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West End Star Wattage


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#1 young offender

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:47 PM

Has it ever been this close to blowing the fuses? I can't remember a hotter period for plays with big names/Dames.

Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Rowan Atkinson, James McAvoy, Rupert Everett, etc., all performing within half a mile of each other, and doing huge business. Great to see plays putting musicals (bar Mormon) firmly in the shade right now.

#2 armadillo

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:24 PM

March 2003, you could have seen WE plays starring Dawn French, Tom Courtenay, Ian McKellen, Frances De La Tour, Timothy West, Kristin Scott Thomas, Alan Davies, Margaret Tyzack.  In March 1993 you could have had Maggie Smith, Martin Shaw,  Richard E Grant, Alex Jennings, Penelope Wilton, Robert Lindsay, Nigel Davenport, Peter Capaldi. Incidentally in 1993 you could have seen both An Ideal Husband and Importance of Being Earnest in the WE, plus Trelawny of the Wells at the Olivier.

#3 Epicoene

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:50 PM

View Postarmadillo, on 08 March 2013 - 02:24 PM, said:

March 2003, you could have seen WE plays starring Dawn French, Tom Courtenay, Ian McKellen, Frances De La Tour, Timothy West, Kristin Scott Thomas, Alan Davies, Margaret Tyzack.  In March 1993 you could have had Maggie Smith, Richard E Grant, Alex Jennings, Penelope Wilton, Robert Lindsay, Nigel Davenport, Peter Capaldi. Incidentally in 199 you could have seen both An Ideal Husband and Importance of Being Earnest in the WE, plus Trelawny of the Wells at the Olivier.  3 333333333433 gg333

I suppose the question is whether at the time all of those were star names or whether they became so only in retrospect - for example Peter Capaldi and Alex Jennings probably didn't sell many seats on their own in 1993. You could probably keep stepping back in time and getting starrier, immediately pre- and post WW-II for example.

#4 popcultureboy

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 03:46 PM

We can add Kristin Scott Thomas and Frances de la Tour to the current list too, of course.

#5 Nicholas

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 10:52 PM

View PostEpicoene, on 08 March 2013 - 02:50 PM, said:

I suppose the question is whether at the time all of those were star names or whether they became so only in retrospect - for example Peter Capaldi and Alex Jennings probably didn't sell many seats on their own in 1993.

Retrospective "Star Wattage" would probably be fascinating too - which year had the biggest stars before they were stars?  For example, Ivanov starred Tom Hiddleston and Andrea Riseborough: Hiddleston especially would have people queuing round the block to see now.  That both actors are now huge does make me feel smug knowing I've seen them.  Any other examples?

#6 Jon

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 10:56 PM

View PostNicholas, on 08 March 2013 - 10:52 PM, said:



Retrospective "Star Wattage" would probably be fascinating too - which year had the biggest stars before they were stars?  For example, Ivanov starred Tom Hiddleston and Andrea Riseborough: Hiddleston especially would have people queuing round the block to see now, but then was just a co-star.  That both actors are now huge does make me feel smug knowing I've seen them.  Any other examples?

Hiddleston was in Othello at the Donmar before that, would any of the actors in The History Boys count? James Corden was known through roles in Fat Friends and Little Britain but Russell Tovey and Dominic Cooper weren't known before then,

#7 xanderl

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 10:56 PM

There was the NT Connections plays with unknowns Risborough, Andrew Garfield and Matt Smith
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#8 armadillo

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 06:58 AM

View PostEpicoene, on 08 March 2013 - 02:50 PM, said:

I suppose the question is whether at the time all of those were star names or whether they became so only in retrospect - for example Peter Capaldi and Alex Jennings probably didn't sell many seats on their own in 1993. You could probably keep stepping back in time and getting starrier, immediately pre- and post WW-II for example.
  I went to see that production because of Alex Jennings - he'd already been around a few years and  won an Olivier.  Peter Capaldi had already been around for 10 years, including starring in one of the biggest British films hits of the 80s (Local Hero).  Clearly you could probably find starrier years (or indeed do more research than I could be bothered to about those particular years). But I don't think it's particularly different at the moment from any period in my theatre-going career. Though before the 70s, stars were probably a more important part of the musicals' selling point. Perhaps?

#9 Lynette

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 08:50 PM

I don't understand this thread. All the guys mentioned above are doing their jobs and we pay to see em do it. Who else do you want on the stage?   Of course if they are known to be good, their shows will sell well. Same with plumbers. If they plumb well, they get well known and much in demand.


#10 paplazaroo

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 10:04 PM

View PostLynette, on 10 March 2013 - 08:50 PM, said:

I don't understand this thread. All the guys mentioned above are doing their jobs and we pay to see em do it. Who else do you want on the stage?   Of course if they are known to be good, their shows will sell well. Same with plumbers. If they plumb well, they get well known and much in demand.

But people don't get excited when lots of great plumbers are all fixing pipes in the same city at the same time




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