Each year The Guardian publishes a list of its top 10 theatre shows of the year. The 2018 list is compiled by critic Michael Billington and includes the RSC’s Tamberlaine and Laura Wade’s The Watsons at Chichester Festival Theatre. Four graduates of the School (all from the One Year Acting Course) are in these productions.
Jude Owusu is singled out for praise for his role as Tamberlaine: “Jude Owusu captured perfectly the vanity of the world-conquering hero and spoke the verse magisterially”. Graduate Naveed Khan is also in this production.
Laurence Ubong Williams and Cat White were in Samuel West’s production of The Watsons at Chichester which Billington says “deserved a longer life.”
Billington wrote of the two productions:
Tamburlaine (The Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon)
Even allowing for Simon Godwin’s excellent Antony and Cleopatra at the National, this was the classical revival of the year. The beauty of Michael Boyd’s production, which compressed Marlowe’s inordinate two-part epic into a single evening, was that it demonstrated the arrogance of power while stylising the violence. Jude Owusu captured perfectly the vanity of the world-conquering hero and spoke the verse magisterially, while Rosy McEwen made a dazzling transition from Tamburlaine’s divine queen to his enemy’s vengeful son.
The Watsons (Minerva, Chichester)
It was a great year for Laura Wade. First of all Home, I’m Darling (soon to transfer to the West End) pinned down the danger of being trapped in a 1950s notion of housewifery. Then came this astonishingly witty and clever version of an unfinished Jane Austen novel. Wade took a piece you might describe as an Austen minor and turned it into a sparkling debate about the nature of drama and the ability of characters to determine their own destiny. Grace Molony was glorious as the mutinous heroine, and Samuel West’s production deserved a longer life.
For full list: