I was wondering how I would fare with home-grown theatre after my indulgences (27 shows) in London and Dublin. London is the home of great (and not so great) theatre, and because it attracts millions of people each year the companies can spend lots of money getting their plays on stage. Shows in the West End or on Broadway cost so much that they need to run for a long time in order to return their costs and build an audience, and so they are rarely staged without trial runs elsewhere.
Trial runs are a luxury we don’t have here as our population is too small: most of our new plays are put on metropolitan stages on their first run.
One of the things I noted in London was the number of our actors and creatives working in almost every production in the West End. Some of our productions now travel to London and Broadway, mainly productions from Belvoir and The Sydney Theatre Company as well as our dance companies. The Australian Ballet’s Cinderella was playing in London just before I left.
Now, to offerings in Australia. While commercial organisations are behind the big musicals (usually supported by the governments) it is unusual for non-musicals to be presented by commercial companies. So it was a surprise to see two shows with commercial backing in Sydney at the one time.