Musical theatre productions pull in huge audiences night after night across the world, from London’s West End to the Big Apple’s Broadway and everywhere in between and beyond. Whether it’s a subtle beautiful Irish folk tale like Once currently showing at the Phoenix, or the fabulous Wicked touring and defying gravity across the UK, audiences young and old are enchanted by the magic of the design, the songs and the stories.
But with so many people united by the sound of music, it always comes as a shock and a surprise when new musicals close so soon after opening. It was announced last night that the Harry Hill musical, I Can’t Sing, will be closing in two weeks time, after being open just two months. Despite great four and five star reviews from critics and backing of music superpower, Simon Cowell, not every new show can succeed. Following in the footsteps of Viva Forever and From here to eternity, it is not the first production to not be able to pull in the audiences and profits it needs to survive. Maybe there are already too many musicals out there (particularly in London) or maybe people prefer to stick to what they know, with shows like The Lion King and Les Miserables still going strong. Each show requires a clear target audience and a strong directive marketing strategy; and maybe word of mouth just isn’t enough to spread the excitement anymore…
However, newer musicals such as the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda, prove that it is possible to break through the saturated market and reach out to it’s audience. With intelligent writing and lyrics and first class performances from it’s young cast, it’s array of awards are just a hint at the magic involved in the Roald Dahl classic. London’s West End is currently full of brilliant productions and a great selection of upcoming musical theatre stars, and audience members are able to enter in to a new world from the comfort of a theatre chair every night if they wish to… I sure wish I could!
Unfortunately not every show can be an over night success, and not everyone is going to agree on every musical, it all comes down to a recipe of an interesting and relatable story, clever design and production, and musical numbers and performances which stay with the audiences long after they throw away their ice cream tub and ticket stub.
What do you guys think about the recent closures? Feel free to comment below or tweet me @chaotickirstyy