I must admit to being slightly amused by various friends and former colleagues in Musical Theatre being up-in-arms about an article in The Guardian yesterday, where writer Stuart Heritage lays into the genre in admittedly, quite brutal fashion:
It's probably no coincidence that I really liked it! The success of Frankie Boyle's writing for The Guardian has obviously rubbed off here. And I say bravo.
"Maybe we’ll get to see a musicless version of Cats, where some cats introduce themselves and then nothing else happens."That genuinely made me laugh out loud.
Luvvie friends, please. It's clearly a comic article, pitched in the most insulting way possible for comic effect. A style I'm rather partial to myself. Please please ditch the outrage.
A lot of people hate musicals, deal with it. For those who do, this piece is undeniably rather funny. Similarly, anyone who likes musicals is not going to stop going to see them or suddenly start hating them as a result of this chap sharing his opinion. Are former colleagues really suggesting that a writer shouldn't be free to take the mick, or publish his/her thoughts on a very much Marmite art-form? Really? And on account of what...their sense of personal offence?
Dare I say, the overreaction seems a tad 'snowflakey'.
Whereas that's normally a jeer by the soulless right-wing to describe anyone with the vaguest sense of compassion or decency, in this instance, I'd have to say it does actually demonstrate the derisory 'limp and weak' qualities they mock. I don't think it helps the perceived 'liberal' cause or credibility, being brutally honest.
On a personal note, even my partner Lucy and I - who both trained in Musical Theatre at one of the country's top drama schools and even knew perhaps fifty percent of the supporting cast - could not sit through the Les Miserables film. Sorry guys.
The truth is, we turned it off after twenty minutes. It was genuinely traumatic; the equivalent of audio-visual self-harm. Director Tom Hooper's decision to have the cast over-act like they were on stage, and glower down the camera lens singing, was truly one of the most horrific things I've ever witnessed on celluloid.
"Do you hear the people sing?" Yes. In fact I still have nightmares about it.