Karen Koren: Spoiled for choice, but where are audiences?

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WHAT better way is there to wind down after a hard day at the office than going to see a good musical? Together with a couple of the lovely girls who work with me I went to see Starlight Express last week - it was brilliant.

The cast was very strong and good on producer Bill Kenwright for bringing the show back to public attention. I was disappointed, however, to see they did not have a full house. Shows with such big production values need big houses to give them atmosphere. Still, we were whooping and hollering by the end along with the rest of the audience who really loved it too.

I know what it’s like to put money into a show and I feel for producers so much. There are so many musicals now, I just hope that others coming to the Playhouse do well.

Musicals and theatre are difficult to programme in July, when many are away on holiday, the Festival is approaching and there’s so much else vying for attention. How do you choose?

Well first of all I’d say go to Olly Murs at the Castle on Friday instead of Madonna on Saturday. Let’s face it, she’s in fantastic shape for a woman in her 50s, but do you really want to give her anymore money. I certainly don’t.

Then, during the Festival, why not check out my lovely Swedish boy Carl-Einar Hackner. Originally in Le Clique, I saw him in Melbourne three years ago and I have been trying to persuade him to come back to Edinburgh ever since.

His comedy is chaos. He purports to be a magician/singer/entertainer and is all these things, but instead of giving a slick show he leaves a trail of broken props behind him. Makes me want to get up on stage and sort him out.