I’ve been really lucky that in the last few years I’ve been able to see a lot of theatre. In the last three years alone I’ve seen over 400 shows in a range of venues. From fancy West End venues to hidden pub theatres and the huge array of makeshift performance spaces at Edinburgh Fringe, I’ve visited and seen a lot, but there are still a lot of things I’m yet to do. In addition to that, I definitely want to put a focus on improving my writing skills this year.
So, here’s some things I want to try and do this year!
1. Regional theatre
I’ve seen a lot of tweets and articles about critics being stuck in London and rarely venturing to shows outside the capital. I hear so much excellent stuff about shows in Manchester, Bristol, and Chichester (to name a few) and I think it’s high time I go out and see it. If anyone’s up for a road trip, hit me up!
2. Theatre quiz
No real reason other than I love quizzes and I still haven’t been to The Other Palace’s monthly musical quiz. edit: I’ve now booked to go with some friends in April and I am stupidly excited, I am swotting up!
3. More shows by women and working class artists
In fact, just see more work by not cis white straight privileged men, ya feel me
4. Unvisited Theatres
Although I’ve seen a lot of things in London, there are quite a few venues I haven’t been to yet. Namely the Orange Tree Theatre, Hampstead, and Regent’s Park Open Air
5. Learn how to speak about design and tech better when writing reviews
I feel like a lot of critics come from a performance background, or tend to gear their reviews around the performance and only spare the odd line to comment on design (not always, though). I want to be able to use the correct technical terms when I talk about lighting, sound, and other areas of design. Extending my vocabulary and giving credit in the most sincere way to creatives is one of my top priorities this year!
6. Experiment with different writing styles
In the last year I’ve been very lucky to have the opportunity to write for publications besides this blog: Noises Off, Fest, and WhatsOnStage. I’ve definitely learnt a lot about adapting my writing style and I want to keep doing so. This year I’d like to use my blog to conduct more interviews and write longform journalistic pieces, as well as more creative responses to productions.
7. Go to the ballet
Look, I just wanna live my white girl fantasy of seeing The Nutcracker at Christmas. Ballet is hella expensive so I guess I’d better start saving my pennies.
I miss performing a lot. It’s been kind of weird having a full-time job and not having rehearsals on the side. It’s made me realise how I relied on people at my university to write things and then be lucky enough to be cast in them. No more. Instead, I’m going to emphasise making my own stuff. I think it will mainly be solo to begin with, and using comedy of course. I’m just going to apply for scratch nights and not-high stakes performance opportunities just to test things out. If anyone can recommend anything or wants to buddy up to be accountable for making things then – genuinely – let me know!
ps. I’m performing a scratch at Lyric Hammersmith’s Evolution Festival on 12th March. It’s a piece called Burnout and you can get tickets here
So basic but I’d like to start a podcast in the second half of this year talking to creatives that don’t usually get celebrated (aka not performers, directors, or writers). I’d love to have conversations with producers, tech team, lighting designers, publicity, journalists, theatre photographers, prop making and a whole host of other creative careers which don’t usually get the limelight! Let’s see what happens…