List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. Holy Warriors (Shakespeare's Globe)
2. Romeo and Juliet (Avant Garde)
3. King Lear (Shakespeare's Globe)
4. Muse of Fire (Shakespeare's Globe)
5. Richard III (Trafalgar Studios)
6. Skylight (Wyndham's)
7. The Crucible (Old Vic)
8. Macbeth (RIFT)
9. The Nether (Royal Court)
10. Hotel (National; AFKAS)
Although the script was heavily biased in favour of giving John Hopkins all the best lines, which he delivered with delightful aplomb, I am going to give this one to Sirine Saba, who has been an absolute joy this season.
Why did you go to see number two (Romeo and Juliet)?
I had already booked two shows for this day featuring former cast members of The Drowned Man. When the opportunity to book a third presented itself, I really truly couldn't resist. I'm sure I'll get over it one day, but today is not that day.
Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (King Lear) that you liked?
Basically I'm just really grateful to the lines "By the kind gods, 'tis most ignobly done to pluck me by the beard" and "Goneril, with a white beard", because they have led FINALLY to the return of John Stahl's beard! It's not yet as magnificent as it has been, but by jiminy it's much more appreciated than the naked chin he's been sporting for the RSC in recent years.
What would you give number four (Muse of Fire) out of ten?
8! I enjoyed it hugely.
Was there someone hot in number five (Richard III)?
I would be lying if I didn't confess to being distracted by Richmond's marvellous beard, fabulous socks, superb stage presence, and delightful sandwich eating for quite a worryingly large portion of the play. Philip Cumbus is basically magical.
What was number six (Skylight) about?
Talking and cooking. Self-absorption. Unhealthy relationships.
Who was your favourite actor in number seven (The Crucible)?
Oh, it's a toss-up between William Gaunt and Adrian Schiller. Which, to be honest, I could probably have predicted in advance if I hadn't STILL been reeling from the news of the running time.
What was your favourite bit in number eight (Macbeth)?
Well, the Macduff family murder was extremely chilling and very well done, with the scene starting with Lady Macduff in the kitchen having a shouted conversation with the very young son in the bedroom. It then turned out that the son was already dead and she'd been having this conversation with a witch, who then proceeded to suffocate her with a teddy bear. Buuuuuuuuut this scene was slightly pipped to the post of "favourite bit" by one of my fellow audience members getting a bit over-excited about the prospect of having to hide, and promptly (and prematurely) disguising himself as a sofa. Wine may have been consumed by this point. It was pretty hilarious.
Would you see number nine (The Nether) again?
No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Brilliant and horrible all at once. I may be thinking about it for a long time, I'll be reading the playtext over and over again, but I may never need to see it again.
What was the worst thing about number ten (Hotel)?
It just didn't really know what it was doing, did it? Which made it extremely tedious, in spite of the delightful running time.
Which was best?
Difficult to call, but I'm going with The Nether.
Which was worst?
Hotel, I reckon. I just didn't like it.
Did any make you cry?
I have a lot of Giles Corey feelings, so The Crucible had a good bash, and there were a couple of moments in The Nether, but it's not the weepiest batch of plays ever.
Did any make you laugh?
I tell you, chaps, I have never laughed so much at Romeo and Juliet in my LIFE. There were moments in other plays, but it was mostly Romeo and Juliet of this lot.
Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
I'm currently having a break from performing. It is very restful. I'm not going to undo all the resting's hard work by contemplating performing again.
Which one did you have best seats for?
Bearing in mind I only really had a seat for 50% of 'em, I think I'll go with Hotel.