List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. Ugly Lies the Bone (National; Lyttelton)
3. Twelfth Night (National; Olivier)
4. Babe the Sheep Pig (Wycombe Swan)
7. Running Wild (Wycombe Swan)
8. A Midsummer Night's Dream (Young Vic)
Kate Fleetwood. I do try and look for less obvious best performers in things, but sometimes the writer really just does give the bulk of everything to the central character and not a lot else to the rest of them.
Why did you go to see number two (The Taming of the Shrew)?
It's the Globe. It's a fiver. It's a chance to see a silly production with a reasonable running time.
Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (Twelfth Night) that you liked?
I know it's sort of the obvious one to go for, but I'm VERY much going with "I'll be revenged on the whole pack of you", as we the audience were made to feel that we were ENTIRELY complicit in the plot against Malvolia, but also I have never felt so desperate to see Twelfth Night 2: Malvolio's Revenge in my LIFE. You can write off the idea of casting women in traditionally male roles as a gimmick, but with the likes of Future Dame Tamsin Greig bringing more to that single line reading than all my previous Malvolios have brought to the entire play put together, it is all too clearly both a necessary and a brilliant gimmick.
What would you give number four (Babe the Sheep Pig) out of ten?
8. It was very charming and I was very charmed.
Was there someone hot in number five (Roman Tragedies)?
Apart from the obvious (Eelco Smits) and the slightly less obvious (HANS KESTING), I also wouldn't kick Alwin Pulinckx out of bed for eating crisps.
What was number six (Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore) about?
Three sweetly codependent characters on an emotionally charged trip to the beach, also there was dancing and I may not have been the target audience but I was delighted to be invited to join in nevertheless.
Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Running Wild)?
OONA. I mean, I know, but heavens to BETSY that's one of the most beautiful puppets I've ever seen in my LIFE.
What was your favourite bit in number eight (A Midsummer Night's Dream)?
I was a BIG fan of the running time, fo sho. Also Pyramus and Thisbe was whackadoodle without being laboured, and then the entire thing completely unravelled at the end and I ADORED it.
Would you see number nine (Hamlet) again?
I'd heard such great things about the production that I spent a large portion of the running time wondering what I was missing out on as there wasn't really a lot that stood it apart from any other modern-dress surveillance-state Hamlet for me. Then it moved on to the third part, which blew me away, and I'd DEFINITELY watch that part again and again and again, but I would have to think for a few minutes before committing to the entire run time again.
What was the worst thing about number ten (Othello)?
I've said it before and I'll say it again - you can start at 8pm, OR you can have a 3+ hour running time. If you do both, and I then have a two hour drive home followed by a four hour Hamlet the next day, then it doesn't matter how intensely I respond to your production, there'll always be at least a little resentment harboured. (Also I don't know who keeps authorising the closure of the Clifton Observatory but I WILL get in there one day, I WILL.)
Which was best?
I've gone from no Shakespeares at all this year to eight in the space of about two weeks, but considering how good they've mostly been I don't mind the sudden glut at all. I also LOVED Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore.
Did any make you cry?
I have Shrew issues. Twelfth Night and Othello got me too, especially the latter.
Did any make you laugh?
Mostly it was probably Twelfth Night and Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore.
Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
Olivia is still in my top five but I could play pretty much any role in Twelfth Night and be satisfied. I also really identify with Hartleby (though dress more like Oooglemore).
Which one did you have best seats for?
My seat for Running Wild would have been the best, except I was surrounded by ten year olds so thought I ought to slouch so as not to deprive any of the view. I also booked a seat for Roman Tragedies that was SO good that I gave some serious consideration to the idea of not bothering going on stage at all and just staying put for the whole six hours.