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Non-review of 2021


Samuel Thomas, an actor, tweeted on 29 December 2021 that his New Year’s resolution for 2022 is “to continue living life without the pressure of arbitrary resolutions and goals”. He’s quite right, in my humble opinion (for what it’s worth) – why start over a new leaf (so to speak) just because the calendar says it’s January? Do what you need to do, whenever it needs to be done. I just about managed to provide LondonTheatre1 with a list of ‘top ten shows’ of the year, but any sort of reflection on 2021 was frankly depressing.


I’m looking at a WhatsApp group for members of staff at an NHS vaccination centre, and even there, reports are that there are lockers whose keys are missing, and a whole load of people weren’t paid last week that were previously explicitly promised payment, and because there was another public holiday at the start of the week, payroll has been delayed again this week. Trains have been cancelled at short notice, which meant some people had to send profuse apologies for not making the start of the shift (and thus missing the morning briefing). There is confusion over what pay rates are supposed to be in place for unsociable hours (following the ‘Get Boosted Now’ campaign from Downing Street, the vaccine centre extended opening hours on certain evenings to 12 midnight).


I could write about theatre. But that would mean talking about various shows that were cancelled or postponed. At the time of writing, the National Theatre’s press night for Hex (whatever that’s about) has been pushed back yet again, this time to November 2022. And my calendar is still being messed around with short notice cancellations – and even short notice invitations to review. But what if I wrote about something I know nothing about? My initial inclination was to say something about football. Not much positivity there either, as it turns out, with breaches of coronavirus restrictions, or otherwise adherence to coronavirus restrictions which then led to matches being – wait for it – cancelled or postponed. There was also something called the European Super League, which non-interested parties like me never had a chance to get our heads around, because virtually everyone who does care for football said, “NO! FUCK OFF!” As I understand it, one of many reasons not to proceed with it is that for top-flight English clubs, the season calendar is very busy enough as it is.


En-ger-land, En-ger-land, En-ger-land… didn’t actually win the European Championship. In politics, Afghanistan reverted to being run by the Taliban. At some point much of Britain ran out of petrol. There were Insulate Britain protests which screwed up road journeys for those that did manage to get petrol. There was a climate change conference in Glasgow but because the trains were screwed up (apparently by climate change) some people ended up flying there. But at least Britney Spears got her conservatorship rescinded. And yours truly started a new job in September. Let's just leave it at that.

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