All the theatre I saw in 2016, ranked

(nb: most of this was written on the train on New Year’s Eve, so “last night” = Dec 30th.)

In 2016 I saw 41 plays (and three staged readings, which were interesting but it feels unfair to put in with the rest because they’re not supposed to be fully realised pieces of theatre). Drunk Theatre stalwart Louisa and I tried to clear out the bottle-ends in the booze cabinet before the New Year, and carried out the immense task of force-ranking all our 2016 plays with Post-It notes. (for the record if you are also looking to clear out your drinks bottles, the “Monkey Gland”, a 1920s? cocktail involving grenadine and absinthe, was surprisingly all right.)

Bottom to top:

Globe to Globe: Cymbeline in Juba Arabic (South Sudan)

It was very cold on Tuesday night, and I sympathised with the actors, who were wearing bright costumes well suited to the climate in Juba but less so to London. The traditional all-cast dance at curtain call turned into a genuinely spontaneous celebration of their new country, and was the best, and most theatrical, part of the night. Many of the actors seemed a bit nervous during the performance (although that might have just been the cold), but once the play was over there was nothing holding them back from a long, joyful and well-earned exultation.