David Benedict has been a daily columnist and theatre editor on the Independent, arts editor of the Observer and chief London critic of Variety (2006-2014). He is currently writing the authorised biography of Stephen Sondheim and is a regular guest on the BBC. Read David's columns for The Stage every Wednesday.
While reducing the number of musicians for The Phantom of the Opera in the West End seems sensible in straitened times, there’s a danger of doing the show’s lush romantic score a disservice, says David Benedict
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Emerald Fennell’s new version of the classic fairytale, starring Carrie Hope Fletcher, promises to be “unlike any other”, says David Benedict – let’s hope they really do give us delightful difference
Past imperfect? Broadway and the West End have experimented with various time-travel musicals in the past – Peggy Sue Got Married, Somewhere in Time, Big – with little success. Will new musical The Time Traveller’s Wife be any different? Only time will tell, says David Benedict
This new revival of Dorian Gray set in the world of social media could be picture-perfect, says David Benedict, who explains why past adaptations of Oscar Wilde’s works have failed to ignite the screen
Channel 4’s It’s a Sin shows how far we’ve come in depictions of gay characters and the AIDS crisis on screen, but on stage, everything from Angels in America to Rent shows that most UK dramatists have left the subject up to Americans, says David Benedict
When theatre returns, close interactions between stars and audience members will carry far more risk – David Benedict fears for the disappearance of contact between actors and genuinely devoted theatregoers