Maybe it’s a case of plus ça change. Just the other day, leafing through some old reviews, I came across a lament by Benedict Nightingale, who prowled the stalls for decades as this paper’s chief theater critic, that the West End was being overrun by screen adaptations. “And still they come,” he wrote back in 2009 as he watched the stage version of Sister Act take up residence at the London Palladium, not far from Billy Elliot, Dirty Dancing spirit Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Today, if anything, the trend is even more striking. A new production of Sister Act is pumping out yet more hot gospel, Moulin Rouge! is busy selling its mix of pop songs and Montmartre chancers, Pretty Woman plaster