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Damned By Despair

spare tix 4th October

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#171 Kathryn2

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:09 PM

They'd definitely changed it then. This review describes him turning up in a doorway for that bit, so presumably it changed again.
http://partially-obs...by-despair.html

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Instead, post-mortem he just turns up in a doorway, rather casually letting us know where his soul's wound up, and not seeming all that fussed about it.


#172 xanderl

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:30 PM

I think they should have kept all the original stuff but added Carry On -style comedy sound effects.
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#173 Kathryn2

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 06:16 PM

If they'd embraced the awfulness they could have turned it into a comedy, yes. Unfortunately they were going for a serious piece.

#174 QuincyMD

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 04:54 PM

Sa it on Saturday night and actually enjoyed it - its not brilliant but its not the car crash as dscribed in this thread its just an average production of an average interpretation.

By my reckoning its now running to about 1h 45m plus interval and the pace certainly couldnt be faulted.

The only real issue is that Enrico is supposed to be this hard nut and in his first scene we see him murder an innocent man but he loves his dad so thats alright - which is utter nonsense!!

The gone to hell scene at the end is as noted above now played out in a doorway with some dry ice which supposedly makes the militia so scared that they let everyone else go, maybe they had a bad experience at the Naples Roxy one Friday night that put them off dry ice for life.

There are still some odd things happening though - the devil sits licking an ice lolly through one scene that she has no dialogue in and having the shepherd appear in the auditorium means that nobody in the circle can see him!

Mind you there was only three people in my row and one of them bailed at the interval proclaiming it "the worst thing I've ever seen in this theatre", I can only assume he never saw "A Matter of Life and Death".
Which way did he go McGill?

#175 xanderl

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 06:19 PM

View PostQuincyMD, on 29 October 2012 - 04:54 PM, said:


The gone to hell scene at the end is as noted above now played out in a doorway with some dry ice which supposedly makes the militia so scared that they let everyone else go, maybe they had a bad experience at the Naples Roxy one Friday night that put them off dry ice for life.


Sounds like "Stars in their Eyes"

"Tonight, Matthew, I'm going to be DAMNED BY DESPAIR!"


"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#176 armadillo

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 06:33 AM

View PostQuincyMD, on 29 October 2012 - 04:54 PM, said:

Sa it on Saturday night and actually enjoyed it - its not brilliant but its not the car crash as dscribed in this thread its just an average production of an average interpretation.

By my reckoning its now running to about 1h 45m plus interval and the pace certainly couldnt be faulted.

The only real issue is that Enrico is supposed to be this hard nut and in his first scene we see him murder an innocent man but he loves his dad so thats alright - which is utter nonsense!!

The gone to hell scene at the end is as noted above now played out in a doorway with some dry ice which supposedly makes the militia so scared that they let everyone else go, maybe they had a bad experience at the Naples Roxy one Friday night that put them off dry ice for life.

There are still some odd things happening though - the devil sits licking an ice lolly through one scene that she has no dialogue in and having the shepherd appear in the auditorium means that nobody in the circle can see him!

Mind you there was only three people in my row and one of them bailed at the interval proclaiming it "the worst thing I've ever seen in this theatre", I can only assume he never saw "A Matter of Life and Death".

I loved A Matter of Life and Death (and, before anyone asks, yes I have seen the film, many many times).

But if Damned by Despair is now 2 hours 5 minutes, they should be able to dispense with the interval by the middle of November :lol:

#177 Abby

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:05 AM

Add me to the list of people who didn't think this was particularly terrible; however it did give the impression of having been cut to the bone, and was almost indecently short. I can definitely see the argument for revising it - or at least there is no less argument for reviving this than, for eg, The Doc's Dilemma. I can't see why on earth they decided to put it in the Olivier, though - a production designed and directed for the Cottesloe might have been a lot better. There's definitely a good play in there somewhere and, done well, the message could still be very powerful even for a secular audience.

Overall, I felt that the cast had been let down by a director who lost his way somewhere in the rehearsal period and couldn't pull it back again, which I guess happens sometimes. Felt a lot of sympathy for the actors - they got a warm reception at the curtain call but I could see them looking round the auditorium, and it can't be nice to see so many empty seats night after night.

QuincyMD - I thought having the shepherd in the auditorium was a nice touch, but of course you're right - that would have been completely lost in the circle. Either very arrogant of the director not to care or careless not to notice.

#178 paplazaroo

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:45 AM

woah! a matter of life and death was brilliant!

#179 Snciole

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:20 PM

I would love to know what happened to the fire rising from the Olivier stage! Obviously health and safety but part of me thinks something like the Michael Jackson 1984 Pepsi advert must have happened as it appeared in quite a few previews.

As the official "Person obsessed with ticket sales" of this thread I was interested to look at Entry Pass availability. There are lots of seats, seats that the usual entry pass holder wouldn't usually be able to buy in the Olivier. I am not even willing to pay £5 to see it (not without the fire) but I suppose that is the most understandable approach to low sales.

Though as someone who hates being cold a hell that was just dry ice sounds worse than pure flames.

#180 xanderl

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:39 PM

The issues with the fire etc surely should have been resolved in rehearsals. Does seem like something went badly wrong in the preparation of this and they've been panic cutting, to the extent that the climactic event is now a damp squib.


"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage




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