Jump to content


Hobson's Choice At Chichester


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
9 replies to this topic

#1 richard

richard

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 183 posts

Posted 13 August 2007 - 04:05 PM

rolleyes.gif
Saw this at the weekend at Chichester.  It is absolutely superb - as The Times review confirmed (Monday 13th).  As usual there has been sneering about Chichester's geriatric audience and warhorses, but I defy anyone not to find this a truly superb evening at the theatre and so touching as well as amusing.  And the sets - there can't have been many better for a long while.  So good to see something that isn't minimalist and in a white box.  The subtle detail and the use of lighting was superb.  'Terrific'  said The Times.  And so say I.

The only downside was the Chichester autumn/spring brochure in the foyer.  Equus is advertised for January.  Those in the know realise that Richard Griffiths and Daniel Radcliffe are not appearing, but one wouldn't guess that from the publicity which specifically mentions their success in the London production, implying - or more than implying - that they will appear.  No mention of who actually will  take their parts.  Caveat emptor.

#2 Jan Brock

Jan Brock

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2756 posts

Posted 14 August 2007 - 07:38 AM

QUOTE(richard @ Aug 13 2007, 05:05 PM) View Post
rolleyes.gif
Saw this at the weekend at Chichester.  It is absolutely superb - as The Times review confirmed (Monday 13th).  As usual there has been sneering about Chichester's geriatric audience and warhorses, but I defy anyone not to find this a truly superb evening at the theatre and so touching as well as amusing.  And the sets - there can't have been many better for a long while.  So good to see something that isn't minimalist and in a white box.  The subtle detail and the use of lighting was superb.  'Terrific'  said The Times.  And so say I.


Glad to hear it was played "straight" without tricks such as ethnic relocation which are normally employed when these classic plays are dusted off these days (other than in the amateur dramatic world). As I have said before, these plays were popular for a reason and bear high-quality revival - the NT should revive Spring and Port Wine or When We Are Married.

Mickey Billington implied that John Savident didn't know his lines - any evidence of that ? That seems a currently popular complaint with the critics - I saw a review of Stephen Moore in The Hothouse which claimed that also. They need to be careful - these better actors can make it seem as if they are unsure about their lines for dramatic/comic effect - I once saw Michael Bryant do it to startling effect in Hamlet.

#3 richard

richard

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 183 posts

Posted 14 August 2007 - 08:53 AM

Mickey Billington implied that John Savident didn't know his lines - any evidence of that ? That seems a currently popular complaint with the critics - I saw a review of Stephen Moore in The Hothouse which claimed that also. They need to be careful - these better actors can make it seem as if they are unsure about their lines for dramatic/comic effect - I once saw Michael Bryant do it to startling effect in Hamlet.
[/quote]

I can see what Billington means, but I think it was calculated bluster and 'lost for words' at the uppishness of his daughters or the effrontery of his son-in-law.  This speechlessness at times could be misinterpreted.

#4 Scal

Scal

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 30 posts

Posted 14 August 2007 - 09:18 AM

QUOTE(Jan Brock @ Aug 14 2007, 08:38 AM) View Post
Glad to hear it was played "straight" without tricks such as ethnic relocation which are normally employed when these classic plays are dusted off these days (other than in the amateur dramatic world). As I have said before, these plays were popular for a reason and bear high-quality revival - the NT should revive Spring and Port Wine or When We Are Married.


For goodness sake Jan stop being so snide.  ONCE there was a production of Hobson's Choice which had a different spin. But maybe you didn't see the other productions as they weren't in London and anywhere else doesn't exist for you (didn't you once say that outside London didn't count??). And do you know what, so what if-there's a different spin. England consists of  more than the white London-centric middle classes..... *sigh* exasperated.......

#5 Jan Brock

Jan Brock

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2756 posts

Posted 14 August 2007 - 10:05 AM

QUOTE(Scal @ Aug 14 2007, 10:18 AM) View Post
For goodness sake Jan stop being so snide.  ONCE there was a production of Hobson's Choice which had a different spin. But maybe you didn't see the other productions as they weren't in London and anywhere else doesn't exist for you (didn't you once say that outside London didn't count??). And do you know what, so what if-there's a different spin. England consists of  more than the white London-centric middle classes..... *sigh* exasperated.......


Ah, your comments are so typical of a white London-centric middle class person.

Actually you have slightly misrepresented what I said to support your own prejudices. Here's a question for you - when was a play by Bill Naughton ever staged at the National Theatre ? The answer is never, unless you include "Rafta Rafta" which seems very odd for a playwright who is so popular amongst the amateur companies and at some provincial theatres.

Also, if you had actually read what I said on this topic before, I pointed out that it seemed somewhat condescending of the NT (and Young Vic) to assume the present day Asian community can somehow be represented by English attitudes of the 1950s and 1960s - staging these plays in this way really panders to white middle-class attitudes rather than the reverse as you imply.

#6 Scal

Scal

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 30 posts

Posted 14 August 2007 - 04:52 PM

QUOTE(Jan Brock @ Aug 14 2007, 11:05 AM) View Post
Ah, your comments are so typical of a white London-centric middle class person.


Only, I'm not.


#7 Jan Brock

Jan Brock

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2756 posts

Posted 15 August 2007 - 10:12 AM

QUOTE(Scal @ Aug 14 2007, 05:52 PM) View Post
Only, I'm not.


Not London-centric. Maybe. But white and middle-class - even posting here means you are middle-class, and I'm assuming that the ethnicity of posters reflects that of audiences - overwhelmingly white.

#8 Edagar

Edagar

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34 posts

Posted 15 August 2007 - 12:17 PM

Jan ... Be very careful about what you assume.  Posting here does not make you inherently middle class.  And never assume anything about ethnicity.

Very dangerous waters.

#9 armadillo

armadillo

    Advanced Member

  • Validating
  • PipPipPip
  • 2740 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 15 August 2007 - 12:22 PM

I assume you think that the 'ethnic spin' on the Young Vic's Hobson's Choice and the NT's Rafta Rafta is a bad thing. Perhaps you would prefer empty theatres performing traditional productions like the Old Vic's Gaslight (a fine show but not exactly selling out).



#10 Jan Brock

Jan Brock

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2756 posts

Posted 17 August 2007 - 08:05 AM

QUOTE(armadillo @ Aug 15 2007, 01:22 PM) View Post
I assume you think that the 'ethnic spin' on the Young Vic's Hobson's Choice and the NT's Rafta Rafta is a bad thing. Perhaps you would prefer empty theatres performing traditional productions like the Old Vic's Gaslight (a fine show but not exactly selling out).


I think it is bad (Rafta Rafta) to take a play based on the white attitudes of the 1950s and imply that they mirror the 2007 attitudes of the Asian community - it seems condescending. If this Bill Naughton play were ever staged with a white cast today it would be done in period, not set in the present day. Likewise Hobson's Choice. Think about this: Why did Chichester choose to set Hobson's Choice in period ?




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users