It seems serious plays are being outdone by musicals as never before in the West End...This is a great thing. The two golden periods of the commercial musical, which we might name separately after Rodgers and Hammerstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber, both preceded similarly gilt eras for British new writing, respectively the English Stage Company’s revolution of the 50s and the ‘in yer face’ revival of the 90s. You have to overdose on sugar before you get the insulin.
But my second submission is stronger still. Syphilis is back! Incidents are up nearly 3000% since the early 90s. History has taught us one thing: where syphilis goes, great literature follows, and theatre in particular sees a benefit.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Evening Standard critic Kieron Quirke sees encouraging signs for new playwrighting: