Was that 2011? I'm thinking of the Venerable Bede's story, in which one of King Edwin's thanes compares the life of a man (with the Anglo-Saxons it was always a man) to the swift flight of a sparrow through a banqueting hall on a dark winter's day. The past year has seemed the mere flip of a wing. Yet somehow I reviewed around 86 shows this year - quite a lot more than last year, when I reviewed 66, and almost as much as 2010, when I did 90. So much for my vows to cut down on theatre: the totting up of the books exposes my vain strivings, and reveals me for the hopeless addict I am.
|Back to Back Theatre's Ganesh Vs The Third Reich. Photo: Jeff Busby|
Officially, 2011 can stand as the year my brain broke. I'm always a bit beat at this time of year, heaving up on the littorals like a storm-ravaged longship, but this December has been the full-on maritime disaster. The captain of my soul would have been advised to take a holiday mid-year, but instead pushed on, seeking ever receding deadlines, ever more strained metaphors. And lo! Something went pop. Ms TN is presently in convalescent mode, stubbornly ignoring the inconvenient tasks that scar my diary even now with the excuse that I will tackle them next year. But the obligatory end of year mop-up demands attention before 2011 vanishes altogether down the memory hole. So here it is: my top shows of 2011, with links to my reviews. It turns out there are 13, not 10, so triskaidekaphobics beware. Not all the best shows I saw were in Melbourne, either. I'm no good at round numbers or neat summaries.