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The Magistrate - Nt

with Lithgow & Carroll

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#31 xanderl

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:09 AM

HG has a bit of a thing about Thora Birch, I believe.
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#32 fringefan

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:44 AM

I wondered if it was some kind of code, along the lines of "Friends Of Dorothy"!

#33 PaulR

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:53 AM

View Postxanderl, on 23 November 2012 - 09:09 AM, said:

HG has a bit of a thing about Thora Birch, I believe.

I musy be missing something. It seems an odd thing to say if inviting people to partake in serious discussion.

#34 jaqs

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:27 AM

Thora Bird?

#35 Lynette

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:30 AM

Thora Hird?

#36 Honoured Guest

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 12:50 PM

View PostLynette, on 23 November 2012 - 10:30 AM, said:

Thora Hird?

Right, love.

#37 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:21 PM

Big bundle of joy, this was. Nice old fashioned farce set up, well executed. Far far superior to She Stoops where I barely chuckled. This was more Flea in Her Ear, which too, I enjoyed greatly. Nancy Carroll shows once again how wonderfully versatile she is. John Lithgow is clearly loving doing this. Good English accent too! And how small is Josh McGuire?!

The songs didn't get in the way for me- a very nice framing device. Sometimes these songs between scenes can seem to be a desperate attempt to musicalise a play, or keep us awake. Here, they add to the joy of it. They're quirky. Yes, they tell us what we already know- content wise, they don't add a huge amount. But they are so well written. Genuinely catchy tunes, some v witty lyrics, and performed with real panache. Oh, and it looks glorious too.



#38 Michael H

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:04 PM

I really, really loved this.  First time with the play, but as I've done so much G&S recently, I'm getting pretty attuned to the 1880s language.  It's structured really, really well, but the cast have an absolute ball while getting the timing (and frequently quite "big" performances") spot on.  So much better than the reviews suggested.

Jonathan Coy I particularly enjoyed, and playing a very different role to both productions of Noises Off I've seen him in.  Nancy Carroll, not only getting a whopper of a laugh with a 130-year-old pun about dessert, but really rather touching too.  Peter Polycarpou looking (and acting?) as if he'd come straight from his previous engagement at the Adelphi.  Perhaps I've not yet seen him in a part in which he's been able to fire on all cylinders, as he is on the Oklahoma! recording.  Anyway, overall, so many really great, big comic performances.  The height differential between Joshua McGuire and John Lithgow was a cause for amusement on its own.

The woman in front of me complained I was laughing too loudly!  First time that's happened in several years.

The singing in between the acts... I could take or leave.  I think there are so many asides in the script, we don't need the additional commentary, and there are only one or two sizeable laughs in the musical numbers.

And the Platform with John Lithgow beforehand was brilliant.  A really engaging, interesting and all-round nice guy.  Fascinating tales of the Shakespeare festival his father ran, and his unsuccessful attempt at being Marcel Marceau's techie.

Lithgow's point at the end of his talk was how well all the parts in The Magistrate are characterised, even the smaller servant and policemen roles all have their own idiosyncrasies, and he paid tribute to the cast as a whole.    

Very highly recommended from me.


Historical note 1: The Magistrate premiered the same month as The Mikado, and both have references to married men flirting ("he will only flirt after we are married") or not flirting ("Married men never flirt").  I wonder if there was something topical in March 1885?

Historical note 2: One of Richard Stilgoe's rhymes about it being a "peccadillo" for the wrong head to be on a pillow also crops up in One Touch of Venus, the 1940s Kurt Weill musical.  In fact, I think it dates from a pre-Ogden Nash draft of the script.  I'm quite possibly the only person in the world for whom that rang a bell.
Me is directing again - Private Peaceful at the Charles Cryer Theatre, Carshalton, 23 to 26 April 2014.

#39 Michael H

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:06 PM

PS, the one word from Lithgow which sounded American rather than "mainly English, but perhaps with a tinge of mid-Atlantic" was "Butterscotch".
Me is directing again - Private Peaceful at the Charles Cryer Theatre, Carshalton, 23 to 26 April 2014.

#40 Lynette

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:29 PM

Michael, loving the historical notes, keep em coming.




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