From the moment a high-profile West End opening date is announced, so begins the speculation of whether said production will deliver and meet the expectations of those theatregoers keen to see a specific performer, play or musical as early in the run as possible.
During the last week of theatre (23-30 June 2019), there have been a number of much-anticipated openings, two of which have featured popular actors whose names immediately put bums on theatre seats. In the case of Matthew Warchus’ production of Present Laughter at The Old Vic, Andrew Scott appears to have delivered exactly what the fans hoped for and helped redefine (alongside the rest of the show’s cast) a Coward classic at the same time. In contrast, the heavyweight combination of actor John Malkovich and writer/director David Mamet seems to have left both critics and audiences disappointed with one of the first mainstream dramas to tackle the #MeToo crisis.
Carrying on a new series, our editor Lisa Martland has picked out her Top Picks from the last week including Anne Cox’s thoughts on Present Laughter, while Aleks Sierz reports from Bitter Wheat.
Elsewhere the 40-plus affiliated bloggers who contribute to My Theatre Mates have been busy covering every possible style of theatre up and down the country. Subjects covered have been as diverse as Gloria Estefan’s life and career (Helen McWilliams – On Your Feet), ‘child abuse, victim blaming’ (Shane Morgan – The Hunt) and the experiences of British Vietnamese family (Rev Stan – Summer Rolls). They all make a fascinating read.