2012 was the year that I kept thinking, I will blog about that and then never got round to it. I always wanted to write some longer pieces on some of the productions, but I put it off, because I am working on a larger project that is taking up my time at the moment. I will have to do better in 2013. It was a year that we were warned to stay away from London, to avoid transport chaos during the Olympics. I don’t think tube delays happened, but I spent most of the summer in Stratford instead of London this year.
The highlight of the year for me was the RSC’s King John and Alex Waldmann’s death scene as he dances to a slightly speeded up Frankie Valli’s ‘Beggin”. I really enjoyed the wedding scene and the night I sang ‘Say a Little Prayer’ with King John was something I will remember for a long time to come. I have decided that the RSC’s Much Ado About Nothing ends up as my second highlight of 2012 . I toyed with a joint second with the RSC’s Richard III, but in the end I think Much Ado just nudged ahead because it ended up summing up my summer for me. I saw it one last time in London, and the music, colours and ensemble performances had stuck in my mind.
Though the RSC’s Richard III was my third highlight, of course, this was also Jonjo O’Neill’s year. Firstly, in Richard III and then in The Effect with Billie Piper. The Effect gets my top spot in the theatre (other than Shakespeare) section. It was a lovely structured play and the two central performances were just great. The best moment in The Effect was Jonjo’s tap dance. I saw Richard III so many times and got to know it well. I also saw it grow and develop over the year. it was a funny and clear production, and Jonjo was the master showman, a perfect Richard.
The RSC wasn’t all good. The shipwreck season was very much a disappointment and Troilus and Cressida – well what can say further about it other than what I blogged in August?
As the summer was ending, I caught the original practice productions at Richard III and Twelfth Night at The Globe. I had really enjoyed the Globe’s Taming of the Shrew, mainly because Jamie Beamish was in it.
There are several Royal Court productions in my top theatre section including In Basildon which was very close to the top of my theatre list.
I saw a few exhibitions and paid many visits to the Shakespeare exhibition at the British Museum. I really enjoyed the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at Tate Britain, and will visit at least one more time before it closes.
Here’s my top lists for 2012:
1.King John (RSC, The Swan)
2. Much Ado About Nothing RSC, Noel Coward and The Courtyard).
5. Julius Caesar (RSC, Theatre Royal Newcastle)
8. Twelfth Night (The Globe)
9. Timon of Athens (National Theatre)
10. Taming of the Shrew (The Globe)
11. Macbeth (Sheffield Crucible)
12. Henry V (Propeller, Lowry Salford)
13. Henry V (The Globe)
14. Antony and Cleopatra (Oyun Atölyesi company, The Globe)
16. Love Labour’s Lost (Northern Broadsides, The Dukes & York Theatre Royal)
17. Twelfth Night (RSC, RST)
18. The Tempest (RSC, RST)
20. The Comedy of Errors (RSC, RST)
1. The Effect (National Theatre)
2. In Basildon (Royal Court)
3. Posh (Royal Court in the West End, Duke of York)
4. She Stoops to Conquer (National Theatre)
5. The Recruiting Officer (Donmar)
6. The Duchess of Malfi (Old Vic)
7. Jumpy (Royal Court in the West End, Duke of York)
8. A Midsummer Night’s Dream (As You Like It) (Dmitry Krymov’s company RSC)
9. Hero (The Royal Court)
10. Hedda Gabler (The Old Vic)
11. Miss Julie (Manchester, Royal Exchange)
12. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (West Yorkshire Playhouse)
13. The Judas Kiss (Hampshire)
14. The Physicists (Donmar)
15. Three Sisters (The Young Vic)
16. The Changeling (The Young Vic)
17. People (National Theatre)
18. Steptoe and Son (Kneehigh, West Yorkshire Playhouse)
19. Blackta (Young Vic)
20. Privates on Parade (Michael Grandage Company, The Noel Coward Theatre)
1. Pre–Raphaelites (Tate Britain)
2. Shakespeare: staging the world (British Museum)
3. Johann Zoffany RA: Society Observed (Royal Academy)
4. David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture (Royal Academy)
5. Lucien Freud (Portraits)
6. Munch: The promise of modernity
7. Damien Hirst (Tate Modern)
8. Bronze (Royal Academy)
9. Someday all the Adults will die (Haywood Gallery)
10. Edward Munch (The Modern Eye) (Tate Modern)
11. Turner Prize 2012
12. The Lost Prince (National Portrait Gallery)
13. Picasso and Modern British Art (Tate Britain)
14. Hajj: Journey into the Heart of Islam (British Museum)
15. Yavoi Kusama (Tate Modern)
16. Royal Academy Summer Show
17. A Bigger Splash. Painting after Performance. (Tate Modern)
18. The Queen (National Portrait Gallery)
19. John Martin (at the Tate Britain for the few days that it was still open in Jan 2012, but this was my highlight of 2011).
20. William Klein + Daido Moriyama (Tate Modern).