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What the Monkey Saw in 2019

Usual entry of the new year, a simple run-down of the best and worst it saw in 2019. Subjective as ever, the list runs as follows:

Out Of This World
Sweat (Donmar Warehouse)
The Cane (Royal Court Theatre)
Antony & Cleopatra (Olivier Theatre)
Violet (Charing Cross Theatre)
Fiddler On The Roof (Menier Chocolate Factory) (SO – Standing Ovation)
Come From Away (Phoenix Theatre) (SO)
Follies (Olivier Theatre) (SO)
Betrayal (Harold Pinter Theatre) (SO)
Admissions (Trafalgar Studio 1)
A German Life (Bridge Theatre) (SO)
Rosmersholm (Duke of York’s Theatre)
Anna (Dorfman Theatre) (SO)
The Spice Girls In Concert (Wembley Stadium)
Death of a Salesman (Young Vic Theatre)
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (London Palladium) (SO)
Jesus Christ Superstar (Barbican Theatre) (SO)
Lea Salonga In Concert (London Palladium) (SO)
Evita (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park) (SO)
The Doctor (Almeida Theatre) (SO)
The Secret River (Olivier Theatre) (SO)
In Conversation: Margaret Atwood (Lyttelton Theatre)
Les Misérables The Staged Concert (Gielgud Theatre) (SO)
Calendar Girls The Musical (New Wimbledon Theatre) (SO)
“Master Harold”... and the boys (Lyttelton Theatre)
Ian McKellen On Stage (Harold Pinter Theatre)
Goldilocks and the Three Bears (London Palladium) (SO)
Robbie Williams Christmas Party (Wembley Arena)
A Christmas Carol (Old Vic)
Once (Ashcroft Theatre) (SO)

The Wonder Years
The Merry Wives of Windsor (Barbican Theatre)
Party Time / Celebration (Harold Pinter Theatre)
Aspects of Love (Southwark Playhouse)
A Slight Ache / The Dumb Waiter (Harold Pinter Theatre)
All About Eve (Noel Coward Theatre)
The Rocky Horror Show (New Wimbledon Theatre)
Fame The Musical (New Wimbledon Theatre)
9 to 5 The Musical (Savoy Theatre)
Equus (Theatre Royal, Stratford East)
Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train (Young Vic Theatre)
Berberian Sound Studio (Donmar Warehouse)
Downstate (Dorfman Theatre)
Amour (Charing Cross Theatre)
Our Town (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park)
Emilia (Vaudeville Theatre)
King Headley II (Theatre Royal, Stratford East)
Hugh Jackman In Concert (O2 Arena)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bridge Theatre)
The Damned (Barbican Theatre)
Top Girls (Lyttelton Theatre)
The End of History (Royal Court Theatre Downstairs)
The Illusionists (Shaftesbury Theatre)
Present Laughter (Old Vic Theatre)
The Night of the Iguana (Noel Coward Theatre)
Once On This Island (Southwark Playhouse)
The Bridges of Madison County (Menier Chocolate Factory)
The View Upstairs (Soho Theatre)
Fleabag (Wyndham’s Theatre)
Bonnie Tyler In Concert (London Palladium)
Two Ladies (Bridge Theatre)
Hansard (Lyttelton Theatre)
Soho Cinders (Charing Cross Theatre)
The Antipodes (Dorfman Theatre)
Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre)
Noises Off (Garrick Theatre)
White Christmas (Dominion Theatre)
A Kind of People (Royal Court Theatre Downstairs)

California Dreams
Romeo and Juliet (Barbican Theatre)
The Room / Victoria Station / Family Voices (Harold Pinter Theatre)
Don Quixote (Garrick Theatre)
Richard III (Alexandra Palace Theatre)
Alys, Always (Bridge Theatre) 
The Price (Wyndham’s Theatre)
Maggie May (Finborough Theatre)
Three Sisters (Almeida Theatre)
Sweet Charity (Donmar Warehouse)
All My Sons (Old Vic Theatre)
White Pearl (Royal Court Theatre Downstairs)
Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and Other Love Songs) (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith)
Les Misérables (Queen’s Theatre)
The Starry Messenger (Wyndham’s Theatre)
Rutherford And Son (Lyttelton Theatre)
Europe (Donmar Warehouse)
Blue In The Night (Kiln Theatre)
The Son (Duke Of York’s Theatre)
Big The Musical (Dominion Theatre)
Appropriate (Donmar Warehouse)
A Very Expensive Poison (Old Vic Theatre)
The Man In The White Suit (Wyndhams Theatre)
Lungs (Old Vic Theatre)
The Taming of the Shrew (Barbican Theatre)
Dear Evan Hansen (Noel Coward Theatre)
Cinderella (New Wimbledon Theatre)
Elf The Musical (Wembley Arena)

Saved By The Bell
Waitress (Adelphi Theatre)
The American Clock (Old Vic Theatre)
Only Fools and Horses: The Musical (Theatre Royal, Haymarket)
Man of La Mancha (London Coliseum)
Dark Sublime (Trafalgar Studio 2)
Bitter Wheat (Garrick Theatre)
Groan Ups (Vaudeville Theatre)
[Blank] (Donmar Warehouse)

Bug Juice
When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other (Dorfman Theatre)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park)
Vassa (Almeida Theatre)

A year of exceptional theatre – “A German Life,” “Betrayal,” “Come From Away” and “Follies.” Also some crashing disappointments – “Waitress,” “The American Clock,” “Bitter Wheat” and the inexplicable, filed under “Bug Juice.”


Next week, provided someone leaves a door open overnight, the Goodmonkey awards for 2019 will be hurriedly handed out before someone spots a light on...

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