Saturday, 27 December 2014

2014 in Review: Theatre

One of my favourite ways to spend an evening is at the theatre as it never fails to make me happy, even when I'm seeing something that should make me sad. There are many reasons why I moved to London from Somerset and the abundance of theatres is pretty close to the top. I love the variety that is available right at your fingertips - I can go to a fringe play one week, to classic Shakespeare the next and end the month with a musical. That certainly isn't possible in Taunton.

This year I have seen some jaw-droppingly amazing productions so it is very difficult to narrow down a list of the best, but I have tried my hardest and can safely say that these shows were beyond spectacular:

Not About Heroes at the Trafalgar Studios 2
A play based on the friendship between Owen and Sassoon forged at the Craiglockhart shell shock hospital. I studied the Craiglockhart hospital for my MA and it holds a significant place in my heart. This play was done really well and the way Owen's and Sassoon's poetry was blended into the script gave me goosebumps on more than one occasion.

Johnny Got His Gun at the Southwark Playhouse
A one-man play based on Dalton Trumbo's classic war novel. The Southwark Playhouse is an interesting space and the perfect venue for such a harrowing adaptation. I was terrified, shocked and saddened in equal measure and I really must read the novel.

Last Days of Troy at Shakespeare's Globe
Simon Armitage's dramatisation of the final sections of Homer's Illiad was brilliant produced and had all the elements you would expect from a play based on The Illiad. With added humour.

Electra at The Old Vic
I think Electra tops the list and takes the title of my favourite play in 2014. Kristin Scott Thomas is scarily good and you can't go wrong with Greek tragedy.

The Crucible at The Old Vic
This was a birthday present from my sister and, even though it was perhaps a little too long (3 hours!), we both adored it. Richard Armitage's presence helped make the length entirely bearable.

Alongside various theatrical productions I also try to see as many talks/films/discussion panels that I can. Without a doubt the best of these events were:

-Kate Adie talking about women and war in the newly refurbished Imperial War Museum
-The Art of Curiosity at the Southbank Centre
-NT Live: Frankenstein at the Clapham Picturehouse (with Benedict as the monster)

Apart from Electra and The Crucible, I attended these productions by myself. There are so many things that I cannot do alone without being crippled by anxiety, but going to the theatre is not one of them. I feel so comfortable in the theatre when the lights go down and it's just you and the actors bonding over language and storytelling. It is my aim next year to continue visiting the theatre as much as I am able, particularly as I'm getting dangerously close to the age when I can no longer get the under-25 or under-26 tickets! Time to make the most of it.

Have you seen any good plays this year? Anything I should try and catch if I can?

Don't forget to enter my giveaway or fill in my reader survey!


  1. I currently live in Bedfordshire, but the call of theatre trips, books and exhibitions makes London an exciting thought. Was it easy to find a job and home

  2. I don't miss many things from Tallinn (if much anything, except family and relatives), but I miss going to the theatre. The whole process of getting nicely dressed and having a sophisticated drink, etc. Going to the theatre was a very special event, ever since the school trips there began (and these were pretty regular). The language problem here aside, I have a feeling that theatre culture in Helsinki is a little bit different. It seems more relaxed (like people don't dress up), but for me seeing a play is still this old-fashioned kind of Event. We do live near the Helsinki opera house (random fun fact - when on the health track in summer/spring, you can often hear them practice when the opera windows are open - it's pretty surreal :)) and that is what I would maybe consider, also because language doesn't play that big of a role. :)

  3. Also, I find it necessary to mention for the sake of clarity, we did not have sophisticated drinks during school trips :))

  4. It was quite difficult moving here, but I would say it's worth it purely because of the cultural offerings.

  5. That's what I love, although the getting dressed up bit seems to have fallen out of our culture recently. My sister and I have booked to go to the ballet in April and I think that will be a dresses, nice shoes and sophisticated evening. It's amazing how the theatre culture changes when you'd think that theatre is so universal, but I guess you could say that about anything i.e. eating and that changes hugely depending on culture.

    That must be so lovely to hear them practicing! I can never understand what opera singers are saying anyway, it's all in the gestures :)


© Lit Nerd. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig