View Post

Deserving talent: When will disabled arts & artists make a substantial cross-over to the mainstream?

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Quotes by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

It’s peculiar that disabled arts and artists are yet to make a substantial cross-over, at least in British theatre. Yes, there was one happy incidence of this at the Donmar Warehouse, when gay disabled actor Daniel Monks starred in their production of Teenage Dick in 2019.

View Post

Returning & new productions heading for the West End & beyond post-lockdown: Are you up to date?

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Quotes by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

Meanwhile, I want to start keeping track of the shows that are coming back, or are newly being announced, in a new feature here that will be updated weekly until such time as it becomes a reality, and from then on will provide a weekly update to that week’s openings and future ones.

View Post

Marking the nostalgia of the past for Follies’ 50th & edging towards some hope for Broadway’s future

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Quotes by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

On Friday the resumption of theatre life began in New York; meanwhile, today is the 50th anniversary of the Broadway opening night of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, his jagged and shattering tribute to the musicals as well as the marriages of yesteryear, as James Goldman’s characters confront their current predicaments as middle and old-aged people looking back on their lives through the prism of the nostalgia of their theatrical pasts — all set to a score that gently pastiches the songs of the period while actually improving on them.

View Post

‘I think once you’re an entrepreneur, it’s in your DNA’: How Howard Panter & Rosemary Squire can’t resist building a theatre empire

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Quotes, Regional theatre by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

It’s been announced that Howard Panter & Rosemary Squire’s Trafalgar Entertainment are joining forces with regional theatre operator HQ — who currently operate 11 venues from Bromley and Dartford to Southend, Swindon, Crewe and Guildford.

View Post

Mark Shenton looks to the future with his pick of the next generation of rising stars

In Audio, Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Quotes by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

In four previous episodes of my weekly #ShenTens podcast, and their accompanying columns here, I’ve chosen my top ten favourite leading ladies and leading men respectively in both Broadway and West End musicals. Now I turn to rising stars — the next generation of performers who are already making their mark in London. (I’ll get to Broadway when it returns to business itself).

View Post

Will an older generation of creatives be altruistic enough to make room for young talent?

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Quotes by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

A constantly recurring theme as we hopefully start emerging from this pandemic — and even long before it actually happened — was about creating space for new voices and talents, and preferably younger and more diverse voices, whether as writers, directors, producers, designers, actors or even theatre critics.

View Post

Mark Shenton confesses all about his top ten guilty theatrical pleasures

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Quotes by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

We’ve all got them: things we enjoy — sometimes mightily — that it’s just a little bit embarrassing to admit to liking. Like admitting, in my case, a massive passion for Selling Sunset, the real estate reality TV show set in the cramped offices of an LA boutique agency that sell houses to millionaires and billionaires. (But somehow seem to work cheek-by-jowl in a tiny office on Sunset Boulevard).

View Post

A year on: Mark Shenton reflects on the theatre shutdown in the West End & beyond

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Quotes, Regional theatre by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

It was just after 5pm on 16 March 2020 that Boris Johnson made his heart (and business) stopping announcement: “Now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel. We need people to start working from home where they possibly can. And you should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues.”

View Post

What next for the theatre industry post-pandemic & how will it have to change?

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Quotes by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

In a feature for The Stage earlier in the week, Jessica Korvavos, president of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, was asked to sum up the last year: “A year when singing and dancing in public have been against the law? It’s been like a horrible dystopian cross between Footloose and Groundhog Day.”

View Post

Remember all the many creatives who have brought us theatre online, not just the big-hitters

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Quotes, Regional theatre by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

There’s no question that, apart from his undoubted brilliance as a composer of instantly memorable melodies, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s greatest gift is as (self) publicist. He’s just wonderful at getting people to speak about him and his shows; and thereby promote them.

View Post

Giving our regards to Broadway 12 months after shutdown

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Plays, Quotes by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

Tonight is the first anniversary of the last performances that were given on a Broadway stage; a year ago tomorrow, Six was due to open on Broadway, but that afternoon the governor of New York State, the currently beleaguered Andrew Cuomo, announced that public gatherings of more than 500 people would be immediately suspended.

View Post

The long wait for Tony Awards 2020 results & Andrew Lloyd Webber’s great expectations for West End openings in the summer

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Plays, Quotes by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

Voting has just begun for last year’s Tony Awards. Yes, you read that correctly. And no, there is no date for the actual (or even virtual) ceremony yet. In the topsy-turvy world that Covid-19 has wrought upon us, we’re wrestling with all sorts of improbabilities and impossibilities, but few events epitomise the very strangeness of this time and its repercussions than this weird situation.

View Post

Star casting in & out of lockdown – the debate continues

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Quotes by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

Theatre may have migrated online for now (though here’s hoping that we’ll be back in the stalls and not just our armchairs or desks soon). Even though online theatre has created a much more level playing field in terms of opportunities for people and productions to be seen, with the smallest theatres like the Barn competing with the biggest like the National for audiences, star casting is STILL a thing.