I’ve launched a brand-new weekly podcast, called ShenTen, in which I will countdown my personal top tens in different theatrical categories.
I’ve just gorged on the second series of Staged, the blissful second series of the actors-in-lockdown zoom show, directed and co-written by Simon Evans, with Michael Sheen and David Tennant playing (versions of) themselves.
Now that I’m getting into a rhythm on these daily columns, I’m going to try to introduce some regular features. And starting today, I’m planning on launching the week with column of disparate “diary” items — some fun, some not, that of stories that have made the news in the previous week.
It’s difficult to know exactly what the West End might look like when it finally returns: already there’s been some shape-shifting.
ll producers going forward will build digital preservation of their productions into their business models — and a future revenue stream will be available that means that no production need die anymore when the final curtain comes down, either.
Mark Shenton reflects on the careers of two young gay actors, the late Marcus D’Amico and Jonathan Bailey (recently seen in Bridgerton), & their different experiences of the arts industry in different eras.
While Matthew Warchus at the other end of the Cut from the Young Vic, may have the Old Vic that he presides over (without any subsidy) dark, too, actually the theatre has been in use regularly and has continued to produce throughout the pandemic, with its “In Camera” broadcasts of live performances that have been staged in its empty auditorium.
One of my new year resolutions — and one I intend to keep — is to revitalise this personal website ShentonStage as my primary editorial home this year.
In addition to their regular discussion with bloggers on recent productions, this week the (still) As Yet Unnamed London Theatre Podcast (AYULTP) asked My Theatre Mates co-founders Mark Shenton and Terri Paddock to discuss the nominations for this year’s Also Recognised Awards. Speaking to AYULTP’s Tim Watson, Mark and Terri give more background to the Awards and talk through each …
Mark Shenton’s top ten of the week, including Florian Zeller’s The Mother that has followed his play The Father (soon to return to the West End) to London from Bath. Plus, this week’s biggest openings.
Top ten of the week, including Bend it Like Beckham, Close to You and In the Heights, three shows I’ve already re-visited again and again, and intend to yet again!
A surprise hit of 2015 and also included on a number of #Theatre2015 top picks, our top recommendation in the #MatesChoice ticket series is Bend It Like Beckham. Playing to audiences at the Phoenix Theatre on Charing Cross Road in the heart of the West End and with music by Howard Goodall and lyrics by Charles Hart, this show has become a fond favourite of Mates co-founder Mark Shenton.
Ramin Karimloo has become an internationally recognised star of musicals in the last few years, since first originating the role of the Phantom in the ill-fated premiere London production of LOVE NEVER DIES five years ago. Since then, he has gone on to release a studio album (left), star as Jean Valjean in LES MISERALBES both in the West End and more recently on Broadway, and starred in the Tokyo premiere of the Hal Prince revue PRINCE OF BROADWAY. Now, as he returns to London for his first UK concerts in over 2 years, I revisit the 2010 interview I did with him before LOVE NEVER DIES opened in London.
Interviewed by Rachel Cooke in The Observer (January 3, 2016, Anderson is currently appearing in War and Peace, and about to start shooting the third series of The Fall (pictured left), before reprising her performance as Blanche DuBois in A Street Named Desire in New York. Rachel Cook’s introduction is priceless — and exactly true to the measure of an actress I have also met and interviewed.
Broadway breaks all previous records for a single week, and I choose the half dozen shows I am most looking forward to this spring in New York.
Looking ahead to this year’s highlights, from Broadway imports and Pulitzer prize winners to Kenneth Branagh and Matthew Warchus’s ongoing seasons.
I’ve been out and about over the pre- and post-Christmas week, including trips to Brighton, Manchester and Leeds, with lots of catching up to do in London, too.
This weekend (27 December 2015), Imelda Staunton reprises her recent Chichester and West End performance in GYPSY in a filmed version of the production. In this 2012 interview I did with Staunton, first published in the Sunday Express, as she prepared to reprise her Chichester performance as Mrs Lovett in another Sondheim musical SWEENEY TODD in the West End, she mentions that she was already thinking of doing GYPSY next.
Extracts from recent interviews with British actors Nicola Walker and Cynthia Erivo, both now on Broadway, plus Noma Dumezweni and Jim Broadbent on London stages.
Round-up of reviews and news from Broadway, including Fiddler on the Roof and Xmas productions of Elf and Annie, plus a Spring Awakening cast video and remembering those who’s died in 2015.
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