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Musicals in the West End - Essay Example

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Mostly this is review of the article written by Billington, M. "This West End theatre boom is not all good news", The Guardian, Jan 31, 2011. Using many other sources the writer make a detailed research of this article on the British theatrical industry…
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Musicals in the West End
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Download file to see previous pages Before presenting any logical argument, it is inherent to carry out a practical check on the shows currently running in the West End theatres and those lined up for production later in the year. According to the London Theatre Online by Darren Daglish, there are 23 musicals, 13 comedies, and 11 dramas (or straight plays if you like) currently running. Mathematically, this translates to 48% musicals, 28% comedies, and 24% drama. At this point, one might conclude that there many musicals shows than the other two classes. However, there is a list of shows lined up for production this year, including 9 musicals, 11 comedies, and 37 plays: or 16% musicals, 20% comedies, and 64% dramas [2]. Clearly, plays still dominate the theatre time if these statistics are anything to go by. While there may be repetition of some musicals such as Billy Eliot, Blood Brothers, and Jersey Boys, there is a relatively few number of repetition of plays. Actually, there are fifteen musicals repetitions with only six repeated plays. Thus, it would be inaccurate to say that the West End harbours more musicals than other subsidised theatres. However, one must bear in mind that musicals have relatively long runs than plays. Thus, there may not necessarily be a 64% increase in the number of plays. Dominance of musicals Another interesting statistic is that about two-thirds of the straight plays currently showing or planned for production show in subsidized theatres, with only seven and two musicals. Therefore, there will be around 30 musicals, 17 comedies, and 16 straight plays in the commercial theatres. Certainly, this is not a show of unhealthy competition and dominance by musicals! Essentially, the dominant nature of musicals in the West End theatres is a perception rather than a matter of fact. To prove this practically, try asking any average person about any showing musicals in the West End theatres and majority will mention Billy Elliot, Jersey Boys, and The Lion King [3]. The person may also mention Cats and Les Mis, and probably Beauty and the Beast. Similarly, ask the people to mention a few straight plays in the same theatres would probably respond by naming just a single play and add the typical “some Shakespeare.” This highlights the enormous interest that the public has for musicals as compared to straight plays at all levels, with the exception of real theatrical devotee ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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