In a year blessed with so many outstanding productions, the final quartet on our short list turned out to be equally divided between two of our major players. The Royal Exchange has been utterly revitalised under artistic director Sarah Frankcom while the innovative programming at HOME, the relative “new kid on the block” has strikingly enriched the offer for more adventurous theatregoers. Who would have thought Ghosts could have been so startlingly re-invented for a modern audience while The Emperor, also at HOME, has all the hallmarks of a modern classic. Wit at the Royal Exchange was harrowing, hilarious and ultimately deeply moving. But Breaking the Code at the Royal Exchange so completely impressed everyone who saw it that the panel would finally brook no other winner.
17 March 2017