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Edward Seckerson

Writer and broadcaster Edward Seckerson is chief classical music and opera critic for The Independent. He wrote and presented the long-running BBC Radio 3 series Stage & Screen, in which he interviewed many of the most prominent writers and stars of musical theatre. He appears regularly on BBC Radio 3 and 4. On television, he has commentated a number of times at the Cardiff Singer of the World competition. He has published books on Mahler and the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, and has been on Gramophone Magazine's review panel for many years. Edward presented the 2007 series of the Radio 4 music quiz Counterpoint. He has interviewed everyone from Leonard Bernstein to Liza Minelli; from Paul McCartney to Pavarotti: from Julie Andrews to Jessye Norman.

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The Fur Will Fly

Posted by Edward Seckerson
  • Wednesday, 1 July 2009 at 11:26 am
"Avenue Q" - a little show with humongous appeal - celebrated its transfer to the Gielgud Theatre last night with a pool party. None of its furry friends took to the water (Trekkie Monster has a well known aversion to it - it dampens his ardour) but the humans they brought along looked like they might have been tempted had their felted and furry alter egos given them a free hand, so to speak.

In the final number of this smart and sassy show "For Now", the line "George Bush is for now" now reads "George Bush WAS for now" and it's that message of change, of anything-is-possible if you make the most of today, that has caught the mood of the NOW generation and given Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx' canny show its edge and its longevity (it's now entering its 4th year in the West End).

Essentially there's nothing like a good idea and this one - "Sesame St." with attitude and political incorrectness - was always a winner. But it would have come to nothing without the time and encouragement lavished on it by the BMI in New York where it was worshopped and developed. One applauds organisations like the Mercury Music Foundation which actively encourages new writing in the UK but they need the money and clout to run with outstanding talent regardless of commercial appeal. Sir Cameron Mackintosh, that's where you come in. I know you think that "talent will out" but sometimes "outing" requires the intervention of a benefactor - or at least a space, an experimental theatre devoted to the cause. And it is a cause worth fighting for.

How ironic that Jeff Whitty, the book writer of "Avenue Q", was fired as an intern from both the Mackintosh and "Sesame St." offices... Ho ho ho.