Monday, 2 January 2017

2016 Round Up Part Two - April to June


King Lear at the Royal Exchange starring Don Warrington was excellently done, but I didn’t find it as striking as the version I saw a few years ago with Derek Jacobi in the lead role. I remember finding the King’s decent into madness a little one level, but this production was raved about in the press and it was filmed by BBC 4 and broadcast over Christmas so maybe I should watch it again. It was certainly easy to follow which not all Shakespeare productions are.

In total contrast to the seriousness of Lear, April also saw a jaunt down to London to see The Book of Mormon, something I’d wanted to see for a while but baulked at the ticket prices. It truly was worth every penny, totally hilarious from start to finish, very rude and amazing production values. I have written this one up fully as a separate post. 

Just before travelling home from London I managed to fit in a matinee of The Comedy about a Bank Robbery at the Criterion. It was in early preview and personally I thought it could have been pacier in the first act, but knowing the pedigree of Mischief Theatre I’m sure it has evolved further since then. It had all the trademark humour and inventiveness I have come to expect from the company together with clever stunts that make you wonder how no one gets hurt! A lot of the original cast that I saw from The Play That GoesWrong in 2015 were in this new show, but it was different in that this was a ‘proper’ narrative not a play within a play. Highly entertaining.


May saw my first visit to the new and very lovely Manchester Venue, Hope Mill Theatre, to see Parade, quickly followed by my second to see it again. I apologise to anyone who had to deal with the sight of my crying proper snotty tears during the second performance. It was a truly stunning production of a heartbreaking show. The full blog is here


The Night Watch, at the Royal Exchange was a very engaging adaptation of the Sarah Waters book. Jodie McNee’s central performance was mesmerising. I wrote about the production briefly here.

June also saw a return visit to Manchester from Anu Productions, who presented On Corporation Street at Home. Like their previous production Angel Meadow, this was a site specific promenade performance, but this time based around the Home site, often in hidden backstage spaces. It was based on people’s experiences of the 1996 Manchester bomb, both those impacted by it – nurses, wedding parties, workers etc, and those who helped to orchestrate it. The audience were split into groups and each group had a slightly different route and experience. It was an interesting and intimate experience, although it was hard not to compare it with Angel Meadow where I felt completely immersed, here I always felt like an observer.

Part Three here

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