West End Story

There is drama on and off the stage in London's West End as Hollywood stars continue to appear in British productions. But is it at the expense of British talent, and is the crossover of British and American talent being reciprocated in the States?
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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.

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Michelle Draper
About the Author
Michelle lived and worked in Rome and London as a freelance feature writer for two and a half years before returning to Australia to take up the position of Head Writer for Arts Hub UK. She was inspired by thousands of years of history and art in Rome, and by London's pubs. Michelle holds a BA in Journalism from RMIT University, and also writes for Arts Hub Australia.
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