Patti LuPone has claimed that the hierarchy within musical theatre productions can make them “very tough” environments to work in.
LuPone, who stars alongside Rosalie Craig in Company, said working with the cast of the West End show had been “magical”, but claimed previous experience had seen relationships easily become frayed.
She told The Stage: “You rarely go into a building where there are no rotten eggs, you rarely do that, especially on a musical. That goes south so fast.
“Musicals are very tough, because there is a hierarchy in a musical. There are dancers, chorus, principals and stars. It’s different than a play, where you have a role and you understand how you fit into the play. That doesn’t always happen in a musical, but Marianne [Elliott] instilled it.”
She added: “This was an incredibly supportive environment and everybody wants to hang out with each other, everyone cares for each other, and that’s what makes it.”
LuPone was speaking as she collected the prize for the best supporting actress in a musical for Company at the WhatsOnStage Awards, where she also cast doubt on whether she would perform in another musical.
“Right now [this is my last]. Musicals are very hard. You start out exhausted. On your opening night you’re exhausted because you rehearsed, in previews you’re still rehearsing, and by the time you open, you’re barely standing up and then you’re facing a long run. I’ve done 11 or 12 musicals and I feel like I’m about done,” she said.
LuPone added that she would return to play Joanne in Company if the production transferred to Broadway, but had no further plans to appear in another musical.