1. Ballad of the Burning Star at the Battersea Arts Centre – ★★★★★. Until 8th March.
Once again there was stiff competition for our Editor’s Choice this week, but Ballad of the Burning Star at the ever-wonderful BAC clearly takes the top spot. Anything that is described as “cutting-edge experimental theatre” is likely to be something a little bit special, and this is no exception. Other words used to describe it were “flawless”, “masterpiece” and “explosive”. To be honest I’m not even sure why you’re still reading this – I’d be booking my tickets if I were you.
2. A Taste of Honey at the National Theatre – ★★★★. Until 11th May.
For the first time since we started our Editor’s Choice the nation’s National Theatre has sneaked in to the top five with a tremendous production of Shelagh Delaney’s classic. Every now and again you just need to see some proper heavyweight drama, and this is exactly that. Comic, life-affirming and thought-provoking, this is one you don’t want to miss. Plenty of time of course, but as with all NT shows tickets will sell out fast.
3. A Wedding Story at the Tristan Bates Theatre – ★★★★. Until 2nd March.
The Tristan Bates – one of Covent Garden’s hidden (quite literally) gems – grabs the bronze this week, with a “richly rewarding show about filial duty, personal relationships, and the ties that bind us together”. Read the review and you’ll find that the themes and content don’t pull any punches, but we’re big fans of plays that don’t stigmatise, patronise or stereotype mental illness, and this is one of those plays. Bravo to the brave team who’ve pulled it off.
4. Tristram Shandy: Gentleman at the Tabard Theatre – ★★★★. Until 1st March.
The Tabard makes it’s first appearance in our Editor’s Choice this week as well, with a gutsy adaptation of Laurence Sterne’s original book. Fast paced, eccentric and very amusing, it’s certainly a tip top show, although the ending puzzled us a little bit. The Tabard is a lovely place as well, so if you haven’t been before then this is a very good excuse. You don’t have long though – its last performance is on Saturday.
5. The Dumb Waiter at Matthews Yard – ★★★. Until 27th February.
Closing out our top five this week is The Dumb Waiter at Matthews Yard in Croydon. This may seem a little controversial – there were other four star plays this week, and even one other five star show! However, this production was clearly let down a bit by a few teething problems with this new-ish venue. Admirably, the venue have held their hands up over this with a wonderful comment on the review to apologise and explain their plan to do better. So for that reason I think people should give them a shot – they’re a new venue, and they deserve a second chance. And the play itself is clearly terrific!