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The Man of Mode


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#11 Guest_Skylight_*

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 06:08 PM

Well stop posting about me then!  Let's have your views on Man of Mode instead...?


#12 Michael H

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 01:06 AM

I'll be heading off on the WOS outing in a couple of Monday's time, so I'll let you know.

I've seen Rory Kinnear in The Tempest (Norwich) and Hamlet (Old Vic) so far - but this part seems to have gotten him the most glowing reviews of all.
Me is directing again - Private Peaceful at the Charles Cryer Theatre, Carshalton, 23 to 26 April 2014.

#13 canmark

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 05:10 PM

Saw The Man of Mode at a weekday matinee last week. I thought the contemporary staging of the play, and the casting of some of the roles with South Asian actors, worked well. It gave contemporary relevance to the exploits of the Restoration rake Dorimant (a smoldering Tom Hardy) and his used and abused women, family and social pressures, and the overall foibles of the beau monde.  

Rory Kinnear is terriffic as Sir Fopling Flutter, particulary in his first appearance in the play: he explodes on the scene with hysterical panache. Bertie Carvel played his three-piece-suited Medley to a T. I liked Penny Rider as Pert, and Dorimants ladies (Mrs. Loveit, Belinda and Harriet) were fine.

I was less taken by the dance/musical interludes between scenes. The idea was good, but the dance was poorly conceived. The sets and lighting were OK, and some of the costumes were great (Tom Hardy esp. looked like stepped out of a fashion mag), although others were less so.

#14 whittlebot

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 09:54 PM

I want to see  THE MAN OF MODE too, but why oh why must every Play of my choice chase another! 7th April JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN. 14th April THE HISTORY BOYS. 28th April BOEING BOEING. 19th May. THE REPORTER. 2nd June THE LADY FROM DUBUQUE. 9th June EQUUS. 16th June WHIPPING IT UP. and why such short runs? apart from the glorious 39 Steps whose run was extended. Somehow I want to squeeze in a MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH too!

#15 Blue

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 12:21 PM

I love short runs it means you get to see lots of different stuff.

#16 Marius

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 03:28 PM

QUOTE(Blue @ Mar 7 2007, 12:21 PM) View Post
I love short runs it means you get to see lots of different stuff.


Thats only good if you live in London. Its a nightmare trying to fit everything in if you only have a Saturday to come to London.  Eveyrother weekend im in London now until May - because ive had to plan my theatregoing carefully! I just hope Little Shop, Whipping it Up and Porgy and Bess dont close early!!

#17 Lynette

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 02:39 PM

Disappointed. This is a spectacular play, utterly cynical and cruel. Tom Hardy only got a fraction of the character and believe me I love his tv work so this was a major sadness for me. What with the dancing? Time to change the set? Oh dear, it's come to that. Gave some work to starving actors/dancers I suppose. Rory Kinnear brilliant and by far the best actor on stage - he would make an excellent classical actor if he has the patience and the income to allow it, successor to Simon Russell Beale maybe? Is that going too too far? Not one of the women caught my attention. The set was poor even by cheapo NT travelex standards. But the worst thing was the inaudibility and I'm afraid Tom Hardy was worst offender. They did not trust the words, they mumbled and gabbled as if that would make it funnier... It ended up looking like an episode from a soap.

#18 Guest_Skylight_*

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 12:01 AM

I can't remember exactly what I said first time around on the old board but Lynette if you were disappointed be thankful that you didn't see this in its early days because boy has it got better.  Don't get me wrong, it's still far from great but I found myself watching quite happily this evening with only one significant period of staring at the ceiling.  Tom Hardy has now developed an annoying habit of clapping his hands for emphasis which is rather distracting but there's no doubt that his voice work has improved.  Volume is fine and clarity is getting there.  He's always going to suffer in comparison to the likes of Bertie Carvel, Rory Kinnear and Nancy Carroll in the voice stakes but there's no doubt that he's aware of that and he's made great improvements in a short space of time.  

Rory Kinnear is still the star of the show.  I found myself feeling sorry for Fopling even while I was laughing at Kinnear's comedic antics.  I'm not a fan of Nancy Carroll but I have to admit she's got that character nailed.  Hayley Atwell was one of my stars last time but she seems to have started copying Carroll and we don't need two dramatic, over the top female characters so that's a shame.  There's a bit too much playing to the gallery all round which, while it gets laughs, can detract from the characterisation and needs reigning in.  The overall cohesion of the production is making more sense though.  I saw the dancing as integral linking pieces rather than a case of 'get out there and distract the audience while we change the set', a set which is effective and reasonably stylish given the number of settings it has to convey.  (Though I still find the fact that Dorimant's bed is practically in the kitchen silly - who would do that?!).

The essential and irredeemable problem with this production is the flawed updating.  Maybe Hytner will now realise that he can't just take any play, stick the actors in suits and hey presto it's modern.  The Restoration was such a unique moment in British history/experience that it's as alien as taking a play set in Africa or China, changing the setting to England and hey presto it's about us.  If Hytner had kept it period we would have got it.  Sometimes you've got to let the audience put something in to get something back.

#19 armadillo

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 07:07 AM

I thought the updating was the best thing about it and the subplot about the arranged marriage worked perfectly. I think the Soldier's Fortune shows what happens if you leave acting wearing breeches and wigs and assume the play will automatically work in its original setting.

#20 Eve

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 10:45 AM

I'm a bit of a fan of the updating - I think its entirely in the spirit of the original and that Etheredge himself would have approved.

At his platform the other evening Nick Hytner discussed this very eloquently and persuasively. One of his key points was even if you did hours and hours of research and presented an 'authentic' production in period dress, it would still be as interpretive a production as one in modern dress.

Anyway, lets see what he does in Much Ado later in the year. Odds on he will confound his critics again and give us a full on period production! Should be interesting.




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