Wind your neck in Kevin Spacey

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As a theatre lover, I do sympathise (well, a bit) with Kevin Spacey and ‘the artistic community’ who have kicked off about Andrew Lloyd Webber’s use of BBC 1 to ratchet up interest in his West End shows. If you’re the artistic director of the Old Vic, it must be pretty galling to see 13 weeks of prime time promotion for a show when other productions fail to garner the public’s support. As a PR professional, however, I can only marvel at the sheer marketing brilliance of Lloyd Webber in generating priceless publicity and guaranteed sell-outs for his shows.

I actually took my eldest kids to see his West End production of Joseph last week and nearly passed out with excitement when Lee Mead entered the stage, having followed the series avidly. It makes for brilliant, positive and inspirational family viewing (and that’s something that’s really quite rare these days).

I beg to differ with Spacey when he says that this type of programme (and presumably the shows it focuses on) ’makes no cultural contribution’. That smacks of aristic snobbery. For me, a theatre packed to the rafters with delighted, engaged kids and adults clapping along to ‘Any dream will do’ is as much the best of British culture as an obscure oeuvre at the Old Vic.

Rock on the search for Nancy!

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