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The Entertainer


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#1 Moose

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 02:30 PM

Has anyone seen this yet?

#2 cha003

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 05:01 PM

No, but have tickets for Saturday afternoon.  Will report back then.

#3 cha003

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 06:09 PM

Well, I can't say I was overly impressed with this.  Mainly because of the play itself, I think.  It really hasn't stood the test of time that well, yet doesn't seem to be far enough away to be viewed with a historical appreciation.  The performances themselves are all fine, with standouts from the grandfather and the son (who also gets to play the piano while it rises out of the orchestra pit - I'm soo jealous), but somehow I was left feeling a bit cold.  There needed to be a bigger reality gap between the "vaudeville" sections and the "kitchen sink drama" sections but it all seemed to blur into one. I also really noticed it's running time of 2 hours 50 mins, which is unusual for me.

#4 QuincyMD

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 01:03 PM

QUOTE(cha003 @ Mar 5 2007, 06:09 PM) View Post
Well, I can't say I was overly impressed with this.  Mainly because of the play itself, I think.  It really hasn't stood the test of time that well, yet doesn't seem to be far enough away to be viewed with a historical appreciation.  The performances themselves are all fine, with standouts from the grandfather and the son (who also gets to play the piano while it rises out of the orchestra pit - I'm soo jealous), but somehow I was left feeling a bit cold.  There needed to be a bigger reality gap between the "vaudeville" sections and the "kitchen sink drama" sections but it all seemed to blur into one. I also really noticed it's running time of 2 hours 50 mins, which is unusual for me.


BBC7 had a radio version on over the weekend with a running time of 90 minutes and starring Bill Nighy, may still be available on the Listen Again feature, have to say that i gave up after 50 minutes as it left me bored rather than cold.
Which way did he go McGill?

#5 gandalf

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 08:35 AM

QUOTE(QuincyMD @ Mar 7 2007, 01:03 PM) View Post
BBC7 had a radio version on over the weekend with a running time of 90 minutes and starring Bill Nighy, may still be available on the Listen Again feature, have to say that i gave up after 50 minutes as it left me bored rather than cold.



#6 gandalf

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 08:38 AM

Just wondering if anyone else has seen this yet? Many thanks

#7 Guest_Skylight_*

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 11:49 PM

I've seen it but I don't really know what to say.  I feel - um - disappointed I suppose - though that's not quite the right word.  I had high hopes for this - probably too high and it just - well - failed to live up to them.  I'm a bit baffled.  There was nothing wrong with it exactly.  Well maybe Emma Cunniffe was weak.  Maybe that meant the other characters lacked someone to bounce off.  Maybe the cast were flat after the high of press night.  I don't know.  John Normington got the most applause at the end which suggests something's not quite right.  Yet I can't blame Lindsay - he was good - great even.  All the elements were there but somehow it just didn't gel.  I felt like a detached observer rather than a connection with what was going on.  Like I was analysing the action rather than engaging with it.  If it were Brecht I would say I felt a sense of alienation.  But it isn't.  So I can't.  I didn't buy into any of the family relationships.  I didn't believe these characters had an existence outside of the text.  I appreciate the play; I appreciate the individual elements of the production; I appreciate the unnerving contemporary relevance and I appreciate the fact that the end was fantastic.  But somewhere along the line something that looks promising on paper failed to materialise.  How or why is beyond me.  It's a shame.  It should have been great but it wasn't.

#8 smith

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 09:57 AM

QUOTE(Skylight @ Mar 8 2007, 11:49 PM) View Post
I've seen it but I don't really know what to say.  I feel - um - disappointed I suppose - though that's not quite the right word.  I had high hopes for this - probably too high and it just - well - failed to live up to them.  I'm a bit baffled.  There was nothing wrong with it exactly.  Well maybe Emma Cunniffe was weak.  Maybe that meant the other characters lacked someone to bounce off.  Maybe the cast were flat after the high of press night.  I don't know.  John Normington got the most applause at the end which suggests something's not quite right.  Yet I can't blame Lindsay - he was good - great even.  All the elements were there but somehow it just didn't gel.  I felt like a detached observer rather than a connection with what was going on.  Like I was analysing the action rather than engaging with it.  If it were Brecht I would say I felt a sense of alienation.  But it isn't.  So I can't.  I didn't buy into any of the family relationships.  I didn't believe these characters had an existence outside of the text.  I appreciate the play; I appreciate the individual elements of the production; I appreciate the unnerving contemporary relevance and I appreciate the fact that the end was fantastic.  But somewhere along the line something that looks promising on paper failed to materialise.  How or why is beyond me.  It's a shame.  It should have been great but it wasn't.



Totally agree with you skylight - i saw it last night too, and was slightly disappointed...but I had gone with very high expectations. I didn't feel I was engaging with it either and at times felt my mind wandering in the family scenes, so by the end I was wondering whether I had missed something important! Emma Cunniffe was weak at the beginning but got better as it went on. I thought Robert Lindsay was great in the front-of-curtain scenes but didn't quite pull it off when he was with the rest of the family. But yes the ending was fantastic with the empty stage.

#9 Guest_Skylight_*

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 10:06 AM

Strange isn't it.  I did feel that I wasn't alone in being underwhelmed last night but I know people who saw it in previews and raved and it appears that the critics have all loved it.  I'm tempted to give it the benefit of the doubt and put last night down to a bad day at the office.  If I can fit it in, I'd like to give it another go.  Someone further up the thread has commented on the running time and I felt it too, even though it finished before 10.15.

#10 Jan Brock

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 08:52 AM

I think the play itself has not aged well at all, but it is one everyone should see at least once due to its historical importance. I saw the Peter Bowles version 20 years ago and it too was only partially successful. I did not see the MIchael Pennington one 10 years ago - that sounds like strange casting - did anyone see it ? (at Hampstead ?).




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