Best Theatre Podcast: American Theatre Wing - Downstage Center 28 January 2010

'Go in depth with the leading artists and professionals working on stage today when you go Downstage Center. Downstage Center is the American Theatre Wings acclaimed weekly theatrical inteview programme that spotlights the creative talents on Broadway, Off-Broadway, across the country and around the world with in depth conversations that simply can't be found anywhere else.'

That's the official description of what I consider to be simpy the best theatrical podcast I have heard and I've been a loyal listener since 2005. I can't for the life of me remember how I came across it but if you're into theatre, want to or currently work in theatre or just enjoy post performance discussions then this is the podcast for you.

What sets Downstage Center apart is threefold - The interviewer(s), the production and creative talent at the top of their game. I'll adress each in order.

Interviewers and the Production

In the beginning there were two. When I first started listening to the Downstage Centre, it was presented in association with and broadcast on US Satellite Radio XM 28 On Broadway. The two men responsible for the interviews were John Von Soosten - Programme Director of XM28 On Broadway and Howard Sherman - Executive Director of the American Theatre Wing. What a great double act they made. John,with the deeper voice, came across as the 'everyman', the audience member who occasionally asked a question or picked up on a passing guest comment (although he went solo on various occassions). Howard was always the seasoned theatre practioner with an unbelievable wealth of knowledge backed up with hearty research. Together you got a complete package.

What I absolutely loved about them was the absolute lack of pretense. There was always a thirst for knowledge and a genuine interest in their guests stories. The questioning always stayed on topic but the format was never confining to the guests who often side lined answers with interesting anecdotes. John and Howard's interview style was never about John and Howard. It was about their guest and the absolute interest in their stories.

The format for each interviewv was and is basically the same. It starts out with questions, observations, stories and background about a current project or production that each guest is involved with and then goes back to the circumstances that originally shaped the guest's interest in their particular theatre discipline. From that point it moves progressively forward to the present through stories and antecdotes of their theatre career and sometimes their lives.

Sometime in the summer of 2009, Downstage Center went on hiatus. I wasn't sure when they would return as there wasn't an exact date listed, however it took alot longer than I expected and to be honest, I went into serious withdrawl. I looked forward to my weekly dose of Downstage Center and found it to be an inspiring link to the world of theatre. The show returned two or three months ago with a few changes. One, it's no longer broadcast on XM radio, it is now exclusively available online or as a podcast download available through itunes or directly from their website and two, as a result XM Radio's John Von Soosten is no longer presenting, it's just Howard now.

To be fair, Howard was always the main person and listening to him present on his own you begin to really understand how talented an interviewer he is. I would say he's the best presenter of this type of long interview format that I've heard (each interview averages around 60 minutes, straight through) - warm, accomodating, knowledgable and direct with a pretty easy going style. He does a marvellous job in keeping the procedings on track as well as providing quick explanations and background when a particular reference could be too obscure for some listeners. It never becomes cloying or gossipy. Its more like hearing all the best bits about a persons life and career directly from the source - with all the theatre related questions you've been dying to have answered.

The Creative Talent

What also hooks me into this podcast is the talent they attract. There's a mix of big theatre heavy weights along with up-and-comers and those you may have heard of but don't know much about. I find every story interesting - no two stories are the same, and everyone has their own take on working in theatre. If you are in a certain frame of mind you could learn alot but it's not just about that. If you are a people watcher then you'll love it as well.'s not just about actors. Here's a list of categories represented by those who have been interviewed:

Actors / Advertising Execs / Artistic Directors / Authors / Casting Directors / Charitable Organisations /
Choreographers / Composers / Critics / Dancers / Designers / Directors / Executive Directors / Lyricists / Musical Directors / Press Agents / Producers / Recording Executives is a selection of past guests:

Tom Stoppard / Doug Wright / Douglas Carter Beane / Len Cariou / William Finn / Stephen Sondheim / Tracy Letts / Phylicia Rashad / Beth Leavel / Hunter Foster / Tony Walton / Liev Schreiber / John Doyle / Rita Moreno / Anthony Rapp / Kristin Chenoweth / Angela Lansbury / Bob Martin / Oskar Eustis / Galt McDermott / Arielle Tepper / Des McAnuffe / Billy Crudup / Michael Mayer / Rosemary Harris / Michael Boyd / Stephen Lang / Michael Ball / Maria Friedman / Alfred Molina / Audra McDonald / Tonya Pinkens / Vanessa Redgrave / Dori Berinstein / Edward Albee / Christopher Durang

...the list goes on. I've picked out names that many will immediately recognise and that's a good place to start, but I've found some of the most interesting interviews were from people I never heard of before. Thier stories are just as fascinating.

Downstage Center is part of The American Theatre Wing (based in NY), an organisation 'dedicated to supporting excellence and education in theatre'. ATW is also the creator and owner of The Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Theatre - aka The Tony Awards. When you go to their webiste you will find a host of other interesting theatre realted links. The most immediate is inthe Audio/Video section. In addition to the podcasts you can find videos of discussions they have hosted. Here's what you can watch:

Working in the Theatre
'Bringing together performers, directors, playwrights, designers, choreographers, producers and behind-the-scenes personnel from the American and international theatre, the program offers a rare opportunity for students and audiences to see the people who create theatre engaged in thoughtful conversation with one another.'

In the Wings
'Focusing on the people who are almost never in the news but who are essential to the making of the shows we all see and love, In The Wings explores the talents and stories behind the scenes, from the costume and scenic shops to the rehearsal room to the stage itself, with designers, artisans and craftspeople explaining their unique contributions to theatrical art in their own words.'

Career Guides
'A series of one-on-one video interviews with the theatre's leading artists and professionals, explaining each specific discipline in the theatre and what it takes to pursue that specialty and make a career in the theatre.'

It's a bevy of information. For the dedicated theatre lover it is certainly the most in depth and broad ranged podcast you will find. And it's all free. I can't recommend it enough. To hear the end of Howard's fantastic recent interview with Stephen Sondheim when he is genuinely giving his thanks to the great composer for providing many years of enjoyment, could be reason enough to start listening.

The title at the top is a link directly to the Downstage Center page and you can find the additional sections I mentioned through links onthe right side of that page. There is also a link in the link sections to the right of this post.

Mamma Mia at the O2 - Singalong (24/1/10) 24 January 2010

Yes, it was the film of Mamma Mia and yes, the West End cast (most of them) were there to perform, and yes it was a sing-along but for me the star of the day was the actual screen.

They weren't kidding about it being the biggest screen. 100ft! It spanned the width of the O2 arena floor and seemed about half that length high. At the pre screening performance, the live cast was dwarfed beneath it, but, the clarity and resolution of the film itself was 100% Maybe even more. I don't know how they did it, but it was impressive. (see pics at end for size)

I wouldn't have normally thought to go to this sing-along (£25 a ticket but I got a pair for free through SeeFilmFirst). Not that I'm against sing-alongs or don't like the film but Mamma Mia doesn't, in my mind, automatically lend itself to a group sing along in the vein of The Sound of Music or Grease. Years ago, I was at the very first Sing-Along-a Sound of Music at the NFT and in my mind, the experience can never be equalled or bettered. The statements being thrown back at the screen and the essentially camp atmosphere was something that no one there could have ever anticipated. It was one of the funniest afternoons I have ever had in the cinema and it was all improved. People did dress up - AND - there were actual Nuns in the audience which only added to the experience. Since then, it was made into a franchise and as a result has become a very formulaic experience, distributing props and things to do and say. All enjoyable in it's own way but non of the 'throwing caution to the wind' anarchy of that first screening event.

One thing I really noticed about Mamma Mia which never really occured to me before is how much of it is - for lack of a better term - a woman's film. Not that it's only for women but it's pretty much from a woman's perspective. This is especially noticeable in the lyrics to the songs. They are pretty much all from a very specific perspective and I am sure many of the men in the audience would find it strange to sing and mean them. Another clue (which could also point to the fact that I have been late in this realisation) was who was in the audience. Granted, it was the matinee showing - there were two, a matinee and evening - but there were quite a few families. Mainly mothers with their daughters - of all ages, I would say from around 7 or 8 years old and up. When I really thought about it I realised that the images of mature women who are just getting on with things and not ready to pack it all in, are really good things for young girls to see.

Back to the concept. Another reason Mamma Mia wouldn't really work within the sing-along realm is there is nothing really ridiculous or stupid about the lyrics or the story. There isn't anything you could take the piss out of, the film is already doing that for you. The only exception is Pierce Brosnan whom many think has one of the worst singing voices going, and to be honest, I think that's unfair. He is fine and no one that I could hear was laughing during his songs. Also, there were some people dressed up in Mamma Mia gear but if you think about it the only thing you can do is dress up in garrish 70's garb, like the characters. Well, you can come in shorts and short sleeves but why? (or you can be an anarchist and dress up like characters form the other Grease. Get it?)

Finally, on the sing-along aspect - although we had the lyrics on screen, which changed colour to show which word to sing where, many, and I mean many people were tripped up, singing the original Abba version and not the dramatic version in the film. There was singing, albeit very quiet, but the crowd didn't come alive until the final credits. If you haven't seen the film, the closing credits are very entertaining. It's pretty much additional staged footage of the cast singing 'Dancing Queen' and 'Waterloo'. The crowd were on their feet.

Opening the afternoon was the current West End cast of Mamma Mia. We had good seats and for us they were just dancing ants on stage. They did about four songs in quick succession. The first had the three female leads holding microphones but it would be hard to convince me they weren't miming. Then we had a few more numbers with all the dancers (I've never seen the stage show but there seemed to be about 30 of them - I know that's an exaggeration but that's how it seemed). No one was holding a microphone, I couldn't detect any mics on any kind so I will have to say they weren't actually singing as well. Lastly the three female leads came out in their 70's gear and did 'Dancing Queen'. Again holding mics. (Again, not really singing me thinks.)

Anyway, I love the film. I love Meryl's performance of 'The Winner Takes It All' (which received applause form the audience) and seeing it for the first time on a big screen was an absolute treat. I don't know if they are planning on doing this again in smaller theatres but if they do I can't really see it taking off. You'd probably have as much film at home watching and singing along with friends (or alone with a bottle of wine).

Full screen view and West End cast takes to the stage (to give perspective on the size of the screen)

News: Improbable: Devoted and Disguntled 23 January 2010

From the articles I follow on Google Reader I tend to always read Lyn Gardner's Theatre Tips which is not soley focussed on current productions and events but gives as the title suggests, tips on interesting items forthcoming. This week she mentioned Improbable: Devoted & Disgruntled - here's her mention:

'There's still time to secure tickets for Devoted and Disgruntled, which tkaes place over the last weekend of the month in London. It is a brilliant way to get connected and find out what people are thinking and talking about.'

I clicked through on the provided link (which by the way is also provided to you by clicking on the title of this post) and found an event that has what I would consider potential.

From what I can see, this is the 5th year of the event (there's also one in New York which seems to have recently happened). Something that's been running that long is bound to be interesting - right? I hope so. What I'm sceptical about is how it's managed. It's all fine to voice your opinion but coming to a consensus (if indeed that's where this is going) about a certain topic is bound to be frought with difficulties and bruised egos. And to be honest, I've come across quite a few egos in theatre but I guess that can be said about any profession - but as the word 'theatre' implies, it can get a bit - theatrical. However this event is also about connecting with people with the passion and working on individual projects:

'Devoted and Disgruntled 5
What are we going to do about theatre?

Five years ago I sent out the first invitation to "Devoted & Disgruntled". I'd become aware that, passionate as I was about theatre, I found myself frustrated at how we make it, how we communicate with each other and how little the existing structures supported us to feel part of a genine community. Since that first inviation to others who were devoted and disguntled, this has become an extraordinary annual event...

On past experiences of D&D, the more diverse our group, the more creative and exciting the work has been. All sectors and genres: Fringe, West End, Off West End, London based, regional etc etc are invited. If you've never been to D&D we need your voice, if you've been to every D&D we need your voice. Whatever your connection to theatre; on stage, back stage, off stage, in the audience, you are invited.

In it's fifth year we still don't know where D&D is headed - and I think this uncertainty is exciting and i am passionate about opening the space again. I'm excited by the opportunity D&D5 gives me and you to reconnect with UK theatre and the wider arts community. To continue building on the work we have begun and generate new initiatives. And to reconnect without cynicism and lethargy but rather with renewed energy. - Phelim McDermott - co-Artistic Director, Improbable'

Sounds good. Pushing my scepticism aside, I do have high hopes for this. One aspect that I'm really interested in is the bringing together of theatre practitioners and audience members. There's potential from some real eye opening discussions and exchanges. I often feel that for some in the 'biz', the audience rarely figures in the final equation. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

If I can get my mobile tweeting skills up to par I'll be tweeting from the event. Even if it's not a blow by blow update it will at least be highlights and I'll post a full overview here the following week.

Improbable: Devoted & Disgruntled
30 January 2010 at 10am - 1 February, 2010 at 2pm
York Hall
Old Ford Road
Bethnal Green, London

The Little Dog Laughed (Garrick Theatre 12/1/09) 19 January 2010

I had high hopes, on two levels. One - it's my favourite director Jamie Lloyd and two - it stars Tamsin Greig. I wasn't disappointed but I wasn't elated either. Somewhere in between. It was funny, sometimes clever, interesting story and generally fine performances but it didn't catch fire nor did I get emotionally involved. A little bit of this, a little bit of that.

There are four characters - a Hollywood 'boy next door' actor/star who is repressing his homosexual urges, his agent, a witty, slightly condescending woman, a hustler who sleeps with men for money and then goes home to his girlfriend and the girlfriend. The hustler and the actor end up in a relationship of sorts which threatens the actors career if it ever gets out and threatens the relationship of the hustler and his girlfriend. Basically, the story is about maintaining a lifestyle and/or a career and the perils and pitfalls that come along with that.

I think the story on a whole is interesting because in this day and age of living in a celebrity obsessed culture, we hear loads of speculation about who is gay. This is something that I can't recall being delt with on stage in this way, exploring the reasons why it's not safe to come out and what is done behind the scenes to ensure that it doesn't. What gives this story a more human aspect is that the agent is a lesbian so that shuts out the 'you don't understand me' argument which thatnkfully never crops up.

There are many wonderful things here - Tasmin Greig's agent Diane (God of Carnage, Olivier award for RSC's Much Ado About Nothing, TV's Green Wing, Black Books, Love Soup) is a delight. She handles her scenes with expert comic timing and provides a much need anchor. Rupert Friend as Mitchell, the actor (films The Young VIctoria, Pride and Prejudice) is making his stage debut and is very good in conveying the indecision and paranoia of the character. The girlfriend Ellen is played by Gemma Arterton (Love's Labours Lost at the Globe, Films Quantum of Solace, St Trinian's and TVs Lost in Austen) is very likeable and Harry Lloyd (A View from the Bridge in the West End, TV's Dr Who and Robin Hood) is Alex, the Hustler - another good performance. In fact, everyone was good. The problem weren't the performances (with the exception of some dodgy American accents - especially Tamsin Grieg's. I couldn't figure out where whe was supposed to be from), I think the play itself is the problem.

Playwright Douglas Carter Beane (the film To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar and the hit Broadway musical of Xanadu) is known as a funny man (I've heard him interviewed) and there are some really funny moments in The Little Dog Laughed, well, more funny asides. The humour comes out of funny lines as opposed to situations. He obviously has seen and experienced the Hollywood game first hand as the ridiculousness of certain situations ring true. It's difficult to know exactly what his Hollywood experiences have been but I suspect they weren't good. I get the sense that this play came from a place of frustration and the ideas and situations came first. From there it was a matter of filling in the the blanks.

I find it interesting that he named the four characters. I think it could have worked better if they were just called The Actor,The Agent, The Hustler and The Girlfriend, because they all seemed to be more archetypes than real people. We never find out much about any of the them, and what we do discover is ultimately inconsequential. There is a moment when the agents deep seated desire is revealed and that does help but unfortunately that moment spotlights what we don't know and will never find out.

There is one moment that gives the game away. The agent and the actor meet a playwright in a restaurant to discuss the possibility of getting the actor a job in the playwrights new hit play. The entire conversation is told and re-enacted by the actor and the agent and no one else is given a name - the playwright is basically called the guy who wrote the play, or something to that effect. This device is carried through the whole play making all ofstage characters archetypes. Perhaps it was to make tthe plays characters more human, but if that was the case it didn't really work. Another device used is having characters, most notably the agent, directly address the audience - to get across more story background information than is revealed in dialogue (For me this is never a good sign). This device gives the evening a storytelling feel.

The set by Soutra Gilmour (Three Days of Rain and Piaf in the West End, The Pride at the Royal Court) is a stage within a stage. There is an additional proscenium placed onstage with an additional playing area in front of it. The stage itself is pretty bare - a white wall at the back defines a generic room that with the placement of a table or bed is a flat, a hotel room or a restaurant. All these elements to me seem to suggest that this is a story not of specific people but of ideas.

I've seen most of Jamie Lloyd's productions (The Caretaker, Piaf, The Lover/The Collection, A House Not Meant to Stand, his piece at the 24 Hour Plays, The Pride, Three Days of Rain and soon to see his forthcoming production of Polar Bears at the Donmar) and I haven't ever been let down. I read in interviews that he takes alot of time exploring the characters before they start rehearsals proper so with this production I have to chalk it up to the play itself. Enjoyable, diverting, somehwhat thought provoking but unfocussed. A bit of a two and a half hour rant set to dialogue that pretty much says all it needs to say in the final moments. For those of us who aren't aware of the trials of being gay in Hollywood, this could open your eyes, for the rest of us there's Tasmin Greig.

Legally Blonde (Savoy Theatre 6/1/10) 13 January 2010

Back in 2006 the musical Hairspray rolled into London and took the town by storm, garnering perfect reviews across the board. Even the most cynical reviewer just couldn't resist and was swept away by its wit, sentiments, performances, direction and choreography. It made it very difficult to not come away with a smile. Well, it looks like we've got another one. Legally Blonde has all the elements to make it a hit, and even though I have a few quibbles (see the 'nit picking' section towards the end) I absolutely loved it.

For all those who haven't seen the Reese Witherspoon film from which this has been adapted, the story revolves around Elle Woods, a UCLA Delta Nu Sorority sister with a 4.0 grade average in fashion merchandising, and her quest to reconnect with her ex-boyfriend by following him to Harvard University's legal school.

Like many others I was immediately suspicious of another musical derived from a popular film. When Legally Blonde first made it to Broadway, I immediately dismisses it as a light and fluffy confection. I hadn't seen the film so I was just going on first impressions which in a way are correct. After I heard it was transferring to London I got ahold of the Cast Album and fell in love with it's humour and wit. It's very much in the same vein (humour wise) as Hairspray - one of my all time favourites. I then moved onto the MTV (USA) live video recording of the Broadway production and thought it was wonderful. I especially liked Laura Bell Bundy as Elle (she originated the role of Amber Von Tussle in the original cast of Hairspray) and thought the the choreography was fresh and exciting (same choreographer as Hairspray). Next step - rent the original film - which I did. In a strange turn of events the film left me sort of - cold. I felt the musical was actually - deeper than it's source material. It delves deeper into the characters, exploring their inner lives through the music and songs. The musical incarnation is actually much much better than the film.

