Kevin Spacey Speaks Out.

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I don't necessarily agree about the points about "Any Dream Will Do" and "I'd Do Anything"as I know a lot of people enjoy them.

He does have a point about "Play for Today" though..bring it back!!

"He suggested the corporation broadcast a series about the theatre "to help kids find their own sense of self-esteem, confidence and ability to collaborate". "

Anyone got any comments?


I think he was using the BBC as a scapegoat for the lack of successful drama (straight or comedy) on stage at the moment - to be fair the West End has been swamped with musicals for some years, long before the Beeb came along with Maria.

Production costs at the London theatres are notoriously high, and the only way to recoup such costs is to put bums on every seat in the house, preferably twice a day, and the only way to do that is to stage something which is light, familiar, and easy to understand. 50-year old musicals and karaoke shows of the Abba, Queen, Motown and Four Seasons catalogue fit the bill admirably. Chekov, Pinter and Shakespeare may still pull respectable audiences to the smaller and provincial theatres (though even there they usually need financial subsidies) but not in Shaftesbury Avenue - even the highly acclaimed Equus didn't last long there.

As for television, in BBC2, 3 and 4 the Beeb has ideal vehicles for more serious and challenging drama, and to promote or discover new talent, and they have proved that it can be done, with comedy, but even they are subject to budgetary pressures and the expectation to deliver audience figures, and in 2008 I suspect that groundbreaking drama along the lines of Play for Today is a bridge too far.


I agree with him. The BBC are essentially advertising a production to take place in the west end in a theatre which will open its doors for profit. If the theatre or the show's producers wanted that kinf of publicity, it would cost them millions.

The tide's against him though alas. This is the sort of programming that the BBC and ITV are climbing over themselves to produce. It's cheap to produce, and people seem to watch it.


I read the report earlier and totally agreed with him. If these programmes aren't advertising the stage shows what are they doing?

The cheapest weekend ticket for Joseph is £40 and they are quite blatantly advertising: With a crash of drums and a flash of light Joseph returns to the West End in his dazzling coat of many colours worn by brand new star Lee Mead, winner of BBC TV's Any Dream Will Do.

Helen May

He'll be complaining that the Beeb are employing too many ex musical stars on Radio 2 next, ie Elaine Paige and Michael Ball. Now I would support him in that one!



I completely agree with him, I don't suppose it will stop the Beeb from endlessly churning out this kind of dross though.

Red Baron

I do think he has a point and I would agree that the BBC should be producing more things like 'Play for the Day'

However, I actually enjoy these show - yes it may make me a bit 'sad' but I would much rather watch this than the unpleasant, depressing programme that is Eastenders.

On the subject of money being wasted... I could start on about overpaid presenters!
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