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A Chorus Of Disapproval


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#11 Honoured Guest

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 10:08 AM

View Postsimon from oxford, on 29 June 2012 - 10:05 AM, said:

What is it with all the Ayckbourn?

He is not the safe bet he once was in terms of audience appeal

Perhaps this is his "posthumous tribute" phase and we'll be spared a slew of revivals when he passes.

#12 Epicoene

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 11:48 AM

View PostHonoured Guest, on 29 June 2012 - 10:06 AM, said:

Funny what we remember. I'm racking my brains and can't even recall Michael Gambon being in it.

I checked and Brydon is unsurprisingly (the clue's in the name) playing the Gambon part of Dafydd Ap Llewellyn. The production was also notable for having the worst NT programme front cover photo ever. Of course the reason the play hasn't been revived since is the truly appalling Michael Winner-directed film of it in which Antony Hopkins was cast as Dafydd (it's a Welsh name ... it's a film ... let's get a Welsh film star)

I found the NT production very funny in places - maybe because I have an amateur dramatics background - there is a line in it which is something like "The play is nowhere near ready and we've only got six months rehearsal time left !" which (obviously) I remember to this day.

#13 Honoured Guest

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 01:13 PM

Tsk! The surname is "ap Llewellyn". It has been revived. I saw Terry Hands's Clwyd Theatr Cymru production a few years back when it toured to Cardiff. It was staged on an initially bare main stage with a complex revolve which accumulated scenic elements as the rehearsals for The Beggar's Opera progressed.

#14 Epicoene

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 01:47 PM

View PostHonoured Guest, on 29 June 2012 - 01:13 PM, said:

Tsk! The surname is "ap Llewellyn". It has been revived. I saw Terry Hands's Clwyd Theatr Cymru production a few years back when it toured to Cardiff. It was staged on an initially bare main stage with a complex revolve which accumulated scenic elements as the rehearsals for The Beggar's Opera progressed.

Oh ? But surely it loses part of it's potency when the audience are not laughing at the Welsh but rather with them ?

#15 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 05:46 PM

Anyone seen this yet?

The website lists a running time of 2hr15, something which I cannot believe given that it's Nunn directing. Unless of course the play itself is only 2 pages long.



#16 Lynette

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 06:16 PM

It's a cracker when done right so here's hoping.

#17 QuincyMD

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:00 PM

Got one of the £10 tickets for next month.
Which way did he go McGill?

#18 mallardo

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 10:41 AM

Saw this last night, 3rd preview.  Ten pound day seat, first row, good view of the stage which has been slightly elevated for this production but no complaints.  Running time was 2 hours 40 minutes so Pharaoh's skepticism was justified.  It looked to be a full house.

This is a large production for an Ayckbourn play - 18 actors, 2 extended fight scenes, 6 different sets trundling on and off while actors create diversions down front.  And of course much singing and dancing since The Beggar's Opera is the play within this play.  For a 3rd preview it flowed well although the timing is not quite there, especially in scenes not involving Rob Brydon.

Brydon, playing the uber-Welsh director Dafydd Ap Llewellyn, is hilarious and quite brilliant throughout.  Every time he comes on the show elevates a notch.  Not to say the other cast members are not good.  Nigel Harmon is fine as Guy Jones, the newcomer to the group, but he's hampered by a character that doesn't quite make sense.  Ashley Jensen is also good as the hard-pressed Mrs. ap LLewellyn and rises to the occasion for her big (for this play) emotional scenes.

My problems were with the play itself which seems slight even for Alan Ayckbourn. An amateur theatrical group is a great setting for a comedy but it has not produced a great play.  Characters are stereotypes and situations feel contrived.  There's a subplot about a swinger couple - well played by Paul Thornley and Daisy Beaumont - that feels dragged in from another show just to provide some sexy hilarity.  Another subplot about a land deal feels equally shoehorned in. I also had an issue with the ending which, given the structure of the piece, turned out to be a problem Ayckbourn could not solve.

The rehearsal scenes, though, are genuinely funny, thanks mainly to Mr. Brydon, and since they constitute the bulk of the play there's much enjoyment to be had.  And, to be fair, the audience response at the curtain calls was very loud and very positive.
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#19 Lady Nijo

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:00 PM

Just home from seeing this tonight. Rob Brydon was so bloody good as the Welsh director. The man has perfect comedy timing! Didn't realise he was such a good a singer either. But I guess being Welsh and all that...
And loved the swinger couple. Daisy Beaumont was in perfect Abigail's Party-form and Paul Thornley in his bulging tight white jeans are a sight to behold. *ahem* ;)

#20 KevinUK

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:41 PM

View PostLady Nijo, on 25 September 2012 - 10:00 PM, said:

Just home from seeing this tonight. Rob Brydon was so bloody good as the Welsh director. The man has perfect comedy timing! Didn't realise he was such a good a singer either. But I guess being Welsh and all that...

He has a #1 single under his belt lol.

If I stay awake, it must be good.




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