Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Celebs on Stage: Positive or Negative?

It is no secret that celebrities in theatre is a growing trend, that often ensures audiences fill the theatres. We give you a list of recent TV personalities, singers, actors and comedians who have transitioned to the stage, but do celebrity casts put you off theatre productions?

Rob Brydon is to make his stage debut in Alan Ayckbourn’s new play A Chorus of Disapproval alongside Extra’s and Ugly Betty actress, Ashley Jensen and Eastender’s Nigel Harman. The former Gavin & Stacey actor will be right at home in the comedy. The comical play set within a play seems right up Rob’s street and we think he’s going to do really well on stage and be a massive hit with audiences.

Jill Halfpenny has made her name in the theatre world, having now starred in both plays and musicals, Jill’s acting is second to none. After Strictly Come Dancing, Jill playing Roxie Hart in Chicago and then next was seen in Legally Blonde. As well as perfecting her American accent she is currently masking her newcastle accent with an Essex one, whilst playing the feisty Beverly in critically acclaimed Abigail's Party.

Jason Manford has recently made his stage debut by jumping in at the deep end playing Pirelli in Sweeney Todd in the West End. Over recent years the comedian has tried his hand at presenting The One Show on BBC and now acting and opera – combined!

David Suchet, the famed actor of Agatha Christie’s Poirot is currently playing in Long Day's Journey into Night at the Apollo Theatre. Set in 1912, the story is a compelling family drama and the play has won many awards and is considered one of the best 20th century-written plays of America.

Justin Lee Collins may have seemed like a strange choice, but his run in Rock of Ages has been very successful, which he will finish at the end of September. His love of theatre sparked from a programme he made about training to be a west end star. His challenge was to audition and perform in Chicago in the US, which then ultimately led him to Rock of Ages.
Some people have claimed that celebrity leads in musicals or plays encourages them to see theatre, whereas other people disagree and actually feel that seeing celebrity or personalities on stage puts them off going to the theatre.
What are your thoughts? Does the announcement of a star in a cast make you want see the show, or put you off? Or does it depend on the show or celeb?

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