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Equus farce


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#1 JWC

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 11:28 AM

sad.gif Anybody else see yesterday afternoon's "performance"? OK So Richard Griffiths was ill but then they fielded an understudy who didn't even know the part and ended up reading from a script. Threw the rest of the cast who ended up taking prompts. 50 for that; I'm disgusted.

#2 richard

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 01:04 PM

sad.gif
That's terrible.  Surely they should have proper understudies, or like Pastor Manders in Ghosts did they think they could get away without insurance?  What happens if Daniel Radcliffe is ill during the run?  You can't have an 'understudy' reading the script.

#3 Jenny_tyr

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 01:15 PM

You should demand your money back or tickets for a later performance as compensation. Having an understudy reading from the script is NOT something that any theatre should be able to get away with, simply to avoid having to give people their money back for a cancelled performance. It sounds terrible, and if that had happened to me I wouldn't have left the theatre without 1) an apology from some senior member of staff and 2) either my money back or tickets for another performance, but then I'm not one who's afraid of making a scene  tongue.gif

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#4 JWC

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 01:29 PM

Don't worry. I've got the name/email of the management and they will be hotly pursued. Ironically Richard Griffiths is known for castigating audience members who shirk their "responsibilities" by not turning off their mobiles (quite right too!) so let's see if the producers will honour theirs; after all they have, reportedly, the biggest advance box office takings for a non musical in the West End's history!

#5 foxa

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 01:35 PM

That is terrible - is it possible that the real understudy was also ill and this was someone else who stood in?  I've never heard of an understudy for a West End show needing a script.  And for that huge part - a disaster! When the actress (was it Anna Maddeley?) went on in The Seagull at the Royal Court with a script it was because the Royal Court don't have understudies, so she was helping them out.

If not, various heads should roll, I'm afraid.  How horrible for everyone involved.  Hope you get a refund.

#6 Guest_Skylight_*

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 01:44 PM

Four days isn't enough time to have rehearsed the understudies.  Just out of interest, who was it?

#7 JWC

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 01:53 PM

It was the main understudy (Colin Haigh - who he?) who should have been playing the stable owner. Interestingly as well as understudying Richard Griffiths he's also in the programme as understudying the boy's father's role, i.e. he's learning three parts in the same show. I think the intention was for him to give a performance but it all got too much and before long out came the script thinly disguised as doctor's notes and, after a while, not even that

My take on it is that with all the hoopla surrounding Daniel Radcliffe the director (or whoever) has not had time to work on the understudies and that they've been caught on the hop. I'd be interested to know if the same situation occurred at the evening performance - not good news for their first full Saturday!

#8 armadillo

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 01:55 PM

Can it really have the biggest advance for a non-musical ever when it's only a 3 month run? Though I suppose with inflation there's a new record every year.

I think it's Martin Jarvis (or possibly Timothy West) who tells a story in his autobiography about doing a play (Shaw I think - someone wordy, anyway) on St Martin's Lane and sickness sweeping the cast leading to someone have to go round the local pubs looking for an unemployed actor who could take over a major part at literally a couple of hours notice. Which apparently he did very well for the first night when the adrenaline was buzzing but the next night nerves had sunk in and he was fluffing all over the place. So it's not unprecedented.

#9 Guest_Skylight_*

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 02:07 PM

Thanks JWC.

Colin Haigh doesn't seem to have done a lot in his own right - http://www.spotlight.com/interactive/cv/1/m6683.html

But it's no one's fault that he wasn't ready for Saturday.  Understudy rehearsals don't start until a play has opened and four days just isn't enough.  They would never have intended understudies to be ready for last week.  It's just bad luck that Griffiths is ill so early on in the run.

#10 Marius

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 04:00 PM

QUOTE(Skylight @ Mar 4 2007, 02:07 PM) View Post
Thanks JWC.

Colin Haigh doesn't seem to have done a lot in his own right - http://www.spotlight.com/interactive/cv/1/m6683.html

But it's no one's fault that he wasn't ready for Saturday.  Understudy rehearsals don't start until a play has opened and four days just isn't enough.  They would never have intended understudies to be ready for last week.  It's just bad luck that Griffiths is ill so early on in the run.

They should have cancelled the performance surely like they did with Hayfever when Judi Dench was ill. To have an understudy reading from the script is unacceptable. and there is no excuse not to have understudys ready




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