If you could wave a magic wand, what would be your fantasy London theatre shows? Who would be your dream cast in your favourite show if you had that power? You might think that you are being too imaginative, but you never know what can happen. After all who would have expected show about a mechanical flying pig Betty Blue Eyes? Who sat down and thought comedy cabaret Naked Boys Singing would be a seller? Kiddie idol Harry Potter naked in Equus? Really? Cuddly astrologer Russell Grant as the Wizard Of Oz? You'd have had to slap some sense into yourself suggesting that out loud before his profile-boosting Strictly Come Dancing stint. Yet you never know what's around the corner in Theatreland.
If ABBA, Queen, Elvis and now the Spice Girls can do it, surely Queen Of Pop Madonna is long overdue a musical based on her classic hits. The Material Girl is fiercely protective of her back catalogue - the fabulous idea of adapting the film of Desperately Seeking Susan into a musical bombed in the West End largely because it seemed incongruous to have the classic 80s Madonna vehicle with the songs of Blondie to back it up. You can't watch that story without wanting to hear Into The Groove, and surely Madonna's other signature hits Like A Prayer, Holiday, Music et all would have an audience on their feet. Or better still, the story of Madonna's own rise to fame, numerous controversies and failed marriages would be the ultimate backdrop for her crowd-pleasing back catalogue, so someone needs to get scribbling and persuade Her Highness to sign off on the idea.
Another film crying out for the West End treatment is Burlesque. This underrated recent camp classic starred Christina Aguilera as a girl with a dream to perform with pipes from heaven and some sassy stage moves. The cabaret club-set film featured legendary diva Cher as the venue's hard to please, strongminded owner putting Aguilera's character through her paces. The soundtrack included some great tunes including the Golden Globe-winning You Haven't Seen The Last Of Me Yet and nominated Bound To You. The script may need tightening up but imagine adding the hits of both Xtina and Cher to the production, it would be shoopshoopalicious! You can see the reviews now: "Beautiful!", " 'Believe' the hype!", "Genie-ous!"
How about a big West End stage version of hit TV shows The X Factor and The Voice? We all know karaoke is big business, and changing the audition process from the judges in an enclosed room to a stage with a huge public audience revitalised Simon Cowell's show. Members of the audience would have the thrill of singing on stage to a live crowd and who knows, maybe something could come out of it if they were good enough to be selected for a later best-of competition stage. Naturally there would be the celebrity panel, and perhaps some established stars booked in for weekly performance slots to charge the atmosphere. Audience members could choose whether to just watch or put their name down for a random ballot to be pulled up to sing, like the National Lottery. Even if you didn't want to sing, you could be there when a new star was born. It would certainly make for a fun night out.
As for dream casting ideas, how about powerhouse vocalist Leona Lewis as Eponine in Les Miserables? Miranda Hart in Abigail's Party? Britney Spears as Roxy and Madonna as Velma in Chicago? Lady GaGa as crazed Sweeney Todd? Dobbin from Rentaghost as War Horse? Grotbags in Wicked? Witty buffoon Stephen Fry as Malvolio in Twelfth Night…oh, he's already been cast! See? With London theatre shows it's all possible!