Tag Archive: Royal Court

2012 in Review: Shows I Saw

For the last four years I’ve been keeping track of what I see, and each year the number has been growing. This year I saw a staggering 174 different productions (some of them more than once) spanning the performance art disciplines in 10 cities and five countries. I saw a high school production and a West End Musical. I went to the Vancouver Fringe and the Paris National Opera. I saw magicians, musicals, and modern dance; ballet, busking, and butoh; Shakespeare, site-specific, and SummerWorks.

As with every year there are shows I regret missing, but there are way less this year. There were things I wanted to see in London that I didn’t make it to. I couldn’t see every show at PuSh. I missed Terminus at SummerWorks.But overall, I saw more great theatre this year. Of course, I also walked out of two shows this year (something I rarely do) and wanted to walk out of at least three others that I couldn’t walk out of due to political reasons or logistics.

Here they are, the 174 shows I saw in 2012 in something close to chronological order:

  1. Waiting for Godot (Blackbird Theatre at the Cultch)
  2. Never Swim Alone (TWU)
  3. All The Way Home (Electric Company)
  4. Red (Vancouver Playhouse)
  5. The Idiot (Neworld/UBC at PuSh)
  6. Amarillo (Teatro Linea de Sombra at PuSh)
  7. Glory Days (The Boys Upstairs Equity Co-op)
  8. Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner (Chelfitsch Theater at PuSh)
  9. Gunmetal Blues (Playhouse)
  10. El Pasado un animal grotesco (Grupo Marea at PuSh)
  11. Craigslist Cantata (Arts Club Theatre at PuSh)
  12. Almighty Voice and his Wife (Native Earth Performing Arts/Touchstone Theatre at PuSh)
  13. Calendar Girls (Arts Club)
  14. No. 2 (Silo Theatre at PuSh)
  15. Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Pacific Theatre)
  16. Bride on Credit (TWU)
  17. Tempting Providence (Gateway Theatre)
  18. Problem Child & The End of Civilization (Theatre at UBC)
  19. I Love You Because (Intimate Productions)
  20. Intimate Apparel (Arts Club Theatre)
  21. The Silicone Diaries (Nina Arsenault at The Cultch)
  22. Hunchback (Catalyst Theatre at The Vancouver Playhouse)
  23. All Shook Up (Chemainus Theatre Festival & Gateway Co-pro)
  24. Ignorance (Old Trout Puppet WorkShop at The Cultch)
  25. Doubt (Pacific Theatre)
  26. Goodness (Volcano theatre at the Firehall)
  27. King Lear (Honest Fishmongers)
  28. Kismet 1 to 100 (The Chop at Gateway)
  29. A Vessel of Ruins (Taketeru Kudo – Tokyo)
  30. Barber of Seville (Vancouver Opera)
  31. Importance of Being Earnest (Arts Club)
  32. Importance of Being Earnest (Gallery 7)
  33. Flop (Delinquent Theatre)
  34. Snooker (Camillo the Magician)
  35. Fresco (BellaLuna Productions)
  36. The Bombitty of Errors (20-Something)
  37. Scar Tissue (Arts Club)
  38. Henry & Alice: Into the Wild (Arts Club)
  39. EndGame (Main Street Theatre)
  40. A Last Resort (Rough House Productions)
  41. Trial by Jury (VSO & Vancouver Opera Ensemble)
  42. Aida (Vancouver Opera)
