Britannica magazine review for children8th November 2022
Horrible Histories magazine at Hawthorn Primary School in Newcastle21st November 2022
A niche but necessary title that celebrates the world of musical theatre
In a world where *most* magazines feature a lot of photography, the text-to-image ratio comes as a surprise with this title. It’s unclear when or why it became customary for certain magazines to heavily rely on imagery than text for entertainment, but in some cases, it can feel like writing has become a secondary thought.
Musicals magazine does not rely on photography for entertainment and instead has a monumental amount of writing that centres around the West End, Broadway, and more. A creative choice that gives the title characteristics of a classic magazine – one that takes hours to indulge due to the number of features.
From the get-go, Sarah Kirkup encapsulates the ethos and passion of the title in her editor’s letter. The wording almost feels diary-entry/memoir-like as she shares how musical theatre has influenced and infiltrated her life. A writing style that makes readers anticipate content that reflects the editor’s admiration of the theatre.
The inclusion of accredited contributors, such as London Theatre critic, Matt Wolf, Theatre Composer and lyricist, Tim Connor, and Arts journalist and Theatre critic, Marianka Swain, also highlights that the people responsible for this issue are reputable. Therefore, readers can expect that the features ahead will be informative and accurate.
Two features, two opinions
The essence and personality of cover star Marisha Wallace, who portrays Ado Annie in Oklahoma!, is captured by an in-depth interview. Her life, career, and decisions are told through storytelling that also shares opinions from the journalist writing it. Unlike mainstream titles, most of the photographs used to complement the interview are candid images of Marisha rehearsing and performing.
A wholesome and informative story explores organisations and charities that encourage the new generation of musical theatre writing. An angle that offers another perspective of the theatre industry and shines a spotlight on people who are working toward more ideas being seen and heard.
Although informative and relevant content is key to a magazine’s success – so is design. The first issue of Musical has a vast amount of text on every page, a format that could discourage people who are accustomed to magazines that meticulously arrange layouts to be aesthetically pleasing.
The magazine must go on
Musicals magazine is not only a celebration of theatre, but a space for lesser-known productions and participants to receive recognition. The collective enthusiasm shared by writers and contributors is reflected on every page through content that varies from long-form investigative pieces to light-hearted reads.