Shakespeare and classic English drama
Yes, and we did see Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet, and no, it’s not in the Top 10. Nor is it “bubbling under.”
Rules For Living – Dorfman Theatre, NT
A scene from “The Rehearsal” – also “best modern play”
Mark Rylance – Farinelli & The King
John Hefferman – Macbeth (Young Vic)
Ray Fearon – Hecuba
Joshua McGuire- Future Conditional
BEST ACTOR (female)
Derbhle Crotty – Hecuba
Nicole Kidman – Photograph 51
BEST SET DESIGN
1. Young Chekhov Season – designed by Tom Pye, Chichester Festival Theatre
2. Macbeth – designed by Lizzie Clachan, Young Vic Theatre
3. Rules For Living, designed by Chloe Lamford, Dorfman heater, National Theatre
THEATRE OF THE YEAR
Second year running … Chichester Festival Theatre / Minerva Theatre. In production terms, the Globe / Wanamaker and RSC would equal it, but it’s all the other factors. The two theatres at Chichester are between a large cheap (or free in the evening) car park and sylvan parkland. It has the best coffee shops. Its restaurant is on a par for food with the RSC Rooftop or The Globe’s Swan Restaurant, but the more efficient kitchen and large number of servers means service is quicker and the ambience and light pleasant (though nothing beats The Swan at The Globe’s view of St Paul’s). Chichester has by far the best and most plentiful loos since its rebuild. However much I love The Globe and Wanamaker, both Chichester theatres have more comfortable seats and better legroom. There are some seats with nasty legroom and restricted views at both Royal Shakespeare Company theatres, even if we know how to avoid them. I haven’t found a seat with a poor view at Chichester. The Festival Theatre is a great “large theatre.” The Minerva a great intimate theatre.
Shakespeare’s Globe / Wanamaker Playhouse. They win in all areas. Clarity, synopsis, essays, and importantly on the cover designs. They have a classic series feel, like 1960s Penguin Plays or Penguin Poets series. Each season has a theme. So two Wanamaker seasons and one Globe season are illustrated. The Royal Shakespeare Company is a close runner-up, but I’m not fond of their cover designs large photos of actors in the wrong costumes taken months before the play started. On a tiny point, Shakespeare’s Globe gives a “Friends” discount on the programme. The RSC don’t.
Nowhere else comes close. Worst programme was the Cumberbatch Hamlet at more than double the going rate.