Daily Mail Breaks Poppins Press Embargo!??
Date: 24 September 2004
The Daily Mail today published the first official review of Mary Poppins - nearly three months before the national press night on 15 December 2004 at the West End’s Prince Edward Theatre and after little more than a week of previews for its pre-London try-out at the Bristol Hippodrome. In his so called “sneak preview”, taking prime position on the tabloid newspaper’s theatre reviews page, Quentin Letts admitted that “critics have been strictly forbidden” from seeing the much-anticipated new Cameron Mackintosh-Disney musical and that he was forced to slip in “under heavy disguise”. Of course, Letts’ conclusion that this “old fashioned belter” is an evening of “sheer joy” which is “going to be the biggest musical hit London has seen for years”, Mackintosh’s offices may not be complaining too vehemently. However, now the precedent has been set, more reviews from other disgruntled critics – and perhaps not all positive – are sure to follow. Although perhaps the one of the most premature, the Daily Mail’s is just the most recent example of such embargo-breaking. Earlier this month, a week before the press night for David Hare’s Iraq war drama Stuff Happens, the Guardian published a five-page feature of political pundit verdicts following the play’s first preview (See News, 3 Sep 2004).
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