theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…
“If anyone else wakes up to sunshine they say, ‘Lovely day!’ If we wake up to it we say, ‘Oh shit!'” Bill Kenwright, producer, Blood Brothers, We Happy Few.
“We’ve had a deeply crap month.” André Ptaszynski, chief executive Really Useful Theatres.
“Some producers will dig into their pockets for another £100,000 to keep a show going but I’m young and mine weren’t deep enough. We lost all the money that it took to put on the show… It will be a long time before I pluck up the courage to produce again in the West End, if I ever do.” Kenneth Wax, producer, The Shape of Things.
“These theatres were all built around 1895 with the advent of electric lighting and are now 110 years old. No wonder they are falling apart: to open for just two hours a day is farcical when they should be in use as restaurants, bookshops, cinemas. It’s ludicrous not to play on Sundays when art galleries and museums open. The West End is a hundred years behind in everything: leg room, air conditioning, wheelchair access, providing a wine bar.” Sheridan Morley, writer & critic.
“It was a disaster. I can only blame myself because I put it on… I’d be loath to see theatres close but I don’t see any alternative… It’s no one’s fault but the subsidised theatre is seriously clipping the wings of the commercial. They have millions of pounds a year to plough into empty seats.” Duncan Weldon, producer, Rattle of a Simple Man.
“If we have a bummer we can ride it out. In the West End there is no recovery and you lose your shirt on it.” Michael Attenborough, artistic director, Almeida Theatre.
Past, present and future casualties: Calico, The Holy Terror, Coyote on a Fence, Rattle of a Simple Man, The Shape of Things, Fuddy Meers, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Tonight’s the Night.
Originally published on R&V 13-06-04
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