2013 - the year in review: The best theatre of the year
Saturday 28 December 2013
"Chimerica", Almeida, then Harold Pinter Theatre
Lucy Kirkwood’s Chimerica was the best and boldest new play of the year – a thriller-like quest; a penetrating probe into the ethics of photojournalism; and a witty, multi-layered meditation on the co-dependency of the two global superpowers. Lindsey Turner directed the dazzling premiere.
"Ubu Roi", Barbican Theatre
Declan Donnellan and his crack French company gave a blackly hilarious twist to Jarry’s classic about infantile despots. The modern-dress production oscillated between elegant bourgeois decorum and the anarchic fantasies of a vengeful, camera-wielding son. We need to talk about Boggerlas.
Using his own sharp, swift-footed adaptation, Richard Eyre’s spell-binding production of this Ibsen masterpiece moves to its shattering climax in an unbroken 90-minute arc, with Lesley Manville a subtle and searching Mrs Alving. A transfer to the Trafalgar Studios runs from mid-December to 8 March.
"Othello", Olivier, NT
Mostly set in a concrete military compound, Nicholas Hytner’s anti-heroic and thrillingly incisive modern-dress production ditched the glamour and “exoticism” in favour of detailed, naturalistic precision which the superb double act of Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear penetratingly provided.
"Jumpers For Goalposts", Paines Plough tour, ending at the Bush
In Tom Wells’s delightful and touching comedy, romance tentatively blossoms between two male members of a hapless Hull five-a-side team struggling to avoid relegation in a lesbian and gay league. It confirms Wells’s rich and rare gift for celebrating the goodness in ordinary folk.
Discovery of the year
Ustinov Studio, Bath
This intimate studio was not high on the list of must-visit venues. But in 2013, with his revelatory seasons of contemporary American plays and Spanish golden age drama, Laurence Boswell, its artistic director, has decisively established it as a powerhouse.
Turkey of the Year
"Wag: The Musical", Charing Cross Theatre
A “personal spray tan artist” was credited in the programme, but what this show more urgently needed was the services of an undertaker. Awkwardly cast with a sprinkling of self-professed WAGS, it was a talentless, empty-headed compromise between mockery and glorification.
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
- 2 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
- 3 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 iPhone 6s camera: features to include 4K video camera and flash for selfies
- 5 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
Suicide Squad's Margot Robbie: Jared Leto's now more petrifying when out of his Joker make-up
Novel Scarlett Johansson tried to ban, Grégoire Delacourt’s The First Thing You See, to be published in UK
The Girl in the Spider's Web, David Lagercrantz, review: Stieg Larsson's heroes return in a thrilling new intrigue
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn