Round-up of the 2017 fosterIANs

2017 Theatre

Best Actress in a Play
Hattie Morahan/Kate O’Flynn/Adelle Leonce, Anatomy of a Suicide

Best Actress in a Musical
Janie Dee, Follies AND Josefina Gabrielle, A Little Night Music AND Josie Walker, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Best Actor in a Play
Ken Nwosu, An Octoroon

Best Actor in a Musical
Giles Terera, Hamilton

Best Supporting Actress in a Play 
Bríd Brennan, The Ferryman

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical
Tracie Bennett, Follies

Best Supporting Actor in a Play 
Fisayo Akinade, Barber Shop Chronicles

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical
Jason Pennycooke, Hamilton

And my top 10 plays of the year:
1. The Revlon Girl, Park
2. A Little Night Music, Watermill
3. Barber Shop Chronicles, National
4. Hamilton, Victoria Palace
5. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Crucible/Apollo
6. An Octoroon, Orange Tree
7. Follies, National Theatre
8. Romantics Anonymous, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
9. Hamlet, Almeida
10. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾, Menier Chocolate Factory

The 2016 fosterIAN awards

Pleasures were few and far between in 2016…

Round-up of the 2016 fosterIANs

Best Actress in a Play
Juliet Stevenson/Lia Williams, Mary Stuart

Best Actress in a Musical
Jenna Russell, Grey Gardens

Best Actor in a Play
O-T Fagbenle, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Actor in a Musical
Louis Maskell, The Grinning Man

Best Supporting Actress in a Play
Jade Anouka, The Tempest

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical
Jennifer Saayeng, Ragtime

Best Supporting Actor in a Play
Peter Polycarpou, Scenes from 68* Years

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical
Julian Bleach, The Grinning Man

And my top 10 plays of the year:

1 Mary Stuart
2 Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
3 Minefield
4 Escaped Alone
5 A Raisin in the Sun
6 Pink Mist
7 Steel Magnolias
8 The Grinning Man
9 Jess and Joe Forever
10 BU21

The 2015 fosterIAN awards

Round-up of the 2015 fosterIANs

Best Actress in a Play

Lia Williams, Oresteia

Best Actress in a Musical
Natalie Dew, Bend It Like Beckham

Best Actor in a Play
John Heffernan, Oppenheimer

Best Actor in a Musical
Giles Terera, Pure Imagination

Best Supporting Actress in a Play
Daisy Haggard, You For Me For You

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical
Emma Williams, Mrs Henderson Presents

Best Supporting Actor in a Play
John Simm, The Homecoming

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical
Emmanuel Kojo, Show Boat

And my top 10 plays of the year:

1 Eclipsed
2 Oresteia
3 Lela & Co.
4 Little Shop of Horrors
5 hang
6 Radiant Vermin
7 Plastic Figurines
8 Hangmen
9 Kinky Boots
10 The Effect

The 2014 fosterIAN awards



My favourite shows of 2014 (worthy of a never-ending Capaldi gif)

1. A View from the Bridge, Young Vic
2. A Streetcar Named Desire, Young Vic
3. In The Heights, Southwark Playhouse
4. Here Lies Love, NT
5. Gypsy, CFT
6. Maria Stuart, Toneelgroep Amsterdam
7. Mr Burns, Almeida
8. Sweeney Todd, Tooting Arts Club
9. King Charles III, Almeida
10. The Wild Duck, Belvoir Sydney
11. Visitors, Arcola/Bush
12. Medea, Toneelgroep Amsterdam
13. Good People, Hampstead
14. Adler & Gibb, Royal Court
15. Free As Air, Finborough
16. No Barriers With Barriers
17. Dark Vanilla Jungle, Soho
18. Johnny Got His Gun, Southwark Playhouse
19. Made in Dagenham, Adelphi
20. Wet House, Soho
21. The James Plays, NT
22. Next Fall, Southwark Playhouse
23. My Night With Reg, Donmar
24. True West, Tricycle
25. The Silver Tassie, NT Continue reading “The 2014 fosterIAN awards”

The 2012 fosterIAN awards

Best actor in a play
Luke Treadaway, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Best actor in a musical
Simon Russell Beale, Privates on Parade

Best actress in a play
Kate O’Flynn, Lungs

Best actress in a musical
Carly Bawden, My Fair Lady

Best supporting actor in a play
Paul Chahidi, Twelfth Night

Best supporting actor in a musical
Michael Xavier, Hello, Dolly!

Best supporting actress in a play
Niamh Cusack, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Best supporting actress in a musical
Clare Foster, Merrily We Roll Along

Best play
My Fair Lady

2012 – a gif-tastic review

It’s the end of the year 
so now it is time to take stock for a life without year-end lists can hardly be a life worth living (I think it says that in the blogger handbook somewhere…) 

So, 2012 saw me see 274 in the final analysis and after some not inconsiderable thought, here is an attempt to make some sense of it all from the sublime Photobucket to the ridiculous Photobucket.

