The British musical in its formative years has appeared in strikingly different guises: from the lasting hits of Oliver!, and Me and My Girl, to the successes of The Dancing Years, Bless the Bride and Expresso Bongo. This authoritative study traces what made these shows successes in the West End and how their qualities define a uniquely British interpretation of the genre. Cultural, sociological and political influences entwine with close reading of the dramatic and musical elements of this repertory to reveal a fascinating web of connections and contrasts between the times, the shows and the people who made them. Through detailed case studies, such as of The Boy Friend and Bitter Sweet, the rich individuality of each West End work is spotlighted, posing vital questions and intriguing answers as to what a British musical can be. Interdisciplinary in nature, this study brings together all the core materials to discover this period in the story of the British musical. Reviewing the Situation is insightful and lively, an invaluable resource for students and scholars of musical theatre and all those theatregoers drawn to the power of these classic British shows.
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