So it was the 2018 Evening Standard Awards last night. A glittery evening in the theatre calendar where the creme de la creme of the West End are praised and awarded for their efforts. As I was reading the winner for Best Musical I was not surprised when I saw that Hamilton got the award, and it got me thinking, is that fair?
Now don’t get me wrong I LOOOOOVEEEEE Hamilton! I’ve seen it twice, listened to the soundtrack about a bajillion times and really do think that its exactly what the industry needs. But is it really fair that such a huge Broadway production keeps dominating the British theatre awards?
In its first year in the West End its become a given that Hamilton will win. You see them nominated and you instantly think yeah they’ll win. Not only does it take out the suspense and intrigue out of the awards ceremony it also has the potential to ruin British theatre.
As London gets ready to welcome three more huge Broadway productions (Dear Evan Hansen, Waitress and Come From Away) it makes me wonder, and worry, about what this will do to local, home grown productions. Shouldn’t our nations awarding bodies and investors be championing UK art?
I completely agree that we should be awarding talent and innovation but whilst Cameron Mackintosh has spent millions and millions of pounds to bring Hamilton to UK shores, local talent and productions are still struggling to get investment for a West End run (Eugenius! for example). With musicals like SIX, TINA and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie all seemingly being side-lined this year I’m getting kinda worried that British creators are going to give up. And honestly who would blame them.
Hamilton was always going to succeed in London, and I’m sure Dear Evan Hansen, Waitress and Come From Away will enjoy success too, but in amongst all the Broadway noise, our home grown talent is at risk of being squashed out of existence.
What do you think? Leave your comments below!
Till next time,