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Hero - Royal Court


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#1 xanderl

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:11 PM

This has been sold out for a while, but tickets for quite a few dates are available at the moment. Possibly due to the slightly lukewarm reviews in some quarters.
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#2 smithers

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:12 PM

I'm just home from seeing this and I have to say, I hated it. I found the relationships unbelievable, not helped by the vast physical space between the characters. Frankly, the scene where Danny and Joe were flicking through the magazine of children up for adoption was offensive. If this was meant to be funny it totally missed the mark. From the very start, when Danny disclosed about his brother's death, I was totally unconvinced. The play then just felt like one big mess of themes, issues and ideas that go nowhere. I don't mind issues being left hanging in the air, skillfully done this leaves the viewer with places to go in their own head and imagination. In Hero, I just didn't care enough to bother.

I feel so disappointed by this play (as you can probably tell!), maybe because I'm a gay primary school teacher myself. By far the worst thing I've seen at the Royal Court in the last couple of years.

#3 fringefan

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 05:22 AM

Yet a 4-star review in the Telegraph, though the writer (Jane Shilling) did say that E V Crowe introduced more themes than the play could handle.

#4 smithers

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:53 PM

I must have missed something! I couldn't see anything in this play that justified 4stars, but different strokes for different folks I guess!

#5 fringefan

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:43 PM

Having now seen it myself, I'm not sure I'd even give it 3 stars.  The cast did their best but both the situations and characters seemed to me to lack credibility and the latter were all annoying in some way or another:  too passive, too physical, too manic, etc - nothing seemed to cohere.  A shame, as it was a potentially interesting idea and played to the hilt; material just didn't match up in my view.

#6 Honoured Guest

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:30 AM

It's an odd coincidence that Hero follows so hard upon Mike Bartlett's Medea, as both are new plays set here and now which are contemporary pieces of ancient classical theatre. Its staging is even reminiscent of forum theatre, although with no invitation to the audience to actively participate or intervene.

It seems at first to be about many subjects, including classroom openness, planning for parenthood, and relationships with partners. friends and colleagues. But it's really about fate, the hero, destiny, pre-determination, the furies, metamorphosis and other ancient classical themes and elements.

Liam Garrigan seems spot on as Danny, one of the two leads, and Tim Steed and Susannah Wise both provide excellent support. But it seemed to me that the actor playing Jamie, the other lead, was uncomfortable with either the play or with his role and that was a flaw in the experience for me.

I imagined two alternative fantasy productions, a first with Harold Pinter directing Danny Dyer as Jamie, and a second with Christopher Shinn directing Andrew Scott in the same role.

There were passages in the play when it seemed to be treading water to no purpose and there were some sections which seemed a bit clunky at the time but which later proved necessary to our understanding. But overall I'd sum it up as a brave experiment!

#7 DanielWhit

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:14 AM

I found the first half much better than the second. In fact, had the play ended at the end of act one, I would have went away rather satisfied, having had enough questions asked throughout. The second half slipped, too many loose threads appeared, with no real way of tying them up. It felt too cosy at times.

However, it was by far superior to the royal mess of In The Republic of Happiness...

#8 Parsley

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:13 PM

I sat in front of E V Crowe during one of the early previews and she was kind enough to answer some questions I asked her.

Loved Kin (which she was inspired to write as she herself went to an all girls boarding school!).

I did like Hero.....less than Kin...but thought it was interesting.

Many of the comments have been about the loose plot ends....I did feel that too but quite admired it. Whether or not it was intentional on the playwrights part, I do not know!

Life is often unsatisfactory and we do not always get closure on all the things we would like to.

However, I can see how other may find that frustrating.

#9 popcultureboy

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 05:24 PM

Saw this last night. I liked the premise, I loved the performances and I really liked the structure. However, it would have benefitted being longer, in my opinion, as E V Crowe was packing a lot in to 105 minutes, and to only introduce some of it in the short second act meant that inevitably, there were big lurches (Daniel Mays erratic descent in act two in particular). And of course, the much mentioned loose ends. I didn't mind that it didn't tie everything up into a neat bow, I did mind that it all just seemed a bit random. Loved Danny, thought Liam Garrigan's performance was absolutely gorgeous. Would love to see this developed further and in more depth.

#10 xanderl

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:34 AM

Quite enjoyed this, but I'd agree it either needed to be shorter, ending at the end of Act One, or longer!

Couldn't quite work out
Spoiler

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




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