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The Last Of The Haussmans


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#21 paultheatre

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:12 PM

First preview: nice, if slow building play.  A leisurely time with the Haussmans.  Drifted at times.  Act 2 better than first, but still not sure it's "saying" that much.  The programme is stuffed with a lot of "The 60's" info etc, but not sure how much that related to play as a whole.  Echoes of LOVE LOVE LOVE: children of 60's-youth-for-parents.  Helen McCrory BLAZING.  Julie Walters doing what she does well.  Kinnear his usual great self, with Kinnear-style angst/frustration.  Matthew Marsh's character needed MORE.  Set is beautiful.  Lyttleton Revolve a go-go. Pleasant, but not WOW.  McCrory steals it.

#22 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 06:39 AM

A revolve in the Lyttelton- when was the last time they had that?



#23 popcultureboy

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 12:44 PM

I saw it last night too. The play is very funny, but also paints a very bleak family portrait. It does fumble some of the plot points, I think, and some of the dialogue doesn't ring true (Kinnear is not thin, and I couldn't believe McCrory was the "only one who eats in this house", for example). This was first preview of course, they could address these things prior to the press night.

Performance wise, it belongs to McCrory. She's pitch perfect, a seething mass of frustration and self loathing. Her screaming fit in Act Two was sterling work. Kinnear is great too, but is a tad miscast I think. He's not exactly a whippet thin maelstrom of self doubt and emotional fragility, which is what the text seems to be getting at. Walters is very Julie Walters, but that's never a bad thing. All in all, very much worth seeing, but not *quite* a drop everything run to get a ticket must see.

#24 paultheatre

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 04:28 PM

Agree about the "thin" line, and everything else PopCultureBoy.  That line didn't work, even ironically...should be cut.  Some other bits glare out for cutting, and even these actors don't pull them off.  Also felt the "pool boy" role wasn't that great, could have been deeper.  Agree it's not a drop-everything, but is a well written evening/afternoon out with a typical dysfunctional family!

#25 KevinUK

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:36 PM

I agree with what's been said, however I think act 1 was better than act 2. Act 2 was too long, and I think I could have lived without the last scene: I actually thought that when the three of them were sat lined up would have been a great ending (the only thing essentially missing was a clearer sign post for Walters character for this to make a better ending).

This is my first play that I've seen Walters in, and although she was good, I was slightly underwhelmed by her performance. She has such a distinct voice that it took a while warming to her accent, her wig looks strange and I couldn't help but think she was an older Edina Monsoon - an Eddie that had given up on fashion and celebrity in favour of embracing her inner hippy.

I think those who are unhappy with the 'thin' line, need to remember all family of a certain age say you look thin after a large period of absence in each others lives - surely it's meant as an affectionate way of saying "let me make sure you get a decent meal".

Oh, and I'm a little (if not a lot) in love with the pool boy!
If I stay awake, it must be good.

#26 Chameleon

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 11:33 PM

Go for Helen McCrory. She's ace.  Kinnear does a decent job, given he's miscast. Julie Walters' character is too thinly written for her to inhabit with any conviction. As for the play, it has a few good one-liners, but mostly it's lugubrious, very long, and dramatically inert. A very odd choice for the Lyttleton - even with this cast, the production has nothing like the energy needed to energize this space. This play would have made a good evening if half an hour shorter, and staged at the Bush.

#27 NickP

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 07:36 PM

For people that have been - roughly what time does it finish?
Also, has anyone been to the stage door for this? (Where is the stage door at the National?)

#28 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 07:42 PM

I've been told (by a friend who's already seen it) that the first preview ran at 2hr45. So 10:15, maybe a bit earlier, depending upon what cuts (if any) have been made.



#29 armadillo

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:00 PM

The NT stage door is round the corner just before the entrance to the Cottesloe. I always head to the nearest bar after a show so I've no idea how busy it gets or how organised it is though.

#30 Lynette

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:08 PM

We often walk past stage door on way to car park and have never seen people waiting there. But I don't see why not. :-)




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