Scenes we never thought we’d see…

Friday 6 April 2007

A queue of people outside the Shaftesbury Theatre

A queue of people this morning outside the home of the hits: the Shaftesbury Theatre. Whatever next?

No, they’re not queueing for theatre tickets. This is the Shaftesbury, for heaven’s sake. It seems to be something to do with an ITV show oxymoronically called Britain’s Got Talent. And while we are on the subject of TV shows, no, we’re not tuning in to the search for the new Danny and Sandy or the search for the new Joseph. Who cares? Stepping into Julie Andrews’ shoes is one thing; slipping on Philip Schofield’s or Jason Donovan’s sandals quite another. And it’s only a couple of years since they were on the London stage anyway. (Phil – Stephen Pimlott’s revival of Joseph opened 16 years ago actually. The revival of Grease with Craig MacLachlan opened in 1993 and closed in 1999- Andrew)

3 Responses to “Scenes we never thought we’d see…”

  1. J.A. Says:

    I know you’re not watching it but this short clip is worth a laugh.

    Apparently the contestants have to be heard right at the back of the theatre. Are they not miking it then? Maybe they’ve got the same sound guys in from LSOH!

  2. WEW, I know I’ve asked you this before, but why do London shows get revived so soon after they initially close? Or better yet, why do they keep reviving the same shows over and over?

  3. Yes, an interesting question, Steve, not least because it’s never occurred to me that things might be different on Broadway.

    I guess it’s a question of bankability – the same process that drives Hollywood to focus on remakes, adaptations of old TV shows, sequels and prequels. The thing about old plays is that you know whether or not they are good plays, I suppose.

    It’s the same thing that drives the producers to cast people from soaps on the telly regardless of their acting talents. It’s a way of getting the non-theatre crowd on board.

    To be fair, the blame might fall on shoulders of the West End theatregoing public and its timidity, or at least its desire to minimise risk. Fair enough: if you’re going to fork out £50 for a top price ticket, you want to be reasonably sure that the investment will be rewarded. If it’s an old play it’s probably good because it’s still being put on. Maybe Broadway audiences are more adventurous or more affluent.

    With musicals, I suspect that it’s simply that there aren’t that many to choose from when jumping on the TV casting bandwagon. Producers are aiming at a particular (non-theatregoing) demographic of a youngish age. Everyone knows Grease and Joseph which puts them ahead of Kismet, say, or The Pajama Game.

    Some interesting comments on the “safe play” approach here.

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