List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. The Mentor (Vaudeville)
4. Much Ado About Nothing (Hall Barn)
5. Life of Galileo (Young Vic)
10. Killology (Royal Court)
Thank heavens for Naomi Frederick, saving us from fragile masculinity for frankly just not long enough.
Why did you go to see number two (Half a Sixpence)?
I've developed an obsession with Delfont Mackintosh's dynamic pricing and how reasonably easy it seems to be to get dayseats without having to queue just by waiting patiently for them to appear online. It's not a technique that would work for, say, The Ferryman (though I will be keeping an eye on that anyway) but the stars aligned and I thought I may as well try it for this show. Though in hindsight I should've booked a couple of seats away from the occupied ones that had clearly been sold in the traditional dayseating manner to a pair of... well, let us call them keen beans.
Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (A Midsummer Night's Dream) that you liked?
Nahhh. I'm pretty Dreamed out.
What would you give number four (Much Ado About Nothing) out of ten?
7? Generally well done with some very nice ideas but honestly a few things that just did not quite work for me.
Was there someone hot in number five (Life of Galileo)?
I'm now very much in favour of Brendan Cowell with that haircut and that beard.
What was number six (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui) about?
Fascism. "Oh isn't it funny how topical this old play about the rise of fascism is right now!" No. I'm not entirely ready to find the rise of fascism funny to be honest.
Who was your favourite actor in number seven (An Octoroon)?
Obviously the whole cast were tremendous but if I really have to pick favourites then Ken Nwosu and Celeste Dodwell.
What was your favourite bit in number eight (Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox)?
I always like it when theatre aimed at children manages to sneak in extended vibrator jokes that even some of the adults in the audience may not get. This one was done particularly charmingly.
Would you see number nine (La Strada) again?
If I only had the time, I certainly would. But I peer-pressured a friend into seeing it, and she ended up going twice, so that's nearly as good.
What was the worst thing about number ten (Killology)?
It's quite hard reconciling Royal Court Gary Owen with Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore Gary Owen, not least because he doesn't seem to include that one in his programme or website bio, leaving me to wonder if I've fallen asleep and dreamed an entire alternative reality for this playwright based on his works being good but so core-shaking that it would be nice to see him write something that's uncomplicatedly lovely for a change (an idea given a surprising amount of weight given there are only three words of dialogue repeated over and over in different permutations, which is about the only way someone who writes like I do could hope to match with someone who writes like he does). It's just an added level of mind-fuckery which is particularly hard to take considering how much his non-Jeramee plays can rattle you. (And before you ask, it is definitely the same Gary Owen, but it took some serious digging around to confirm it.)
Which was best?
Still An Octoroon, but if you want something new here, then I'll chuck in La Strada too.
Which was worst?
What was The Mentor even doing? There was an inkling of something interesting that was unfortunately drowned by cliché and dullness.
Did any make you cry?
Not this time.
Did any make you laugh?
None really stand out. I guess some must have, but not particularly memorably.
Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
I'm not even kidding here, I would make an EXCELLENT Lysander. Also Hippolyta. I get that not everyone wants to do the grimdark version of the Comedies, but even in the fluffiest production there's room for some EDGE in Hippolyta and I think I can do that. I also still need to play Beatrice (or Benedick), and I'd be ALL FOR playing Rabbit in Fantastic Mr Fox.
Which one did you have best seats for?
I got reasonably central front row seats for several of them, but I'm giving the prize to La Strada thanks to the rare treat of a front row seat in The Other Palace (a stupid name for a theatre) actually having leg room.