Theatre – 2019 Plays – Ranked

In 2019 I managed to see 49 different productions, of which I saw one (Present Laughter) 10 times, and another (Betrayal) 5 times. It was a lot of 3 play weekends, which was unusual, mainly because there were so many plays that were good/I wanted to see. I don’t think the there will be as many this year.. well, hopefully for my bank account there won’t LOL.

  • The top 21 were all excellent in their way, and am glad I got to see them.
  • The next 15 (22-36) were good, and worth the time to watch.
  • The next lot (37-46) were ones that were ok, but if I hadn’t seen them I wouldn’t have worried about it.
  • The last 2 (47-48) were ones I wished I hadn’t spent the time or money to bother.

Obviously this is my opinion, and probably/may differ completely from yours.. that’s the joy of art, it’s in the eye of the beholder.

#PlayVenueSnapshot Thoughts
1 On Bear Ridge The Royal Court The Welsh-ness, the things not said, and the delicious language
2 Present Laughter The Old Vic Noel Coward done right – hilariously heartbreaking
3 The Lehman Trilogy 3 actors playing such diverse parts, surprisingly funny, as well as interesting
4 Grief is the Thing With Feathers The Barbican Theatre Powerful, memorable, dark, but with hope
5 Betrayal Harold Pinter Theatre Intense performances, with a eye catching look, 3 parts on stage at all times
6 Lungs The Old Vic Conveying changes of time or location through minimal words, and real sounding tiffs
7 Pinter – A Slight Ache, The Dumb Waiter Harold Pinter Theater A Slight Ache – a ratio play on the stage with dark foreboding.   Dumb Waiter – the build up in enclosed space to good effect
8 Death of a Salesman Young Vic An old standard given a whole new perspective by changing the cast to African Americans, powerful
9 Leave to Remain Lyric Hammersmith A musical with a sweet heartfelt soul, rooted for the 2 lovers throughout and was rightly rewarded
10 Pinter Plays – The Room, Victoria Station, Family Voices Harold Pinter Theatre All with stellar cast, especially Victoria Station?s solo taxi dispatcher
11 Pinter Plays – Party Time, Celebration Harold Pinter Theatre A glossy sheen over a dark foreboding reality
12 Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime An excellent production, with imaginative staging, was not expecting it would be as good
13 Thrill Me The Hope Theatre A tiny theatre venue, but with big ideas – stunning performance by Bart Lambert elevated the production
14 King John RSC Stratford Imaginative production, swapped John to be female but changed no lines and it worked totally.
15 Duchess of Malfi The Almeida Theatre Excellent staging, and intense and engaging cast
16 Richard III Alexandra Palace Theatre Could have gone quite wrong but Tom Mothersdale?s performance was superb and made the whole play
17 A Very Expensive Poison The Old Vic From such a terrible real story comes a brilliant, funny, imaginative, and thought provoking production
18 A German Life The Bridge Theatre Total immersion into Maggie Smith?s solo performance, with a difficult subject excellently written
19 A Midsummer Nights Dream The Bridge Theatre Another excellent Shakespeare at the Bridge – energetic production with hilarious gender swaps that work so well
20 Gently Down the Stream Park Theatre The leads brought heart and soul to the characters and swept you along with their story
21 The House of Yes The Hope Theatre Again this tiny venue delivers so much more depth, and again Bart Lambert shone, along with the twists and turns
22 The End of History An unexpectedly moving end, with engaging cast
23 The Night of the Iguana A difficult play to get really right, but this cast and production created a cohesive and engaging production
24 All About Eve A master performance by Gillian Anderson, although the rest do not shine as brightly
25 Rosmersholm Excellent cast, with a truly lovely set, but I dislike the ending which however it?s done marrs the whole
26 All My Sons The Old Vic An all star cast who take us with them on their journey through tragedy
27 The American Clock The Old Vic Arthur Miller with musical numbers and multiple cast as same character, interesting take which mostly worked
28The Price Could have tightened up the running time, but excellent cast
29 Fleabag Wish I could have seen it the first time it was performed, and unknowing of the Series, but still worked well
30 A Day in the Death of Joe Egg Trafalgar Theatre Another difficult play to get really right, and on the night seemed not on which took a bit of the sheen away
31 Dark Sublime A small production which took a bit too many plot points to do all justice, but engaging, fun and funny
32 Sea Wall Helen Hayes Theatre Hard to see his with any one but Andrew Scott, decent but when you?ve seen definitive where can you go
33Taming of the Shrew Barbican Theatre A solid production with gender swaps to have the females doing the chasing of the males, solid performances
34Two Ladies Started quite slow, and when it got the denouement it felt a little rushed, but the two leads were brilliant
35 As You Like It Audience participation, and laughs, not a play I really enjoy as find too many sub plots which blur the main theme
36 A Life Reasonably interesting premise but sickly silver lining ending marred it somewhat, would have preferred darker
37 Whodunnit Lead was not aware of the plot or other?s line until the actual performance which made for fun and games
38 Nine Night All the characters nipped and argued with each other and were generally unlikeable, despite a good cast
39 Home I’m Darling Reasonably fun, but ultimately easily forgotten story, but well produced and acted
40 Summer and Smoke The production didn?t work for me, so despite loving Tennessee Williams, the cast did not engage
41 Sherlock and the Invisible Thing A fun and light production for an afternoon theatre production
42 The Tragedy of King Richard II The Almeida Theatre Too much of the story removed, and having cast play multiple characters confused, overall not interesting enough
43Vienna 1934 – Munich 1938 – A Work in Progress As this was a Work in Progress can?t really judge, but an interesting peek into Michael Redgrave?s world
44 Sydney and The Old Girl Park Theatre Miriam Margolyes is a fine actor, but the story didn?t really engage
45 Vassa The Bridge Theatre An interesting set, but the production didn?t stay in the mind for long, despite a good cast
46 The Doctor Almeida Theatre The first part was engaging, but lost it?s way, and the plot twist was easily discerned
47 Europe Donmar Warehouse Not sure what the writer was going for, but there was a really impressive use of fire which is about all I remember
48Fairview Young Vic Am not sure what this was, and reviews seem to think the same – but the obviousness of the theme missed for me
49 Sweet Charity Donmar Warehouse Could not get past this production?s lead?s singing voice which did not work for me at all, left at interval

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