West End shake-up

November 15, 2010

Some of the biggest shows in recent years have been revivals of vintage theatre – Hair, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady and Oliver!, to name a few. Smaller venues and tours have also breathed life into some classics; the Donmar’s production of Passion, for instance, and the brilliant Oklahoma tour that I saw earlier this year. But many people’s favourite shows are the obscure, the unperformed and the forgotten. At the weekend I saw a beautiful amateur production of Stephen Schwartz’s Children of Eden, and although the narrative reasons it wasn’t long-running were clear, it contained some of the loveliest music I have heard for a long time in theatre.

If you could produce a revival, what would you bring back? I have always wanted to see RENT done properly here, and though it would be suited to a small venue and short run, a London cast of Songs for a New World would be wonderful. I saw Miss Saigon when I was about 11 and was firmly bitten by the theatre bug. I think it’s a truly underrated musical and the stunning score and ambitious staging are well worth a take two. I’m not sure we needed The Wizard of Oz ‘back’ this year, but I can see how it’s a solid cash cow in troubled times. Comment with the shows you’d put on in your dream West End….


4 Responses to “West End shake-up”

  1. damian Says:

    Mary Poppins, Miss Saigon, Honk, Witches of Eastwick, Crazy For You, Merrily We Roll Along, Carousel….

    Purely off the top of my head!

  2. Catherine Says:

    Well personally I would welcome another revival of Hair tomorrow!

    But as for older musicals, I would love to have the opportunity to see West Side Story on the stage as I adore the film. There are also lots of shows I missed that I’d like to see revived purely so that I could get the chance to catch them next time, such as Guys and Dolls, Miss Saigon, Oklahoma … I could go on and on.

    This is a slightly different point, but in my dream West End I would also want Next to Normal to transfer from Broadway – a girl can always dream!

  3. Tom Says:

    Parade, Imagine This, Into the Woods, Martin Guerre, Witches of Eastwick, A Man of No Importance, Sweeney Todd, and I wouldn’t say no to Hair and Avenue Q returning! I also want London productions of Bare, the Hunchback of Notre Dame and a New Brain.

  4. I’m obsessed with murder mysteries so I’d love it if Agatha Christie’s long-running play, Mousetrap, came back, it was meant to be amazing.

    What do you think about books that are made into musicals? They tried to make Enid Blyton’s Famous Five into a show, apparently it was horrifically bad!

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