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#1 whittlebot

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 09:38 PM

Saw the production which I thought was brilliant, with the original cast, and this is the dilemma. I've banged on about it so much that a friend has unbeknown to me, re-booked it for both of us! Very nice you'll probably think, except that Frances de la Tour, who made the part of the Maid her own, has been replaced by Patricia Hodge! Now she is an excellent actress but I feel is wrong for this part, and I my choice would have been Sheila Hancock.  I never saw Richard Griffiths as the Headmaster in The History Boys, so cannot obviously compare his performance to Stephen Moore's. In a roundabout way I'm saying has anyone seen a play a second time with a change of cast or member of a cast, and it just didn't quite work? Not including The Mousetrap or The Woman in Black.

#2 Matthew Winn

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 07:32 AM

There have been many times a change of cast has affected my enjoyment of a production.

I've said this before, but it bears repeating. To me a script is just ink on paper until people bring it to life; it represents the potential for entertainment, and it's the quality of the people involved that makes the difference between the unmissable and the unwatchable. There are several cases of plays and musicals that are on both the list of my favourite productions and the list of my most disliked productions, entirely because of different casts and (sometimes) different directors.

It works both ways, mind. There have been a few occasions when I've returned to see something I previously hated and found that a change of personnel has given me a completely new view of the material and created something I love. It doesn't happen often, though: if I love a play the first time I see it I may well go back and end up being disappointed, but if I hate it first time around there's little hope I'll give it a second chance unless there's some exceptional factor that overrides my initial impression.

But yes, I have had cast changes affect my appreciation of a production. In fact, that effect dominates my theatregoing: it almost never happens that a change doesn't affect my enjoyment in one direction or another.
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#3 Backdrifter

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 07:49 AM

I didn't see it with FdlT but enjoyed Hodge's performance. Bear in mind it's just your feeling that PH is wrong for it, you might think differently when you see it. It's a good play, entertaining and very enjoyable so hopefully the new cast will bring something slightly different to it while keeping it good and you'll still enjoy it.

By the way, a very slight gripe. Before opening a new thread I think it's a good idea to do a quick search for the subject matter to avoid multiple threads. It just takes a few seconds using the search button, top right. We had a thread about the play generally (just further down page 1 of this forum) then a second thread about cast changes, now this one.

Anyway, I hope that didn't sound too grumpy and that you won't be disappointed with the new cast, and still have a good time.
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