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The perils of authenticity

For some reason which escapes me, yesterday I spent some time contemplating Chariots Of Fire, the 1981 British Oscar-notching [seven nominations and four wins including Best Film and Best Screenplay] movie and specifically what disappointed me about it. Three decades’ worth of distance may allow [...]

May 7, 2014 // 0 Comments

All’s well that ends well – even if it was short

It all started at a raucous dinner party for eight in Camden town last December. In the middle of an animated and hilarious conversation comparing our youthful theatre and stage performances, exhilarating and embarrassing, I found myself accepting a dare from a West End producer. I had better [...]

March 17, 2014 // 0 Comments

Another one bites the dust

This week came the news that Stephen Ward, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest musical offering at the Aldwych Theatre in the West End, is being taken off next month for the usual classic reason – lack of ticket sales. There’s little satisfaction to be had from the demise of a major creative [...]

February 26, 2014 // 0 Comments


I am a big admirer and enjoyer of pantomine. As I sit, or sometimes sleep, through the third act of King Lear or an Ibsen play, I sometimes think of the exuberance and audience enjoyment of pantomime which, although many of the stories come from the Grimm brothers, is a peculiarly British [...]

January 8, 2014 // 0 Comments

Dickens Abridged

I am a great admirer of cafe and fringe theatre. I have seen many a great piece of theatre start in such places: Godspell, The Rocky Horror Show, and more recently The 39 Steps. Its ticket pricing is fairer too. Sadly I could not praise Dickens Abridged which I saw yesterday at the Arts Theatre. [...]

December 25, 2013 // 0 Comments

West End humbug

On Thursday 19th December, parts of the roof and/or ceiling of the Apollo Theatre in London’s West End fell into the auditorium, injuring over 70 people, about a tenth of them seriously. This worrying incident naturally caused attention to be shone upon the state of West End theatres generally, [...]

December 24, 2013 // 0 Comments

Nelson Mandela: a Personal Memoir

A few years ago I was invited to the press night of a South African musical. An acquaintance behind me who was the London PR agent of Charlton Heston asked me what I was doing there. Riled by this I said it was at the personal invitation of Nelson Mandela. This was a total fabrication. Mandela [...]

December 6, 2013 // 0 Comments

Obituary – Stan Stennett

Stan Stennett – actor, comedian and pantomime star – died last week, aged eighty-eight. Every career path, every vocation, known to man is full of people trying to make a living and, in one sense, show business is no different to any other. It attracts the full range of human character: [...]

December 2, 2013 // 0 Comments

Is Monty Python reuniting such a good idea?

We learned yesterday that the surviving members of the Monty Python team, all now in their eighth decade, are to announce this week that they are re-forming in order to produce a brand new stage show. I wonder whether I am alone in feeling rather under-whelmed by the prospect. This is to take [...]

November 20, 2013 // 0 Comments

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