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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.

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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.

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Coming out of lockdown: Is it better to wait than to rush to open theatres & risk everything?

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

Setting a timetable requires Johnson to be a clairvoyant, predicting the future way of a virus that, to be honest, is only really getting started. Yes, vaccines are being done fast (I got my first dose on Saturday), but lifting the lid on Pandora’s box too quickly — by setting a timetable for reopening — won’t benefit anyone’s mental health, if it simply exacerbates the virus and leads to the necessity to shut down again.

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‘It’s very hard once you’ve got a line like that in your head’: Assessing the aftermath of a bad review

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

In a free-for-all age of journalism, the currency of individual theatre reviews matter a lot less than they used to; all a theatre PR wants is a spread of five-star reviews, and they’re easier to summon than ever if you don’t look too closely which publications they come from. The general public won’t notice the difference, so its a bluff that often works.

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‘There’s no saying where theatres will be by the time summer arrives’: Is the light at the end of the tunnel even further away?

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

It won’t be until the vaccine programme has been fully and successfully rolled out throughout the nation, and any necessary tweaks established for mutant strains, that there may be enough confidence to begin to even think about going indoors again to sit amongst strangers.

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Dancing to a digital tune: The impact of the pandemic on performers, agents & theatre-goers

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

Yes, Covid has changed all of our lives — probably forever. At the very least, we will never take the freedoms we used to have – to travel, to meet friends, to socialise in public spaces and gather indoors to watch live performances and other events – ever again.

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As we say so long farewell to veteran actor Christopher Plummer, Mark Shenton praises the art of obituary writing

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

If, as Monty Python famously urges, we should always look on the bright side of life, then the brighter side of death are obituaries. They’re one of my absolutely favourite forms of journalism, and I read them just as avidly as I read the best critics; and it’s for the same reasons.

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Mark Shenton bemoans the lack of British songwriters in Radio 2’s forthcoming musicals celebration

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

Radio 2’s Greatest Show could — and should — have been a platform to celebrate more British musicals, especially here, especially now, with the industry floundering so badly. A show of support for our own creators of new musicals would not have gone amiss.

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Catching up with the compelling landscape of political theatre both at home & in the US

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

Though I’ve spent most of the last nine months really missing the real theatre that has fuelled my life for the last 40 or so years since I started going compulsively from the age of around 16, I’ve spent more time than I’d have liked in a different kind of theatre — an operating one, when I had three spinal surgeries in the space of 15 days in September. And I’ve become particularly obsessed by another kind of theatre, too: political theatre.

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As commercial producers yearn for a return to normal, will subsidised theatre play it safe or break the mould?

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

Some commercial producers, it appears, wanted the old order to be restored and business to proceed as normal, hence the rush to re-open as quickly as it was legally possible to do so back in November after we emerged from the second lockdown.