In February 1993 a new musical, The Invisible Man, transferred from the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, to the Vaudeville in London’s West End. It joined the seventeen other musicals already to be found there, and is the second recent transfer from Stratford. But it differs from the other, Five Guys Named Moe, in one way. Five Guys had been backed by Cameron Mackintosh, the resultant income having been largely responsible for keeping the Theatre Royal in existence for the last two years; the new musical has relied entirely on backing from local supporters of the theatre. Either way, however, the fact of these two musicals points to the central dilemma confronting all non-commercial theatre today.
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