First it was Madonna, then Gwyneth, followed by Matt Damon and most recently, Woody Harrelson and Kyle McLachlan. This year has seen the profile of West End theatre lift considerably with the casting of A-List Hollywood stars in lead theatrical roles, some without previous stage experience. Suddenly the box office is ringing with the sounds of sell-out success, and going to the theatre is cool again.
Hundreds flocked to see pop queen Madonna in David Williamson’s art satire, Up for Grabs earlier this year. At the same time, Gwyneth Paltrow was treading the boards at the Donmar Warehouse in Proof. This is our Youth has brought two star-studded casts to the West End; Matt Damon, Casey Affleck and Summer Phoenix starred in the most recent version. Meanwhile Woody Harrelson and Kyle MacLachlan won praise in recent weeks for their roles in On an Average Day.