Unfortunately, yesterday, we lost one of Britain’s icons in Theatre and Film. Alan Rickman was an amazing actor, on stage and film, using his art to change the world. Alan Rickman trained at RADA and worked at the RSC, where is career took off. His work there, giving him a stereotype of a classically trained Shakespearean British actor. Before his cinematic career took off, some of his most famous roles of Hans Gruber (Die Hard) – where he has been considered to have redefined Action films, and Professor Snape (Harry Potter) – where in the last film he gave an absolutely amazing performance, embodying one of J.K Rowling’s most memorable characters. He has spent a huge time directing, in films and Theatre. In 2005 he produced and directed My Name is Rachel Corrie a political play looking at a corrupt political infrastructure in Israel, and how the underdogs often get beaten and beaten. His repertoire is endless, and the words from the people who knew him and worked with him are nothing but words of love and kindness. Describing him as loyal and kind and an actor above all.

Emma Thompson wrote in a statement “Alan was my friend and so this is hard to write because I have just kissed him goodbye.What I remember most in this moment of painful leave-taking is his humour, intelligence, wisdom and kindness. His capacity to fell you with a look or lift you with a word. The intransigence which made him the great artist he was – his ineffable and cynical wit, the clarity with which he saw most things, including me, and the fact that he never spared me the view. I learned a lot from him. He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again.”

“If only life could be a little more tender and art a little more robust”

He was, for me, the embodiment of an actor that I aspire to be; Supportive of his fellow actors in such a harsh business; loyal to the people he had worked with; Kind; Intelligent; Ridiculously talented; Politically active. He gave everything he had to Theatre and Film. His life, his commitment, his love. And he used his talents to try and change the world into a better one.

“Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theater, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.”

 

Top Productions of 2015

There were so many good productions of 2015, and I wish I could have seen them all. But money and time are limited. Unfortunately….These are my top 5 of what I have seen this year. I may have missed some, because I’m not at home and I don’t have all my tickets ect with me.

5. To Kill a Mockingbird. – King’s Theatre

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To start off this list. This classic novel that was transferred to the Stage. I saw this back in February at the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh. I loved the whole atmosphere to the piece, quite playful and childish at the start and took a more serious tone in the second half. Presenting the prejudice shown in that time period very well. The acting was very good from Atticus and Tom Robinson, showing intensity and creating the perfect tone for the piece.

4. The Driver’s seat. – National Theatre Production

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Next is The Driver’s seat. I saw this as part of the Edinburgh Fringe at the Lyceum Theatre. It tells the story of the investigation of the murder and the final few hours of a young woman. I loved the way they presented this piece of theatre. The multimedia aspect of it was brilliant. With videos, moving maps and projection after projection onto the cyclorama. It was something different and it worked really well. It was also a well written play with extremely complex and developed characters.

3. Barbarians. – Young Vic.

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Barbarians at No.3. I have said repeatedly how much I loved this piece. A play, with absurdist qualities, about 3 young men from the east of London, set in the 1970s. Brilliant piece of theatre. Entertaining and thought provoking. With intense acting, and amazing directing from Liz Stevenson . Darkly comedic and very relevant, with great music and lighting. Definitely one of my favourite pieces of this year.

2. The Caucasian Chalk Circle – Lyceum.

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At No. 2 it’s Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht. I saw this at the Lyceum in March. They bring this classic political piece into the new age, by making it still completely relevant. It was hilarious and extremely thought provoking. I laughed, when I probably shouldn’t have been, and cried when I probably should have been laughing. But that’s how it is with Brecht. The staging was inventive and admirable. And the piece was brought into this century with the accompany of rock / punk music. I was so lucky to see this, this year.

1. Hamlet – Barbican.

 

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And of course at No. 1. – Hamlet. The play which managed to get everyone talking about Theatre – which is never a bad thing. I mean, you can’t fault shakespeare. Nor Benedict Cumberbatch’s acting. The set, staging, costume were amazing. The acting was so intense and brilliant, by the whole cast. The relationship between the actors and the audience was so intimate and close. And I loved it. I had such an amazing night to see one of the actors I admire most, perform one of my favourite plays. That is why it is my top Production of 2015 for me. I was so lucky to see it, and I enjoyed it immensely.

So those are my top productions for this year, and I can’t wait for the theatre I will see next year. Happy New Year, and I hope 2016 is as full of happiness, success and of course Theatre, as 2015. Or better.

-Charlotte