21st March to 6th April.
List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. At the End of Everything Else (Unicorn)
2. See How They Run (Wycombe Swan)
3. Jane Eyre Part Two (Bristol Old Vic)
4. Jane Eyre Part One (Bristol Old Vic)
5. Arcadia (Tobacco Factory)
6. The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable (Punchdrunk)
7. Urinetown (St James)
8. Versailles (Donmar)
9. The Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare's Globe)
10. The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable (Punchdrunk)
Who was the best performer in number one (At the End of Everything Else)?
It's not the sort of show where you can pick one, not least because for the vast majority of the production it was largely impossible to see any of them. Sometimes a show is based around an ensemble and that's great but you could still pick out a favourite. But sometimes a show is based around an ensemble and that's exactly what it is - a perfectly cohesive team all doing as splendidly as each other.
Why did you go to see number two (See How They Run)?
My local theatre is a bit heavily geared towards music, dance, comedy, musicals I don't overly care for, and the occasional rickety Agatha Christie touring production. I get very excited when an honest-to-goodness PLAY comes along, and I am ALL ABOUT the Reduced Height Theatre Company's reaction to being forced into the same roles over and over due to physical appearance. Even though farce is usually not something I would ordinarily be thrilled about seeing.
Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (Jane Eyre Part Two) that you liked?
What, me, remember dialogue? Never! I can remember a recurring musical motif I particularly liked, and I remember how extremely excellent Craig Edwards was as Pilot, and I remember absolutely thrilling to Melanie Marshall's singing voice, but I have never been able to remember dialogue without having it written out in front of me, and that's unlikely to change any time soon.
What would you give number four (Jane Eyre Part One) out of ten?
I liked Part Two a little better, so I'll go with 8 for Part One.
Was there someone hot in number five (Arcadia)?
Between Dorothea Myer-Bennett's hair and Dorothea Myer-Bennett's hair, I'm sure I wasn't looking at anyone else long enough to be able to answer this one thoroughly.
What was number six (The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable) about?
A desperate woman's attempt to squeeze in as many trips to that one really expensive show as possible before the major cast change and before her rehearsal schedule utterly consumes her. Or if you're looking for something a little less meta, it was tonight about lonely men who are trapped by circumstance. And whiskey. It was also about whiskey. And, indeed, one of the circumstances trapping one of the lonely men did appear to be whiskey.
Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Urinetown)?
All of them. All of them? All of them. That's a legitimate answer, yes?
What was your favourite bit in number eight (Versailles)?
Nothing that happened onstage could possibly compare with walking into the auditorium and finding a lovely little note waiting for me on my seat from a theatre buddy who'd been at the matinee performance.
Would you see number nine (The Merchant of Venice) again?
Sure! Keeping the pace up is a nifty way to deal with a problematic piece, and it was nothing short of utterly delightful to see Ognen Drangovski again. Even though walking into the yard the day after seeing The Drowned Man twice and being handed a mask made me start to question my life choices a little.
What was the worst thing about number ten (The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable)?
On a practical level, the costs are becoming prohibitive, and I (well, Mr Tuttle) got blood all over my favourite skirt (and everything else I was wearing). On an emotional level, running into that one character who scares me only for him to be MORE SCARY THAN HE HAS EVER BEEN BEFORE shook me up more than a wee bit. On an obsessive level, some of my favourite actors weren't there, and due to Punchdrunk's policy of not really keeping the world up to date with casting information there wasn't any way of knowing if they'd left or were just having a night off. This is really fishing for "worst"s though, I had a fabulous evening.
Which was best?
The Drowned Man continues to be a most satisfying evening out, even though I really need to start following some characters I've never followed before. Jane Eyre was thoroughly worth the trip to Bristol. Arcadia is absolutely the best play written in the last hundred years, if not ever. Urinetown was GREAT.
Which was worst?
Versailles was DULL AS.
Did any make you cry?
I welled up at At the End of Everything Else. There was an extended sequence of a global journey that was so beautifully done that I couldn't not. I think that was it, this time?
Did any make you laugh?
Much to my surprise, See How They Run did! As did Arcadia and Urinetown and The Merchant of Venice.
Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
I have already refused to be involved in two productions of The Merchant of Venice in recent years. I'll stick with wistfully sighing over Punchdrunk and Urinetown.
Which one did you have best seats for?
Well this prize CLEARLY goes to Urinetown! My first trip to see the show put me in one of the least delightful restricted-view seats I've ever sat in, so much so that I overcame my natural aversion to fuss and dropped an email to the box office to let them know. Their response was simply wonderful and resulted in a return trip with a MUCH clearer view. The St James has now overtaken the Duchess and proudly taken the top spot in my list of Most Consistently Delightful Customer Service In Theatres.