Supporting Performance Of The Year
This is a region that functions best on its ensemble play rather than star casting. Give or take the odd show, mostly from Bath Theatre Royal Productions there is very little star casting around. For those that like the old fashioned glitz and glamour of the West End this may come as a disappointment but it is in the ensemble that shows in the South West really come alive. I have been impressed this year by the in-depth characterisation work in the work of Shakespeare At The Tobacco Factory in their thrilling Romeo and Juliet and rock solid School for Scandal, from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School who always combined strength in depth with all their offerings and from the ensemble of Pink Mist each etching work of the highest quality and all perhaps deserving a place on this list. They have cancelled each other out here perhaps by their collective brilliance but were without doubt the ensemble of the year.
- Joe Alessi The One That Got Away
The ever reliable Alessi always provides good value for money and he was on fine form here as the cuckold husband who also has his own bit on the side. Making him both pathetic and increasingly sympathetic Alessi also deserves plaudits for his immaculately coiffed sideburns that made him resemble an especially memorable Dickens creation
- Tori Walker London Cuckolds- Bristol Old Vic Theatre School at Tobacco Factory Theatres
Bursting onto the stage and almost bursting out of her dress Walker was the standout of a very fine and filthy take on this restoration hit. At one point she carried on a flaming saucepan that sizzled almost as much as her performance.
- Tracie Bennett Mrs Henderson Presents- Bath Theatre Royal
The titular role in this brand new musical which will be reprised in the West End come February but falling into a supporting category in thrall to Emma Williams shimmering, sexy lead. Bennett came in as a late replacement to Janie Dee and though she may have been a good fifteen years too young for the part turned in a performance that was both grounded and possessing a touch of Judy Dench’s twinkly eyed turn from the film.
- Amalia Vitale The Light Princess- Tobacco Factory Theatres
Coming in right at the end of the year Vitale’s turn in a number of roles was a droll delight. She earnt at least two exit rounds on press night, impishly involving the audience in her shenanigans. Her Northern witch intern Lauren was worth the price of a ticket on its own. A first rate clown with a great range of characters to hand, expect her to get more exposure in Bristol moving forward, both Tom Morris and Andrew Hilton were in attendance the night I went
1.Daniel Weyman The Crucible- Bristol Old Vic
Weyman’s highly-charged and thoughtful turn as Reverend Hale was the high point of a solid but occasionally stolid production of Arthur Miller’s classic play. He essayed the arc of the role from feverish zealot to a man who wakes up to the horror of the situation he himself has partly created. In our interview before the show opened he bounded up and told me in a passing joke that the play was all about Hale. He wasn’t far off the mark in a performance that steered away from the occasional bombastic turns around him and got to the heart of the role.