Judd Hollander: Plays must have prestige to justify transfer costs

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The Independent Online

There has been an influx of good British drama and there is always a market for it here. Broadway producers tend to pick plays that have created quite a lot of buzz in London for transfer.

It's very expensive to put on a play in Broadway and it is also expensive to have a play transfer, especially if it is going to retain its original cast, as many dramas have, which entails moving the entire cast to a different city.

So what they are looking for is something which has a lot of prestige such as The Norman Conquests coming from The Old Vic, and Billy Elliot, which came after having first achieved critical acclaim in London. They tend to come in towards the spring hoping for a shot at the Tony Awards.

There is certainly an appetite over here for good plays that have not been seen before, such as Equus, even though part of the attraction there was seeing Richard Griffiths and Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe performing on stage.

I would say there is more of an appetite for British dramas than American ones because of the prestige that is now attached to them. They are seen as something different and special.

Judd Hollander is New York correspondent of The Stage newspaper