London Theatre News


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Superstar Superyawn

On matters completely untheatrical I’m sure you will be relieved to hear that we finally exchanged on the sale of our flat and are moving 200 metres down the road next week. We do have tickets for Midsummer Night’s Dream at Regent’s Park on Saturday to give us much needed respite from packing and painting. To be honest though that is all we have lined up so far for August and while we are bound to fit in some last minute trips, pickings might be a little slim on here this month as we sort out the new flat.

July’s poll to find your favourite stage to screen musical of the past 20 years saw multiple Oscar winner Chicago take first place with 27% of the vote, in second was Sweeney Todd with 18% and in third was Hairspray with 15% (Hairspray really, what were you thinking? I've had to convince myself that you thought you were voting for the John Waters original). It is worth noting that neither the disaster that was The Producers nor the nowhere-near-as-bad-as-we-all-expected-it-would-be Evita got any votes whatsoever, not that I suppose Mel Brooks or Andrew Lloyd Webber give a flying monkeys.

Here’s Renee Zellwegger and Oscar winning Catherine Zeta-Jones with Chicago’s finale Nowadays.

Speaking of Andrew Lloyd Webber, the much anticipated and extremely disappointing search to find Jesus aired in July, although why they bothered is anyone’s guess as the transparent manipulation in favour of the Lord’s favourite was clear for all to see. I really liked Ben Forster but the constant over effusive praise and apparent deafness to any below par performance worked against him in my books and I was rooting for David Hunter, who I am positive has a very bright future ahead of him. Here is the fabulous Mr Hunter with his unique take on You’ve Got The Love.

Putting my pathetic concerns to one side, this month’s poll is to find your favourite winner of all of the Lloyd Webber talent searches, that’s Connie Fisher (Maria), Lee Mead (Joseph), Jodie Prenger (Nancy), Danielle Hope (Dorothy) and Ben Forster (Jesus). Previous winners and many of the also-rans are achieving great success in the West End and further afield so good luck to Ben, David and all the other Jesus finalists.

Here's third placed Nancy, Samantha Barks, soon to be seen as Eponine in the big screen adaptation of Les Miserables, with On My Own.


  1. I vote for Lee Mead

  2. Has to be Connie Fisher,.Sucess certainly hasn't gone to her head and talent wise so versatile.Always there for her fans where others definatley aren't

  3. I like all four of the BBC winners, but my vote has gone to Lee Mead. He was consistantly strong throughout 'Any Dream Will Do' and has grown even more as a performer since then.

    I was disappointed in the 'Superstar' series as a whole and felt that the final was the weakest (performance-wise) of all the TV casting shows. I suspect that was mostly to do with the nightly show format, which really didn't give anyone a chance to shine. A pity, because the contestants were talented and deserved better.

    Incidentally, I was disappointed to see the comment (from FrontRowDress) on a couple of theatre forums about Lee Mead fans 'hijacking' the poll. There's no need for comments like that.

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  5. To be honest, the Lee Mead fans have obviously come out in force which is great. The comment was patently lighthearted and should be taken as such.

  6. Pretty hard to hijack a poll where you can only vote once. Maybe they are just quicker out of the blocks..Olympic reference in here as well ;-)

    1. Glad you're taking it all in the good spirit in which it is all intended Sue. I love the fact the Lee Mead fans are so motivated to vote. Good on them, it bodes well for Lee's career that he's got such organised fans.

  7. I vote for Lee mead of course

  8. Notso quick outof the blocks but a vote for Lee Mead none the less!

  9. I was dismayed to see a post on a well known theatre site in which this blog stated that the above poll had been 'hijacked by Lee Mead fans.'

    Even assuming this was intended as a 'lighthearted' comment, the response to the statement on other sites has resulted in Lee's fans being unfairly castigated.

    It might have been more fruitful if this blog had instead explored why Lee is getting so many votes. Is it possible that, as the only male winner (up to the Superstar contest) he attracted the greatest number of female followers? If so, is it possible that women are more likely to vote in this poll? As to Ben, the viewership of Superstar was less than half achieved by Any Dream Will Do, so it's likely his fan base is fewer. Lee has also had 5 years in three major West End shows to expand his number of followers.

    You may not have intended to defame an entire group of people, but that seems to have been the result. Perhaps a retraction might be in order?

  10. You are joking, "defame an entire group of people" get a grip. It's a blog not The Stage. Lee Mead is bigger that all of this.

  11. I think they are all brilliant, and so are some of the other contestants, Jessie Buckley, Siobhan Dillon, Samantha Barks, Abi Finley, Aoife Mulholland, Niamh Perry, Rachel Tucker, Daniel Boys, Keith Jack, Stephanie Fearon, Sofie Evans, Helena Blackman, David Hunter, Lauren Samuels, Niall Sheehy, Timothy Jones, etc, wow so many great performers. Mark Evans should also be included.

    However, the best for me has to be the first winner, Connie. Her first performance, Natural Woman was a stunning interpretation of the song, and with an amazing vocal. This was followed up by Shout the next week, which was absolutely sensational. She was, to use a Barrowmanism ... fantastic, fantastic, fantastic.

  12. Connie Fisher has my vote. They're all talented of course, but personally, she's my fave. Fantastic gifts, she has, and a truly lovely person as well.

  13. Lee has my vote. I have only watched the 'Maria', 'Joseph' & 'Nancy' programs here in Australia, so cannot comment on the others. Will be over there in 2013, hopefully going to see any production with any of the contestants in the above series. Love them all.

  14. I voted for Danielle. I think she's amazingly talented and has a very bright future. I like all the winners, though, and wish them all well in their careers. It's great that they have all done so well!