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Musicals - the magazine

As the wonderful “Ushers: The Musical” notes in its song 'induction', musical theatre attracts the widest of audiences. From “tourists from the U.S. of A”, via critics, lovers, “rich kids with mothers in tow”, “stageies who think they know everything,” to “husbands dragged along who just don’t care for a song” – well, maybe not the last. It is the broadest possible cross-section of those who enjoy live entertainment.

That’s a huge market for a newly-launched magazine to target. Casual theatregoers may only know one or two shows from constant advertisements and a few songs made popular on a TV talent contest. Fans of a particular show are interested in no other, while hardcore musical theatre aficionados require fresh insights into obscure aspects of even less well known shows to keep them interested.

Musicals Magazine does its best to reach as many as possible. Printed on glossy paper with a richly embossed gold cover masthead, the quality is unmistakable just picking it up.

The content is as broad as the format allows. Columnists match the presentation. The Observer’s former Arts Editor and well known reviewer David Benedict considers knowledgably three of Sondheim’s most defining works. By contrast, editor Sarah Kirkup discusses the newcomers whose “time is coming through” as Sondheim himself might have put it.

Moving towards the middle ground, Variety’s theatre reviewer Matt Wolf considers the transition from stage to movie (and often back again) of shows like “Matilda The Musical” and “West Side Story” in readable depth.

At the other end, the magazine’s Editorial consultant Edward Seckerson talks to West End and Broadway star Marisha Wallace about her wide-ranging career full of unexpected turns. Cover for an absent star for a few weeks, end up staying years is the stuff future musical biographies are made of.

A neat future, “Countdown to” puts an interview with Carrie Hope Fletcher whose show is about to experience Opening Night beside a chat with Sam Tutty whose show is closing. The contrasting questions and perspectives are interesting reading.

Composer Jack Pepper looks to the near future considering “Newsies” – the show London has been waiting for, and Matt Wolf allows the UK’s “first lady of musical theatre” Elaine Paige the final bow of the edition in a page-long “Q&A” session.

Between the feature articles there are reviews of live shows from the UK, USA and Canada – “international” being a little narrow for the moment, but no doubt taking in the huge musical tours and creative developments of Europe, the Far East and Australia in time to come.

A good number of cast albums are also given space, a sound (no pun intended) reason to buy, as such coverage is sadly now almost non-existent elsewhere.

There’s a useful national, Broadway and (this time) properly international listings section of musical theatre around the globe, and some slightly less useful – as things move fast – brief news items about shows announced and casting plans.

The first edition launched in late October 2022, with the magazine going bi-monthly from April 2023. Compared with the £10 for a far less informative “souvenir brochure” at a West End show, the £9.99 cover price for a magazine which any purchaser will keep on their bookshelf rather than tuck in a dusty drawer the day after is good value.

With the first edition mostly touching on the immediate, popular and well-known, there is huge potential to dig deeper and perhaps introduce the more casual musical theatre fan to the far broader range out there. After all, “Not Since Carrie” was a paperback bestseller, proving there is interest in those shows which perhaps didn’t last as long but remain on the playlists of many - who delight their friends by sharing these hidden gems.

If the editor can reach fans like this with well-researched items on the widest possible range of musical theatre, delving into the technical and backstage as well as production offices and other hidden areas, the magazine will surely find a readership. The monkey wishes it well.


The magazine will be distributed throughout UK newsstand (WHSmiths, Waitrose, Tesco & Sainsbury’s) and specialist stockists as well as internationally, and remain available at retail for three months until January 2023. 

MUSICALS will then publish as a bi-monthly magazine from April 2023, available on newsstand and via subscription, in print & digital formats at

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