Grief by Mike Leigh, Cottesloe Theatre, 26 December 2011

I don’t think we’d been to the theatre on Boxing Day before…nor have we (to date) since.

But the timing worked for us and we thought, “why not?”  We are very keen on Mike Leigh’s work generally. Also we wanted to make amends for the involuntary hoo-ha, in front of Mike Leigh’s very eyes, last time we attended one of his plays – a few months ago – especially as he had been so nice about it:

Ecstasy by Mike Leigh, Hampstead Theatre, 18 March 2011

But unfortunately, we didn’t think all that much of Grief.

It had a fine cast including several of Mike Leigh’s regular stars, headed up by Lesley Manville.

The play had been developed in ensemble – the Mike Leigh method if you will. But, to us, it seemed rather dated and lacked sparkle this time.

It got somewhat mixed reviews – click here for a search term that finds them.

Below is a sort of review vid about the play/production:

 

Reasons To Be Pretty by Neil LaBute, Almeida Theatre, 17 December 2011

We are very keen on Neil LaBute plays and the Almeida has (or had) made a bit of a specialism in them over the years.

While not quite his razor-sharp best, we thought this was a very good play and production.

Here is a link to the Almeida resource on this play/production.

The acting was excellent – all four performances top notch.

It was very well received by the critics on the whole – click here for a link through to the reviews.

Below is the trailer for the production we saw:

I remember us both really dreading the shlep to the Almeida just before Christmas and then both being so glad that we went.

We subsequently (four/five years later) saw a companion piece for it at the Hampstead, Reasons To Be Happy…

Reasons To Be Happy by Neil Labute, Hampstead Theatre, 8 April 2016

…which we didn’t think was anything like as good.

Haunted Child by Joe Penhall, Royal Court Theatre, 3 December 2011

We thought this was an excellent play and production.

We booked it on the back of Joe Penhall’s superb play Blue/Orange. We also got a fantastic cast, not least Ben Daniels and Sophie Okonedo.

Here is the Royal Court resource for this play/production.

The Ben Daniels character, the father, is basically being sucked in by a cult. On reflection at the time of writing (January 2018) it has a fair bit in common with My Mum’s A Twat – click here, which we saw recently, except the cult-ista in the more recent case is the mum and the storyteller is the affected child later in life.

Anyway, Haunted Child mostly got very good reviews – click here for a link term that should find them.

Below is the trailer: