1. Blues for an Alabama Sky
Lyttelton, London; October
It was an excellent yr on the Nationwide for large, consequential performs. Indhu Rubasingham’s manufacturing of The Father and the Assassin swept the stage with an completely distinctive palette and motion, whereas Dominic Cooke fantastically, resoundingly re-engineered The Corn Is Green. But it was Lynette Linton’s flowing staging of Pearl Cleage’s Harlem renaissance drama that lingered longest: gloriously capturing a complete world, melancholy however daring with hope – and expressively costumed by Frankie Bradshaw.
2. The Burnt City
One Cartridge Place, London; April (booking until 16 April 2023)
Blazing again into London, Punchdrunk staged the siege of Troy of their new everlasting Woolwich house – two former munitions factories – drawing on Aeschylus, Fritz Lang and Alexander McQueen. Right here was ritual dance, lofty magnificence and exquisitely drilled element (the beer barrel marked “Hades”): the corporate’s distinctive mixture of the grand and the granular.
Younger Vic, London; Might
It was a yr for reconsideration of the classics. Daniel Fish and Jordan Fein’s model of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s was a triumph: a band of tangy strings; the viewers shut sufficient to the touch the performers; the motion darkened however no much less vibrant. (Compared, Bartlett Sher’s much-heralded rethinkings of My Fair Lady and To Kill a Mockingbird have been apologetic tinkerings.)
Bristol Previous Vic; October
Directed by John Haidar, younger actors Billy Howle, Mirren Mack and Isabel Adomakoh Younger brimmed with urgency; Niamh Cusack and Finbar Lynch have been super because the regal duo. In an finish of yr darkened by drastic funding cuts, the renewal of Bristol Previous Vic’s Arts Council cash was a uncommon glimmer of sunshine: in London the essential Donmar and the Gate – theatres famend for producing new expertise – had their grants snatched away, as did Hampstead, whose inventive director, Roxana Silbert, resigned, saying the cuts meant the theatre couldn’t proceed as a stage for brand spanking new writing.
6. Not Now
Finborough, London; November
David Eire’s coruscating play ended a yr of marvellous new work in small theatres. (Peter Gill’s Something in the Air introduced troubled tenderness to Jermyn Road; at Soho, Blanche McIntyre’s manufacturing of Nathan Ellis’s Super High Resolution was white-hot.)
7. The Mozart Question
Barn, Cirencester; April
Jessica Daniels’s radiant manufacturing, tailored by Vicki Berwick from Michael Morpurgo’s novel, interwove speech and dwell music – klezmer, Vivaldi – to inform the important story of Jewish musicians compelled to carry out in Nazi demise camps.
8. I, Joan
Shakespeare’s Globe, London; September
There was “non-binary finery” in each side of Ilinca Radulian’s manufacturing, from a Saint Joan who can’t consider herself as a lady to Naomi Kuyck-Cohen’s design: the stage was bent right into a wave.
Almeida, London; April
Danya Taymor’s trance-like manufacturing of Jeremy O Harris’s play had the shimmer and glare of a Hockney pool portray. The Almeida, which frequently places on phenomenal new work, had its Arts Council grant reduce by £100,000.
10. Celebrated Virgins
Theatr Clwyd, Mildew; Might
The extraordinary historical past of real 18th-century lovers, initially schoolmistress and pupil, who lived in a “Fairy Palace of the Vale” 20 miles from this theatre – obsessed with snake-charmers and Aeolian harps; visited by the Duke of Wellington and Wordsworth. Eleri B Jones’s manufacturing was one other feather within the cap of inventive director Tamara Harvey, who subsequent yr leaves Clwyd to go up the Royal Shakespeare Firm with Daniel Evans.