List the last 10 things you saw at the theatre in order:
1. The Convert (Young Vic)
5. Snowflake (Arts at the Old Fire Station, Oxford)
6. Aladdin (Prince Edward)
7. Summer and Smoke (Duke of York's)
10. Barefoot in the Park (Drake Hall)
I had an enormous soft spot for Luyanda Unati Lewis-Nyawo, but it wouldn't be fair to pass by without mentioning Letitia Wright.
Why did you go to see number two (Paradise)?
I have absolutely no idea. It doesn't fit any of my usual criteria for booking, I was already wondering why I'd booked before the cast announcement came, and I've never really heard of the playwright, so it's an absolute 100% mystery.
Can you remember a line/lyric from number three (Orpheus) that you liked?
It was way too based in music to be have memorable lines or even lyrics.
What would you give number four (Macbeth) out of ten?
8. Nice and spooky and some great line readings, but still Macbeth.
Was there someone hot in number five (Snowflake)?
Though I appreciate it's not exactly up to me, I am nonetheless giving serious consideration towards marrying Racheal Ofori.
What was number six (Aladdin) about?
It was about how it's okay to found a relationship on a bed of lies as long as the person who is being lied to is too smart to believe the lies. And friendship and magic and stuff.
Who was your favourite actor in number seven (Summer and Smoke)?
FUTURE. DAME. PATSY. FERRAN. WHOSE PERFORMANCE WILL LIVE FOREVER IN MY SHATTERED MIND AND BROKEN HEART AND ONCE-DAMAGED-BUT-ONCE-MORE-HEALED SOUL.
What was your favourite bit in number eight (Dick Whittington)?
There was one scene that involved Margaret Cabourn-Smith, dressed as a pigeon, singing a song while surrounded by a chorus of ensemble members, dressed as dogs. To paraphrase Alan Bennett, “the best moments in theatre are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.”
Would you see number nine (The Hoes) again?
Nah. I enjoyed the performances and the characters but it didn't really cohere as a play enough for a return visit.
What was the worst thing about number ten (Barefoot in the Park)?
Local performance, actual friends, not willing to start beef. Actually, the worst thing about it is that the group couldn't get the rights to The Odd Couple (Female Version), I could've actually been in that, but there's only one young(ish) female character in Barefoot and it's a huge role so I just didn't have the time to even consider auditioning for it.
Which was best?
While Summer and Smoke is obviously the best production of a play I've seen in a long time, I must also give credit to Snowflake for being the best Mike Bartlett play since at least King Charles III (I didn't really dig Albion (this is an awful lot of Almeida productions being referenced in what is basically a single sentence)). The Convert was great too.
Did any make you cry?
Summer and Smoke does me a damage every time I see it.
Did any make you laugh?
Although this Dick Whittington didn't make me laugh as much as the last Dick Whittington, it was nonetheless extremely funny and I hooted along merrily (with the added bonus that I didn't lose a great chunk of plot because of laughing so hard I feared I was going to be sick in my lap).
Which roles would you like to play in any of them?
I'm between amdrams at the moment and it's lovely to have a little rest. Ask me again when I'm less tired.
Which one did you have best seats for?
I had really great seats for almost all of these, but I will give the overall award to Snowflake because the venue has dinky little sawn-off chairs for the front row and I love the "adult visiting her old primary school" feeling of dinky little sawn-off chairs.