2014 Theatre Preview: Gary Naylor's Picks

One of the joys of a gig like mine is precisely the opposite of this piece's predicate - I do not look forward to productions at all, simply rolling with the flow and seeing what might come up. That's how I have come across show after show that I would never have "looked forward to" but now look back on as a privilege to have been in the presence of such performances.

There's plenty in my review of 2013 that might not have sounded too appetising in the blurb, maybe a bit tricksy, or a bit serious or just - you know - not my thing. Ten minutes in, I couldn't have imagined wanting to be anywhere else.

In London, anyone can do this - just pick a night each week for theatre, buy a ticket - on the fringe, it won't cost you much - and put it in your diary. Outside London, it's not quite so easy, but there's plenty on everywhere for those willing to root around on the web to find small venues listings and drama schools.

With that in mind, I'm looking forward to another fabulous year of innovation and entertainment at The King's Head Theatre, where OperaUpClose are forging a remarkable body of work under Adam Spreadbury-Maher. One of the best pieces of news in 2013 was the survival of the Union Theatre in the face of railway expansion, allowing Sasha Regan to continue to revive often neglected musicals in another "up close" environment. Finally, though it can cost a little more, it's always worth checking out what's on down by the Thames - The National Theatre and The Southbank Centre offer a remarkable range of events, often at affordable prices if you're prepared to plan in advance.

So make 2014 your year for seeing something different - I can (well, almost) guarantee you a good time in return!

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From This Author Gary Naylor

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