There's little that excites me more in theatre than ambitious, thought-provoking productions. In fact, there's only one thing
When you travel 200 miles to see a stage version of one of your favourite films, the cost of transport, theatre tickets and hotel soon adds up. Thankfully £21 (restricted view) was a bargain for any birthday treat. And the fact Groundhog Day not only recrafts Bill Murray's best film for the stage but enhances the source material was a present I never expected.
Depressing times. And a depressing novel. But there is no way this is a depressing show as Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan collaborated to create an electric production that hurtles through its 101 minute running time. This is Orwell on speed.
This was a special production, too, in that the parts of Shakespeare's 'Mechanicals', the working men of Athens who stage the play-within-a-play at Theseus and Hippolyta's wedding feast, were played by actors from local amateur dramatic groups in each region visited by the tour, and the parts of fairy attendants being played by local schoolchildren.
Boy at Almeida Theatre is painfully beautiful. A play that holds up a mirror to our society and asks, what the hell has become of us?
Les Liaisons Dangereuses really is such a terrific play. Christopher Hampton's adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos' novel is just so good - full of passion, intrigue, betrayal, loss and gender politics. And all these themes wrapped within this well-known story of a pair of schemers in pre-Revolutionary France.
And now, courtesy of a little old press release on the Harry Potter musical, everyone is talking about Noma. Everyone. So how thrilled I was to catch her here before she becomes huge next year.
This adaptation of the much-loved book, Jane Eyre, is a really ambitious attempt to translate the entire novel into a dynamic, energetic production. The result is a whistle-stop trip through the story that touches on every single event in the book, but doesn't always capture the emotion.
I love Medea. For me, the horror in this story is when you feel her terrible act was not just inevitable but understandable. Even logical. Yet that descent, that terrifying unravelling, is missing in this new production at the Almeida Theatre.
The interpretation is risky, yes, but theatre should be risky. And for all the theatrical spectacle and the clever tricks, you feel for Nancy, you really do. You're rooting for her and at the climax, when she understands what it is she truly needs, it's a great feeling. Tipping the Velvet is a bright, witty production - but it also has a heart.