Starlight Express 2012 Uk Tour
Posted 10 May 2012 - 06:08 PM
If you look at the shows twitter though you can see some photos of the set
Posted 12 May 2012 - 04:05 PM
Here's a live performance of Rolling Stock from BBC news yesterday
And another news feature about the show in rehearsals
Posted 12 May 2012 - 06:11 PM
It was always a thin musical but at least it was a great spectacle and had a real heart and night-time atmosphere. No longer. Each subsequent version has sapped more and more life out of it.
I saw it originally in about 1985 and have always loved the OLC recording. Since then each production has been a dip downwards, but this is such a pale shadow of its former self that I'm stunned anyone gave it the green light. It is shoddy in every respect save perhaps the band and most of the singing. It's no secret that ALW has no great fondness for this show but I don't know why doean't at least want it to be as good as it can be!
There is no set. I mean none. There is a bit of flashy lighting but nothing that you wouldn't find in a second-rate nightclub. I thought this show was all about spectacle?! There is no acting, either. If you didn't know the plot and the characters it would be hard to tell some of them apart, and that's with a plot that must be the simplest ever in musical theatre. Whoever told Arlene Phillips she can direct? None of the characters interactions or journies seem believable. A character says this, a character says that, they move through a series of wooden stereotypical moments that never flow or make much sense... it feels like a series of isolated moments badly acted. I don't blame the cast for this, either - it's just obviously had no-one overseeing it properly.
Also, because teh skaters have nowhere to actually skate any longer, all you get is a lot of random pointless rolling back and forth. The show is saddled with its roller-skate concept but without the means to make it work. If you didn't know the original, it would just seem bizarre.
The score is the version that contains A Whole Lotta Locomotion, which is one of the least memorable songs ALW ever composed. More interesting, the troubled eleven o'clock number moment, which has seen Only He/Only You and Next Time You Fall In Love, is given over to a new song - a song not even composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber! In fact, it's by his son Alastair and is called I Do. A sweet gesture, and actually a really nice song (heaps better, and more fitting to the moment, than Next Time...) but equally it does go to show how little ALW cares about this show or this production.
I can't tell you how much I'd love to see some kind of recreation of the original show. I'd love the original sub-plots (Belle, CB etc) or new equivalents re-introduced to flesh it out a bit. At the moment it's 145 mintes including a lot of padding (end reprises etc) and a long long interval. Failing a return to the original (which is unlikely for many many good reasons) I'd love to see it taken on by a team who care about it and what to make it a mind-boggling, eye-popping, ear-splitting roller-coaster of a show. You shouldn't notice that the plot is thin and some of the songs a little simple. It should sweep you up. This production, alas, feels like the dregs at the bottom of a very dry barrel.
Posted 12 May 2012 - 06:33 PM
Posted 12 May 2012 - 06:52 PM
Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:11 PM
Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:44 AM
Also people need to get over the fact that the races are never coming back. Number 1 : it's on tour, what do you expect them to do build a set like the Apollo at every theatre they go to??? Ummmm NO!!!
Number 2 : even if it came back to London it's too expensive!!! We're in a ressession people, no producer is going to take a risk like that.
Number 3 : there is no other show which has 3D in it do it is original there.
And number 4 : just get over it, move on times change & my kids & every other person in that audience absolutely loved it. They're still putting on there safety goggles now!
Now with regards to story my kids are 6 & 9 & they understood it, they got the heart of the story, they new what was going on & were cheering in Rusty all the way. I thought all the characters were amazing, so dynamic so full of energy, think Arlene has done a lovely job, a lot better than the last tour.
And as for the lighting it is out of this world! I've not seen a show lit like this for a long time, spectacular some of the things they did with it, ECM I think you were watching a different show. Yeah some good songs have gone coz they're trying to update it & keep it modern, it's a kids show at the end of the day with bits in it for adults, my kids loved it, myself & my partner loved it. And so did the New Wimbledon theatre audience that were all on there feet at the end.
The thing is people still go and see this show expecting The Apollo, it isn't that, it never will be get over it. Times have changed, the shows changed, get over it. Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to buy some kids roller skates!
Posted 13 May 2012 - 09:21 AM
Posted 13 May 2012 - 01:15 PM
Posted 15 May 2012 - 12:37 PM
Wimbledon theatre was packed and everyone was up for a good time, which they got. I know it isn't going to be the Apollo Victoria production or the arena-type one in Bochum* which I saw a few years ago, so you need to accept it for what it is - a pared back show. The cast were also up for it and - as far as I'm concerned - gave their all dance-wise and vocally.
3D video fine - a suitable alternative to racing in such a confined space. Frankly I'd rather see the show like this than not at all.
*In case you're wondering, fly to Cologne for the weekend (and see the superb cathedral). On the day of your choice get the train to Dusseldorf (around an hour if I remember right). Then it's a short (10-15 min) tram ride to Bochum and the Starlighthalle. We went on the Sunday as a daytrip for a matinee performance as there's not a lot more to Cologne than the cathedral, really.
Favourite Musicals: Blood Brothers; Brigadoon; Chicago; Chess; Chorus Line; Company; Evita; Follies; Godspell; Les Miserables; Little Night Music; Little Shop of Horrors; Mack and Mabel; Man of La Mancha; Merrily We Roll Along; Miss Saigon; Phantom of the Opera; Rent; Rocky Horror Show; South Pacific.
Favourite Plays: Beautiful Thing; Bent; Blithe Spirit; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Cherry Orchard; Dance of Death; Death of a Salesman; Endgame; Happy Days; Hedda Gabler; Henry IV (Parts I and II); Importance of Being Earnest; Little Foxes; Mother Courage; Private Lives; Shirley Valentine; Torch Song Trilogy; What the Butler Saw; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; Wild Duck.
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