Looking back – 2022 (Part 1)

Looking back – 2022 (Part 1)

It’s become traditional at this time of year for reviewers to look back over the year they’ve had and nominate some of their top shows. I’ll be doing that over the next couple of days but thought that to kick off I’d approach things from a rather different perspective. Here’s an overview of the top ten blog pieces of the year in terms of the number of readers they have attracted. It’s interesting (well, to me anyway) that the first few are all the result of a slow burn; that is to say that they have been on the blog for a while but have started to attract bigger numbers during 2022. There are probably any number of reasons for this but it does suggest that reviews are not necessarily the stuff of here today and gone tomorrow reading which one might have supposed. Anyway, here’s the top ten – click on title links to access the full review

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Things I Know To Be True There’s definitely been a slow build on this one as I first reviewed this piece in August 2021. Produced by Frantic Assembly, their trademark style enhances a well-structured family drama headed by matriarch Imogen Stubbs. The play is still available on streaming service Digital Theatre
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Cruise Also comes from 2021 when it was performed online during the pandemic and onstage in the gap between the two waves; it was then revived onstage this year. An intense and enthralling one man show, it featured Jack Holden’s powerhouse performance in a piece he wrote himself. It was the recipient of various well-deserved rewards. Though it isn’t currently available online there is talk of a film version
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The Time Of Your Life/Institute This pair of drama/dance pieces from Gecko Theatre centre on the human condition and will certainly challenge the intellect. The review of the two shows has been climbing my blog chart since it first appeared in mid-2020. The first piece is available on the company’s You Tube channel; the second was on BBCiPlayer but is currently unavailable
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Prisoner C33 This review is the top performing entry solely taken from 2022. Alone in Reading gaol, Oscar Wilde talks to himself – literally! Toby Stephens plays both facets of Wilde’s character and is directed by Trevor Nunn. The play is still available on BBCiPlayer and makes for fascinating viewing
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Expectations Of Great Expectations Eddie Izzard’s one person retelling of the Dickens’s novel was essentially a work in progress when I reviewed it. The completed show opened in New York a few weeks ago (and is running into February if you’re around that way) and precipitated a sudden upsurge in review readers

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Leading the charge for live theatre reviews in 2022 are two plays from Tower Theatre in Stoke Newington. A 1970s inspired version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and the innovative Coram Boy were two highlights of their summer season
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Kipps: The New Half A Sixpence Musical It’s a reworking of the 1960s original with Charlie Stemp taking over from Tommy Steele. A piece of pure entertainment which premiered on Sky Arts at the start of 2022, it has remained on their Now TV catch up service ever since
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Life Of Pi This is a truly stupendous show from beginning to end and an absolute must see. It started in London just over 12 months ago and its run ends soon. It then goes on tour later in 2023. I still think it’s in my top five of shows EVER, so glad to record that the review is doing equally well
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Sasha Regan’s All Male HMS Pinafore This was another burst of joy from beginning to end especially when seen at the iconic Wilton’s Music Hall. Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta is given a new lease of life for a modern day audience. It’s currently available to stream on Broadway HD

So, that’s the most popular/accessed pieces on the blog from this year. Tomorrow I’ll look at what were my favourites from the world of online theatre and then, on New Year’s Eve, the best of 2022’s live shows.

To keep up with the blog and all the latest online theatre reviews please click here and choose a follow option

For my Theatre Online list (suggestions and news of newly released productions) please click here. This list is supplemented by regular updates on Twitter and Facebook

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