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Phantom Of The Opera ~ 2012, Uk Tour


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#271 SimonAitken

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:43 AM

View PostThe Scorpion, on 02 April 2012 - 01:15 AM, said:

&lt;br /&gt;I am very encouraged by your review. I am sure I will like the cast regardless of the production; Owen-Jones is an all-time favourite Phantom and I loved Simon Bailey's Raoul at Her Majesty's, especially when he was opposite Gina Beck. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;What were the &amp;quot;silly things&amp;quot; that you didn't like about the original which are now gone? I don't see how Raoul bringing a red rose necessarily makes any &amp;quot;more sense&amp;quot; than bringing in some champagne - both, I thought, would be appropriate things to bring.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Don't take my comments re the costumes as &amp;quot;heated&amp;quot; - it was merely a response to what I thought was an unfair accusation on a previous page of this thread that fans were being <b>small-minded</b> for not taking well to the costumes, <b>especially when they've been advertised as Björnson's originals</b>.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;I do think the chandelier looks tacky as hell though from the pics I've seen, though.&lt;br /&gt;
&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;<br /><br />Maybe closed-minded was a too strong a word on my part, I was merly expressing my shock at seeing someone go to such a length over what is an argueably small detail. And I originally didn't know that they were advertised as Björnson's original desgins which does change my view slightly. So my appologies.<br /><br />Not seeing it until September so reserving judgement until then.<br /><br />

#272 SHk

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:33 PM

View PostThe Scorpion, on 02 April 2012 - 01:15 AM, said:

&lt;br /&gt;I am very encouraged by your review. I am sure I will like the cast regardless of the production; Owen-Jones is an all-time favourite Phantom and I loved Simon Bailey's Raoul at Her Majesty's, especially when he was opposite Gina Beck. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;What were the &amp;quot;silly things&amp;quot; that you didn't like about the original which are now gone? I don't see how Raoul bringing a red rose necessarily makes any &amp;quot;more sense&amp;quot; than bringing in some champagne - both, I thought, would be appropriate things to bring.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Don't take my comments re the costumes as &amp;quot;heated&amp;quot; - it was merely a response to what I thought was an unfair accusation on a previous page of this thread that fans were being small-minded for not taking well to the costumes, especially when they've been advertised as Björnson's originals.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;I do think the chandelier looks tacky as hell though from the pics I've seen, though.&lt;br /&gt;
&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;<br /><br />

Yes, as for the cast, I couldn't have asked for more.<br /><br />

The red rose, instead of a champagne feels more appropreate to bring to a 17 year-old maiden.  If I were Raoul, I'd bring flower(s) rather than rudely grabbing a bottle of wine which someone else was bringing. And if I were Christine, I would prefer a rose than a bottle of booze. <br /><br />

The new production is full of these little corrections (if I may call them so). I found myself nodding quite often during the show. And many of them about Raoul's behaviours and character (Simon Baily did such an excellent job of portraying a more intelligent, mature Raoul than as usually is the case).<br /><br />T

o list but a few examples:<br /><br />

. When Raoul askes Mdm Giry what she knows about the Phantom, he just shouts his way through the conversation in the original. But in the new version, he first shouts at Giry grabbing her wrists, but soon realises that he is hurting her and apologises and then more calmly asks her to tell him what she knows. It's just a small detail, but in the original, I always felt uncomfortable that Raoul should just bark at Giry, because it felt he is so underwirtten. He shouts and bark a lot as if the writer couldn't think of other things for him to do.

.Don Juan rehearsal scene. When the piano stops playing by itself, the cast looks as if they have just woken up from a trance.  This way, it's clear that they are remote-controlled by the Phantom and therefore, unconcisous while singing. This has a very spooky effect and shows how powerful the Phantom's magic is.

<br /><br /><br />These are only a few examples of the little but very thoughtful changes. I think the director did a great job.

#273 Bricabrac

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 11:42 PM

View PostSHk, on 03 April 2012 - 10:33 PM, said:


These are only a few examples of the little but very thoughtful changes. I think the director did a great job.

It's hard to tell from these early reports, but it does sound like they are getting a lot of small things right.

I'm concerned, though,  about one of the bigger things, how Phantom and Christine's first trip to the Lair and "Music of the Night" are done.

In an earlier message, Danilo said,

"Then into Music of the Night, which was a massive disappointment. The set design here did nothing for me, it was set WAY too far upstage (looked like around a 15-20 ft gap between the lair and the orchestra pit, although it may have been less) and the blocking was atrocious. Both the Phantom and Christine walked around in circles and gestured for no apparent reason and you got no sense of the action you were watching and the words and music you were hearing being aligned at all. It really undermined John Owen Jones, who sang it beautifully."

