In the last 30 years or more, roughly half of every new musical that arrives on Broadway or in the West End seems to be based on a film.
When it comes to looking at racism and what it is to be black, we are currently in a phase of importing US stories rather than encouraging and platform black British writers.
Ahead of rounding up various publications #theatre2016 highlights, I’m taking a moment to reflect on my own theatregoing year and my favourite plays, musicals, performances and other events.
This week, the London theatre bloggers discuss the West End transfer of flash-bang-wallop musical Half a Sixpence, the revival of Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser starring Ken Stott and Reece Shearsmith, and the recent UK premiere of One Night in Miami.
Music can move mountains, although for Malcolm X it wasn’t moving fast enough. In Kemp Powers pulsating, extraordinarily topical account of four African-American legends meeting one night in a hotel room in Miami, the Black Power activist was calling out Sam Cooke, the singer-songwriter, later dubbed the `King of Soul’, for not putting his God-given gifts sufficiently at the service of `the movement’ for Civil Rights.
Anyone may respond to a great, wild, yearning song of hope. And by glorious serendipity, the Donmar brings us Kemp Powers’ play, imagining the genesis of that song: a startling, powerful, moving hour and a half directed with heart by our own Kwame Kwei-Armah.
Donmar Warehouse Artistic Director Josie Rourke and Executive Producer Kate Pakenham announce today a new autumn season of plays in Covent Garden to run alongside the Donmar Shakespeare Trilogy at King’s Cross. Kwame Kwei-Armah returns to the London stage to direct the UK premiere of One Night in Miami…, followed by Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan, starring Gemma Arterton and directed by Rourke.