A year in culture: Theatre

Critics' Choice: The Best of 2011

The Bard had a good 2011. Kevin Spacey's Richard III was a master of honed insincerity and, in his sunglasses and tunic, predicted Muammar al-Gaddafi's end. As Hamlet, Michael Sheen could not be definitive because Ian Rickson's never-dull production (zombies and all) was so flaky, but he was remarkable all the same. As sparky was Rupert Goold's Merchant of Venice, set in another money-crazed society, Las Vegas. Of the new writing, Richard Bean's One Man, Two Guvnors, based on a play by Carlo Goldoni, gained most attention but I also appreciated the RSC's clever thriller Silence. As for Nick Dear's and Danny Boyle's Frankenstein - it was a thing of parts, good and bad, but still a monster hit.