Musical theatre continues to dominate London's West End
Now in the nineteen seventies. And eighties success of mega shows like cats Jesus Christ superstar in phantom of the opera transformed musicals so much. So that in London's West End musical theater is now the dominant commercial force and some performances run for decades Europe, correspondent Linton. Besser took in dinner and show. Gilgit feta on shafts spree avenue is completely overwhelmed. The front lobby of the nine hundred eighty six seat theatre is so packed with Londoners in overcoats scarves. The champagne drinking crowd spills into the street. One of the things that you really are struck by is how small the front of house area is the the feature at south is predominantly the theater. So you you can walk into a tiny little forever. It's crushed and half. The audience is standing outside is a former musical director. And now professor of musical theater. But you're in a beautiful fitter that created with great ornamentation color. And then you almost immediately have to go up downstairs into the foyers of the theater in the foyers are essentially probably a ball on each floor. We don't have huge for it. Because of course, you know, land is so valuable in them, particularly skews in the waste end also known as these land in amazing place. It's a conglomeration of about forty. That have being around some of them since eighteen hundred so a long long history, and we they're all in type geographic proximity to each other. So there's an area in in called West End, which describes where mostly based on the cases. And you know, it's it's bright lights and and big solve. That's marchington. A long standing British CD critic musicals as a has become the dominant commercial fourth office. We have the western now produces over forty states in the West End, probably at least half of those. That's not more are now housing rubbing musicals. Tonight. It's a revival of company a Stephen Sondheim classic from nineteen seventy and it's been given. A new twist the lead role of Bobby a thirty five year old man. Unable to commit to a serious relationship has been given for the first time to woman a hush finally falls of the rowdy theater. What you get in a a musical very often. You don't Decima play. If you got some insight into the characters thinking and that through so. So the characters thinking can be a little Christ through moments of song. And the tendency is that those songs tend to reveal emotion, and they reveal emotion much more fully because of the role of music a music has a a way of drawing audiences in two involvement with characters and that's been discussed in newer science. But music allows allows access to our emotional world much more effectively than just a simple spoken language. She says. In the nineteen seventies and nine hundred ninety s the very nature of musical theater was forever transformed. With the advent of mega performances such as cats Jesus Christ superstar and phantom of the opera all of them associated with the British composer and musical impresario. Andrew Lloyd Webber changed dramatically with the midst musicals of Android weather. Which would run for years and years and years before about the war occasional shows that would run for years, but it was the exception. Now, the mega musicals the cost of production is such that the there is a requirement that shows will for quite long periods of time before they even recoup their costs. So beloved, and so enduring the have run for decades, all incredibly popular with the public and. An open ended Lund says one for I mean, maybe before. Four year in the West End, they run for you years where plays typically only run Nava converts them sixteen weeks as with all things the story of the dominance of musical theatre boils down to money brame Eum tickets to the current smash hit Hamilton have been sold for more than eight hundred dollars. It's profoundly. Because if you if you hit if you hit it big, I mean, the thing is the line came now have made seven billion dollars worldwide. That's more than any film or CD or other medium in history, nothing of taking money advice. So the people who creates the liking I've made a fortune, unfortunately, musical Costa most of money on as well. So unfortunately, also use of money though from aids so it's a high risk game a single flop on West End can quickly. Bring soaring musical careers to juddering halt. That was a show called bene- debt, which was very unfortunate in only running weeks and also in the nineteen sixties twang by Lionel bonds blocked and lost him his foot Choon his fortune that had been gained by the show on. That's why some of London's with this spidery steakhouses and crumbling. Plaster are in need of a little tender loving care in light twenty thirteen forty minutes into a performance of the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime. The ceiling of the grand Apollo theater on shaft spree avenue collapsed on the audience. Abby seeming. In the West End seeing the okay nights of an undergrad Weber musical, Stephen ward. And I like on my mobile phone at the end of the show. I call these messages about the disaster happened on Chelsea I'm riding type of an even bigger disaster. Happened on shelf seventy then happened in with fierce. It's annoying. And that's so that we've just seen see more dire. Luckily off the front page of the paper by the people. There's no sign of any such catastrophe at company, which has enjoyed packed houses and rive. Linden Besse their London kicking his heels.