Choreographer Gillian Lynne – about to be awarded a lifetime achievement award next month at the Olivier awards – has just said in The Guardian what many in the industry have been saying for a while – REALITY TV IS A DANGER TO THEATRE.
Although now regarded as a truism amongst the theatre cognoscenti the sentiment has especial credence since she is the woman behind a host of musicals in the west end from the past 30 years.
Why can she say it? It’s simple. She doesn’t have a west end show to peddle on Saturday night on the BBC to build an audience and then crowbar the preferred winner into. What is more interesting is her C.V. she worked on Cats, Phantom and Aspects of Love. I wonder who her ire can be aimed at?
We all get the TV build up as a prelude to a show and to build audience – we get the numbers game, and if it gets more bums on seats then it has to be a good thing to get people off the couch and into the theatre - but I have a problem with the use of the BBC on Saturday night as a promotional vehicle for the next ALW show. Where is the kick-back to the licence fee payers? Maria, Joseph and the rest get a FREE however-many-weeks-these-things-last promo before the thing opens.
Hats off to ALW for pulling it off – but not really – it’s too easy isn’t it? – which twit at BBC1 approved this practice – and how have the British public put up with his sheer bloody nerve for so long? Joseph, really? When was that? Hmmm…
There really must be better stuff to fill the schedules than this?
What do you think?
The Broadway smash musical ONCE is coming to London’s West End.
Based on the Oscar-winning film, Once claims to be the extraordinary and irresistibly joyous celebration of love, friendship and music.
The Broadway production has garnered 8 Tony awards and gained a faithful fan following who offer fierce claims to have seen it many more times than once, and each other!
It is in preview run right now but opens officially on the 9th April. How many times will you see it?
The Book of Mormon is in town! The new musical from South Park team Trey Parker and Matt Stone along with Robert Lopez.
After seven years in development, rave reviews on Broadway and good reports from previews on London’s West End the show finally opens on the 21st March.
We hope the news is good for them.
Tonight is the World Premiere of a new musical at the Arts Theatre in London starring Faye Tozer, Dylan Turner and Mike McShane.
THE TAILOR-MADE MAN is the true story of William Haines, the silent screen star who was fired by Louis B Mayer of MGM Studios because he was gay and refused to marry and give up his lifelong partner Jimmy Shields.
In 1930, William “Billy” Haines was one of MGM’s most idolised male stars. On screen he was tailor-made to get the girl in the last reel. On the back lot he cruised every bit player and stagehand in sight. Billy lived openly with his lover Jimmy Shields which was tolerated by the studio until rumours started to seep out into the wider world. Louis B Mayer ordered him to marry the sultry silent screen vamp Pola Negri. Billy refused and so Louis B Mayer fired him.
The show details the machinations and hypocrisy of the early studio system in song.
Previews were last night but the show officially opens tonight and runs until 6th April.
The Tailor-Made Man Tickets
It’s good to see new musicals being premiered on the West End.
Break a leg!
Terrible alliteration attempt but Shakespeare made up words too!
Great news… It’s Friday and I have discovered a great offer for you lovely theatregoers…
It has already opened but I wanted to let you know about a great deal to see James McAvoy in Macbeth at the Trafalgar Studios.
You can see it on a Monday for fifteen quid. The tickets for February have already gone but tickets for March go on sale on the 1st March at 10.00am and those for April go on sale at – you guessed it – at 10.00am on the 1st April. Maximum of 2 tickets per booking.
More details of the show here…
Don’t say I am not good to you…
It’s the final few performances of Shrek in the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
The musical inspired by the film trilogy has had a great run in the west end but sadly, finally closes on 24th Feb 2013.
The show has had an excellent run and along the way garnered Nigel Harman an Olivier award for his performance.
There is talk of a tour but no firm plans yet so if you want to catch that Ogre, Princess Fiona and the gang before they set off on their travels then book now…
Book Shrek Tickets
Rupert Goold is set to take the helm of The Almeida Theatre in Islington when Michael Attenborough steps down in August this year. Attenborough – who will have been in the post for 11 years – said “I can pay Rupert no higher compliment than point to the fact that we are co-producing two shows with his company Headlong during my final season up to the end of 2013.”
Goold – who has been a highly acclaimed artistic director of Headlong Theatre for 8 years – said ” I am thrilled to be joining The Almeida, with our collaborations on Chimerica and American Psycho this year it feels the perfect timing.”
We wish The Almeida and Rupert the very best of luck.
The Society of London Theatre’s annual report on ticket sales have revealed that sales rose in 2012 by a modest 0.27%. All the more impressive when you consider London hosted the Olympics!
Sales in theatreland racked up takings of 529.8 million pounds. The business we call show is booming. Don’t let them tell you different.
Interestingly the subsidised sector – in the form of the National Theatre – accounted for more than 35% of all the plays seen.
Here’s to even better sales in 2013!
There’s a nothing like a good romance and David Hare’s The Judas Kiss at the Duke of York’s Theatre is nothing like a good romance, detailing as it does Oscar Wilde’s fatalistic love for Lord Alfred Douglas. It covers two nights of Wilde’s later life – the eve of his arrest at the Cadogan Hotel after charges, raised initially by Lord Alfred Douglas’s father, and also a night in Naples after his release from prison sentence of two years hard labour. If it sounds like hard going then don’t be put off as this production has had rave reviews – they are saying Rupert Everett gives the performance of his career – after its run at the Hampstead Theatre. Freddie Fox and much of the original cast have also been coaxed to the West End.
It has a limited run until April 6th and I am definitely putting this one in the diary.
Buy tickets for The Judas Kiss
Kristin Scott Thomas will be appearing from this Saturday at the Harold Pinter Theatre – formerly the Comedy Theatre – on Panton Street in Harold Pinter’s seductive and haunting play OLD TIMES.
Having previously appeared in BETRAYAL by Pinter at the same theatre Kristin Scott Thomas now returns to the same venue now re-named in his honour.
If you only know her from the movies Four Weddings and A Funeral or The English Patient then you are really missing out on what she can do in your presence on stage. I had the good fortune to see her in As You Desire Me at The Playhouse Theatre and she was absolutely mesmerising.
It doesn’t open officially until 31st January but you can see previews from Saturday 12th January.
Old Times Tickets
Let’s hope it’s a good time…