This is a key scene and has always been one of the highlights of the show. If it continues to be done the same way, I will be seriously disappointed

Less important to me, but disappointing is that "Act One ends with a damp squib, " meaning the chandelier. The chandelier has never been the reason I went to see the show, but it is, as they say, "iconic," and if it is done badly, it hurts the show.

The idea of the Phantom dancing and some other details of PONR---I just can't tell from what I've heard so far whether or not I think they're a good idea or not.

I look forward to any further reports about the tour.

#274 SHk

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:01 AM

Just a quick reply about the going down to the Lair scene.I sat in front Stalls so the view was perfect. I am sorry if it wasn't the case for people who sat in upper levels, because it really was spectacular for me. I literally could not shut my mouth from  amazement (I must've looked like an idiot,,).

The way, the cylinder-type structure turnes around, the way the formerly hidden steps come out as they go down (a la &quot;Spirited Away&quot; animation film) was truly breath taking for me. I also loved the fact, this way, they can now sing live where formerly they had to use recorded voices.The top of the steps where the Phantoms looks around with a lamp in his hand looked atomospheric too.

As for the damp squib.. Ha ha ha.. That was a kind of fun.  Yes chandellier was shabby, but the theatre itself crumbled a bit, so it wasn't a total disappointment, I don't think.

Anyway, I chandellier alone doesn't make PotO just like the turn-table alone doesn't make Les Miz.  Just try to forget what you know about the brillinatoriginal. That way, you will enjoy it more. It's a new show based on the same script and music.

#275 Danilo

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:25 AM

The journey to the lair was very good, even when standing against the 'brilliant original'.

Music of the Night was a mess, and the blocking and the setting of the scene so far upstage just undermined the whole scene. There was not a single gesture or movement that I believed in, or even thought that the actors believed in.

The chandelier, isn't the be-all-and-end-all. However, the story requires the chandelier to crash, the script requires the chandelier to crash, but the Phantom roars 'Gooooo!!' and the chandelier manages a wet fart, and we all go and have an interval drink.

As a 'finale' to Act One goes, well, it didn't go!

It's a good production with many merits, but the 'iconic' set pieces almost all misfire badly.

#276 craftymiss

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:19 PM

I too think the chandelier is somewhat pathetic; I just about coped with it at RAH as I realised there was little else could be done in that venue.  However on previous tour the chandelier has been great and other than costs I feel it is a huge miss.  It's supposed to come crshing down not as Danilo says "manages a wet fart".  I was sat row B of DC and a grandmother in the row in front said to her grandson "watch out for the chandelier, it comes crashing down" (not the best of things to tell someone) but as we now know it doesnt. Shame but hasnt stopped me being booked in for Bristol twice and Southampton twice.  BTW I mentioned the Phantom 'dance', it wasnt a full on tangoish dance but aspects of it where they 'drag' (if thats the right word) their partner across the floor; not explaining it weel, you'll have to see it :o)

#277 Laughingmonsta

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:51 PM

The previous tour was over a decade ago - Health & Safety regulations have come into a different league, and I am guessing there is tighter restrictions on such things, including the installation of the flying devices needed.
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#278 Titan

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 03:35 PM

View PostLaughingmonsta, on 04 April 2012 - 01:51 PM, said:

<br />The previous tour was over a decade ago - Health &amp; Safety regulations have come into a different league, and I am guessing there is tighter restrictions on such things, including the installation of the flying devices needed.<br />
<br /><br /><br />

True, although Mary Poppins toured with lots of flying.  Its disappointing (especially for those that have never seen the show before and have heard about the Chandelier drop, it sounds exciting) but its not the be all and end all.  That said it is part of the story to they maybe should have come up a better alternative to end Act 1

#279 Danilo

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 03:36 PM

You may be right Laughingmonsta, but the Budapest production managed to do something with it (and the production is a lot smaller than London and UK Tour) that was more effective and without any H&S implications.By the way, I haven't really seen any big heavyweight crits views on this production - has anyone seen any 'professional' views (that doesn't include local papers who just write whatever the Press Office tells them!)

#280 Laughingmonsta

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 06:17 PM

Budapest and UK have very different H&S laws - so that argument hardly stands any ground. I doubt there was any H&S implications of course there are H&S implications of any show - so saying that shows clear ignorance to what must be put into place to make sure to the public it is as safe as possible. I am sure they will have tried every possibility to ensure they can do what they can now legally and safely do on each venue of the tour, don't forget that the local authorities will also have their own rules and regulations about what can be done...its never as simple as it first looks.
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