David Benedict

David Benedict

Biography

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.

Recent Articles

Kramer’s 1985 polemic spoke to many – its anger is a fitting epitaph

Kramer’s 1985 polemic spoke to many – its anger is a fitting epitaph

The irony of playwright and activist Larry Kramer’s death during a pandemic hasn’t been lost on anyone familiar with his 1985 polemic about the AIDS epidemic. The play spoke to many and its priceless anger is a fitting epitaph, says David Benedict
Discover the joy of these little-known musicals during lockdown

Discover the joy of these little-known musicals during lockdown

Despite the lockdown gloom, don’t miss out on the joy of musicals – why not seek out some little known works online from a Bronte rock opera to a musical about Timpsons shoe repair chain
Monologues are en vogue in lockdown but beware – the genius is in the subtext

Monologues are en vogue in lockdown but beware – the genius is in the subtext

A play with just one actor means social distancing restrictions are not a problem and a writer might imagine that all you need for a monologue is to put someone and a life story on stage. But without subtext, there’s only exposition, the enemy of drama.
The loss of Trafalgar Studios 2 leaves a void for fresh talent in the West End

The loss of Trafalgar Studios 2 leaves a void for fresh talent in the West End

London needs central, versatile small spaces for the new, the daring and the different, and losing Trafalgar Studios 2 will undoubtedly leave a gap
Filmed theatre isn’t perfect, but it has come a long way

Filmed theatre isn’t perfect, but it has come a long way

Filmed theatre isn’t perfect, but it has come a long way since the low-quality 1992 recording of ’operamusical’ Which Witch. It’s also, currently, our best option, says David Benedict
Here’s to the movies’ mixed portrayals of theatrical life

Here’s to the movies’ mixed portrayals of theatrical life

From the 1937 movie version of Edna Ferber’s Stage Door to Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway, here’s to the movies’ mixed portrayals of theatrical life
Quiz and the art of translation: from stage to screen... and back again

Quiz and the art of translation: from stage to screen... and back again

While it’s not unknown for theatre to beget television, it’s very rare. But in switching between mediums, James Graham wasn’t merely jumping on his own bandwagon
Religion has inspired some of the best – and worst – musicals

Religion has inspired some of the best – and worst – musicals

While Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice cornered the theatrical market in ‘sinaglong-a-biblical’ with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Jesus Christ Superstar, they were hardly the first to marry religion and theatrical music
Let’s hope the crisis leads to more medical drama (on stage at least)

Let’s hope the crisis leads to more medical drama (on stage at least)

With the world’s population suddenly united by non-stop consideration of medical care, maybe more playwrights will seize the opportunity to write not dramas about the crisis, but about dramatically overlooked medics
For escapism, look to songs – the small but mighty musical art form

For escapism, look to songs – the small but mighty musical art form

For those looking for an alternative to streaming during lockdown, the answer lies with songs – the small but mighty musical art form, says David Benedict
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