• My Unexpected Joy post-show Q&A at London's Southwark Playhouse on 13 September 2018. © Anthony Kelly
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    Unexpected Joy Q&A video and photos: How can we find common ground through musical theatre?

Unexpected Joy Q&A video and photos: How can we find common ground through musical theatre?

Can musical theatre help us find common ground with those with whom we disagree? If so, Unexpected Joy is undoubtedly the musical to do it. 

Set in Provincetown, Cape Cod, Unexpected Joy is the story of three generations of female singers, long-held family tensions and a week together where change is in the air. Joy, a baby boomer […]

From Page to Stage Q&A podcast and photos: How is the international scene changing for new musicals?

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. Amongst the suggestions made by the audience […]

  • Lizzie post-show Q&A at Greenwich Theatre, 23 February 2017
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    Lizzie Q&A podcast and photos: Why axe murderer Lizzie Borden is a feminist icon

Lizzie Q&A podcast and photos: Why axe murderer Lizzie Borden is a feminist icon

The American gothic rock musical LIZZIE, which is now receiving its UK premiere in a limited season at London’s Greenwich Theatre, opens and closes with a nursery rhyme I memorised in my own American youth about the real-life 19th century crime:
“Lizzie Borden took an axe,
And gave her mother forty whacks;
When she saw what she […]

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    Manchester’s Menier is born: Look inside the new Hope Mill Theatre

Manchester’s Menier is born: Look inside the new Hope Mill Theatre

I’ve long been a fan of Katy Lipson at Aria Entertainment and have followed her fast-growing career with great interest. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to physically follow her to Manchester, where she’s recently branched out into venue programming and management with the team behind the city’s newest fringe venue, the Hope Mill Theatre. […]

British musical theatre has just had its Woodstock moment: I was there

This time last week I was coming down from the buzz of BEAM:2016. Today, as I was re-reading my notes and other people’s write-ups for this blog, I received news on casting for The Toxic Avenger, starring Mark Anderson (who I saw performing at Beam) and produced by Aria Entertainment’s Katy Lipson (one of the […]

  • Remarkable debut: 13-year-old Adam Bregman, who had his own Bar Mitzvah in October, stars in the title role
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    Bar Mitzvah Boy: How do you turn a famous musical flop into a smash hit?

Bar Mitzvah Boy: How do you turn a famous musical flop into a smash hit?

I have all sorts of bias when it comes to Bar Mitzvah Boy: my friend Lara Stubbs stars (as the somewhat spoilt, Jewish princess older sister of bar-mitzvahed boy in question); the show is directed by Stewart Nicholls, with whom I worked last summer on Robbie Sherman’s Love Birds; and it’s produced by the […]

  • Julian Ovenden recently recorded a new musical with The Stable
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    3 important ‘new’ schemes for new musicals that get my full support

3 important ‘new’ schemes for new musicals that get my full support

I’ve been thinking a lot about new musicals recently. That’s not meant to be a blatant plug for my new website Stage Faves. Apart from the small detail that #StageFaves’ covers revivals and long-running blockbusters too, the fact is that, by the time a musical reaches the West End, it’s unlikely to be ‘new’ […]

  • Producer Katy Lipson introduces the From Page to Stage opening night and season © Peter Jones
    Permalink Producer Katy Lipson introduces the From Page to Stage opening night and season © Peter JonesGallery

    From Page to Stage photos and podcast: Are we doing enough to nurture new musicals?

From Page to Stage photos and podcast: Are we doing enough to nurture new musicals?

What an honour! Last night I had the privilege of helping to open the third annual From Page to Stage season of new musicals. From Page to Stage is the brainchild of Katy Lipson of Aria Entertainment, who also produced The House of Mirrors and Hearts, for which I chaired a post-show Q&A at […]

Rock operas: How much does American Idiot owe to Tommy?

Birth-wise, more than three decades separate The Who’s Tommy and Green Day’s American Idiot, but location-wise, the distance is only three short train stops, from London’s Charing Cross to Greenwich. That is, for the next few weeks in any case.

It’s a happy coincidence that these two “rock operas” based on groundbreaking “concept albums” are both […]

  • Producers, Jamie, Molly, Ryan and Rob
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    Photos and podcast: The making of new British musical The House of Mirrors and Hearts

Photos and podcast: The making of new British musical The House of Mirrors and Hearts

The adage – usually attributed to Sondheim – that “musicals aren’t written, they’re rewritten” was central to the post-show discussion that I hosted last night at London’s Arcola Theatre. It was the final preview performance of The House of Mirrors and Hearts, the new British chamber musical by Eamonn O’Dwyer and Robert Gilbert, which faces critics […]

Why holidays are out and remote working is in

Unless you spotted my occasional beach tweets or are one of my personal Facebook friends, you may not have noticed that I’ve been away recently. My partner Peter and I spent all of June in Mallorca.

Now don’t be too jealous – and with heatwave weather like we’ve come back to here in the UK, […]