Exit, pursued by a bear (The Winter’s Tale)
You know how it is, dear reader. December gradually ebbs away in that strange post-Christmas lull when no one has the faintest idea what day it is, what the weather is meant to be doing, and no clear idea on how our stomachs are going to recover from the onslaught of rich delights that the Christmas period has put in temptation’s way. January looms on the horizon, replete with thoughts of fresh beginnings, the ‘new you’, and, of course, the guilt that goes alongside a nagging sense that achieving this glowing, slender, energetic new self will not be as easy as the magazines make out.
Some years ago, I decided to adopt a different type of New Year’s Resolution. Instead of creating resolutions based on restrictions, I would focus on promises to myself that would, in some way, enhance and enrich my life, rather than starving me. One such resolution was to see more theatre that wasn’t written by my beloved Shakespeare, and this is one I have continued, often booking tickets based on zero knowledge of the playwright or actors, and frequently finding some real gems along the way.
Theatre, as you might have guessed, has long been a passion of mine. As a child, my parents would take me to the RSC every Christmas to see a show; at university I didn’t really see as much student theatre as I should have done; it wasn’t until I started working that I realised the beauty, and the power, of theatre. Last year, I saw 40 plays – not bad for someone with a busy full-time job! – and I decided to record my thoughts about the plays I see on a blog. I don’t always see plays at the start of their run, but hopefully a few people might find these reviews amusing or helpful in some way.
I will start soon by looking back at 2016 in theatre, but for now, Happy New Year!