The plays may have been written 420-odd years apart, but I was really struck by how many parallels there were between the discussion I hosted last week, to the European premiere of Jordan Tannahill's Late Company, and the one I hosted last night, to Christopher Marlowe's 16th-century classic Edward II.
Having heard so many of My Theatre Mates raving about Late Company following its European premiere earlier this year at the Finborough, I was really looking forward to seeing it at Trafalgar Studios. And yet, I still came under-prepared: I didn't bring enough tissues.
Two years ago, I chaired the opening night discussion at the third annual From Page to Stage festival of new musicals founded by Aria Entertainment's Katy Lipson. The central question on that occasion was "are we doing enough to nurture new musicals?" And the central answer was no.
Is Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew inherently misogynistic? Particularly with its treatment of spirited Kate, the Shrew of the title, who is starved and mentally tormented (gaslighting long before Patrick Hamilton, Ingrid Bergman or Donald Trump).
It's always a real privilege to have the playwright involved when you're chairing a post-show Q&A. But when the play is also based on the playwright's own best-selling memoir... When the memoir recounts his relationship with a legend like Lucille Ball... Well, that's extra special.
How many creatives does it take to make a one-man musical? The answer can be "quite a few". And that it is in the case of SUPERHERO, the British one-man - or rather "one-dad" - musical now receiving its world premiere at London's Southwark Playhouse.
Just 11 months after I chaired my first post-show talk for Jon Brittain's Rotterdam - then at Trafalgar Studios for its West End premiere - and so much has changed. The play went on to win an Olivier Award and transfer to New York before now returning for its second West End run.
What's the most important lesson in a prison 'education'? HELD is a hard-hitting new British prison drama exploring the broken lives of five inmates, including two young offenders (both played by Jack Brett Anderson) incarcerated for the first time and learning fast that there's a price to pay for everything...
I had a hunch that this would be an especially amusing post-show Q&A and the company and audience of American hillbilly comedy Out There on Fried Meat Ridge Rd., now transferred to the West End's Trafalgar Studios 2 for a limited season, did not disappoint.