So, here we are at the London incarnation. As with many, my introduction to the cast was through the Children In Need telecast where (prematurely) the cast performed a few numbers in medley format. Honestly, that performance cast a huge shadow of doubt on whether this London cast were up to the task. It was a bit of a disaster, I have to admit. I always suspected they weren't ready and to be honest - no one goes on those shows and comes away smelling of roses. There always seems to be some sort of sound problem or monitors not doing their job which causes people to sing off key or off pitch.I can happily report that performance was just a glitch and those dark clouds have been swept away by a fantastic production of a witty and fun musical.

From the opening number at the Delta Nu sorority where we are introduced to Elle and her sorority sisters, in particular the trio who reappear as a Greek chorus - Serena, Margot and Pilar (played by Susan Mcfadden - who won the Grease is the Word TV competition a few years ago to play Sandy in West End stage debut and is the sister of ex-Westlife singer Brian Mcfadden - Amy Lennox and Ibanabo Jack respectively) myself and the audience were whisked away on a facepaced rollercoaster of a journey. Along the way we meet the love of her life Warner Huntington lll (ex-Blue singer Duncan James), Professor Callahan (Peter Davison of Dr Who fame), her new friend Paulette (Jill Halfpenny - ex-Eastenders, Strictly Come Dancing Winner and veteran of the musical Chicago), and the professor's teaching assistant Emmett (Alex Gaumond - We Will Rock You tour and Sunday in the Park WIth George at the Wyndhams). All are wonderfully cast and bring thier characters vividly to life. The most physically fit performance of the night had to go to Aoife Mulholland who plays a fitness guru who sells jump ropes through TV infomercials. She sings AND skips rope - at the same time - AND isn't out of breath in her next scene. Amazing. And, what a six pack she has. Some of you may remember Aoife Mulholland as the one who didn't win How Do You Solve A Probelm Like Maria, who eventually did get to play Maria in The Sound of Music then went on to great aclaim as Roxie Hart in Chicago.

The one person I have yet to mention is Elle herself - Sheridan Smith - a powerhouse of singing, dancing and acting talent as well as posessing the ultimate gift - absolutely perfect comic timing. I wasn't prepared to like her as my only exposure to her talents was through an unbearably long running sitcom - 2 Lagers and a Packet of Crisps, and then through a song she sang at the Whatsonstage nominations party a few years back when she was playing Audrey in the last West End revival of Little Shop of Horrors. I clearly remember everyone raving about her performance in that production but I wasn't sold by that snippet I saw. How wrong, wrong, wrong I was. Now I see what all the fuss was about.

What's really great about this show is that you start with a smile, you end with an even bigger smile and in between you are wowed by the choreography, the music and most importantly, you care about the characters and where they end up. It's hard to imagine a better Elle though, Sheridan navigates the slippery slope of musical theatre with aplomb. I think what most frustrates people who can either take or leave musicals or even hate them is how quickly and un-naturally emotions can shift. You have to be a skilled performer to make that work and Sheridan is more than up to it. Also, what keeps this train moving at it's non stop pace is good music and songs that actually move the story forward as well as expand on and explore the individual characters. This is really the key. One song after another that never stops the action dead.

Expanding on what I alluded to earlier - it's interesting how much in common this has with Hairspray - the same choreograher - Jerry Mitchell (who also directs) and it has that same irreverant attitude to the subject matter, has tongue firmly placed in cheek, has great songs, can be hysterically funny and has at it's centre a huge heart and big affection for it's central character.

