That Was the Week That Was (August 22-28)

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On Friday, Theatre Twitter lit up with outrage after an August 7 Daily Telegraph interview with Cameron Mackintosh came to light in which he called the casting of trans actors in leading roles in any of his shows would be “gimmick casting”. (see above)

There were some amusing responses:

But mostly there was, understandably, widespread condemnation — including from actors being employed by Mackintosh directly, like Trevor Dion Nicholas (currently playing George Washington in Hamilton):

Or actors who’ve previously worked for him, like Fra Fee (who appeared in the film version of Les Miserables):

Or Carrie Hope Fletcher, now leading the cast of Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, but last seen in the all-star concert version of Les Miserables last December:

#NotAGimmick was widely adopted as a hashtag to accompany the tweets. And there emerged some heartfelt personal contributions, like trans actor Alesandra Billings, currently playing Madame Morrible in Wicked on Broadway, who posted a response on Instagram that was then picked up in Twitter:

This is, of course, an important subject – and probably too important for Twitter to merely get cross about, but at least those tweeting can claim their space and show their support of trans actors over.

I asked Mackintosh’s publicist for Hamilton in the West End on Saturday if he had a comment, and got this curt factual reply, “Cameron is currently away.”

UPDATE: On Sunday evening (August 30), Cameron Mackintosh issued the following statement (via Twitter)

MY COLUMNS AND REVIEWS OF THE WEEK

  • Sunday August 22

My column for today is here: shentonstage.com/that-was-the-week-that-was-august-15-21/

REVIEWS AND REVIEW TWEETS OF THE WEEK

  • Pippin (and my interview with Stephen Schwartz after) at Charing Cross Theatre:
  • Joseph and the Amazing Techicolor Dreamcoat revisited (London Palladium):
  • Cirque Beserk (Garrick Theatre):

OTHER REVIEWS OF THE WEEK

  • Susannah Clapp in The Observer (August 22)
  • Dominic Cavendish in Daily Telegraph on Cirque Beserk (August 27):

LONDON HEADLINES OF THE WEEK

REGIONAL/ TOURING HEADLINES OF THE WEEK

BROADWAY HEADLINES OF THE WEEK

EXECUTIVE ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE WEEK:

COVID NEWS TWEETS OF THE WEEK

THEATRE BIRTHDAYS OF THE WEEK

AND FINALLY, SOME FAVOURITE PERSONAL TWEETS OF THE WEEK
I sometimes openly celebrate some personal life milestones (and millstones, too!) in my life. Here’s a selection of both….

And some less favourite tweets:

  • Why I won’t be buying the Daily Mail anymore:
  • Dealing with disabled access at theatre:
  • And my own experience on the theatre bulletin board Theatreboard:

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