  43. The Exquisite Hour (Relephant Theatre)
  44. 100 Saints You Should Know (Pacific Theatre)
  45. Blue Box (Neworld Theatre)
  46. Bliss (Ballet BC)
  47. High Society (Arts Club)
  48. Godspell (Christ Church Cathedral)
  49. Obstructions – Boca Del Lupo
  50. Shelter from the Storm (Touchstone/Firehall)
  51. Fantasticks (Gallery 7)
  52. MacBeth (Bard on the Beach)
  53. Wolf at the Door (Pacific Theatre)
  54. Not Everything You Are (Stones Throw)
  55. Obstructions – Felix Culpa
  56. UnBoxed (Scarlet Satin)
  57. Reasons to be Pretty (Matchbox Theatre)
  58. The Alchemist
  59. Xanadu (Arts Club)
  60. Titanic (TUTS)
  61. The Music Man (TUTS)
  62. King John (Bard on the Beach)
  63. Merry Wives of Windsor (Bard on the Beach)
  64. Alter Boyz (Arts Club)
  65. Armed (Xua Xua)
  66. Mary Poppins (Broadway Across Canada)
  67. Stationary (Delinquent Theatre at Neanderthal)
  68. Coercion (Hardline at Neanderthal)
  69. God is a Scottish Drag Queen (Delcon Entertainment.at Neanderthal)
  70. The List (Bouchewhacked! at Neanderthal)
  71. Tyumen, Then (Groundwater Productions at Neanderthal)
  72. House of X (Wild Excursions at Neanderthal)
  73. The Taming of the Shrew (Bard on the Beach)
  74. Obstructions – Beautiful Karrats (Radix)
  75. Sunday Service (Neanderthal)
  76. Exhibit A (411 Dramaturgy at Neanderthal)
  77. The Marraige of Figaro (Summer Opera Lyric Theatre)
  78. My Pregnant Brother (Freestanding Productions at SummerWorks)
  79. France or the Niquab (Old Pirate at SummerWorks)
  80. Haunted (The Haunted Group at SummerWorks)
  81. Artaud: un Portrait en Decomposition (TheatreRUN at SummerWorks))
  82. Medicine Boy (Native Earth at SummerWorks)
  83. Purge (Brian Lobel at SummerWorks)
  84. One/Un (Orange Noyée at SummerWorks)
  85. The God that Comes (2b Theatre at SummerWorks)
  86. When it Rains (2b Theatre at SummerWorks)
  87. Petrichor (Kitchenband at SummerWorks)
  88. Barrel Crank (Suitcase in Point at SummerWorks)
  89. Extinction Song (Voodoo Theatre at SummerWorks)
  90. Dutchman (lemonTree Creations)
  91. Wondermart (Rotozaza at SummerWorks)
  92. Marine Life (Theatre Crisis and Aluna Theatre at SummerWorks)
  93. Captain Ron’s Ship of Friendship/Atomic Vaudeville Cabaret (Atomic Vaudeville at SummerWorks)
  94. The Frenzy of Queen Maeve  (Live Lobster Theatre at SummerWorks)
  95. Breath in Between (Breath Collective in Association with Crow’s Theatre at SummerWorks)
  96. 40 Days and 40 Nights (Nina Arsenault at Summerworks)
  97. Your Side, My Side and the Truth (Compass and Trying Science Co-Production at SummerWorks)
  98. Peachy Coochy (Summerworks)
  99. We Will WeeTube (An Experiment with Theatre Replacement’s WeeTube at SummerWorks)
  100. Iceland (The Iceland Collective at Summerworks)
  101. Speed the Plow (SoulPepper)
  102. Motor Vehicle Sundown (Andy Field at SummerWorks)
  103. Midsummer Night’s Dream (CanStage)
  104. Mojo (ItsaZoo)
  105. Eurosmash! (Die Rotten Punkte at The Cultch)
  106. My Marvellous Melcher Machine (James Melcher)
  107. Pirates? (Quimera Collective)
