              Royal Exchange, Manchester                                     James

(Deductions for physically pushing unwanted speakers off stage too many times and changing Fanny’s name to Felicity)

Don Juan in Soho*                 Wyndhams (x2)                            David Tennant      Marber

Deduction for lame choreography


Ink                                       Almeida                                                                                Goold

(Deduction for too much information about physical printing process)

Limehouse                           Donmar                                                                              Findlay

My Brilliant Friend               Rose, Kingston                            Niamh Cusack        Melly Still

(Not keen on bearded toddler or doll puppetry. Thoroughly entertaining otherwise and very clever)

Norman Conquests               Chichester

(Excellent, witty production with brilliant comic performances)

Cell Mates                                Hampstead                                    Geoffrey Streatfeild

(Earnest, lots of words, very intelligent night out)

Edward II                               Tristan Bates

Eyewatering and brilliant


Young Marx                         Bridge Theatre                             Rory Kinnear

Not as funny as I would have liked but talented cast, well staged

Albion                                   Almeida

Massive deductions for political sledgehammer re Brexit and masturbation scene in garden in rain with ashes of dead husband plus consequent pregnancy (yes, really) BUT probably the acting performance of the year from incandescent Victoria Hamilton was worth about 207 points.

Comedy about a Bank Robbery The Criterion

Lots of funny bits, great singing, slightly too long and I didn’t like the rude bits….


Christmas Carol               RSC Stratford

Socialist Worker version of Dickens tale. All a bit miserable especially Scrooge with dementia at the end.

The Mentor                          Vaudeville                 F. Murray Abraham

Odd little play, short and a bit creepy.

Dessert                                 Southwark                                                                   Trevor Nunn

Entertaining and good value for money at £20, if a daft play. Fabulous central performance by Stephen Hagan. Chopping off the very daft last 15 minutes would have improved the rating.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf   Pinter                                      Imelda Staunton

Who’d stay married to Dolores Umbridge?

Rosencrantz & Guildernstern   Old Vic                                          Harry Potter

(Great performances; ever clever/dull play)

The Tempest                        RSC Barbican            Simon Russell-Beale   Gregory Doran

(Incongruous marriage of dated direction & hi-tech special effects. Left early.)

Gloria                                   Hampstead                                   Colin Morgan

Odd- could work with a re-write. Morgan was brilliant.  Note to director -putting mics on actors, who then screech, is hard on the ears.


Salome                                National

(Marks for the jaw-droppingly beautiful opening scene- best thing I have ever seen. Terrible play though and very hard on the ears. Escaped before interval.)

The Treatment                          Almeida                                                                           Turner

A terrible waste of some very good actors. A play about the Sexploitation by the film industry of a real life story, is not best served by a silly, Sexploitative play. Escaped at the interval.

Titus Andronicus            RSC Barbican

Silly, gimmicky production, lacking in any kind of logic and marred by a particularly graphic rape scene. One of my favourite plays, what a shame!


Little Matchgirl               Globe

Soul-destroyingly miserable version of beautiful tale- political sledgehammer combined with dreary music.


Obsession                             Barbican               Jude Law

(Another high sex, high shock waste of audience’s time and money.  Comically bad except for Jude Law. If only there had been an interval, I would have run away)


One thought on “Theatre Ratings 2017

  1. As your companion at over half these productions I concur absolutely. Still can’t get over how utterly rancid Obsession was. It now seems like a bad dream.


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