THEATRE / On Theatre

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'The stars are the writers.' Ian Marshall Fisher, the man behind the Barbican Centre's 'Lost Musicals' seasons, is a passionate advocate on behalf of neglected Broadway shows. Every Sunday, he assembles classy casts from the West End, ENO and elsewhere for semi-staged performances of works, many of which have been specially disinterred. 'These performances are true to what the writers wanted. We bring them off the page and make them live again.'

This Sunday is the final performance of Harold Arlen / Yip Harburg's Bloomer Girl (1944). Harburg was later hauled up in front of Senator McCarthy on the grounds that his song 'Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe' was thought to be about Stalin. (He then satirised the whole affair in the cult flop Flahooley which starred Barbara Cook and Yma Sumac). Bloomer Girl centres on Amelia Bloomer who, at the time of the American Civil War, runs around being pro-feminist and anti-slavery and proclaiming that women should abandon hooped skirts and wear trousers.

From 10 July, it's the turn of the George Abbott/Bob Merrill's New Girl in Town, an adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie. Originally planned as a vehicle for Doris Day, entitled A Saint She Ain't, it ended up starring Gwen Verdon and the late, great Thelma Ritter. The Barbican cast is, as ever, under wraps.

Barbican box office: 071-638 8891

(Photograph omitted)

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