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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

Cutting Phantom’s orchestra to save money dilutes the sumptuous original

Cutting Phantom’s orchestra to save money dilutes the sumptuous original

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
In the best retellings of Cinderella, the element of surprise stands out

In the best retellings of Cinderella, the element of surprise stands out

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
Why do so many newspaper columnists love to hate theatre?

Why do so many newspaper columnists love to hate theatre?

Anti-theatre opinion pieces are startlingly common across the media, says David Benedict – but perhaps we should ask why the same kind of attacks never seem to be aimed at other forms of entertainment
The play’s the thing: why Ian McKellen’s age-blind Hamlet is no gimmick

The play’s the thing: why Ian McKellen’s age-blind Hamlet is no gimmick

Forget cries from traditionalists that casting the veteran actor is ‘inauthentic’, says David Benedict – it could be an inspired choice for one of Shakespeare’s most consciously theatrical plays
Dangerous game? Why sports-themed musicals rarely find a winning formula

Dangerous game? Why sports-themed musicals rarely find a winning formula

It’s no wonder the announcement of a musical based on Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit raised eyebrows, says David Benedict – history shows that producing sports-themed shows often misses the mark
Will The Time Traveller’s Wife prevent musical theatre history repeating itself?

Will The Time Traveller’s Wife prevent musical theatre history repeating itself?

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
ENO’s new Ring Cycle is a bold statement and will not be one to miss

ENO’s new Ring Cycle is a bold statement and will not be one to miss

English National Opera’s announcement that it will return with a new production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle is a statement of confidence and financial health, says David Benedict
Putting Dorian Gray on Insta could be just Wilde

Putting Dorian Gray on Insta could be just Wilde

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
UK hit It’s a Sin shows how far we’ve come, but the work began in the US

UK hit It’s a Sin shows how far we’ve come, but the work began in the US

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
Will Covid put an end to close encounters at the stage door?

Will Covid put an end to close encounters at the stage door?

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
The Stage
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