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Equus farce


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#11 tadpole

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 05:11 PM

I saw this performance too. I appreciate that the timing of Richard Griffiths illness was unfortunate, but to have the main character read from a script was very disappointing. Dysart's role is so central that (to borrow a metaphor) it cut the heart out of the thing. I want to go again later in the run and see Richard Griffiths in the role, and I suspect other's will too, so I suppose it will do the production no financial harm: quite the opposite.

#12 Amo

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 05:24 PM

QUOTE(foxa @ Mar 4 2007, 01:35 PM) View Post
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.


It was Jodie Whittaker (I think she was probably seriously considered for the part, cos she's mentioned in lots of interviews recently how much she wants to play Nina) on the first night, and then Anna Madeley took over indefinitely until Carey Mulligan returns.

#13 Dan J*

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 05:42 PM

I thought Colin did quite well, all things considered.  As you say, he clearly gave up pretending they were doctor's notes, but he managed to convey most of the intonation and meaning nonetheless.

I noticed one fluff up when there was quite a long pause before Radcliffe took over but the rest went okay I thought.  If anything, it put Radcliffe's performance in an even better light.  I still enjoyed it.

As someone said earlier, I'm going to see it again too at the end of the run specifically for Griffiths' performance and I'm trying out one of the stage seats this time.


#14 Dan J*

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 05:47 PM

QUOTE(richard @ Mar 4 2007, 01:04 PM) View Post
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.

Jonathan Readwin is Radcliffe's understudy.

I saw Jenny Agutter stroll up at the stage door about 30-40 minutes before the start of the show, dressed in jeans and trainers, without any fuss.  She signed autographs for the 4-5 people hanging around, chatted to a couple, and then breezed on in.

#15 tadpole

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 06:54 PM

QUOTE(Dan J* @ Mar 4 2007, 05:42 PM) View Post
I thought Colin did quite well, all things considered.  As you say, he clearly gave up pretending they were doctor's notes, but he managed to convey most of the intonation and meaning nonetheless.


I'd agree that Colin Haigh made the very best he could of an unfortunate situation (as did the rest of the cast.) I was quite intrigued by what he might have made of the part given more time. He did the first long, introductory speech without script and based on this I imagine his Dysart might be closer to my mental image of the character, from reading the text of the play, than Griffiths.

#16 JWC

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 07:24 PM

Thanks for the supportive comments. I'm a bit surprised that some of you who saw it are quite so prepared to make allowances. The point is at 50 a time surely the audience are entitled to expect at least a first rate understudy who actually knew what he was doing, not somebody being thrown into a lion's den by greedy producers. When Michael Gambon had an accident not long after the premiere of A Chorus of Disapproval at the National I saw a more than acceptable understudy who had clearly been properly prepared. The producers should have made sure that this was the case here - especially with such a high profile piece. They had already sat on my money for six months as it is so I'm afraid I won't be meekly paying up again; to do so only condones this sort of grasping behaviour. Clearly many people will though and that's why they get away with it. If I have to get someone to substitute for me in my job I damn well make sure s/he knows what they are doing and that's what the powers that be should have done here. That or closed down for the day and gone into intensive rehearsals ready for Monday. Don't tell me they won't have taken out insurance against this sort of eventuality! It's not about seeing Richard Griffiths - though that would have been nice - it's about seeing a polished drama, not a third rate public reading!

#17 Lynette

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 07:40 PM

I would have been livid. I once arrived at a play expecting to see Maggie Smith as main role. There was an understudy but the box office gave me my money back immediately and I didn't bother with seeing the play. But maybe that was a bit churlish of me. However I gathered that most of the audience did the same and rebooked. I just didn't bother. I hope R G is ok, nothing awful. He alway looks like he is on the verge of something to me.

#18 Dan J*

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 08:12 PM

QUOTE(JWC @ Mar 4 2007, 07:24 PM) View Post
Thanks for the supportive comments. I'm a bit surprised that some of you who saw it are quite so prepared to make allowances.

I can certainly see why you want your money back.  I'd quite like something back myself, or possibly a discount on another ticket to something, but I'd have been very very disappointed if they'd cancelled the show as I travelled down from the midlands at a cost of 50 to see the play.  I know that at least some of the rest of the audience had travelled some distance too.


#19 Dan J*

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 08:21 PM

QUOTE(tadpole @ Mar 4 2007, 06:54 PM) View Post
I'd agree that Colin Haigh made the very best he could of an unfortunate situation (as did the rest of the cast.) I was quite intrigued by what he might have made of the part given more time. He did the first long, introductory speech without script and based on this I imagine his Dysart might be closer to my mental image of the character, from reading the text of the play, than Griffiths.

He did several long, complex speeches without a script - there was one at the start of the second act too I think.  He was obviously pretty familiar with it, just not polished.  I think I'd rather he had aide memoirs than try to carry on without them and possibly make a complete mess of it.

I loved the way the various scenes flowed from one another involving little more than a couple of light switches and a few turns of the boxes.  Having Radcliffe sitting there with his back or profile to the audience, carefully lit, was very well done I thought as it illustrated and linked the subject of each private conversation.


#20 JWC

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 09:34 PM

I'm not gainsaying that the understudy did what he could in the circumstances but where does it end? Orchestras that are almost in tune? Ballet dancers who get 75% of the moves right? Colin Haigh shouldn't have been put through it like he was - and neither should we. I guess I'm lucky living in London - at least, as has been pointged out - there weren't big travel costs to factor in too.




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