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.
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
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.
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
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