  108. Just Bust a Move (Nathaniel Roy)
  109. Home Free (Staircase XI)
  110. Riverview High: The Musical (Entrance Theatre)
  111. In the Time of the Dream Warrior (Golgonooza)
  112. The 1812 Event (Just Push Play)
  113. Romance (Queer Arts Society)
  114. Adult Entertainment (Squidamisu Theatre)
  115. ReLapse (And the Other Leg)
  116. Miss Cosmos (Bright Young Theatre)
  117. Felony (Dreams Beyond 30)
  118. First Day Back (10 Foot Pole)
  119. Alpha (Compassionate Bone)
  120. Three More Sleepless Nights (o.o.o.o.)
  121. Weaksauce (Sam Mullins)
  122. You Are Here (Allentina Francesca)
  123. Hip Hop Shakespeare Live Music Videos (411 Dramaturgy)
  124. Tales Told by Idiots (Not The Mermaid)
  125. Lost in Twine (Looking for 143 Productions)
  126. Underbelly (Jayson MacDonald)
  127. Zanna, Don’t (Awkward Stage)
  128. Psychopomp (Psyche Theatre)
  129. Smudge (Two Wrongs That Write)
  130. God is a Scottish Drag Queen (Delcon Entertainment)
  131. Peter ‘n’ Chris Explore Their Bodies (Peter ‘n’ Chris)
  132. Loon (Wonderheads)
  133. Gadfly (Theatre of the Beat)
  134. Guernica (Hidden Harlequin Theatre)
  135. Fishbowl (Mark Shyzer)
  136. How to Love (Idea Factory Entertainment)
  137. Welcome to my Wake (INC – Ingrid Nilson Collective)
  138. Little Lady (Sandrine Lanford)
  139. The Histories AKA Will Shakespeare’s ImproMusical (GrinkeInk)
  140. Riot (Carson Graham Secondary)
  141. The Missing Piece (Theresa Hamilton)
  142. The Best, Man (Urban Rogues)
  143. Risk Everything (Squidamisu Theatre)
  144. No Tweed to Tight (Ryan Gladstone)
  145. Vincent (Spitfire Productions)
  146. Bookworm (Corin Raymond)
  147. Blind Date (Rebecca Northan at the Cultch)
  148. Post Secret: The Play (TJ Dawe, Kahlil Ashanti & Frank Warren)
  149. The Spitfire Grill (Midnight Theatre Collective at Pacific Theatre)
  150. Capslock: The Musical (Pipedream Productions)
  151. Master Class (Arts Club)
  152. White Rabbit, Red Rabbit (Elbow Theatre at The Cultch)
  153. A Beautiful View (Ruby Slippers)
  154. Zombie Syndrome (Virtual Stage)
  155. The Unplugging (Arts Club)
  156. Initiation Trilogy (Electric Company/Boca del Lupo/Writers Fest)
  157. Debts (ItsaZoo)
  158. La Boheme (Vancouver Opera)
  159. Dancing at Lughnassa (Capilano University)
  160. Chelsea Hotel (Firehall)
  161. Cozy Catastrophe (theatre Melee with Rumble and the Cultch)
  162. Gold Mountain (Les Deux Mondes & unity theatre at The Cultch)
  163. Dickens’ Women (Miriam Margoyles at The Cultch)
  164. Go Back for Murder (SAMC Theatre @TWU)
  165. Tomb with a View (Genus/Up in the Air)
  166. Far Side of the Moon (Ex Machina @ SFU)
  167. Matilda the Musical (Royal Shakespeare Company in the Westend)
  168. Twelfth Night (The Globe)
  169. NSFW (Royal Court)
  170. The Effect (National Theatre)
  171. Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Zurich Opera House)
  172. Jultrad-i-tion (Gotenburg Opera)
  173. Don Quixote (Ballet of the National Opera of Paris)
  174. Le Retour (Odeon Theatre of Europe)
  175. La Cenerentola (National Opera of Paris)

