Observations: If only Irving Berlin had had broadband


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The Independent Culture

When UK-based Jonathan Kydd and Californian-based Andy Street, who writes the incidental music for American Idol, decided to write a musical together they were not deterred by distance.

Instead the pair wrote all of The Hard Boiled Egg and the Wasp, about music hall star Dan Leno, over Skype. Although billed as the first Skype musical, it forms part of a growing trend. Last year a play at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, You Wouldn't Know Him, He Lives in Texas, was an interactive performance about a long-distance relationship in which the audience were invited to meet the boyfriend via a live Skype link to Texas.

"We couldn't be precious and this short-circuits any possible wobbles in your relationship," says Kydd. He and Street are already collaborating on their second musical, again over Skype.

'The Hard Boiled Egg and the Wasp', Giant Olive Theatre, London NW5 (www.giant olive.com) 22 May to 10 June