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On the large number of London musicals based on hackneyed old films.


You don't have to be Max Planck to guess that recurrent visits to the same place will result in the repetition of certain familiar experiences. Yet in all the years that I've been popping back to London, I'd never noticed until this summer to what extent the musicals playing in that city's West End were an open invitation for ex-citizens such as myself to gorge themselves on a feast of déjà vu, given that just about all of them were based on old feature films that rang bell after irritating bell. The stage version of 'Billy Elliott', for example - adapted from a decade-old upbeat weepie about a twinkle-toed miner's son - was filling its house night after night, as were similar adaptations of 'Hairspray' and the hoary old 'Lion King' and even 'Dirty Dancing' (once so outré and now downright passé).
The posters advertising these spectaculars - with their shots of performers stretching out their arms in limited ecstasy and haloed in Press flattery ('Best show in town', 'Funniest show in town' etc.) – guaranteed so much sure-fire, above-board fun that I began to wonder if there was something wrong with me for finding them not only off-putting but downright creepy, as if I was being confronted by a cluster of the blockbuster undead (prising open their dusty movie cans with yesterday's songs on bony grins). I'm as nostalgic as the next middle-aged man, but not for all the beer in the Czech Republic was I going to be a party to this bloodless resuscitation of a part of the soundtrack of the past. It's not that I have any objection to taking the occasional trip down memory lane, I just really, really don't feel like making a song and dance about it.

- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programació: Nac -