Lois’ Grand Adventure – Day 3 (London)

At the “Staging Shakespeare” exhibition at the British Museum

My friend Kaari didn’t have to work until 9:30 this morning, so we went for breakfast. It was great to just catch up with her for a bit, though we’ll have plenty of time for that this coming weekend!

After breakfast I went over to the British Museum where I was able to catch one of the last days of their “Staging Shakespeare” exhibition. I was able to get a ticket for the first block of the day and ended up spending over an hour walking through the exhibition. Some of the highlights were seeing the only known surviving manuscript in Shakespeare’s handwriting (complete with sections struck through and re-written), first editions of the first folio, items from the excavation of the Rose theatre, and no school groups while I was in the exhibition. While I was walking through I noticed that three of the video screens/projectors weren’t working (in true techy style) so I went and found a staff member to let them know. In the process I discovered that the British Museum uses Watchout (the same projections program we used for Re:Union for their projections and got to meet a lovely man from visitor services. He had many questions about my trip and what I had seen so far and told me how lucky I was that there were no school children in the exhibition and we shared a laugh. When I exited the exhibition into the gift shop, all the Shakespeare themed gifts were marked down because the exhibition ends this weekend. So watch your mailboxes, y’all. Some of you are getting Shakespearean postcards.

I spent another hour wandering through the general collections. Things I learned from that experience:

1. All the school groups hang out in the Ancient Egypt halls.
2. The Rosetta Stone will always have a huge crowd around it.
3. The British Museum holds more than any one person could expect to see in a week.
4. It’s really overwhelming.
5. Seeing marble sculptures from approximately 2 AD is really cool.
6. It is always possible to find a single woman travelling alone to trade photos with (as in I take hers, she takes mine).

Posing next to Thalia – Muse of Comedy – at the British Museum

7. I still can’t get over how many things belonged to royalty 500+ years ago that they still have.
8. All of North America can be condensed into a room 1/3 the size of the Roman Pottery room.
9. The scale is enormous. The building. Some of the pieces it houses. The history it covers.
10. There’s something to be said for just walking through at a brisk pace and not trying to soak everything in.

Outside the Apollo Theatre before Twelfth Night.

From the museum I walked down Shaftsbury Avenue to the Apollo Theatre for the matinee of Twelfth Night (a hold over from the Globe). The last chunk of Shaftsbury is called “theatreland” and it really is like an amusement park for theatre lovers. Which is what I think New York might be like (fingers cross that I can make that happen this coming summer!).  From the time the theatre doors opened, the actors were on stage getting ready. Costumes were put on and make up and hair done sitting on the stage while the audience entered. It was fun to see the cast joking with their dressers and with each other. One woman went up and got an actor to sign her program as he was having his makeup put on. No one asked Mark Rylance or Stephen Fry though, which surprised me. if I’d been betting on it, the two of them would have been the ones to get that request. When Stephen Fry walked out to get his hair done, i was amazed at how well his voice carried. i was sitting in the very back row of the main floor and i could hear quite clearly the story he was telling his dresser, something I hadn’t been able to do with any of the other actors out there.

As for the show, it was brilliant. It was an original practices production which means that they tried to do everything as close to what would have been done 400 years ago as possible. So all male cast, but also hand woven velvet for the gowns, traditional instruments hand made for the musicians, etc. It was so funny and Mark Rylance really is a brilliant actor. And yet again at the end of the show the audience didn’t leap to their feet. Now by the fourth curtain call (we kept calling the actors back for more), a majority of the audience (myself included) was on its feet. But it took some effort.

After that I took my first tube ride (thanks Nathan!) down to Harrods. I spent about 90 minutes wandering the food halls, looking at £300 scarves, visiting the fancy Disney store, and buying a beautiful Christmas ornament. It was fun, but I don’t need to go back.

The walk from Harrods to the Royal Court was almost entirely lit up with Christmas lights. When I arrived I was delighted to see that it was this oddly funky building in the midst of its fancier neighbourhood. Also a plus for the Royal Court: for the same price as a program anywhere else I could get a script for the play I was seeing that night. What a great thing.  The show was good, but not outstanding. I know that I didn’t et a bunch of the jokes about regional things (of which there were a handful. I knew it was funny cuz everyone else as laughing, but I didn’t get it). As a company, it was like if Solo Collective got to program the Arts Club Granville Island stage with the klout of the Playhouse. All premieres, all the time.

Again I forgot to eat. i was too excited about getting where I was going and going exploring that I just didn’t think about it.

Before going to bed, Kaari, Erin and I met to go over our plan for Amsterdam this weekend. It was at this point that I discovered that I booked one of my flights for the wrong day. How i did this I’m not entirely sure. But we’ll go with the “I’m only human” option. I had to pay a bunch of money to learn from my mistake, but at least it was doable.

And now, since my eyes keep closing while I’m trying to type I must to sleep.

Sidenote: this British tradition of ice cream at the interval is a good one. So far my favourite option is the “strawberries and cream” Haagen Das.