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Emma Williams


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#11 Haz

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 04:19 PM

QUOTE(operabitch @ Mar 12 2007, 10:10 AM) View Post
I believe she was down to the last few for Glinda this time round. Seems she got pipped at the post by Diane Pilkington.

OB


I'd be surprised.. she was certainly down to the final 2 or 3 first time round, but wants to carry on originating roles (like she has done so far through her career) rather than stepping into someone else's shoes. I believe (though I'm not 100% sure.. I can't recall the conversation exactly) that she was in discussions/offered Glinda on Broadway but declined because she'd rather carry on discovering new things.

I am in great awe of the way she has handled her career thus far.

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#12 ukmusic

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 05:15 PM

QUOTE(Haz @ Mar 12 2007, 04:19 PM) View Post
I'd be surprised.. she was certainly down to the final 2 or 3 first time round, but wants to carry on originating roles (like she has done so far through her career) rather than stepping into someone else's shoes. I believe (though I'm not 100% sure.. I can't recall the conversation exactly) that she was in discussions/offered Glinda on Broadway but declined because she'd rather carry on discovering new things.

I am in great awe of the way she has handled her career thus far.

If what you say is true, I do not understand why she would audition for the UK Wicked role, was she just doing the UK audition for practice if she only wants to originate roles.
I guess she knows what she is doing?
Lola

#13 hitster

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 05:33 PM

I see no reason why Emma would not want to play Gilda, this is one of the best leading female roles out there at the moment. SOM isn't open now, Guys and Dolls will be finishing, Chicago I cannot see her as a Roxy yet, Cabaret has been re-cast now. Gilda would give her a true West End lead and the money would be good, having got a pay-off from SOM it will probably allow Emma to take on some more obscure roles for a while. The Kings Head/critical acclaim is good but true West End roles make a performer's career.

#14 Sparrow

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 05:49 PM

Ukmusic - As you quoted my post above, I'd just like to make clear that those views about tourists were not mine. I agree with you.

The West End isn't made up purely of tourists. Even so, I don't see the logic as to why a visitor should have a lesser appreciation of the arts, simply because they are a tourist!

#15 Haz

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 07:07 PM

QUOTE(ukmusic @ Mar 12 2007, 05:15 PM) View Post
If what you say is true, I do not understand why she would audition for the UK Wicked role, was she just doing the UK audition for practice if she only wants to originate roles.
I guess she knows what she is doing?


she auditioned for Glinda for the UK opening.. given the changes that have been made both to the role and the production, if she had been the first Glinda here, she would have been originating the part.

by the same token, if you want to be pedantic, she didn't originate the role of Truly Scrumptious either because it had already been played by whatshername in the film.

hitster - surely the very fact that there is so much debate about emma and her career when she is still very young suggests that she has already 'made her career'?

whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should

http://curtain-up.blogspot.com/

#16 Matthew Winn

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 08:13 PM

QUOTE(Sparrow @ Mar 12 2007, 05:49 PM) View Post
The West End isn't made up purely of tourists. Even so, I don't see the logic as to why a visitor should have a lesser appreciation of the arts, simply because they are a tourist!

It's not about tourists. It's about experience.

If you sit in the audience of a regional show, and especially in the regional producing houses, you'll hear people all around you talking about the show they saw a couple of weeks ago, or last summer's repertory season, or whatever. In the regions a large proportion of the audience is composed of regular theatregoers. It must be, because the theatre wouldn't be able to survive otherwise.

In the West End, however, most of the audience are infrequent theatregoers: tourists on a trip to London with a visit to the theatre thrown in, people celebrating birthdays or anniversaries, and others of that ilk. People who go to the theatre once a year, if that.

By the very nature of things frequent theatregoers are more discerning than infrequent theatregoers, and that means it's far harder to pass off extravagant spectacle as quality theatre in a regional house than it is in the West End. Regional audiences are less likely to come out humming the sets, and it's in that environment that someone like Emma Williams can show just how talented she is. The money's better in the West End and being on stage in London has a prestige that's matched by nowhere else in the world, but the nature of the place means that a high proportion of the audience are not what you could call critically observant.
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#17 ukmusic

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 08:13 PM

QUOTE(Haz @ Mar 12 2007, 07:07 PM) View Post
she auditioned for Glinda for the UK opening.. given the changes that have been made both to the role and the production, if she had been the first Glinda here, she would have been originating the part.

by the same token, if you want to be pedantic, she didn't originate the role of Truly Scrumptious either because it had already been played by whatshername in the film.

hitster - surely the very fact that there is so much debate about emma and her career when she is still very young suggests that she has already 'made her career'?

Emma also attended the recent auditions for Glinda and got down to the last 3 once again but the role was given to Dianne Pilkington, so even if she had got the role she would have been following in the foot steps of Helen Dallimore. The Emma that I know is a very intelligent girl and I am sure she would not turn down the opportunity of a well paid role in the West End even though her goal maybe to be the originator, but sadly that is not always possible for any artist.
Lola

#18 Sparrow

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 12:30 PM

QUOTE(Matthew Winn @ Mar 12 2007, 08:13 PM) View Post
By the very nature of things frequent theatregoers are more discerning than infrequent theatregoers, and that means it's far harder to pass off extravagant spectacle as quality theatre in a regional house than it is in the West End. Regional audiences are less likely to come out humming the sets, and it's in that environment that someone like Emma Williams can show just how talented she is. The money's better in the West End and being on stage in London has a prestige that's matched by nowhere else in the world, but the nature of the place means that a high proportion of the audience are not what you could call critically observant.