2012 was the year in which love and science proved to be unlikely but extremely effective bedfellows… Photobucket …whether in Nick Payne’s Constellations or Lucy Prebble’s The Effect.
There’s much to love and hate about the Barbican, so many elements can frustrate and delight in equal measure but primarily in 2012, it was all about the womenPhotobucket Tempting both Cate Blanchett and Juliette Binoche onto their stage had me at hello and closing my eyes at ticket prices in order to get as close as possible to 2 bona fide screen goddesses.
There’s always disagreements about theatre… Photobucket …but this year saw it move to another level as a tranche of the upcoming theatrical writing establishment tried to convince critics (and audiences) that they were wrong about Three Kingdoms. For what it’s worth, I went to Florence for my birthday when it was on. See also: In The Republic of Happiness.
There’s prolific, and there’s prolific. And then there’s Simon StephensPhotobucket Everywhere you turn, there’s a new Stephens play or adaptation appearing – the man’s recent workrate has been incredible, at least the upcoming Port at the NT is a revival.
Unreserved seating continues to be a bugbear:Photobucket  its return to the Young Vic for The Changeling was most unwelcome, it makes getting into the Bush a nightmare.

I feel like I’ve cried more in the theatre this year.
Photobucket  This is just a feeling rather than a statistical truth, but there have been several occasions where I have come close to absolutely just losing it. Lovesong at the Lyric, Constellations at the Duke of York’s, Curious Incident at the NT, Propeller’s Winter’s Tale, all left me unable to speak at the end for fear of just bawling. And I have to mention Laura Howard’s performance in Lost In Yonkers at the Watford Palace which although most everyone found some humour in, I thought to be one of the most quietly devastating things I’ve seen all year.

Once again, the best UK musical theatre (and in some cases, it was absolutely sublime) happened outside of the West End, whether on the London fringe or beyond the M25. Photobucket
My Fair Lady, Hello, Dolly!, Crazy for You, Gypsy, Boy Meets Boy, Victor/Victoria and Salad Days

The thought of seeing any of these again Photobucket
Jesus Christ Superstar, Troilus and Cressida, The Sunshine Boys, Farewell to the Theatre, Bingo, Making Noise Quietly, The Conquest of the South Pole and The Duchess of Malfi.

Hmm, let’s put these in the West End… Photobucket
Yes Prime Minister, Written on the Heart, Volcano, What The Butler Saw

And the nadir of my theatregoing yearHero at the Royal Court. Rarely have I been so angry and annoyed by a piece of theatre and its sheer irresponsibility. I was tempted to go the post-show talk just to ask… Photobucket
Very disappointing indeed.

2011 in brief summary, including 2011 fosterIAN awards

So here’s the round-up of my favourite acting performances from the last 12 months and a few stats about my theatre-going. I made 332 trips to the theatre in total where I saw: 238 plays, 76 musicals, 31.5 Shakespeares (Double Falsehood if you’re wondering about the .5), 10 cabarets, 4 operas and 4 dance pieces  (altogether 17 of these were revisits to productions I’d already seen). For a year which started off with me resolving to cut down on theatre, not a bad haul! 2012 will see me see less, I’m sure of it…

Best Actor in a Play Benedict Cumberbatch, Frankenstein

Best Actress in a Play Eve Best, Much Ado About Nothing (Globe)

Best Supporting Actor in a Play Ryan Sampson, The Kitchen Sink

Best Supporting Actress in a Play Alexandra Gilbreath, Othello

Best Revival The Tempest (Cheek By Jowl)

Best New Play The Kitchen Sink

Best Actor in a Musical
Bertie Carvel, Matilda

Best Actress in a Musical Imelda Staunton, Sweeney Todd

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical Daniel Crossley, Singin’ in the Rain

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical Samantha Spiro, Company

Best Musical Revival Singin’ in the Rain

Best New Musical Matilda

And because people always want to know…
My least favourite shows of the yearGovernment Inspector and Juno and the Paycock have the unenviable distinction of being the first shows in ages that saw me leave at the interval. And of those I saw through to the bitter end…
Keeler was the absolute worst, with The Invisible Man, Moonlight, The Flying Karamazov Brothers, The Knot of the Heart and yes One Man Two Guvnors as runners-up.

2010 in summary, including 2010 fosterIAN awards

So 2010 is very nearly over and I can honestly, hand on heart, say that I managed to see every single play that I wanted to see this year…all 271 of them. It was a mostly highly enjoyable experience, although writing about all of them came close to tiring me out on a couple of occasions…I might try to see a bit less in 2011 but we’ll see, I’m not sure I’ll be able to cut down!

What I particularly loved this year was the reaffirmation of the strong ensemble in so many plays. After a lot of recent kerfuffle about big stars dominating the West End, it was gratifying to see shows like All My Sons, After the Dance, Broken Glass, Clybourne Park, Tribes, all doing so well with fantastic group efforts and quality acting across the board rather than relying on star names. Continue reading “2010 in summary, including 2010 fosterIAN awards”