11th January to 8th February.
List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. Absent Friends (Harold Pinter)
2. The Devil and Mister Punch (Barbican)
3. Richard II (Donmar Warehouse)
4. King John (Union)
5. Constellations (Royal Court)
6. The Pitchfork Disney (Arcola)
7. Backbeat (Duke of York's)
8. The Ladykillers (Gielgud)
9. Lovesong (Lyric Hammersmith)
10. Reasons to Be Pretty (Almeida)
Who was the best performer in number one (Absent Friends)?
They were all rather good. I'm going with Katherine Parkinson though.
Why did you go to see number two (The Devil and Mister Punch)?
I really couldn't say. I'm not entirely sure I chose to see it, as such. Maybe I just went to sleep one evening and dreamed the whole thing.
Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (Richard II) that you liked?
This question needs to always be about Shakespeare (when it's not about shows with no dialogue whatsoever). For this one, though Richard II contains a lot of beautiful uses of language, I am going with John of Gaunt's "That blood already, like the pelican, Hast thou tapp'd out and drunkenly caroused". I love learning about the strange things people believed hundreds of years ago, and vampire pelicans is possibly one of the greatest mental images ever.
What would you give number four (King John) out of ten?
I think I'm going with a 7. It's not one of the more well-known or well-written plays, but I love it anyway, and thought this was a suitably entertaining production.
Was there someone hot in number five (Constellations)?
There were only two people in Constellations. I don't think it's fair to name one without naming the other in a cast this small. So Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins.
What was number six (The Pitchfork Disney) about?
Fear, fantasy, and making the audience crave chocolate like NOTHING ON EARTH.
Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Backbeat)?
I'm going with Ruta Gedmintas. And not just because she is exceptionally pretty.
What was your favourite bit in number eight (The Ladykillers)?
It wasn't the most overwhelming production ever, but I rather enjoyed the scene when Major Courtney believed he was alone in the house. It is fortunate for this production that it is blessed with superlative actors.
Would you see number nine (Lovesong) again?
Probably not, actually. It was lovely, but once was enough. Especially as Constellations managed to take certain aspects of the play and do them even better.
What was the worst thing about number ten (Reasons to Be Pretty)?
I'm unfairly biased against the works of Neil LaBute. At best, they're cold. At worst, they're irrevocably offensive. Fortunately, this was just one of the colder ones. At least it wasn't The Wicker Man.
Which was best?
Richard II and Constellations.
Which was worst?
I'm sorry to say it, but The Ladykillers would have been a complete disappointment without such a superb cast.
Did any make you cry?
Yes. Absent Friends (I always weep at Ayckbourn), Constellations, and Lovesong. And maybe Backbeat a tiny little bit.
Did any make you laugh?
Yeah. Let's assume they all did. Apart from Richard II, which the rest of the audience seemed to think was a Comedy.
Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
Any of the ladies (or the Bastard) in King John. And I WILL direct Richard II one day.
Which one did you have best seats for?
My seat for The Ladykillers was rather good. It was back in row P of the stalls, but the set's so intense that sitting too close would've been overwhelming.