It’s been a stellar year in London theatre so narrowing it down to our five favourites wasn’t easy. In no particular order...
Follies, National Theatre
Never has heartbreak been so gorgeous. Directed by Dominic Cooke and starring Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Imelda Staunton, The National Theatre’s Follies is perhaps the greatest production of one of Stephen Sondheim’s most emotionally complex pieces of work. Featuring a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21, it was a dazzling spectacle – worth the ticket price for Bennet’s breath-taking rendition of I’m Still Here.
Girl From The North Country, Old Vic
On paper, on Bob Dylan musical is hard to imagine but in the capable hands of Conor McPherson it’s a bleak yet heartfelt exploitation of small town that’s full of lost souls at the height of the Great Depression. It features a large, peerless cast but even amongst those greats Shirley Henderson is magnetic.
Hamlet, Almeida Theatre and Noël Coward Theatre
Directed by Robert Icke and starring Andrew Scott, Almeida Theatre’s production of Hamlet revitalised one of the most performed and iconic Shakespearean tragedies. Scott’s performance will go down as a Hamlet for the ages – a sensational portrayal of the brooding and raw Danish Prince. Impeccably staged and incredibly special.
Angels in America, National Theatre
Boasting a dream cast comprised of Olivier Award winner Denise Gough, Andrew Garfield, Russell Tovey and Nathan Lane, the National Theatre’s production of Tony Kushner’s phantasmagoria was as searing and relevant as the day it was first performed as we peer over the precipice of another uncertain era. The production transfers to Broadway in 2018.
This Beautiful Future, The Yard
Written by Rita Kalnejais and directed by The Yard’s Artistic Director Jay Miller, This Beautiful Future was a mesmerising tale of two teenagers caught in the middle of the world. In a year where we all needed respite, this production was a tale of hope – even if that hope just lasts the night. An artistic triumph during a year that saw this incredible venue gain Arts Council funding.