Gramophone editor wraps up musicals for Faber

Gramophone editor James Inverne has become the latest high-profile writer to produce a Faber Pocket Guide.

The series, from the independent UK book publisher Faber and Faber, has included a guide to ballet by the former Royal Ballet principal Deborah Bull and one on opera by the Daily Telegraph critic Rupert Christiansen.

Inverne’s is the Faber Pocket Guide to the Musicals, and it is informed by a rich store of knowledge accumulated over years of writing about musical theatre.

In it, Inverne sums up his top 100 shows, plus 10 of the worst, compiles songlists and recommends the best recordings.

On the way, he lets slip some of the oddest facts and stories about musicals. According to Inverne, one of the best recordings of Les Miserables is in Hebrew, and former Monty Python comedian Eric Idle was the first person to want to make a musical out of 1968 movie The Producers.

Before becoming editor of Haymarket’s classical music magazine, Gramophone, Inverne was the European performing arts correspondent for Time magazine. He has also written for the Wall Street Journal, the Sunday Telegraph, the Times and the Mail On Sunday. His other books include Inverne’s Stage and Screen Trivia, Wrestling With Elephants: The Authorised Biography of Don Black, The Impresarios and Jack Tinker: A Life In Review.