The production as a whole may have had its flaws, but Kevin Spacey’s portrayal of England’s bloody king was a real theatrical experience. Limping around the stage for the best part of three hours, the Hollywood star wowed as the angry autocrat, and brought one of Shakespeare’s most widely performed plays into the modern era with a bang.
4. Hamlet, Young Vic
Another modern interpretation of a Shakespearian classic appeared at the Young Vic this winter with Michael Sheen playing the lead. The action began before audience members had taken their seats, with the backstage of the theatre transformed into a mental asylum that spectators could wander around before the show started. The concept was not necessarily played out to perfection, but Sheen was undeniably a stellar Hamlet.
Read my review of One Man, Two Guvnors here
Read my review of Jerusalem here
2011 was certainly the year of the Rattigan revival as several theatres paid tribute to the late, great dramatist to mark the centenary of his birth. Cause Célèbre was a stunning production in every sense of the word, from the fantastic staging to Anne-Marie Duff’s wonderful performance as lustful Alma Rattenbury. Based on a real life trial in 1935 where Rattenbury and her young lover were charged with bludgeoning her husband to death, Thea Sharrock’s revival of this play brought the mix of heartfelt emotion and quick wit back to the forefront of the London stage in what was, in my view, the best play of the year.