Arts & Culture / General Ramblings

Musical Madness

Legally Blonde the Musical. Sister Act the Musical. Bring it on the Musical. And now Magic Mike the Musical.

They all share the fact that they were originally films. The first two on the list, which could have gone on for longer, are two of my favourite musicals. So I’m not slating this type of musical, just commenting on this trend.

Productions in the West End bring in a lot of money to the British economy, but I am beginning to form the opinion that this is due to musicals becoming nothing more than a place for audiences to escape, turn off and not have to think, just observe a spectacle. To see the latest celebrity to hit the West End. To see your favourite film live with glitzy musical numbers.

Where is the substance of this art form disappearing to? Where are the Parades, Zanna Don’ts and other such meaningful musicals?

This part of the arts industry is following in line with film/television and selling out to a public of Tylers and Chardonnays, as the opinionated Katie Hopkins would say. Yes, musicals are becoming more accessible and there is a wide range of shows for every type of audience member but I am questioning this –

Where are the new scriptwriters, composers and lyricists to bring something NEW to the stage?

Studying contemporary dance I love seeing such an array of performances. From the downright strange to the magnificently theatrical. However, I want to see some new, original work infiltrate the West End. There clearly is money out there as statistics show that the West End was not particularly affected by the recession, so let’s see investment in unique work.

Let us return to the art of taking risks, trying something new and pushing boundaries. Why settle for seeing Bridget Jones on stage when you can meet someone new?

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