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Lift: The Musical

Lift Craig Adams Soho Theatre Julie Atherton

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#51 luce76

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:03 PM

I saw this on Tuesday and agree with the people who struggled to follow what was going on. I am all for things being open to interpretation in terms of themes, or what the writer is trying to say with the piece, but when there is confusion over the basic plot, then I think you're in trouble. Suggesting putting some sort of explanation in the programme is just trying to find a way around a problem with the show that should be fixed. While I enjoyed some of the songs, for several of them I was thinking, ' I am not entirely sure why/to whom/ about what you are singing' and that stopped me from becoming fully emotionally involved in the characters.

For me the most successful character was the language teacher, as her story was very clear and so I really enjoyed her solo. But the relationship between the busker and the secretary was very confusing. Was she the girl who had left him? Or someone else he'd just met? The business man and his relationship with a woman who had left? died? not sure, and the secretary was also not clearly illustrated. I also felt that the two American tourists were problematic in that while everyone else had their story, they didn't. It felt like they had to be there to make clear the deception that the male dancer was performing online, and that's it. So they stuck out awkwardly to me.

As a writer I know how annoying it is when you get a note and you're thinking, 'But that's in there!' If one person gives you the note you can shrug it off and ignore them. But if several people all give you the same note, then unfortunately you have to accept they have a point. And that seems to be the case here.

#52 Max Von Mayerling

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:27 PM

I saw the show tonight, and avoided reading your interpretation beforehand 'CraftyMiss' so I could see how it worked for me.  I think I pretty much got what you got - it was the number of Sarahs and Gabriel/Angels that eventually made me think that the busker was using his imagining of all these people's lives as a prism for his own relationship and what went on in it.  It might be helpful if the Busker was more active (on occasions) during the scenes he's imagining - perhaps changing a detail, word, or colour in the scene as he improves on his first thought.  I know at an early point he poses the people in the lift, but the sense that they're his creations to invent and manipulate dissipates quickly, and I can't claim to have 'got it' from that early moment.  Also, i think the Busker loses his sense of being the creator/inventor early on because the others all join in with the '54 seconds in a lift' refrain; it makes them seem like equal storytellers in an ensemble show of vignettes.  It's fine when they're all singing their own pre-occupations simultaneously in that same number, as they're individuals unaware of each other and not 'banding together' to 'make a show'.  The busker makes the show.

I didn't realise my 'prejudice' about American accented singing would be relevant to this question about clarity, but here goes....  Okay, it's a musical; but I doubt that the busker imagines the lift passengers singing when he invents their stories - but speaking.  In which case it would really help the clarity of them being his invention if they sang as they spoke (and with less enunciated MT style, or aiming for the 'beautifull' note and vibrato - would that be the busker's taste?).  I really liked the cast, but I'd love to see it again with the same cast doing it....differently.  When Cynthia Erivo sang the word Photograph and rhymed it with 'laugh' rather than the 'naff' I wanted to cheer - and I really believed her for singing as she spoke.

Anyway, congratulations to writers and cast on the stage the show has reached, and the box office success - it's a huge achievement in a rough rotten industry ha ha..  There are wrinkles to be ironed out, but I don't think it would take a lot to get more clarity.

#53 harveyjnr

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:07 PM

i must say, all these reviews are rather compelling.. i want to see this show even more now its caused such a stir! i like the fact that some shows don't necessairly force feed their audience. i like to use my brain whilst watching a piece.
from the sounds of it this is my cup of tea.
off to see it tomorrow in any case and i'll be sure to post my review here as soon as i have done! looking forward to seeing george and cynthia immensely!

#54 freckles

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:57 AM

Interesting blog from Mark Shenton this morning

http://www.thestage....r-new-musicals/

(the paragraphs towards the end concern Lift)

Seems we were not the only ones a bit befuddled! All credit to them for revising & explaining, both on here & to Mr Shenton though & accepting constructive criticism graciously.

#55 theatrically

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:55 AM

Having seen my Twitter feed full of praise for this and " you must go see "  " best new musical in years "  " amazing " I have now seen this and maybe need to question my taste ? I thought it was a load of rubbish

#56 abs2512

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:23 PM

View Posttheatrically, on 12 February 2013 - 09:55 AM, said:

Having seen my Twitter feed full of praise for this and " you must go see "  " best new musical in years "  " amazing " I have now seen this and maybe need to question my taste ? I thought it was a load of rubbish

I thought I was the only one, and felt bad for not enjoying the show  - however, I am one never to say I haven't given it a fair viewing so I'm back there tonight to see if I can make some kind of sense to it all
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#57 Deal J

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:12 PM

I'd be really interested to know in what way it's changed, if anyone knows.

I saw it last week and although many of the performances were fine, I was far from blown away by it.
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#58 MS1995

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 05:20 PM

I was there on Sunday and I absolutely adored it! I think it was the first Musical I have seen that has a brain, and really makes you think about it's plot, I don't feel it needed any explaining for me, as you weren't meant to quite be sure what exactly was true and what wasn't!
2002: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
2004: Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
2008: Mamma Mia
2009: Sound Of Music, Les Miserables, The Woman In Black
2010: Wicked
2012: Wicked, Chicago, Legally Blonde, Ghost, Wizard Of Oz, Phantom Of The Opera (UK Tour), Matilda, Sweeney Todd, Taboo (Brixton), Wicked, Wicked
2013: Lift (Soho), The Book Of Mormon, Avenue Q (Off-Broadway), Newsies (Broadway), Wicked (Broadway), Pippin (Broadway), The Lion King.
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#59 dallardice

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 05:48 PM

I saw this Saturday and wasn't too excited by it.  I'd read CraftyMiss's explanation beforehand because my partner doesn't like non-narrative drama so wanted to be prepared to explain.  I didn't see it before but
Spoiler

As it was, I concentrated hard and got some of it, my partner just thought it was a mess.   I really wanted to like it and went in prepared to justify it, but in the end I just thought there were too many loose ends for it to be truly satisfying.  I'm prepared to work at a piece, but even prepared, I couldn't grasp the overall concept sufficiently for me to truly appreciate the show.  I thought there were some good individual performances, and I liked the staging, but there were just too many problems with the book that I couldn't get over.

My partner hated it.

#60 theatrically

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:03 PM

View Postabs2512, on 12 February 2013 - 12:23 PM, said:

I thought I was the only one, and felt bad for not enjoying the show  - however, I am one never to say I haven't given it a fair viewing so I'm back there tonight to see if I can make some kind of sense to it all
nothing would make me go back to see this it was just a mess.I had tickets for this friday and have sold them on.





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