Letter from London

Our critic skips across the pond for a preview of shows likely to swing through South Florida soon

And speaking of Intimacy, a stage version of same receives its world premiere this summer at the Theatre Royal in the city of Bath, part of an exciting season indeed. Bath has been a resort city since Roman times; more than a few plays have premiered at the Theatre Royal. Along with Intimacy, season highlights include The Distance from Here, a world premiere by American whiz kid Neil LaBute; Damsels in Distress, a new comic trilogy from Alan Ayckbourn; and a revival of Abigail's Party, a 1977 play by Mike Leigh, who has since found acclaim as a writer and director of films (Life Is Sweet, Topsy Turvy).

Comparisons of this rich theatrical banquet to our own South Florida scene might seem both few and unfair. London is old and filled with traditions; Florida is young and has very few. But comparing the robust health of London theater with the spindly condition of the local scene engenders an obvious if difficult question: How do we bring what we have up toward the level of theatrical success seen in London? Are there lessons to be learned that might be applied to the performing arts in Florida? Indeed there are; I'll be addressing them in a future column.

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