Spring Awakening opened to a rapturous reception in the West End this week. The alt rock musical was a huge hit in New York before it unfortunately fell foul of the recession induced Broadway bloodbath that saw over fourteen Broadway shows close prematurely between August 2008 and January this year. Spring Awakening, based on Frank Wedekind’s controversial 1891 play about the sexual development of a group of German teenagers, played a triumphant sold out season at the tiny Lyric Hammersmith earlier this year and a West End transfer was predicted before that run had even begun.
Spring Awakening is not the only Broadway casualty to seek salvation in London. The stage adaptation of Legally Blonde has finally confirmed a West End run after over a year of speculation. After a short marketing campaign in 2007, suggesting the show would open at the Piccadilly Theatre, talks of a West End run mysteriously ceased. When the still popular show shocked Broadway by announcing its two week closing notice in October last year, it was widely assumed that any London plans would then be shelved indefinitely. However, possibly encouraged by the fantastic business Spring Awakening has been drumming since arriving in London, Legally Blonde’s West End plans have been pulled off the shelf once more, and performances will begin at the Savoy Theatre in December. The shocking impact the American financial crisis had on Broadway marked a stark constrast to the record breaking year enjoyed by many shows in London, so it would be no surprise to see more Broadway transfers crossing the pond in the coming months, with Xanadu and Gypsy already rumoured to be looking for a home in London’s West End.
Published: 01/04/2009 16:29:40