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Shouts and Murmurs – May 28, 2024

Hello, and welcome to Shouts And Murmurs, a weekly email for paid supporters of The Crush Bar, written by me, Fergus Morgan.

Every week, I round up the best theatre writing elsewhere – reviews, interviews, opinion, long-reads – plus any other interesting or inspiring theatre stuff I find. At the moment, you can read the top section for free, but you have to pay me £5/month or £50/year – or just email me, if that seems a bit steep – if you want to read the quality content on the other side of the paywall.

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This week: a look back on the last fortnight’s theatrical news; a round-up of the reviews of Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, Bluets, and loads more shows; and a bunch of links to interviews with Emma D’Arcy, Giles Terera and others, and to some more interesting articles.

Thanks for reading The Crush Bar, as always. If you want to do me one more favour, then you can share this newsletter far and wide and encourage others to subscribe via the button below.

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Previously in The Crush Bar:

I was on holiday last week, so here is everything that has happened in the last fortnight.

Theatre’s great game of musical chairs continues: Brian Logan has left Camden People’s Theatre to take up the artistic directorship of A Play, A Pie and A Pint in his native Scotland, filling the gap left by Jemima Levick when she hopped across Glasgow to the Tron Theatre, which she promptly had to close due to Celtic fans celebrating their title win too enthusiastically. CPT is now looking for a new AD, and irked some people with the terminology they used when they advertised the position. Hey, at least they advertised.

Elsewhere, Nathan Powell will leave the National Student Drama Festival for Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. Nadia Fall will leave Theatre Royal Stratford East for the Young Vic, succeeding Kwame Kwei-Armah. At the other end of the street, Matthew Warchus has given the longest ever notice period: he plans to step down in 2026. That’s two plum posts up for grabs in London, then. The Old Vic one has Lynette Linton’s name written all over it, surely? Surely?! That would leave a job at the Bush Theatre, though. Round and round we go.

All this change is invigorating. Less invigorating is the prospect of Edinburgh arts venue Summerhall getting sold and turned into student accommodation. And the spate of reports that revealed a career in theatre had got harder for parents, early-career workers, and basically everyone: if Stacey Dooley says it, it must be true. And a big musical tour getting cancelled because no-one wanted to see it. Let’s hope that the forthcoming Arts Council England review results in something, anything, that might help the theatre industry avoid becoming another income stream for Richard Osman. I still have hope, as long as we still have James Graham. Also depressing: journalists asking revered actors what they think about trigger warnings!

What else? Some shows opened, including three stage-to-screen adaptations, one Shakespeare featuring some controversial casting, and another featuring Zendaya’s boyfriend that briefly made theatre culturally relevant: you can find out what the critics thought about them below the paywall. Some shows were announced, too, including a whole bunch at the Edinburgh Fringe. Some award nominations I was involved with were revealed, too: that was a laugh. An election was called. Oh, and on the personal front, my wonderful partner agreed to marry me at the top of a Scottish mountain. The weather was predictably uncooperative, though, so she might just have said yes so we could get out of the driving rain and into a warm car, which suits me. Either way, you want us to have the wedding of our dreams, don’t you? Don’t you?!

Free subscribers to The Crush Bar receive these emails every Friday. Paid supporters also receive Shouts and Murmurs on Tuesdays.

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