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Shouts and Murmurs – May 7, 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 vaguely topical theatre quiz and novel gambit to get you to become a paid supporter; a look at the reviews of Minority Report, The Cherry Orchard, The Buddha Of Suburbia and more; interviews with a whole heap of interesting people, including the playwrights Duncan Macmillan and Sanaz Toossi; and links to some other good stuff written about theatre, including a fascinating dive into the changing landscape of commercial funding.

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:

Get your thinking caps on. It’s quiz time.

Last week, I started this top section with a quiz about Tory culture ministers and used it as a nifty segue into a thoroughly entertaining bit pondering whether things will be better under Labour and Thangam Debbonaire. (What’s the collective noun for Tory culture ministers, I wonder? A vandalism? An austerity? An underfunding?)

This week, I’m starting this top section with an actual quiz as a nifty segue into you getting out your wallet and becoming a paid supporter of this newsletter. Seven, vaguely topical, theatre-related questions here. Answers at the bottom behind the paywall. (If you really, really want them and can’t be bothered to Google, then just ask.)

  1. The Royal Shakespeare Company, Chichester Festival Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre, the Donmar Warehouse, the New Diorama, Regents Park Open Air Theatre, the Tron Theatre and Theatr Clwyd all have new artistic directors. Who?

  2. Ian McKellen is currently playing Falstaff in Player Kings, Rob Icke’s adaptation of Henry IV. Which of the following Shakespearean roles has he never played professionally on stage: Richard II, King John, Romeo, Leontes, Benedick, Macbeth, Iago, Richard III, Propsero, Lear, or Hamlet?

  3. One for Scottish readers: James V: Katherine, the fifth instalment of Rona Munro’s James Plays cycle is currently touring. What were the titles of the first four plays, based on James I, II, III and IV?

  4. Three theatre producers made it onto The Sunday Times Rich List in 2023, with net worths of £1.9 billion, £1.227 billion, and £504 million respectively. Who?

  5. James Graham’s adaptation of Boys From The Blackstuff transfers to the National Theatre earlier this month, having run at Liverpool’s Royal Court earlier this year. How many Olivier Award nominations for Best New Play has the Mansfield-born dramatist received and what were they for?

  6. The directors Ivo Van Hove, Declan Donnellan and Michael Grandage all work with long-term life-partners, collaborators and designers. Who?

  7. The latest crazy cast for the West End production of 2:22: A Ghost Story was announced last week. Which of the following performers has not appeared in the play, either in London or on tour: Lily Allen, Cheryl, Cara Delevingne, Tom Felton, James Buckley, Laura Whitmore?

Right, that’s your lot. If you want to see the answers below – plus a load more stuff – then you know what to do. It’ll cost you £5/month, £50/year, or a grovelling email.

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

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