The importance of the backstage lie

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its-only-a-play-broadway

As a critic, it’s my job to offer my opinion — but usually I do it from the safety of a computer screen as I write my review (or my mobile phone as I send out a quick tweet). But how do actors deal with giving their opinions to each other when they see each other’s work? (Dis)honesty, it seems, may be the best policy.

A Three Show Day

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tree-e1417603066434

Today I had a three show day — I started with Daniel Kitson’s Tree at the Old Vic at 11am, then went across the street to the Old Vic at 2.30pm for 1927’s Golem, and then went into town to see Once yet again at the Phoenix Theatre at 7.30pm (in order to see Ronan Keating’s brilliant understudy Jack Beale take over the role for the day). 

Yes, I’m quite clearly a theatre addict. But I squeezed in some personal time between each show by scheduling coffee meetings at 1pm and 4.15pm and then dinner at 5.30pm!

Stro in London

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Susan Stroman

Today I met the inspiring director/choreographer Susan Stroman (universally known in the business as simply Stro) at her hotel in Leicester Square. She’s in town to catch up with her production of The Scottsboro Boys at the Garrick. When I last met her at her New York studio on West 57th Street a year and a bit ago, she was simultaneously rehearsing the London company of that show (who had flown to New York to do so with her) ahead of its opening at the Young Vic, and a big new Broadway show Big Fish. (She’d juggle them by rehearsing Big Fish by day, then The Scottsboro Boys in the evenings!)