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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.

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From The Beatles to Brexit, from Cats to Covid, Mark Shenton reflects on the latest industry news

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

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.

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Diary of a Theatre Addict: Mark recalls more summer pleasures, on and offstage, in Provincetown

In Broadway, Cabaret, Features, International, Opinion, Reviews by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

If I have found some relief from my habit of compulsive theatregoing that I typically adopt in London and New York whenever I’m there, the temptation is never too far away. So I’m particularly proud of myself that despite contemplating a quick jaunt to New York this coming weekend, I’ve resisted it (so far).

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Diary of a Theatre Addict: 13 shows in London, 5 beyond, 11 in New York in April

In Broadway, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Ticket recommendations, Touring by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

Across April I’ve duly seen 13 shows in London, one of them twice within the space of four days – namely the current revival of Guys and Dolls. I’d seen it twice before that, first when it originated at Chichester two summers ago and then when it transferred to the Savoy in January, and now again when it moved across town to the Phoenix with a substantially re-cast set of principals and I reviewed it for a third time. Then I returned to it yet again the same weekend to accompany a friend who was in town visiting from New York (yes, it’s that good!).

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Diary of a Theatre Addict: 49 shows in six weeks, getting up to date

In Features, Interviews, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Mark ShentonLeave a Comment

I’ve not updated my diary of a theatre addict for six weeks now — I was last here on January 31 — since when I’ve seen all of 49 shows, including outings to Newbury, Dartford, Clwyd, Manchester, Bromley and Cardiff, plus a week in New York. I’ve also taken an active part in two more shows by appearing onstage as a contestant in a theatrical re-run of Mr and Mrs with husband (so it was really Mr and Mr, we’re pictured above with host Samuel Holmes) and as part of David Bedella and Friends, his monthly chat show at the St James Studio.

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Diary of a Theatre Addict: From New York to Edinburgh & Eastbourne, plus meeting Judi Dench

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

I’ve not been here with my usual weekly diary of a theatre addict for a month now. 

So today I’m catching up, not on a week, but on an entire month — during which time I’ve been to Edinburgh, Barbados, New York, Eastbourne and of course London. I’ve interviewed Andy Nyman, Sheridan Smith, Joe McElderry, composer Lucy Simon, Janie Dee and Diana Rigg.

Diary of a Theatre Addict: School’s out (sort of), but I’m still catching up

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

At Thursday night’s opening of Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Donmar Warehouse, it felt like the last day of term for many critics, so some were demob happy: it was the last big London first night of the year, at the end of a day that had earlier embraced two more press openings for the West End returns of The Gruffalo in the morning and Goodnight Mister Tom in the afternoon.

Diary of a Theatre Addict: School’s out (sort of), but I’m still catching up

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

At Thursday night’s opening of Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Donmar Warehouse, it felt like the last day of term for many critics, so some were demob happy: it was the last big London first night of the year, at the end of a day that had earlier embraced two more press openings for the West End returns of The Gruffalo in the morning and Goodnight Mister Tom in the afternoon.

Diary of a theatre addict: Peter Pan goes right, the National lacks Wonder, Funny Girl is very funny

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I’ve been consciously taking it easy (or at least easier than I usually do!) over the last week after dislocating my newly replaced hip the week before, as I described in a posting here last week was a bit of a wake-up call — I had actually scheduled some ten shows (including out-of-town trips to Leicester and Leeds) just ten days after coming out hospital the first time; but then had the wake-up call that took me out of commission entirely.