The question is – why?
Glee. You either love it or you hate it, and if you’ve never heard of it you’ve clearly spent the past four years living beneath a rock.
Set in an American high school, Glee charts the highs and lows of teenage life covering a wide range of topics from unrequited love to teenage pregnancy through the medium of song and dance.
Yes, it sounds peculiar (and a bit too much like the dreaded ‘High School Musical’), but in reality Glee is like Prozac for the soul. Its covered a wide range of songs, from Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ to Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Since U Been Gone’ (complete with its own theatrical spin and jazz hands).
2) Talent shows
If there’s one thing us Brits are known for, it's loving a good (or bad) talent show. Shows like “How Do you Solve a Problem Like Maria” and “I’ll do anything” had a significant impact in boosting sales for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of ‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘Oliver,’ with winners – and runners up – going on to have flourishing careers.
Even shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and the X-factor have boosted the musical theatre careers of some of their contestants, including Diana Vickers (2008), Shayne Ward (2005) and Cassie Compton (2004).
In theory, our access to film should be making the musical theatre industry less popular. However, in recent years the film industry has actively encouraged a love of musical theatre. Movies such as Rent, Hairspray, The Phantom of the Opera, Dream Girls and the Oscar-winning Chicago were all originally plays written specifically for the stage.
In case you didn’t notice, this year also saw the release of Les Miserables (the movie) directed by Tom Hooper and staring Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe. It received rave reviews and won three Oscars, so if you haven’t seen it yet it is definitely worth watching!
4) Cross musical genres
One of the great things about modern musicals is that many of them are written to target new audiences. Stage Shows such as Mama Mia (based on the songs of ABBA), We Will Rock You (based on the songs of Queen), Viva Forever (based on the songs of the Spice Girls) and Rock of Ages (including songs by bands such as Bon Jovi, Journey and Twisted Sister) appeal to a wide range of people who may not normally have considered themselves musical fans.
Have you heard, there’s a recession on? It might not such good news if you’re looking for work, but the great discounts – particularly theatrical ones – are a huge silver lining.
Previously, tickets to the theatre have been costly, but sites such as Groupon and My City Deal have some fantastic reduced price offers available making theatre a much more popular option. Some of these are even cheaper than a night at the movies!
>Start searching for Musical Theatre courses on Whatuni