Comics Creators

"The Play's The Thing" - a theatre thread


This is one for anyone in London. Apparently Hamilton is coming to the West End next year.

If you aren’t aware of this one, speak with @RonnieM…He’s a bit of a fan.


In even BIGGER news…

CATS is returning to Broadway!!

I know, right?!


The Broadway show She Loves Me, starring Zachary Levi and Laura Benanti, is going to be streaming their June 30 performance online, for $10:

For the first time ever, a Broadway show will be live streamed online.

She Loves Me, the hit musical-comedy revival starring Laura Benanti, Zachary Levi and Jane Krakowski, will be broadcast live on Thursday, June 30 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET.

Directed by Scott Ellis and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, She Loves Me follows quarreling 1930s perfume-counter clerks who are unaware that they are each other’s anonymous romantic pen pals. Nominated for eight Tony Awards — and taking home the award for David Rockwell’s scenic design — the Roundabout Theatre Company’s limited engagement runs through July 10 at Studio 54.

It looks like it’s available outside the US, but I’d have to stay up until about 3:30AM to watch.


Danny Rubin, Tim Minchin and Matthew Warchus (the latter two past collabararors on Matilda the Musical), with a superbly performing ensemble, utterly knock Groundhog Day out of the park.

If you can get tickets for the run at the Old Vic in London, I absolutely recommend it. If not, I’d be very surprised if this isn’t transferring to the West End or Broadway sometime soon. (Warchus is very open about the fact that the 10 week run at the Old Vic is “a test run”, and one it passes with flying colours)

Almost perfectly constructed, warm, funny and hugely positive, a beautiful, fantastic piece of theatre, that takes the source material and makes it better.

(@Sanjay and I saw it this evening, and both of us had big grins on our faces at the end)


Oh! And Tim Minchin wrote a song about how shit alternative medicine is … and left in the line slagging off Scientologists. I kind of love him a bit.

(“The only thing in my medicine cupboard/
is a book by L Ron Hubbard”) :heart_eyes:


There’s an earlier song by him on the same topic, too.


This is really interesting and (for me) a bit uncomfortable. The presenter has Tourettes, and is advocating that theatres should have a more relaxed attitude to noise so that people with her disability (and others) can go and do what they have to do without being condemned.

I find it uncomfortable because, though I like to think of myself as pro-equality in everything, I absolutely wouldn’t want to sit through a live performance with a loud Tourettes sufferer in the audience.

So I’m lacking in empathy or I’m just monstrously selfish, because I can intellectually agree with her cause, but emotionally I don’t want it to happen. I think that my enjoyment is as important (not more important, but as important) as hers. And people making inappropriate noises through a live performance severely affects my enjoyment. So for me the question is an interesting dilemma.


I’ve noticed over the last few years that it’s becoming a lot more common to see special performances scheduled that are tailored to audiences with specific needs like this. For example, our local cinema regularly has autism-friendly screenings of films where the lighting isn’t completely off, the sound is lower and moving/talking will be tolerated by the rest of the audience.

(Edit: here are details of Cineworld’s scheme and a similar scheme at Odeon).

I don’t know how viable it is for theatres to schedule special performances along similar lines, financially or logistically (presumably it’s more viable for some than others), but perhaps it’s an option.


I’d be perfectly ok with that, obviously. But then, isn’t that ghettoisation?


I can see the argument, but I think situations like this are all about being practical in balancing the requirements of the entire audience, as you suggested. I don’t think anyone should be shut out of enjoying the theatre or the cinema, but at the same time it’s not realistic to pretend that someone making loud noises won’t present a problem for the rest of the audience.

Dedicated performances seem like a good way to solve the problem to everyone’s satisfaction, but I take the point about the possibility that it splits the audience in an unpalatable way.

