You can learn all the singing technique and confidence on offer but raw talent and star quality cannot be taught. This seemed to be the ethos behind the X Factor; an indefinable star quality that makes someone watchable. A 17-week course cannot teach somebody that.
Here in London musical theatre lovers have been enjoying catching obscure musicals produced in small London playhouses. Such opportunities these days to go see shows you wished you could have seen on Broadway or shows that only had short runs here in London or in New York.
Putting together my solo show Wot? No Fish!! http://www.jcclondon.org.uk/our-events/arts-culture/wot-no-fish has been a good excuse to do some thinkin...
Simon Russell Beale, an acting treasure who could easily be called the greatest stage actor of our generation if it weren't for Mark Rylance, takes on the lead, playing against type in a performance which is as dazzling as the sequin dresses he wears.
The truth is, the vast majority of the allegedly professional critics in question wrote their Viva Forever! reviews based on the Girls' admittedly less than extensive back catalogue rather than the hard work of the Viva Forever! team
It's been 34 years between the original recording of my musical version of The War of The Worlds and The New Generation. And it's been quite some journey. One in which the passion and excitement are very much still burning.
Watching a man shake sandwich ham from his head without the aid of his hands is an experience that I won't forget in a hurry. Indeed going to see Sam...
It's incredible to look back after all these years to those days in 1985 spent in the Royal Shakespeare Company's gloomy rehearsal room 60 feet below sea level at the Barbican. Although we were all desperate for clean air and natural light, it was somehow the perfect space to create what is now the most famous musical of all time, and now a multi-million dollar feature film.
A perfectionist, Jack forever perceives imperfections in past work. 'I wish there was a button I could push to right the wrongs, but I don't consciously try to steer myself away from imperfections in my writing. I just write.'
With the wave of oligarchs that continue to flock to London to battle out their grievances, sadly embezzlement scandals and corruption are associations we regularly make with Russia nowadays.
Our idea was to find a play that married the feeling of being outside the mainstream of theatreland - and what could be more outside the mainstream then our lovingly converted warehouse in Peckham Rye - with the edge that sometimes can be lacking in fairytales and Panto's.
Loserville is unashamedly cheesy, but it's the kind of cheese that we all enjoy every once in a while!
The Glaswegian lawyer turned Radio 4 favourite is a deeply intelligent and considered comedienne who veers wildly from witty observational comedy to crass confessions of which she's ashamed of yet also vehemently defends.
With 'Camp', my new show at London's Roundhouse, I'm trying to carve out a space where things can be fun and I can experiment without being controversial in a vulgar or grotesque sense... and it's about coming to terms with my own effeminacy and a public proclamation of the things that have shaped me.
There is nothing like a good short course in acting to make friends and bond with people.
Theatre is the most collaborative of all the arts. Productions will often have at least two or three and often ten or twenty or thirty or forty people working on them for months if not years.