The Other Palace is a little less palatial than the one next door, namely Buckingham Palace. But it too is attracting numerous visitors this summer. It is a theatre well known for championing new musicals, and from 14th August to 3rd September it is hosting a festival of new musicals under the rubric “From Page To Stage”.
The highlight of the season is Some Lovers, which features the first new score written for the theatre by the legendary Burt Bacharach since 1968. The octogenarian tunesmith, whose back catalogue was celebrated last year in a very successful show at the Criterion Theatre, has collaborated this time with the Tony and Grammy Award-winning Steven Sater, who has come up with the book and lyrics. The story is about a songwriter in New York (any similarity to Bacharach himself must be purely coincidental!) and the ups and downs of his relationship with his long-suffering girlfriend. The central conceit of the play is that the couple are played by two pairs of actors as their younger and older selves, separated by twenty years in time but commenting on each other’s behaviour as the relationship wanes from passion to disenchantment. Some familiarity with New York is expected of the audience if they are to appreciate, for instance, why the girlfriend is so incensed at the thought of having to “take the f***ing A-train!”
Lots of other stuff is on offer during this three-week season, with material ranging from ‘the troubles’ in Ireland circa 1917 to the trouble with gender in England circa 2017. As the school holidays drag on and boredom sets in, parents will be able to divert their offspring with two delightful new musicals especially for children. Yes, all tastes are catered for at From Page To Stage!