Looking back – 2022 (Part 3 – Live theatre)

Looking back – 2022 (Part 3 – Live theatre)

Following on from yesterday’s list of digital theatre choices from 2022, here’s 10 more pieces which impressed. This time round it’s the turn of real live theatre – something we had almost forgotten about during various lockdowns. Happily there was plenty to stimulate, amuse, admire and enjoy. However, it was quite hard to whittle it down to just this shortlist which is presented alphabetically and into which I’ve managed to sneak a few noteworthy extras:

download (1)

Bacon (Finborough Theatre) A very happy marriage of ideas, writing, performing, direction and design which delivered so much more than the sum of its parts in this winning production. Writer Sophie Swithinbank and actors Corey Montague-Sholay and William Robinson are headed for great things


Blackout Songs (Hampstead Theatre) Joe White’s play stood out in this venue’s excellent year of programming which repeatedly hit the heights. A sobering account of alcoholic addiction and its effects with the two performers (Rebecca Humphries and Alex Austin) going for broke and leaving the audience breathless

Featured Image -- 17516

Dog/Actor (Wimbledon Fringe) The always interesting Stephen Smith of Threedumb Theatre starred in/directed two short pieces by Steven Berkoff which looked at artifice from the perspectives of a football hooligan/his pit bull terrier and a failing thespian. Smith is fast becoming the king of one man shows (c.f. Harry’s Christmas and One Man Poe)


An Evening Without Kate Bush (Soho Theatre) A truly remarkable recreation of the singer’s oeuvre and personality in a show which also celebrates the world of fandom in all its glory. Sarah-Louise Young was and is simply sensational; do yourself a favour and catch the 2023 tour which starts in February

5e6661a24fda927204168e33_OCEAN20_Q1_012 ATG on sale buttons_1080x1080

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane  (Duke Of Yorks Theatre) Joel Horwood’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel was brilliantly realised, unflinchingly confronting the darker aspects of life and introducing a heavy sprinkling of magic dust. A nationwide tour has just begun; don’t miss out


The P Word (Bush Theatre) Writer Waleed Akhtar became one of the “names to watch” in 2022 with this powerfully pertinent piece about asylum seekers fleeing persecution for their sexual identity. He also starred alongside Esh Alladi and for good measure had a second writing hit with Kabul Goes Pop at Brixton House

Poltergeist artwork

The Poltergeist (The Arcola) The undisputed performance of the year came from Joseph Potter in Philip Ridley’s thrillingly manic monodrama. He played Sasha and indeed everyone else via a mercurial and scintillating performance which absolutely astonished. Potter was also extremely good in The Dwarfs at The White Bear


Rose (Park Theatre) Dame Maureen Lipman was at her very best in a part originally conceived for her by writer Martin Sherman but which took over 20 years to reach the stage. This piece of storytelling was well worth the wait and even better than the online version filmed during the pandemic


Sasha Regan’s All Male HMS Pinafore (Wilton’s Music Hall) This was ingeniously staged as though taking place below decks on a World War 2 battleship and was an absolute joy throughout. The singing was thrilling – especially the use of falsetto – and, if it was as camp as a row of tents, who’s complaining? (Currently available to stream on Broadway HD)


Tony! (Park Theatre) While this one divided the critical crowd, I found Harry Hill and Steve Brown’s rock opera about Tony Blair a total hoot from start to finish. Endowed with any amount of silliness and some neat pastiches of musical song styles, this deserves a longer run somewhere soon – and it’s getting one at Leicester Square Theatre in April 2023!

So that’s it for 2022; let’s hope for some great live and digital theatre for the next twelve months. Have a happy new year and many thanks for continuing to read my ramblings

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s