Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Mysterious Mike Leigh

From The Guardian

The buzz at the National Theatre in London is over a new show that is sold out without anyone knowing what the play will be about. one but Mike Leigh and his actors know what his first stage play for 12 years is about. But that has not hindered its performance at the box office. The new production, which is currently going by the intuitive title of A New Play by Mike Leigh, has already sold out after theatregoers snapped up more than 16,000 advance tickets.

Sure, there's a celebrity factor. But Leigh's first stage production in 12 years?!?!

This one has arts administrators shaking their heads. Cal Performances commissions new works when they have the money, from big arts names like Mark Morris or Pina Bausch. And they'll book in Laurie Anderson or Robert LePage based on the name draw alone. They'll even book these when the shows aren't finished yet. But at the very least, they expect to have a description of what the show is about in their season program.

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