I’ve also had some really wonderful nights in the theatre that I wouldn’t have missed for the world. These included the long-delayed West End transfer of Life of Pi.
Mates blogger: Mark Shenton
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The latest from Mark on MyTheatreMates
Stephen Sondheim – Broadway’s musical theatre’s greatest innovator and powerhouse over the last seven decades – left us, after 91 years, in the midst of writing another new musical that he revealed only weeks ago.
Here’s the final tally from my recent trip to New York City: across 13 nights, I saw 20 shows in all – 11 of them on Broadway, 8 off-Broadway, one in a cabaret room.
As if the late Diana, Princess of Wales, didn’t suffer enough in her short life and sudden, violent death, here she is as the title character and subject of a new Broadway musical, being exploited all over again.
Like the hit stage version of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, this National Theatre adaptation is about a teenager on a journey of discovery confronting a mysterious adult world.
The Magician’s Elephant re-opens the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon after some 19 months of closure. It’s the same slot that famously produced Matilda.
Get Up! Stand Up! follows the standard tropes of the bio-musical, folding scenes from his life and work around some of Bob Marley’s most famous songs
One of the pleasures — but also the risks — of being a theatre critic is that you come first to a new production, ready to form your own opinions on what you’ve seen, before you’ve already encountered or digested the opinions of others.
Mark Shenton: First of all, apologies that I was missing-in-action yesterday. I was in London — and at a hotel without desk space in the rooms, so unable to write. (And the dog ate my homework, too). So no, that’s not the entirety of my excuse. But sometimes I need to take a break, too. There may be days when the newsletter fails to materialize!
I recently wrote to every major theatre chain in London to ask to see their COVID safety risk assessments and ventilation plans.
Last week saw Paula Vogel’s Indecent finally open officially at the Menier Chocolate Factory, a year and a half after previews had begun, for the UK premiere of Rebecca Taichman’s Tony-winning original production.
Although this newsletter officially remains on hiatus and will resume publication on Monday 20 September, I’m interrupting my time on the beach for a second time to deliver this bulletin with the reviews of Back To The Future that opened officially at the West End’s Adelphi Theatre on Monday.
I’m interrupting my time on the beach to deliver this bulletin with the reviews of Frozen that opened officially at the West End’s refurbished Theatre Royal, Drury Lane last night.
American Actors Equity are requiring actors and crew to be fully vaccinated as a condition of work. Again, in the UK, SOLT and Equity are not requiring this. Regular testing is deemed sufficient.
A new touring stage version of the 1971 Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks held a national press night last Friday at Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre, after previewing beforehand at Newcastle Theatre Royal. The tour is currently booking to May 2022.
It has been harder for Andrew Lloyd Webber to schedule a press night for Cinderella than any prince has ever had to find the wearer of the glass slipper in the fabled fairytale.
This production of Carousel may not appeal to all Rodgers and Hammerstein purists; but for those of us who know and love this show unreservedly, I was both thrilled and delighted to see it both through and with completely fresh eyes and ears.
While Danny Robins’ debut play 2: 22 A Ghost Story is adept at ratcheting up the tension, the biggest source of it is whether Lily Allen, making her West End stage debut, would be up to the task.
In what Hamlet might call an e’er hasty marriage, The Windsors Endgame has been rushed into the Prince of Wales as a summer filler to temporarily replace one deliberately bad-taste show with a no-taste one, as The Book of Mormon remains on its Covid hiatus.
Though theatres are now operating at full capacity (if they choose to) — and audiences are wearing masks only if they choose to, as well — there is a great deal of uncertainty, as performances are being routinely suspended at the very last minute if a cast member proves positive or has come into contact with someone who has.
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