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Equus farce


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#111 JWC

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 10:48 PM

Without wishing to rake over old ground and reiterate old arguments I can't refrain from commenting on developments in this saga. The following is from a recent newspaper article

Dafydd Rogers, co-producer of Equus, says understudy rehearsals had only just begun on the £700,000 production when Griffiths fell ill within four days of opening, missing seven performances. But Rogers adds that it was “a myth” that Griffiths’s understudy, Colin Haigh, appeared with script in hand; although Haigh “did take some prompts”, the papers he was holding were actually the medical notes belonging to his character, a psychiatrist, Rogers says.(For full article click here)

Have had a chance to compare notes with friends and would like to know this. Why is it that Colin Haigh, when in character, felt the need to keep referring to his "pyschiatrist notes" while Richard Griffiths did so only briefly when first introduced to his new patient? If it is, as Mr Rogers claims, a "myth" it also seems to have been one perpetrated by many people quite separately.

Incidentally if Mr Rogers is interested in myth making he might do worse than chat with his fellow producer David Pugh, who in another news article talked about Harry Potter fans mobbing the stage door to the extent that the actors were trapped inside.
The play’s producer said: “Richard and Jenny had to get out through the side window by the box office on Rupert Street. For Griffiths, the award-winning star of Alan Bennett’s The History Boys, this proved a particularly delicate task. “You try to get Richard Griffiths out of a back window,” Mr Pugh said. “It was a bit touch and go.” (For full article click here)
This is, presumably, the same window incident which Daniel Radcliffe denied as a myth on the Jonathan Ross show last weekend. Perhaps Radcliffe’s other admission that Equus was not yet a sell out goes some way to explaining why some myths have been perpetuated while others have been denied (!?)


#112 armadillo

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 11:10 PM

Dafydd Rogers might want to read this article which makes it clear that Colin Haigh wasn't properly rehearsed (but interestingly he's had experience of a similar situation).

Equus, BTW definitely isn't a sell-out as a friend of mine who tried to return tickets last week discovered. That doesn't mean it's  a failure - how often do plays in 4 tier theatres sell out?

#113 pesa

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 07:48 AM

QUOTE(armadillo @ Mar 27 2007, 12:10 AM) View Post
Dafydd Rogers might want to read this article which makes it clear that Colin Haigh wasn't properly rehearsed (but interestingly he's had experience of a similar situation).

Equus, BTW definitely isn't a sell-out as a friend of mine who tried to return tickets last week discovered. That doesn't mean it's  a failure - how often do plays in 4 tier theatres sell out?

The only part of the Gielgud NOT selling out at almost every performance is the Upper Circle, the Stalls, Dress Circle & Stage seating are very hard to come by now.
This is understandable too as £39.50 is ridiculously expensive for the Gielguds Upper Circle and lets be honest this is not a play that most want to see from a distance.





#114 Lemastre

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 08:56 PM

When a performer is unavailable, the understudies should move up so that every role is filled by people who are prepared.  They should be ready to do this with very little notice.  No one should be carrying a script, unless so many principals are out that offstage staff has to fill in.  I am disappointed to hear that the absence of one performer was so badly handled in a West End production.  I've come to acknowledge the loss of craftsmanship prevailing in most trades these days but still expected theater people to maintain tradition.  

I have had to wait on curtains from time to time owing to a principal's unexpected tardiness or absence.  Sometimes the principal shows up, sometimes the understudy takes over.  I accept these delays, assuming the production staff is trying to provide the audience the best possible performance by waiting for the principal.

#115 MaxCady

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 03:28 PM

I went to see this play on March 13th(Mat Show). RG was still off ill & his understudy was terrible. Made a complaint to management & got told that i was not entitled to any sort of refund or money back. Very nice policy indeed

#116 Pirategirl

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 05:56 PM

Well I guess I was lucky then...  I saw the play last week (29th March) and Richard Griffiths was on and not coughing at all.

The only mayor annoyance were the two jerks in front of me who kept whispering and chatting throughout the whole first act and then mercifully left during the interval.

#117 Elle

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 06:42 PM

QUOTE(Pirategirl @ Apr 3 2007, 05:56 PM) View Post
The only mayor annoyance were the two jerks in front of me who kept whispering and chatting throughout the whole first act and then mercifully left during the interval.

ugh that would've been very annoying... I have no idea why some people are so rude... glad you had at least the second half without them. No such problems from where I sat up on the first row of stage seats - just had a bit of trouble hearing what Richard G. was saying as his voice is quite soft at times (esp. when you are looking down on the top of his head and moreover he's facing away...)


#118 Elle

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 06:42 PM

QUOTE(Pirategirl @ Apr 3 2007, 05:56 PM) View Post
The only mayor annoyance were the two jerks in front of me who kept whispering and chatting throughout the whole first act and then mercifully left during the interval.

ugh that would've been very annoying... I have no idea why some people are so rude... glad you had at least the second half without them. No such problems from where I sat up on the first row of stage seats - just had a bit of trouble hearing what Richard G. was saying as his voice is quite soft at times (esp. when you are looking down on the top of his head and moreover he's facing away...)


#119 Haz

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 10:58 AM

Saw yesterday's matinee and had all the right people doing all the right things.

Was very impressed.. got a day seat for £25 in the centre of Row U of the stalls.. there were people in front of me but the two rows in front of that were nearly empty so a lovely clear view. Was a bit surprised really - matinee in the school holidays, expected it to be jammed! Obviously not.. also, thankfully, everyone was very well behaved.

The only weak link, in my opinion, was Alan's mother, who I didn't really like. Can't put my finger on why.. I didn't quite buy her frantic-ness. I thought RG and DR were superb, and also thought Jenny Agutter was rather wonderful.

Will be interested to see what happens when the current cast's contracts end.. will it close, or will they try and find other names to replace them?
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