I really don't want to say much more because if you've seen the film you know the story, if you haven't seen the film it's best to enjoy the story as it unfolds. I just want to add a few more credits - Music and Lyrics are by Laurence O'Keefe (Bat Boy: The Musical), Lyrics and Music are by Nell Benjamin (this is her first big musical) and the book is by Heather Hach (her first musical). (I have no idea what the difference is between Music and Lyrics and Lyrics and Music.) The set is by David Rockwell (Hairspray and the film Team America World Police).

Nit Picking - these are minor but they kind of anoyed me at the time.

1. The sound - I had heard about this ahead of time so I was prepared. Many times the music was louder than the vocals drowning out some of the great lyrics. (I have heard that this is no longer a problem).

2. The reflection - From where we were sitting in the stalls (centre- around 7 or so rows from the stage), we could see the reflection of the the monitor that's mounted under the Dress Circle - so the actors can watch the conductor - in the mirror of the beauty parlour set. It was so blatant we couldn't figure out how anyone missed it. It was very distracting during those scenes..

3. The flicker - On the same note, during the performance we kept noticing flickering lights in the stalls and eventually figured out it was the light from the monitors I just mentioned. Imagine a black and white tv turned on in a darkened room, behind you.

That's it. I hope it runs and runs. I'd love to see it again. And - It's not just for girls (my straight male colleagues wnat to see it again as well - there's alot for men to oggle).

My Full 2009 List 1 January 2010

I started this blog in June 2009 so for obvious reasons it doesn't include everything I attended in the year. There were, of course, things I saw before I started this blog, things I only saw part of (wink wink) and finally things that I really didn't have too strong an opinion about either way and chose not to blog. So, for prosperity's sake - here's the full 2009 list:

January 2009
On the Waterfront - Haymarket Theatre (play)

February 2009
Spring Awakening - Lyric Hammersmith (musical)
Woman in Mind - Vaudeville Theatre (play)
Wrecks - Bush Theatre (play)

March 2009
Three Days of Rain - Apollo Shaftesbury (play)
Priscilla Queen of the Desert - Palace Theatre (musical)
Over There - Royal Court (play)
Spring Awakening - Novello Theatre (musical)

April 2009
Parlour Song - Almeida (play)
Mrs Affleck - National Theatre (play)

May 2009
Hair - Al Hirschfeld Theatre (Broadway)(musical)
When the Rain Stops Falling - Almeida (play)
Amongst Friends - Hampstead Theatre (play)
Sister Act - London Palladium (musical)

June 2009
All's Well That Ends Well - National Theatre (play)
The Magic Numbers - Union Chapel (music)
Been So Long - Young Vic (musical)
Gay Icons - National Portrait Gallery (art)

July 2009
Blur - Hyde Park (music)
A Doll's House - Donmar (play)
Jerusalem - Royal Court (play)

August 2009
Helen - Shakespeare's Globe (play)
A Streetcar Named Desire - Donmar (play)
Three More Sleepless Nights - National Theatre (play)
Gang of Four - The Macbeth (music)
Futurism - Tate Modern (art)

September 2009
Vanya - Gate Theatre (play)
Thomas Paine - Shakespeare's Globe (play)
Judgement Day - Almeida (play)
A House Not Meant to Stand - Donmar (play)
A Streetcar Named Desire - Donmar (play)
Speaking in Tongues - Duke of York's (play)

October 2009
Raindance Film Festival - 5 films including opening and closing (film)
Sea Wall - Bush Library (play)
Mother Courage and Her Children - National Theatre (play)
Spanish Tragedy - Arcola Theatre (play)
Prick Up Your Ears - Comedy Theatre (play)

November 2009
24 Hour Plays Celebrity Gala - Old Vic (play)
Brand New Heavies - Shepherds Bush Empire (music)
The Priory - Royal Court (play)

December 2009
Cock - Royal Court (x2)(play)
Red - Donmar (play)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Novello (play)
Rope - Almeida (play)

Have a fantastic 2010.