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Merrily We Roll Along @ Menier & Pinter


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#21 Alf

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:06 PM

In case you missed it, be sure to hear Sondheim chatting about Merrily and other things on Graham Norton's radio show:
http://www.bbc.co.uk...Maureen_Lipman/
Stephen is on from about 2 hours and 6 minutes in.

Here's also an interview with him from the Guardian:
http://www.guardian....portrait-artist
My occasionally neglected theatre blog: http://thegreatestof...blogspot.co.uk/
Latest post: Review: 'Blithe Spirit' at the Gielgud Theatre: http://thegreatestof...theatre_10.html

#22 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:51 AM

Anyone who has seen this, is the 2hr45 running time accurate?
Given it starts at 3.30pm, I'll be in a little rush to catch my evening show in Covent Garden.



#23 Southstreet

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:40 PM

Went to the Press Night on Wednesday and it came down at 10.40pm with an 8pm start, so yes, it's pretty accurate. Loved the show, btw. :-)

#24 Honoured Guest

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 05:50 PM

You can comfortably walk from the Menier Chocolate Factory to the Donmar Warehouse in under 40 minutes, mulling over what you've seen and then clearing your mind ready for your evening.

#25 Ian

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:00 PM

Am feeling rather better about having booked this now - it is a lot of money for such an uncormfortable off-west-end theatre which has had a uneven track record in recent years.
The engine roared, the motor hissed,
And who could see that the road would twist

#26 cat123

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:39 PM

I love the Menier as a venue, I love that they can change the auditorium completely to suit each show. I've also seen some great productions there in the past.

This show however I didn't like. I don't particularly like Sondheim though so I was a bit of a lost cause, but I just found the piece dull, and I agree with the person who said they didn't feel any chemistry between the 3 leads. There were some plus points to it, Clare Foster being the main one. She's delightful! :) the ensemble had a lot of energy too. But apart from the fact the story runs backwards, I don't find it that interesting.

#27 itsuckstobeme

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 05:16 PM

The songs are wonderful and it is staged beautifully, but I found I just didn't particularly care about the characters.

#28 mallardo

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:13 PM

I think it's a brilliant piece with, arguably, Sondheim's best score, but it doesn't connect with audiences the way his other works do because, I believe, of its structure.  The back to front thing is a clever conceit and brings many felicities with it but it removes the element of surprise and takes away much of the drama because, well, we already know what happens.  Irony is the prevailing element and irony can be a cold thing.
Excuse me if I seem jejune
I promise I'll find my marbles soon.

#29 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:31 PM

I think the reverse chronology makes the piece feel rather clunky- you get it section by section, and so it can't flow as well. You lack a proper plot line- I kept on having to work things out, and go through it in my mind reversing the chronology back to normal. However, what it does give you is the dramatic irony, leading to that stunning final moment of these young people embarking on their lives-  an image of hope. Yet it is heartbreaking, because you know where they'll end up.

This production had me on the verge of tears several times. It is superbly cast. The older cast does work.... it's about going backwards in time, and so they're, in effect, looking back. Jenna Russell (deeply moving in 'Not a day goes by' reprise, and often v funny too) and Damian Humbley as good as usual, but it's Mark Umbers who steals this one- a perfect performance. He's not, I don't think, a particularly likeable character, yet you still sympathise with him. Also Clare Foster- her 'Not a day goes by' in the first act is heart wrenching. Zizi Strallen a stand out too.

It's, on the whole, well directed by Maria Friedman, though I felt Soutra Gilmour's design a bit wide. The Menier's been turned around (I don't go there often though, so this may be the most common config) and so you have a very long stage, shallow stage. I'd have liked it confined a bit more.

But it's v v good. Deserves a transfer I think- because of this cast, and one of Sondheim's very best scores.



#30 mallardo

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:07 PM

I agree that the reverse chronology is almost worth the effort for the ending it provides.  Our Time is surely the most heartbreaking song in all of musical theatre.
Excuse me if I seem jejune
I promise I'll find my marbles soon.




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