Monday, April 02, 2007

BTB Shows (Before This Blog)

We started "View From The Stalls" in September 2006 and we pretty much covered the hows and whys in our "Welcome" post. We were also able to look back over the shows that we had seen earlier in 2006 and these reviews are labelled "Catch-up" and are often not quite as detailed as our more current reviews. But of course our theatregoing didn't begin in 2006, and we've always felt it a shame that some of the great productions we saw before 2006 don't get a mention, so with that in mind here is a quick run through of some of our personal highlights from yesteryear...

By rights we should start off with the Scottish Youth Theatre's production of "Sweeney Todd" in 2004 - seeing Katrina Innes in SYT's "When a Star Falls" was the prompt to finally write this up. This was an incredible production with spectacular performances by Innes as "Mrs Lovett" and Dougie Greig as "Sweeney Todd". Greig's performance was intense and convincingly evil while Innes showed a real talent for the comedic elements of her role, and they both delivered memorable vocals. They had great support from a very able supporting cast but Greig and Innes produced performances that remain to this day the best I have seen in the Citz Circle Studio.

"Sweeney Todd" wasn't our first time at an SYT performance, and of course it wasn't our last. Many years before we had seen their musicals "John Paul Jones" and "Into the Woods" which were very enjoyable but too far back to comment on in detail, however in 2005 we were back in the Citz Circle Studio for their devised show "The Ugly Duckling". I honestly couldn't begin to describe the plot of this show based on the tale by Hans Christian Anderson intermingled with his own life story but it was great, great fun and gave all of the cast their moment to shine including an Elvis-style "There once was an ugly duckling..." and a performance of "Beautiful" that means we can never hear Christina Aguilera's version the same way again. It truly was a joy to watch.

Going a little further back I have great memories of seeing Imogen Stubbs in the lead role of Shaw's "St Joan" which has always been a favourite play of mine. Stubbs was excellent but my main memories of the show are of the brilliant use of lighting and a minimal set.

The memories get a little thin after that but include a great version of "A Clockwork Orange" at the Tron around 1991/92, and an early experience of promenading performances with "John Brown's Body" at the Tramway. I also have the pleasure of many years of memories of a couple of true Scottish greats - Rikki Fulton & Stanley Baxter in pantomime at the Kings.

There have of course been disappointing theatre trips over the years, some of which Waldorf has already highlighted in the recent "Are you positive?" piece on why our reviews tend to be favourable. Fortunately it seems that many of the less enjoyable ones fall into the "truly forgettable" category.

Our reviews and other posts are always open to comment but in particular with this one I'd encourage those of you reading to have a think about some of the special memories you have of theatre over the years, and maybe consider sharing one or two of them with us...