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Sher Rails Against Jacobean "Failure" Charge???

By • West End
Actor Antony Sher has fought back hard against a piece in Saturday's Guardian claiming the current West End season of rarely performed Jacobean plays, in which Sher stars, has been a failure. According to the newspaper's report, the box office for the five-play repertory has been "pitiful", taking only £20,000 a week when £100,00 was needed to break even. But commercial co-producers Thelma Holt and Bill Kenwright have always maintained that the transfer was fiscal "lunacy", and as Sher puts it, financial success "as always impossible - with 28 actors, 20 musicians and a huge stage crew, working on a season of plays that are not blatantly commercial". And yet, the "adventurous" productions have been acclaimed and playing, says Sher, to enthusiastic audiences at all performances. In fact, the repertory schedule has now been extended by two months at the Gielgud Theatre (see Today's News). "So what do you want," asks Sher in a letter to the newspaper, published today, "a West End full of musicals and American stars, or a West End with plays like these?"

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