Sunday, December 30, 2012

That Was The Year That Was 2012

You wouldn't know it from looking at this blog (sorry) but there has been so much cultural stuff to enjoy this year, and - precisely because I've been a bit on the rubbish side - it's probably worth rounding it up...

Kudos to producer James Lowey for putting together School Night, a lovely club night that kicked off in January with a barnstorming performance from Humphrey Ker, whose 40 minute rattle through British kings, queens and (a lot of) wars genuinely reignited my interest in history.

In Edinburgh, Tony Law and Pappy's were rightly lauded for their hilarious, thoughtful and clever shows while David O'Doherty delivered an angst-ridden hour that is probably his best ever.

If you were after sweet, witty and hugely satisfying movies this year there were three that ticked each of those lovely boxes: The Muppets (loads of laugh out loud moments even after mulitple viewings), Avengers Assemble (funny, great fights, massively entertaining), and Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson with heart. Seriously).

I became a Ben Folds Five fan in 2001, which is something of a shame, seeing as they'd split up the year before. It was a long-awaited delight, then, to see them back together and having loads of fun at my favourite music venue Brixton Academy a few weeks back, along with 5000 other devotees. Thanks to a great, generous set list that included the likes of Alice Childress and Song for the Dumped alongside tracks from the new album, and an excited audience in fine voice, it was, probably, my favourite ever gig.

Elsewhere, Jack White proved himself to be the ultimate, timeless rocker at Alexandra Palace, Rufus Wainwright had an uptempo hoot at Hammersmith Apollo and Neil Hannon celebrated his 42nd birthday at the Royal Festival Hall. The whole of Promenade complete with a string quartet? Alison Moyet singing Don't Go and The Certainty of Chance? Party hats for the audience? Yes please.

I didn't get to the theatre as often as I'd have liked this year, but 2012 was bookended by two delightful productions: the charming, inventive and visually beautiful Swallows and Amazons in January, and Twelfth Night which - while not faultless - provided an always-cherished opportunity to see the masterful Mark Rylance in action.

With Grandma's House, The Thick of It, Peep Show, Horrible Histories, Fresh Meat and The Thick of It all returning, there's been some staggeringly great comedy writing on offer this year. And as for debuts, it's hard to look beyond Jenna-Louise Colman, who sparkled as souffle girl, and then out-Doctor'd the Doctor in terms of curiosity, fun and sheer love of life as Clara. The Doctor's smitten, and no wonder. A quick tip o' the hat to the producers of the first Eight out of Ten Cats to air after Jimmy Carr's taxgate too, as normal service was suspended to give time and space for a proper, sincere discussion.

Oh, and the Olympics? With that opening ceremony, and all those fab montages, and Murray winning Gold, and Chad's dad? Not bad.


Lisa Rullsenberg said...

belatedly, but heartfelt, this sounds like a cracking year. Totally agree about Moonrise Kingdom: loved it!

Anna Lowman (annawaits) said...

Ah, thanks Lisa! Yes, what a lovely film.

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