trying to narrow down my theatre-going (I wrote about 120 performances this
year) to a list of ten, I’ve kept to the parameters of new productions by
Irish/Northern Irish companies, or co-productions where the creative half is
Irish. This leaves out Andrew Scott’s seamless performance in the Paines Plough
production of Sea Wall, co-produced
by Dublin Theatre Festival, though it was probably my favourite performance
this year. I’ve also left out the Gate Theatre’s production of The Gigli Concertbecause Denis Conway
had performed the part before, and I figured I could make room for something
else, though that doesn’t excuse the omission of Sinéad McKenna, who gave the
best lighting design this year.
I’ve written an end-of-year list, I’ve tried to keep to the idea of
‘best’ as moments in the theatre when I felt a significant shift in my
thinking, when I’ve registered a change in my biology: the welling of emotion,
the howl of laughter or a menacing discomfort.