West End previews: Audience-sponsored rehearsals or public performances?

Reblogged from rageoffstage originally posted November 2nd 2013
This article poses some very interesting questions and points about the theatre in the West End


With the opening of Tim Rice’s new show ‘From Here to Eternity’, we had the rather interesting juxtaposition of Rice, outspoken as usual, criticising the practice of endless previews, whilst the producers of the show did their best to convince us that a long run of previews is a fantastic thing, and published a series of posts on their blog from various members of the creative team and cast telling us all about their efforts to ‘improve’ the show while it has started playing to paying members of the public.

The dictionary would tell us that a ‘preview’ is a view which happens ‘before’.  The term preview is therefore only meaningful in relation to something else, in the case of theatre, the opening night. Perhaps this is why, as ordinary theatre-goers, we struggle to understand what all the fuss is about.  We don’t normally go to see a…

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