Monday, November 28

Blogs

The Ultimate Theatre Etiquette Behaviour Guide – Part 1
Blogs

The Ultimate Theatre Etiquette Behaviour Guide – Part 1

OK, so we spent 2 years in our favourite slouchy clothes eating far too much ice cream whilst binge watching everything that every streaming platform had to offer. The Pandemic changed the way we all existed daily, from the moment we got up to the moment we fell asleep, everything changed. Whilst the pandemic is not over, life has started to return to normal, with one of the final industries to get back to a somewhat pre pandemic existence being theatre. However, this return hasn't gone as smoothly for some people, those people just excited to be back out in entertainment venues living their best lives, as they should. The problem is though, it seems like some audience members have completely forgotten about theatre etiquette if the message boards are anything to go by. For the past fe...
MJ: The Musical, a Thriller or just Dangerous?
Blogs

MJ: The Musical, a Thriller or just Dangerous?

So, this week we are going to talk about the age-old question of separating the art from the artist, especially when that artist is Michael Jackson and especially now when a big budget glossy stage musical about his life has just opened on Broadway. In brief, MJ: The Musical tells the story of Jackson preparing for his 1992 Dangerous World tour, it was a big moment for the artist, his Thriller album was ground-breaking, and he was feeling the pressure to live up to his past success, so all effort was going in to make the Dangerous Tour one for the history books. The show splits between the rehearsal room and flashbacks to his past, it shows his relationship with his father Joe, his rise through The Jackson 5, battles with the media, pain pills, perfectionism and more. So far so ordinar...
In defence of the weird and wonderful world of the theatre chat message boards
Blogs

In defence of the weird and wonderful world of the theatre chat message boards

The simple thought of the theatre chat boards like BroadwayWorld or TheatreBoard is enough to send writers, directors, performers and producers running screaming into the night. Before the curtain drops on your first night performance, the message boards have already lit up with reviews, comments and thoughts on the latest show, and unlike paid critics, they don't hold back if they do not like something. If producers had magic powers, they would make these boards vanish, but why, why do they have such a bad rap? I have been a member of the Broadway World chat board for well over a decade, I have seen everything you can see from smartly written reviews, bitching and fighting, gossiping and paid shills (more on that later). Over the years my mind has flipped back and forth on the idea of...
In The Spotlight
Blogs

In The Spotlight

Hello North West End Welcome to my new weekly column here on the site, where I will talk all things theatre from local to touring, West End to Broadway and more. My name is Craig, and I am a playwright and director here in wonderful Manchester and also the co-owner of the long running theatre production company Vertigo. I am thrilled to be able to spend a little time with you each week with this column and share what's going on in the theatre world. So, with that said, I thought it might be best to bring you up to date with all that's going on around the world in theatre when it comes to everybody's least favourite party guest... Covid. It's been a dreadful two years for the theatre industry, and today we are still fighting to figure out a way to move forward in this new norma...
Theatre Cash Injection – A Wise Investment?
Blogs

Theatre Cash Injection – A Wise Investment?

Given we made two appeals for government support for theatres to survive beyond the pandemic it would be churlish not to welcome the government’s £1.57 billion cash injection to protect our world leading cultural sector. Now it’s true that money has to go a long way across theatres, museums and live venues, but considering yesterday we had no support this is a significant acknowledgement that many big and small theatres were on the brink of going under. And, make no mistake, once they went dark the reality was they would never come back like the Nuffield in Southampton. You can’t help but think the National Theatre’s decision to lay off its front of house staff, or the announcement by regional powerhouse the Royal Exchange of potential redundancies must have focused the government’s...
From Page to Stage is a Leap
Blogs

From Page to Stage is a Leap

Today I received an email from a publisher saying that while the theatres are dark it’s an ideal time to start giving reading playscripts a go, as it creates the same experience you’re missing while you’re not able to see a play. Now, a publisher’s primary responsibility is to sell books, so I understand where they’re coming from in making the best of the situation to create a market for books which probably don’t sell that well to people who don’t work within theatre, but I do think it’s very important to point out that reading a playscript absolutely does not create the same experience we’re missing out on while our theatres sit empty during this crisis. Obviously, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t read playscripts. Reading scripts can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience,...
Investing in our theatres is not a handout
Blogs

Investing in our theatres is not a handout

Our Yorkshire Editor Paul Clarke welcomes the theatre world asking for short term government support, not handouts. The news that Leicester Haymarket is the latest venue forced into liquidation, and a stark warning from legendary producer Sonia Friedman writing in the Telegraph that British theatre is on the ‘brink of total collapse’ has forced the industry to unite in calling for short term government support. Thankfully the narrative from the theatres is they’re not asking for a bailout, and instead calling for significant investment in a key part of our nation’s cultural offer that normally generates billions in tax revenues. Friedman points out that more than 1000 of our theatres of varying sizes may permanently close their doors as it may be this time next year before they c...
Streaming shows is no substitute for the real thing
Blogs

Streaming shows is no substitute for the real thing

Our Yorkshire Editor Paul Clarke applauds the streaming of shows but decides it an unsatisfying experience compared to the real thing. As I sat in my home office watching the free steam of M6 Theatre Company’s A Tiger’s Tale it struck me that it was absolutely no substitute for the real thing. It makes total sense that companies have closed their doors rather than incubate the virus and are sharing their greatest hits online. They need to make some much needed cash, or just keep their work in the public consciousness, for when they return to the stage. I support streaming work as a concept, but watching three top class performers on my laptop got me thinking there’s a number of reasons that makes it such an unsatisfying experience, and here’s why: Anticipation There is some...
Theatres need government support to survive
Blogs

Theatres need government support to survive

The news that Nuffield Southampton Theatres has gone into administration could be the harbinger of many more to come as venues and companies grimly hang on as the lockdown decimates their income. After 50 years Nuffield are the second venue to go under after Halifax’s Square Chapel, who shut their doors just as the full scale of the pandemic was becoming clear forcing theatres to close their doors to keep punters and creatives alike safe. Like most theatres Nuffield was faced with the double whammy of having no customers as well having to refund tickets with no significant income to replace it. But the virus closedown has only revealed the struggle our big and small theatres have been having before COVID-19 to keep going, especially if they’re putting on new or challenging work. ...