The list of lists: The best theatre coming up in 2017

What are the hottest shows coming up this year? Based on the ones that are most likely to appear on top picks’ lists in my round-up of commentators’ round-ups, they are:

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Trump-tweeted hit Hamilton;
Ivo van Hove’s production of Obsession, starring Jude Law at the Barbican;
the New York transfer of The Glass Menagerie, directed by Harry […]

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    Exit, pursued by a bear: How we reacted to Emma Rice’s Globe departure

Exit, pursued by a bear: How we reacted to Emma Rice’s Globe departure

My first gut response to yesterday’s news that Emma Rice was leaving Shakespeare’s Globe, announced after less than a year – and only one summer season in post – was simply “Oh my God!”. In my years of commenting on theatre, I have never been as shocked by the news of someone’s leaving a job […]

What if every day were #Shakespeare400 and London Marathon?

Celebrations for an important family milestone – my partner Peter’s mother’s 70th birthday – prevented me from taking part in festivities around the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare on the day itself yesterday. But I’ve had fun catching up on some of it today.

The Globe’s Complete Walk was a fantastic cultural installation […]

Press pass: All the reviews and news on Gemma Arterton as Nell Gwynn

The poster of Nell Gwynn shows a saucy, bare-shouldered Gemma Arterton and promises “fun, funny and joyous… a cast of 20! and a band… naughty songs… merry dances. And a dog!”

And Christopher Luscombe’s lively production of Jessica Swale’s bawdy, feminist, Restoration-style romp delivers every one of those items it advertises. It’s also the perfect […]

  • Mark Rylance interviewed by Andrew Marr on his BBC One Sunday politics show
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    Mark Rylance: ‘What’s wrong with being a theatre actor?’

Mark Rylance: ‘What’s wrong with being a theatre actor?’

On this Sunday’s Andrew Marr Show on BBC One, in amongst an interview with David Cameron and other reports from this year’s Conservative Party conference in Manchester, I was delighted to see Marr, perched in the circle at the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre, chatting with actor Mark Rylance.

Theatregoers know, of course, that […]

  • Hattie Morahan in The Changeling at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare's Globe, London
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    My theatre diary: Dramas Taken at Midnight, The Changeling, Out of the Cage and The Separation

My theatre diary: Dramas Taken at Midnight, The Changeling, Out of the Cage and The Separation

The infinite variety of theatre in London means you can be laughing at the theatre one night, crying the next night. Or, when it’s really powerful, alternating between both on the same night. In my companion Theatre Diary piece, I shared some of the comedies I’ve enjoyed recently. Now I turn to the top-notch […]

  • The candelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe opened its doors in January 2014
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    Podcast: AYULTP looks back on #theatre2014 discoveries including the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Podcast: AYULTP looks back on #theatre2014 discoveries including the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

After perusing so many other people’s year-end, best of lists, and compiling a few of mine, I hugely enjoyed taking part in the “As Yet Unnamed London Theatre Podcast” (cunningly named) comprehensive #theatre2014 review of the year discussion.

These guys – TRP Watson, Gareth James, Phil from West End Whingers and Shakespeare lecturer Julie Raby – are […]

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    Charting The Stage 100: Who are theatre’s biggest influencers and why?

Charting The Stage 100: Who are theatre’s biggest influencers and why?

In this new year gorgefest of lists, The Stage’s annually compiled Stage 100 of the top influencers in theatre takes the cake. Launched in January 1997, The Stage 100 is now in its 19th year and always makes for fascinating reading – and, I’m sure, lots of behind the scenes disagreements on risers, fallers, inclusions and […]

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    My theatre diary: ‘Tis Pity, Made in Dagenham, East Is East and Neville’s Island

My theatre diary: ‘Tis Pity, Made in Dagenham, East Is East and Neville’s Island

I’m playing catch-up. Here are four shows I caught before my turkey-filled escape to the States last week for Thanksgiving. All of which serve up entertaining evenings in the theatre.

As usual, I’ve listed them in closing date order. Don’t delay with the first in particular, as it finishes its limited season in a week. […]

  • Richard Armitage in The Crucible at the Old Vic
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    My theatre diary: From tears to laughter with The Crucible, The Events, Invincible and Shakespeare in Love

My theatre diary: From tears to laughter with The Crucible, The Events, Invincible and Shakespeare in Love

I’m really doing well for play choices in July. Don’t let the warm weather put you off catching these compelling productions, which scale great heights and depths of emotion. (Apart from the entertainment, most of these theatres were lovely and cool on the hot summer evenings I attended. So you’ll get a respite from […]

  • Sonia Friedman is on a roll with Oliviers and Tony success
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    Hey, Ms Producer! Sonia Friedman leads the growing ranks of female producers

Hey, Ms Producer! Sonia Friedman leads the growing ranks of female producers

Maybe it’s because I’m considering trying my own hand at producing and the universe is sending me encouragement, but everywhere I look at the moment, I see female producers.

On Sunday night, the powerhouse that is Sonia Friedman takes another shot at Tony Awards glory in New York, where her transfers of the Shakespeare’s Globe […]

Never mind Titus: The West End is awash with blood

There’s been a lot of media attention around the Globe’s Titus Andronicus. Once again, Lucy Bailey’s production – which starred Douglas Hodge in its first 2006 outing and now has William Houston in the title role – has got audiences fainting on Bankside.

Titus, with the strapline “brutality of the highest order”, is an extreme example […]

Tony trivia: Twelfth Night is officially a history play

Twelfth Night is generally classified as one of Shakespeare’s comedies, but last week it officially became a history play as well, after its phenomenal haul in this year’s Tony Awards nominations.

Mark Rylance is already something of a Tony legend. He has won Best Actor twice for two other London transfers –1960s farce Boeing-Boeing in […]