Exeunt Critics’ Picks of 2011

LOTS of fabulous picks here by some people who really know their stuff including some expected and not so expected pieces. Wish I could have mentioned London Road, wish I could have seen Mission Drift…

Originally published on Exeunt

Of course we are wary of the arbitrary nature of these things, the artificiality of seasons, the ordering of experiences into peaks, the hierarchal maps they reproduce, the dangers of placing Fabulous ones next to Those who have just broken a vase.  However at some point you have to be practical.  Our critics have valiantly seen a metric stage-tonne of theatre this year, so what better to relive with sufficient context their most notable moments? And from here it looks like they have produced a list unrivalled for its scope, depth and surprises.  So without further ado-ing, and in no particular order…

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Review: Jerusalem

Written for Whats on Stage

It is a rare thing not to want something to end, but so it was last night watching Jez Butterworth‘s Jerusalem; to say I was bedazzled just about sums it up.

Returning to the Apollo Theatre for a limited run after its massive transatlantic success, this is possibly the final chance to see Mark Rylance as Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron and I think it’s time to sell granny to get a ticket.

Rylance is an actor at the peak of his prowess, a quivering, swaggering behemoth. In Byron, Butterworth has created for him a modern English folk legend; a protector of maidens, confessor of undesirables, Pied Piper of good hearted children and indifferent rats, this Gypsy King is as wild and dark as the woods that protect him.

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The Best Of The Rest 2010

We all know the big un’s to watch out for in the first few months of 2010; Red, currently running at the Donmar Warehouse, the West End transfers of Enron and Jerusalem, Peter Brook at The Barbican which also houses the eclectic Bite Season for 2010 and work by the legendary Pina Bausch, Trilogy at The BAC and of course the London International Mime Festival.

But what about the smaller venues – not just the BAC’s or The Riverside Studios’ who consistently punch above their weight, but the truly off-piste theatres – The Blue Elephant Theatre, The Royal Vauxhall Tavern and The Cock Tavern to name but a few.  Unlike the big theatres these small houses can only programme up to 3-6 months so no need to book miles in advance – these are things you can see in the very near future so check your pre-planned nature at the door and get a little trigger happy.

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