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The Exorcist actor Jenny Seagrove bemoans decline of West End plays

Jenny Seagrove. Photo: Featureflash/Shutterstock

Actor Jenny Seagrove has claimed the dominance of musicals over plays in the West End is “terribly sad”.

Seagrove argued that Theatreland is becoming “too much like Broadway” and has called for more plays and comedies to be produced.

Speaking at a press event for The Exorcist [1] at the Phoenix Theatre in London, she said: “I’m an actress whose career has been based on straight plays and comedies, and I’d rather there were more plays and comedies.

“More and more of the West End is becoming like Broadway, and the musicals are sitting in some old established playhouses. You’ve got Thriller sitting at the Lyric – how long is that going to be there? Can we have it back, please?”

She added: “The good, old-fashioned play isn’t as popular any more, things have to be events nowadays.”

The actor suggested that this could be due to expensive ticket prices and the idea that a show would need to be considered “really special” to bring people in from outside London.

She added: “Theatre for me is a wonderful vehicle of communication, and I know that some of the plays I’ve been in have really affected people’s lives and cheered them up or made them think, and theatre, straight theatre, is on the decline, and for me it’s terribly sad.”

The Exorcist runs at the Phoenix Theatre in London until March 10, 2018.