London's Revivals & Classics
| By Molly Richardson
Something I've noticed recently is that there seems to be a surge in revivals of classic musicals in the West End. Therefore, I figured why not skim over this topic and run you through some of the recent revivals - and throw out the questions of whether they work or not.
While it's been closed for a while now, there's no way we can ignore this one! Originally from 1959, this particular revival reached huge success. Initially at The Chichester Festival Theatre, it quickly took place at the Savoy and also aired on BBC over the Christmas period. I think this one worked partially because of Imelda Staunton's brilliant portrayal and the exciting addition of Laura Pulver, and due to its 42-year absence from the West End Stage. While I didn't get round to seeing it on stage, based on the TV viewing, it wasn't my favourite thing I’ve seen however I know many that did simply adored it so there's no denying it had something special that worked.
This show is one that has had great success. It initially opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory for a limited sell-out run, and later transferred to the Savoy earlier this year and is due to end in October and head on a UK Tour in 2017. It has predominately seen public attention due to the star casting, however it's a show with great history as it began on Broadway in 1964 with Barbra Streisand starring, and later having a film adaptation a few years later. I think the star casting has helped it's success, and I would like to see it as I've heard good things!
Guys & Dolls
We've all heard of "Luck Be A Lady" and again it's a show with a long history dating back to 1950 and starred many famous names over the years. I recently caught it with Rebel Wilson, and was somewhat surprised by how much I enjoyed it - as it's very funny and a nice easy story with many traditional musical elements. However, despite it's success over the past few months, it announced a premature closure which was surprising and saddening as it's a really good show that is open to a teenage audience upwards. Though again, it has fallen under the 'star casting' stunt again for it's last 8 weeks - I believe it has won over new audiences however, which is great.
This is a show that goes back to 1927, and it's recent rival started at the Sheffield Crucible Theatre and later transferred to the New London Theatre, in which it opened to rave reviews from the press. It soon sparked some further attention when it announced a four-month premature closure and it was revealed that the audience numbers weren't great. Which is such a shame really, because it was a really great production that I was glad to see. However, I can understand that it lacks a little something to the wider West End audience - as it seems to be more of a niche for the theatre lovers or older audience.
In recent news, it has been announced that this show will be opening next year at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, where it played originally. In all honesty, I had heard very little about this show but upon some research I learnt that the musical first premiered in 1980, but the story goes back a little further. However, the news has seemed to excite many theatre fans and it definitely looks to be interesting.
Taking a step back in time, the Palladium will play host to a pantomime for the first time in 29 years this Christmas, following a long history from 1948 to 1987 of the traditional Christmas shows featuring the biggest stars of the day including Julie Andrews. The Rodgers & Hammerstein Cinderella was televised in 1957 and been staged several times over the years. I think this will be a festive treat!
There we have it - a little look into some recent musical revivals. So, tell us, what musicals do you want to see revived? What do you think makes them work? What makes them not work? Is there still a demand for revivals, or
have we moved on? What has been your favourite? Any thoughts - do share them with us!