The closest experience that I have to the situation is that my wife used to really appreciate the baby-friendly screenings that our local cinema would often put on, which would allow her to go to the cinema when our daughter was still a baby, without worrying about the potential disturbance that would be caused by her waking up - as the rest of the audience was entirely composed of parents of young kids. I don’t think she ever felt unfairly discriminated against by those specialist screenings, but of course choosing to go to the cinema with your baby is not the same thing as having a disability, so I wouldn’t directly equate the two.


I think that’s a fair question. I see it more as an attempt to make the arts accessible to people for whom it might otherwise be uncomfortable or difficult.

I do take your point though. I am guessing that there is a happy medium yet to be found.

I know that @mike is a fairly frequent theatre goer. I would be interested to hear what he thinks.


Not really as they aren’t banned from other performances. Autism has a very wide spectrum, as does Tourette’s, which would mark how disruptive it could be.

It’s a bit like the parent and baby screenings. Most parents with any sense are devastated when kids play up in public but they are kids, there’s only so much you can do. So having a screening where everyone is sympathetic to that is a good solution.


I’m old enough to remember when going to a Broadway show was a semi-formal experience. My first hints that times were changing were: going to see Mamma Mia and witnessing the family in the row in front of me eating their McDonald’s meals out of paper bags during the performance, with accompanying odors and paper-rustling; and watching a performance of Saturday Night Fever while a woman-who-was-old-enough-to-know-better was whooping and whistling behind me as if she was at a John Travolta concert.

That being said, I think that efforts to be inclusive to persons with disabilities are admirable. I just saw a segment on the news last night about an agency that accommodates parents of autistic children to make it easier for those kids to meet Santa and have their picture taken with him for the holidays, in an environment that eliminates crowds and loud noises and bright lights, and a Santa who is trained to be patient with his little visitors.


This weekend, I saw a theatre version of Franz Kafka’s “The Castle”. I am not a big fan of adapting novels for the stage, mainly because it feels like half the plays currently being played on the big stages here are classic novel adaptations, and the other ones pseudo-documentary neo-realist stuff. Which leaves very little space for actual theatre plays, you know? There’s no Brecht, no Beckett, no Ionesco, no Tennessee Williams, no Pinter, no Arthur Miller… bit of Shakespeare, Goethe and Checkov, sure, but that’s about it.

Anyway, in this case I was completely fine with that because it was very good. And because it was so neat to see The Castle on the stage. I love Kafka.


I’m in north-east Scotland, and hardly anything travels up this far theatre-wise (or completely misses us if they’re going the other direction).
There’s some plays I’d love to watch if they released them on DVD, which has happened before in the past, but it’s very uncommon annoyingly. Channel 4 did a live broadcast of a play 2 years ago (The Vote), but no longer have it on their on-demand viewing. I caught Kenneth Branagh’s MacBeth, which was fantastic, at a live broadcast at the local cinema, but again, it’s not available to buy.
There’d probably be more markets for viewership if it was released for future watching (and might get more interest if it was shown at schools for classes), but is unlikely to happen.

We can get live broadcasts of TV productions and live news coverage, but getting recordings of plays for later viewing? Not a chance, annoyingly.


I know the cinema broadcast thing has been catching on in the UK a lot, especially among independent cinemas. My friend works as General Manager for the Merlin group of cinemas. They very recently took over the cinema in Thurso which shows a lot of RSC and National Theatre stuff but that may well be miles and miles away from you as NE Scotland is a vast area.

The rest of the group’s cinemas are based in Cornwall and Devon so he jokes he has to manage from Land’s End to John O’Groats after they bought that one.


Mischief Theatre, who did Peter Pan Goes Wrong that was on the telly at Christmas, are touring with The Play That Goes Wrong this year. They’re playing His Majesty’s in April. Well worth it.

(Whereabouts do you stay?)




Definitely worth looking at then. The Play That Goes Wrong has been one of my favourite plays of the last few years.

(I’m just on my way back to London from Aberdeen :smile:)


There’s lots of things that seem to just be in London as well. I liked the looks of Jerusalem, but had no way of being able to catch it.