On Broadway this spring four of the ten new plays will be one actor plays. Is this a new trend?
The pluses are obvious. One-handers help theatres balance the books. For actors they are an opportunity to showcase their talents. But do they attract audiences?
Having a cast of one didn’t put them off Shirley Valentine. However, theatres are finding nowadays audiences respond better to one-handers that are genuine plays rather than traditional monologues. A play focuses on what is happening now; a monologue is a story of what has happened in the past.
Of course, Shirley Valentine is, by that definition, monologue. Good writing trumps everything.
And is it a trend? Probably just coincidence.Though further rounds of theatre cuts may change that.