I don't see your logic that generalises infrequent theatregoers as undiscerning tourists. People are individuals. Some may have different taste from your own and I'd guess that is the real problem. Much as I see the down side of design heavy West End extravaganzas, at the other end of the scale are the incestuous cliques of certain producing theatres, some of whom mistake pseudo intellectualising for quality. Either that, or mediocre social angst staged with patronising street cred for local audiences. It's no use preaching to us that regional producing theatres hold the key to quality. They have pitfalls of their own.    

They're as cautious as West End producers over staging original new musicals. It's not a noble artistic decision on grounds of quality, that prevents them from using spectacle to pull in audiences, but plain lack of funding. Even small scale musicals tend to be comparatively expensive to stage. Emma Williams has been fortunate to be offered some good roles in regional shows, but it's not the fault of your casual West End theatregoer that such material doesn't make it to London. Other forces are at work, not least the preference of commercial producers for projects with a pre-stage box office pedigree. Audiences choose from what's up there. If producing regional companies staged new musical theatre more often in their seasons, your West End riff raff might come to one near you.

#19 ukmusic

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 12:51 PM

QUOTE(Sparrow @ Mar 13 2007, 12:30 PM) View Post
I don't see your logic that generalises infrequent theatregoers as undiscerning tourists. People are individuals. Some may have different taste from your own and I'd guess that is the real problem. Much as I see the down side of design heavy West End extravaganzas, at the other end of the scale are the incestuous cliques of certain producing theatres, some of whom mistake pseudo intellectualising for quality. Either that, or mediocre social angst with patronising street cred for local audiences. It's no use preaching to us that regional producing theatres hold the key to quality. They have pitfalls of their own.    

They're as cautious as West End producers over staging original new musicals. It's not a noble artistic decision on grounds of quality, that prevents them from using spectacle to pull in audiences, but plain lack of funding. Even small scale musicals tend to be comparatively expensive to stage. Emma Williams has been fortunate to be offered some good roles in regional shows, but it's not the fault of your casual West End theatregoer that such material doesn't make it to London. Other forces are at work, not least the preference of commercial producers for projects with a pre-stage box office pedigree. Audiences choose from what's up there. If producing regional companies staged new musical theatre more often in their seasons, your West End riff raff might come to one near you.

That was a well written reply Sparrow and 100% accurate in my opinion.
Lola

#20 Matthew Winn

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 09:47 AM

QUOTE(Sparrow @ Mar 13 2007, 12:30 PM) View Post
I don't see your logic that generalises infrequent theatregoers as undiscerning tourists. People are individuals. Some may have different taste from your own and I'd guess that is the real problem.

It has nothing to do with taste, mine or anyone else's. It's a fact that to be discerning you need experience of something. Most of those who make up West End audiences are the sort of people who go to the theatre about once a year, and when the only theatre they've seen is the occasional mega-musical or jukebox show they have nowhere near the breadth of experience required to judge whether a show is great or merely populist.

I'm like that with films. I rarely go to the cinema - I forget the last time I saw a film, but I think it was in 2005 - and because of that I'm not discerning enough to judge the worth of a film. I know what I like, but that's not the same thing.

QUOTE
Much as I see the down side of design heavy West End extravaganzas, at the other end of the scale are the incestuous cliques of certain producing theatres, some of whom mistake pseudo intellectualising for quality. Either that, or mediocre social angst staged with patronising street cred for local audiences. It's no use preaching to us that regional producing theatres hold the key to quality. They have pitfalls of their own.

I'm aware of that, and I've come across more than a few shows that have been tagged with the label "experimental" because the author doesn't know how to communicate with the audience and has decided that this is the audience's fault rather than a failing of the work. ("Written by and starring": four words to strike terror into the heart of mortal man.)

But one thing you get in the West End but not in the regions is the use of spectacle as a substitute for quality. It's not just a matter of budget: it's also that the only people who can sit through two hours of flashing lights and stunning sets and come away thinking they've seen a great show are those who don't see much theatre. That's not snobbery. It's just how things are. The more of something you see, the less willing you are to accept anything other than the best.

A few years ago two people I know went to see The Lion King. One of them is an actress, and she was distinctly unimpressed. She described it as "a pantomime". The other was someone who almost never went to the theatre. He thought it was one of the best things he'd ever seen in his life and returned to see it every six months or so. The actress wasn't being snobby about it. It was just that she had enough experience of theatre that the show couldn't satisfy her.

That's the difference I'm trying to get across. Frequent theatregoers with a wide experience of theatre will spot spectacle for what it is and will demand more than just the glitter. Infrequent theatregoers haven't the experience to make that distinction. It's easy to present spectacle: all you have to do is throw money at the show. Writing a good musical takes talent, and that's much rarer. If your audience consists mainly of infrequent theatregoers you can make a success of mediocre material by pouring money into the staging. You can't do that with an experienced audience: they won't buy it.

And that's why I think talented performers can make a better show of their talents in the regions. In the West End they're often playing second fiddle to the staging, and even a poor performer can fall back on the glitter of the presentation to keep the audience entertained. In many regional shows there's no such safety net. When I saw Miss Williams in Sheffield she was standing on a bare stage with an audience of experienced theatregoers on three sides of her, and she had to hold that audience with nothing but her voice. That's when real talent has a chance to prove itself.

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