Convener: Amy Ip
Participants: Amy Ip and John Ward
Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:
Is the term Musical a dirty word? The view seemed to be; yes if seen from an artistic viewpoint and no from a commercial viewpoint. And the word commercial also seemed to have a negative connotation but that is a different session in itself.
It was discussed that a lot of people say that they “hate” Musical Theatre but it is much more prevalent in day-to-day life without people knowing it. A classic example being football supporters singing Carousel.
Why are Musicals seen as having lesser artistic merit when they require as much if not more work input as most pieces have to be rehearsed three times, from a music, acting and dance perspective?
There seems to have been a decline in new British Musical Theatre output in recent years and even venues such as Southwark Playhouse and The Union which do have musicals as part of their programming, only really put on tried and tested American musicals. The Bridewell used to provide a platform for new musical theatre writing but nothing seems to have taken its place.
John is currently working on an adaptation of Faust, to be shown at the Brighton Fringe and then London, which is a piece with songs and he is deciding whether it should be called a musical as the term has its benefits and drawbacks. The producer he has been working with was not keen to use the term musical due to the supposed audience that it would draw and also worried about how the piece would be viewed.