BACK FOR GOOD

BACK FOR GOOD: From SPRING AWAKENING To Financial Dramas

BACK FOR GOOD: From SPRING AWAKENING To Financial Dramas
Spring Awakening at the Novello Theatre

In our new series, BroadwayWorld UK writers nominate the shows they'd love to see revived!

I recently pondered which shows I wish would tour, but that got me thinking: what shows are there that even Londoners can't see anymore, but I wish would come back?

1. Spring Awakening

I loved this show when I saw it at the Novello in 2009. It had a vibrant and talented young cast - many of whom have gone onto great things (Iwan Rheon, Charlotte Wakefield and Natasha Barnes were just a few of the names in the London company). On top of this, it had accessible ticket prices for young people.

This unlikely fusion of a 19th-century German play with an alt-rock score was a hit with critics and indeed some audiences - it ran on Broadway for a couple of years. Yet the West End version lasted a mere four months.

In the context of an increasing debate around mental health and young people, this show feels ripe for revival. I've seen many a student production of the show and frequent performances of songs from it, so perhaps it could find an audience second time round.

Quite why it failed to find one in London I'm not sure, but I think it's time for a brave producer to revive it - perhaps in a regional theatre, and then build some momentum before a London run. The regions may well hold the key, as education groups could latch onto it and help spread the word.

2. Enron/Serious Money/The Power Of Yes

So, it's a little bit egregious to lump three very different plays together. The point of doing so is that I'm yearning for theatre to again explore some of the financial crisis origins and, perhaps more importantly, its effects.

Whatever your personal politics, we're all living with the aftermath of the crash of 2008. Its shockwaves are still being felt and austerity is routinely mentioned as political policy.

Yet I sense for many that the murky world of finance is still opaque. What does short-selling mean? What does sub-prime mean? Art has a unique ability to explore these things in an accessible way (see the film adaption of Michael Lewis's book The Big Short).

Enron is a perfect example of taking a real story that is both complicated but also potentially dull and turning it into a necessary and urgent piece of the theatre. The fact that the US audience hated it on Broadway makes me even more sure Lucy Prebble nailed one of the most shameful episodes in corporate America.

The show blended fact and fiction to make a thrilling, visceral play. I'm sure I'm not the only one who, after leaving the theatre, did some fairly incessant Googling to understand more about this incredible story.

Theatre is frequently at its best when it gives us the opportunity to look at big events from a critical distance. Whether that's through allegory or a ripped-from-the-headlines story, it's an opportunity to understand and interpret events that are affecting you.

So, theatre-makers - over to you...

Which shows do YOU want to see revived? Let us know!

Photo credit: Tristram Kenton

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From This Author Tim Wright

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