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.

#PlaySnapshot Thoughts
1 On Bear Ridge The Welsh-ness, the things not said, and the delicious language
2 Present Laughter 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 Powerful, memorable, dark, but with hope
5 Betrayal Intense performances, with a eye catching look, 3 parts on stage at all times
6 Lungs Conveying changes of time or location through minimal words, and real sounding tiffs
7 Pinter – A Slight Ache, The Dumb Waiter 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 An old standard given a whole new perspective by changing the cast to African Americans, powerful
9 Leave to Remain 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 All with stellar cast, especially Victoria Station?s solo taxi dispatcher
11 Pinter Plays – Party Time, Celebration 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 A tiny theatre venue, but with big ideas – stunning performance by Bart Lambert elevated the production
14 King John Imaginative production, swapped John to be female but changed no lines and it worked totally.
15 Duchess of Malfi Excellent staging, and intense and engaging cast
16 Richard III Could have gone quite wrong but Tom Mothersdale?s performance was superb and made the whole play
17 A Very Expensive Poison From such a terrible real story comes a brilliant, funny, imaginative, and thought provoking production
18 A German Life Total immersion into Maggie Smith?s solo performance, with a difficult subject excellently written
19 A Midsummer Nights Dream Another excellent Shakespeare at the Bridge – energetic production with hilarious gender swaps that work so well
20 Gently Down the Stream The leads brought heart and soul to the characters and swept you along with their story
21 The House of Yes 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 An all star cast who take us with them on their journey through tragedy
27 The American Clock Arthur Miller with musical numbers and multiple cast as same character, interesting take which mostly worked
28 The 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 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 Hard to see his with any one but Andrew Scott, decent but when you?ve seen definitive where can you go
32 Taming of the Shrew A solid production with gender swaps to have the females doing the chasing of the males, solid performances
33 Two Ladies Started quite slow, and when it got the denouement it felt a little rushed, but the two leads were brilliant
34 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
35 A Life Reasonably interesting premise but sickly silver lining ending marred it somewhat, would have preferred darker
36 Whodunnit Lead was not aware of the plot or other?s line until the actual performance which made for fun and games
37 Nine Night All the characters nipped and argued with each other and were generally unlikeable, despite a good cast
38 Home I?m Darling Reasonably fun, but ultimately easily forgotten story, but well produced and acted
39 Summer and Smoke The production didn?t work for me, so despite loving Tennessee Williams, the cast did not engage
40 Sherlock and the Invisible Thing A fun and light production for an afternoon theatre production
41 The Tragedy of King Richard II Too much of the story removed, and having cast play multiple characters confused, overall not interesting enough
42 Vienna 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
43 Sydney and The Old Girl Miriam Margolyes is a fine actor, but the story didn?t really engage
44 Vassa An interesting set, but the production didn?t stay in the mind for long, despite a good cast
45 The Doctor The first part was engaging, but lost it?s way, and the plot twist was easily discerned
46 Europe Not sure what the writer was going for, but there was a really impressive use of fire which is about all I remember
47 Fairview Am not sure what this was, and reviews seem to think the same – but the obviousness of the theme missed for me
48 Sweet Charity 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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