Arts Read of the Week 4/8/14

This article “In musical theatre, it’s Twitter that creates the hits – not critics” by Phil Willmott of The Guardian is a reminder of our changing world of journalism and how it is affecting all walks of life – including the theatre.

Willmott opened his new musical “Lost Boy” at the Finborough (a tiny pub theatre I attended while in London, actually!) in January.

Critics who saw the show were unreceptive, but when the Twittersphere started buzzing, the show became sold out very quickly. The team invited everyone they knew via various areas of social media, and the show started seeing much more success in the box office.

Willmott asks, “How come a show with no press support and a tiny marketing budget found an audience?” (save for a few physical posters in the Tube stations)  Willmott says that the answer seems to be social media.

Furthermore, Willmott says, “Professional critics don’t have a great track record when it comes to supporting new musical theatre. Maybe we should stop looking for their approval.”

To read the full article, visit



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