wickedTheatre for a new generation!

Michael Grandage, the award winning director who has just finished an incredible 15-month run of plays in the West End, has said that theatres should offer “cheap tickets” to attract younger audiences but should also be careful not to “dumb down” for a world that is becoming “intellectually bankrupt”.

There’s been a lot of backlash from middle aged, middle class theatregoers of late about the “star studded” nature of theatre, with plays featuring big screen stars getting so much coverage. Michael Grandage’s run, which finished with Henry V, has played to 390,000 people and a quarter of those tickets have sold for just £10,with a third bought by first time theatregoers.

Performances by stars like Daniel Radcliffe, Tom Hiddleston and Jude Law have acted as a gateway to the world of theatre for many young adults. At a recent performance of Coriolanus that I attended at my local cinema (thanks to the brilliant National Theatre Live), I was personally happy and surprised to see so many teenagers in attendance that were becoming interested not only in Shakespeare but with one of the lesser known plays at that. After checking the tag on Twitter there were many glowing reviews of the play, not just the popular star, and I can only see that as a good thing. We all want theatre to keep going and need new voices to write new and exciting plays and if big stars who have the acting chops to pull off these leading roles are a way secure that, I for one am all for it.

The Simpsons inspire a new play. 

Rupert Goold has announced that a play inspired by (arguably) America’s most famous family is to be part of his first season as Artistic Director at the Almeida Theatre. Mr Burns is a play by Anne Washburn and can be seen from June 5th to July 19th 2014. Directed by Robert Icke, who has recently finished a stint directing 1984 for the theatre, the play puts us in “post –apocalyptic” America where a “much loved episode of The Simpsons is recalled by a group of survivors”. The play has already had a New York stint and explores “whether the stories we tell make us the people we are”.

Wicked to come to Bristol. 

The fantastically popular musical Wicked will be flying into Bristol next year. Advertised by projecting life-sized images of green witches onto some of the cities most iconic buildings, it was announced last week that the musical, which tells the untold story of the witches of Oz, will be hitting Bristol as part of it’s UK tour in February 2015.

Wicked appears at The Bristol Hippodrome from Wednesday, February 18, to Saturday, March 21, 2015.

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