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Joan Littlewood has a lot to answer for – but Fings Ain't With They Used T'Be' makes up for it

Plus: an adaptation of Dalton Trumbo’s Johnny Got His Gun is upstaged by a Stop the War Coalition talk

31 May 2014

9:00 AM

31 May 2014

9:00 AM

Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be

Stratford East, until 8 June

Johnny Got His Gun

Southwark Playhouse, until 14 June

Joan Littlewood’s greatest disservice to the theatre was to champion ‘the right to fail’, which encouraged writers and directors to inflict a thousand shades of bilge on play-goers for many decades. But she deserves a place in the pantheon for an inspired decision taken in 1959. Offered a new play about Soho’s underworld, written by the ex-con Frank Norman, she invited a young pop composer to turn it into a larky musical.

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