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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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Six of the Worst

Posted by Edward Seckerson
  • Friday, 24 July 2009 at 09:30 am
The word on the street is that "Too Close to the Sun" - a new musical by the composer who tormented us with "The Man in the Iron Mask" - has no business in the West End. How did it get there? Someone's hard-earned money unknowingly squandered. And all the while a wealth of writing talent goes unnoticed and unheard. Don't get me started.

Anyway, here are my "six of the worst" musicals for our times:

"Bernadette" ("Wholly unacceptable")

"Fields of Ambrosia" (Tales of a travelling executioner - yes, really. Good title song; pity about the others)

"Which Witch" ("nul points" for this egregious Norwegian import - even the Norwegian royal family couldn't save it)

"Dracula" (Frank "Jekyll and Hyde" Wildhorn stinker)

"Gone With The Wind" (Not the 1972 Drury Lane version - which was bad enough - but Trevor Nunn's wrong-headed exhumation with superfluous songs by Margaret Martin)

"The Man in the Iron Mask" (Who says lightning doesn't strike twice? Composer/Lyricist Professor John Robinson is again named and shamed with the current "Close to the Sun")

There are plenty more where these came from.... But take yourself down to Dress Circle and get hold of a copy of Nigel Richards' new CD "A Shining Truth" - 14 previously unrecorded show songs by theatre composers who matter. Why is it that it's invariably the dross that gets produced??