2013 Year in Review: Tiffany Graves's Best and Worst of Theatre
Christmas (almost) endeth the year. Time to reflect? Well, of course! It's what one does. And what better venue to do it in than in a pub on Richmond Green with my nearest and dearest, where we shared our varying theatrical highlights and lowlights of the year.
Well, my highlight is a no-brainer. I'm sure you can guess. Like most stagey folk, I have a theatrical top five and this one tops the lot. But what are your other top four, I hear you cry? You wanna know the other four? Oh goodness, I can't tell you all my secrets. Next time, I promise.
My theatrical highlight this year has to be NT50. Thrilled to be part of it, baffled and honoured to have been chosen and flipping brilliant to share the stage which such legends of stage and screen. If you didn't see it on BBC2- shame on you. The green room backstage was the theatrical equivalent to 'The Avengers Assemble'. I kid you not: these people all have super-powers. Not only did you miss Dames Judi, Helen and Maggie, Adrian Lester, Ralph Fiennes, The History Boys and Sherlock (sorry, Benedict) being brilliant, you missed me flashing my pants and pulling my skirt down to hide my modesty in a big ginger back-combed wig. Yeah. You missed out.
As an audience member this year, it's hats off to Sonia Friedman. The three shows I watched that were highlights for me were all hers; The Book of Mormon, Chimerica and Merrily We Roll Along. Book of Mormon made me howl with laughter. And I really did. Howl, I mean. It was wonderful. Believe the hype. Chimerica was poignant, beautifully written and acted. A triple threat play if ever I saw one. I cannot believe Claudie Blakley has not been up for best actress in all the awards. I loved her. It's an art to make an audience feel really uncomfortable and believe you've really forgotten your lines. Now, that is good acting.
And Merrily? Well, having seen it at The Menier, The Harold Pinter and on the big screen, I just want someone to whisk Mark [Mark Umbers], Damian [Damian Humbley], Jenna [Jenna Russell], Josefina [Josefina Gabrielle] and Clare [Clare Foster] off to Broadway and make them huge, huge stars. Frankly, who's like them? Damn few.
I have lowlights, but it makes me sound very, very greedy which is not a nice trait to have, especially at Christmas. You see, a couple of really, lovely things have slipped through the net this year as I was busy doing other wonderful shows. I told you I was greedy! Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was a show I would have loved to have auditioned for as it's a favourite of mine and I cannot wait to see next year. Earlier this year, there was a workshop that I would have loved to have been a part of and there was also a show in the West End where I came very close, but no cigar.
Saying that, this year has been an absolute blast; Piaf at Leicester Curve was a triumph, singing at The Royal Albert Hall for Hugh Wooldridge in Night of 1000 Voices was, as always, incredible, and Witches of Eastwick taught me how to play the drums and sing *really* fast. Not to mention all the people I met and was lucky enough to work with along the way.
So here's to 2014, folks. Keep filling those theatre seats. This time last year, I had flown to Singapore to be the Ice Queen in Santa Claus, the musical. This year, I shall be rehearsing over Christmas to embark on a tour around the British Isles in Tonight's the Night. I hope to see many more shows over the festive period; to support friends, be aware of what is out there and to enjoy. May you all have many personal theatrical highs and lows of your own....hopefully, more highs than lows but enough of both to be able to appreciate the difference.
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