A Tale Of Two Cities
Posted 07 April 2012 - 07:09 AM
Posted 07 April 2012 - 11:05 AM
Its all too easy to come on and just blatantly bastardise a production, but it takes that bit more than that for me to take notice!
Posted 07 April 2012 - 01:13 PM
"Boring over-emoted songs, an undecipherable book, no character development and a striking resemblance to a French and Saunders parody make the entire evening unbearable." It's a bit succinct but I would have said it did the job?
Posted 19 April 2012 - 04:58 PM
I really did enjoy the show though and I thought it was a truly excellent cast with numerous stand out performances. It may be because I had seen the show before at the Gatehouse (which I also enjoyed)and so this was my second viewing which made it all a bit more accessible than the first time, plus Dickens has never been something I've been that into so a second viewing really helped. However the melodies were actually still familiar to me from the first time which meant I enjoyed it more.
I must say though that it would be really refreshing to read a review from someone that talks about a show set during the french revolution and for them not to mention Les Mis but so far I've seen 3 out of 3.
Posted 20 April 2012 - 12:11 PM
Posted 20 April 2012 - 05:28 PM
More reason to not have the Les Mis comparisons I guess besides A Tale of Two Cities came first, anyway I found another with the Les Mis comparions in for your perusal.
It seems like it's a bit of a marmite show with some people enjoying it like myself and the other people that saw it with me and those that seem to detest it, although I can't quite get my head around the latter:
An audio review here which I've never come across before but I think they may reference the OP!
Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:42 AM
I found the music totally unremarkable with soppily belted-out arias dotted around in odd places (e.g. the first big emotional aria by Luch at finding her lost father stuck out like a sore thumb - too soon too big only 10 minute into the play and score sounding very soap operatic) . Other big arias were of equally low quality though not as misplaced as the one mentioned above.
The recurring main theme melody was servicable, but sounded like a cheap copy of a Wildhorn score. I also thought the overture needed to have a lot more force and sophistication if it wanted to grab the audience's attention right from the beginning.
It probably would have helped if they had had a small band instead of two grand pianos which took up a lot of stage spece which was quite small to begin with. A small band usually seen in elavated mid-level floor in both Meneir Choc Factory and Tabard Theatre would have been very nice for this show. No offence to the pianists who did their best, but in places the tinkering of the pianos were a distruction while the actors were just speaking.
The writing and direction were OK, but they made the play look a lot lighter and shallower than the original novel. Keen Dickens fans might find it a little insulting that they turned it into a bad CBBC version of the epic novel.
Acting and singing were also mostly OK. I had no idea that the actor who played Sydney was quite well-known. He was OK, but he made Sydney which should be a complicated and tormented character into quite one-dimentional (maybe it's not the actor's fault, I don't know). I didn't believe ,for example, that he was in love with Lucy or he had a vey dark side at all.
As for other cast, I thought the wife who knits overacted a little without actaully being manacing. Sydney's partner was well acted, but Lucy was somewhat lacking IMO.
But the actress who played Lucy's chaperon was outstanding. Her comic song , with the old family banker, about "not being wed" was brilliant and stole the show. This was the only song in the show that grabbed my attention.
As for Charles, he sang very well and looked like a nice person that Charles is, but still needed a little bit of something to truly look like a romantic lead.
The final duet between Charles and Lucy was staggeringly awful. I don't believe a piece of music writing such as this should be presented to the paying public for consumption.
Having said all these, I would still give it somewhere close to 3 stars instead of the 2 stars the papaers I read gave it. Overall it wasn't dreadful, it was just about watchable. And I would always like to support new original musicals.
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