The Stage 100 2014 by category: writers and composers
It might not have been to everyone’s taste, but The Light Princess was undoubtedly one of the most ambitious new musical of the year. Having spent some time in what the movie business would term ‘development hell’, it was good to see it finally make it to the Lyttelton stage. While it might not prove a huge commercial hit, it showed that in Amos there is certainly potential for a great stage musical.
Ayckbourn is a familiar face in The Stage 100 because he is both prolific and incredibly consistent. Last year saw three plays debut in Scarborough (including Arrivals and Departures), plus a West End revival of Relatively Speaking and regional revivals of his work in Northampton, on tour, and even in Seattle.
Greig boasts perhaps the most varied entry this year, with his work ranging from The Events, informed (to some degree) by the Anders Breivik massacre, to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, informed (to a great degree) by Roald Dahl’s children’s novel. The latter marked his first venture into West End musicals. He has been a key figure in the arts funding debate in Scotland.
Kirkwood’s Chimerica, a political epic exploring the culture clash between China and America, was the new play of 2013. It was six years in development with Headlong before debuting at the Almeida and transferring to the West End. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait so long for her next great work.
The Donmar staged a mini season of McPherson’s work in 2013, reviving his 1997 hit The Weir and premiering his latest work, The Night Alive. The Night Alive has already transferred to New York, while The Weir will move into the West End this year.
Morgan returned to the subjects of one of his greatest triumphs, The Queen, with The Audience, his new play depicting the annual meetings between our monarch and her prime ministers. With Helen Mirren reprising her role as Elizabeth II, it was a triumph, proving Morgan’s ability to balance artistic and commercial success.
Translators and adaptors don’t always get their due. Poulton is theatre’s foremost proponent and 2013 saw not only a revival of his version of Fortune’s Fool by Ivan Turgenev, but also his stage adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall novels for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Stephens has had two plays (both adaptations) running in the West End during 2013 – his version of A Doll’s House and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, both of which have been picking up awards. This year he will return to the Royal Court with a new, completely original work Birdland.
We need your help…
When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.
The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.
We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.
Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.