Sarah Jessica Parker in Plaza Suite at the Savoy Theatre, London

SJP: We were told not to expect entrance cheers


Sarah Jessica Parker has revealed how producers of Plaza Suite in the West End had prepared her for a “civilised engagement”, where audiences were unlikely to applaud her entrance in the production as they do on Broadway.

Despite this, Parker said she had been surprised to be applauded in


Parker and her husband Matthew Broderick in Plaza Suite

at the Savoy Theatre, London

London for her entrances in each act of the Neil Simon play.

She told The Stage: “The producers were prepping us for a civilised engagement. We have demonstrative audiences in New York and there are entrance applauses there – I don’t know how it started. They [producers] wanted to temper all of that, which I am grateful for because it’s good to know and not every audience is going to behave in the same way anyway.”

She added: “It’s not their problem, it’s ours – to figure out how we’re going to communicate this is our relationship.”

Parker stars in Plaza Suite alongside husband Matthew Broderick.

She said now that press night was out of the way, they were looking forward to relaxing into the production.

“I think we are looking forward to getting past today [press night], getting the show open and then to be in the run of it, as that is when it starts to relax and you are just in a conversation with an audience. It’s been great – much more fun and way more comfortable than I had anticipated, as I was nervous. I look forward to these next three months,” she said.

Parker said she was looking forward to Sundays off, so she could “participate heavily” in Sunday roasts. She also said she wanted to see musicals Cabaret and Guys and Dolls while in the UK.


Chris Bush wins $35,000 Hermitage Major Theater Award


Chris Bush has won the Hermitage Major Theater Award, giving her a $35,000 prize to create an original work.

Bush becomes the first British artist to win the award and the fourth overall recipient. The prize also gives her a residency at the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Florida, USA, and an inaugural workshop of her newly created work, anticipated for autumn of 2025 in London at a theatre to be announced.

Bush was selected by a committee including director Michael Grandage and incoming National Theatre director Indhu Rubasingham.

Bush said: “Having spent a lot of my career writing specifically about northern England, I’m excited to shift my gaze across the Atlantic and dive into a new landscape.”

Bush’s intended HMTA commission is currently titled Orlando (FL).

“This play will be a story of transformation, translation, and self-determination. The play follows Lana, a trans woman living in Orlando, Florida, whose life is turned upside down by the arrival of a fantastical stranger. Orlando (FL) aspires to be a queer fantasia set against a backdrop of rising hate; a funny, angry and defiant testament to the power of literature and the resilience of LGBTQ+ communities,” Bush said.

The Hermitage Major Theater Award was established in 2021 to recognise a playwright or theatre artist with a $35,000 commission to create an original and impactful piece of theatre.

The other finalists were Natasha Gordon, Beth Steel and Sam Steiner. Each finalist has been awarded a Hermitage residency and fellowship, in addition to a cash prize of $1,500.

Grandage said: “This is an incredible opportunity for an artist to develop their craft, and Chris Bush is a hugely talented playwright who has already demonstrated that big ideas can change the world.”