All Bob’s Women closes after just 9 performances

I’ve just returned from a short vacation to discover that All Bob’s Women has opened, and is promptly about to shut. To say it wasn’t a huge success would be an understatement.

According to the news on the What’s On Stage website, the show’s producer appears bemused by the show’sfailure, and he’s quoted as saying:

“Unfortunately, this is another example of a European hit getting lost in translation in London. The original Italian version of All Bob’s Women ran for nine months in Milan.”  

Is he really suggesting that the show is really good, but the British public just don’t get it?! This isn’t the first time that the producer of a show that failed has tried to shift the blame… just a few months ago that Spanish show Peter Pan – El Musical failed miserably, and the producer blamed critics for the show’s early closing!

Unfortunately, despite the production team’s best efforts, and the casting of Amy Booth-Steel from ‘I’d Do Anything’, the show was poorly received. I haven’t seen the show yet (and now I’m not going to get a chance!), but from the reviews I’ve read, I’d suggest that the failure of the show is based on it not being very good, rather than in getting lost in translation.

In his Telgraph review, Charles Spencer pulls no punches:

“Russell Labey’s production proves devoid of pace, point and even basic clarity and, at £29.50 for a top price ticket, All Bob’s Women is both a crying shame and a bleeding liberty. This is a show fit only for masochists and collectors of theatrical disasters.”

And Spencer is not alone, with Mark Shenton of The Stage and Fiona Mountford in the Evening Standard equally negative.

It’s also worth remembering that good European shows do transfer successfully to London – Boeing Boeing was very successful in London, before transferring to Broadway, and even picking up a Tony award.

Which all goes to show that quality does have an effect on a show’s success. A bad show will get bad reviews, and whilst I feel sorry for the team behind All Bob’s Women, there’s no point blaming the public for failing to appreciate the show. Critics do get it wrong from time-to-time, but in this case, the public seems to have agreed with them.


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