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So another delay to the ‘cautious, irreversible’ roadmap out of lockdown: It’s beginning to feel like Groundhog Day

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

In what is becoming a wearyingly predictable cycle, Boris Johnson’s latest failure to act fast enough to lockdown the country from the arrival of what is now known as the Delta variant of Covid, which originated in India, has resulted in it becoming the dominant strain of the virus in Britain — with the added problem that it is much more easily transmissible than previous strains.

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Andrew Lloyd Webber is ready for battle over the June reopening but what about the nation’s health?

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

In a front page scoop in today’s Daily Telegraph, the paper lines up three heavy-hitting bylines — chief reporter Robert Mendick, political editor Ben Riley-Smith and theatre critic Dominic Cavendish — to reveal an exclusive with Andrew Lloyd Webber. The headline reads: ‘You’ll have to arrest us to stop reopening’.

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Can honest critics have theatre professionals as friends?

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

I’m unashamedly a friend and champion of the theatre; but I can never been a simple cheerleader for it, regardless of the circumstances or my connections with people in a show I’m seeing. As honest critics find out all too often, we’re loved when we love something we see; but that can quickly pivot to becoming the enemy when we don’t.

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Now & forever? What is the legacy of Cats 40 years on?

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There’s hardly a more insistent ear worm of a song in all of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ear-wormy repertoire than ‘Memory’, the breakout hit of his 1981 musical Cats, which last night celebrated the 40th anniversary of its premiere at the then New London Theatre (now itself renamed for Gillian Lynne, the choreographer whose work on the show ignited a revolution in global musical theatre, and accidentally created the West End’s first authentic dance-based musical).

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As Phantom & Six announce reopening dates, plans speed up for Broadway’s return

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

It turns out New York is moving even faster, with the state (and its neighbours, New Jersey and Connecticut), according to the New York Times on Monday, “lifting almost all their pandemic restrictions, paving the way for a return to fuller offices and restaurants, a more vibrant nightlife and a richer array of cultural and religious gatherings for the first time in a year”.

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Are we all going to rush to the theatre as soon as social distancing is no more?

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

Do we have to become responsible for our own Covid safety? So, the man who (allegedly) said he didn’t mind if the bodies were piled high, he didn’t want to impose another lockdown — until he, in fact, did — is now embarking on another experiment in which that may indeed turn out to be outcome. On 21 June, all social distancing is to be scrapped in the UK.

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Putting profits before people? Where is the original Phantom of the Opera we were promised?

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

When The Phantom of the Opera was unloaded from the Her Majesty’s Theatre last year, it produced the forlorn sight of the original Phantom chandelier resting on the pavement outside the theatre instead of poised over the proscenium from which it famously comes crashing down over the heads of those seated in the stalls.

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Deserving talent: When will disabled arts & artists make a substantial cross-over to the mainstream?

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

It’s peculiar that disabled arts and artists are yet to make a substantial cross-over, at least in British theatre. Yes, there was one happy incidence of this at the Donmar Warehouse, when gay disabled actor Daniel Monks starred in their production of Teenage Dick in 2019.