I stood in the Frontline Club behind the podium, staring at the row of faces I was asking for money. Behind me on a projector ran a constant loop of harrowing images from the Syrian war - the dead, the wounded, the broken cities; young men with gasmasks to protect against chemical weapons attacks, women and children forced to leave their homes, huddled, hundreds to a room in the foreign lands where they've been forced to take refuge.
I'm sure many of you (if not all) in 'the business' called show: movie, television and theatre would know Olga Lowe. I have just heard, belatedly, that Olga has passed over.
If we can capture the exhilaration of Shakespeare's works and translate that back into the classroom, not only pupils but teachers too will remain enthralled for years to come.
Ever wondered what happens at a gathering of American Pakistani families? Then you must head to London to catch The Domestic Crusaders-a play about immigrant Muslims living in the American suburbs.
Another transfer from the Edinburgh Festival arrives in London. However, unlike Fleabag which had a run at Soho Theatre, I cannot fathom how this interpretation of the classic novel by Robert Louis Stevenson received strongly positive reviews at the Fringe.
Shakespeare's comedies are at their best when they're playful, fast, irreverent and - crucially - funny. This bright, spirited production of A Midsummer Night's Dream succeeds on all fronts.
I never saw Viva Forever - the Spice Girls musical. That apparently may have been the worst show ever on a London stage but American Lulu must run it close.
I'd heard of the production before. They had performed in the UK last year as part of the Cultural Olympiad, and a friend who had seen it then, had said it had been the best thing on stage in that celebration.
Under Mark Rylance's watchful and immensely talented eye, The Old Vic has developed a wonderfully bright, witty production of Much Ado About Nothing, full of energy and laughs.
So. I hate musicals: my dirty little secret. They're too brash, too cheery. The overacting, injected with a fake sugary merriment, seems exhausting. I find myself pinning my face into the shape of a smile, and holding it there until the show's over.
Brilliant as the cast is, the star of the show is writer and director Terry Johnson. His writing and direction was ambitious but the gamble has paid off. Hysteria is brave writing brilliantly executed.
Twitter of course breeds opinions faster than Nick Ferrari on a Waltzer. I no longer need to stand on the top of an African mountain to "find myself", I can quite easily log onto my 'interactions' to find that someone anonymously thinks I look like Ed Sheeran with AIDS.
Nicholas Hytner's Othello was so good I saw it twice. It's not the first time Sir Nick has wowed the critics. And I somehow doubt it will be the last. I perch comfortably outside his office, staring at black-and-white action shots of hit after hit: Adrian Lester in Henry V, Simon Russell Beale in Much Ado About Nothing, James Corden in One Man, Two Guv'nors. If there's such thing as a grammar of theatre, Hytner is fluent in it.
Because it strikes me that we are reaching some sort of tipping point when it comes to gay issues: that on some fundamental level of global consciousness the final battle is being fought between progress and fear.
The Secret Agent, a book by Joseph Conrad, is not easy source material to work with but from it, theatre O has developed a unique and intriguing interpretation. The result isn't completely fluid but it is highly imaginative and shows great promise for the theatre company.
Holy Mother of God! Fleabag really is as good as they say. Winner of a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last month, the West-End transfer of this much-talked about show had me very excited. And boy did it deliver.