Happiness is hummable
I love cheesy musicals. Any form of entertainment where people spontaneously burst into cheerful song for no particular reason is just my kind of thing.
I’m not alone – the Society of London Theatre recently announced that box office receipts in 2008 were up 3% year on year, with attendance also up at 13.8M, much of this attributed to such cheerful shows as Hairspray and High School Musical.
On the celluloid front, Mama Mia is now the fastest selling DVD of all time in the UK, selling 10 copies a second on its release day. It’s also the highest grossing film ever at the UK box office.
Apparently musical rhythms make the brain’s reward systems kick in to decrease pain and produce pleasurable responses via nature’s own version of morphine. In short, music makes you happy. Add energetic dancing and a bit of sparkle and you get the kind of feel good factor that should come free on the NHS.
Not only that, but in every musical there are lessons to be learnt – Mary Poppins is a tale for our times, with a banker father suspicious of a money-making scheme that sounds good to be true; according to the HSM equal opportunities gang “we’re all different in a good way” and it nearly always ends happily ever after.
Although I doubt that box office receipts will remain as buoyant in the next 12 months, the Musical Movement its still something to watch out for. Singalonga escapism, anyone?