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James Mcavoy - Macbeth At Trafalgar Studios


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#121 Backdrifter

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:45 AM

Have sent yet another complaint to ATG about their booking system. I went to book a £15 Monday ticket, and could see 2 singles available, at either end of the same row. You're ahead of me here I'm sure - of course, I wasn't allowed to book either, because of their stupid infuriating "single seat rule". Obviously they were both soon gone anyway. I've had enough of their system and have no desire to use it again.
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#122 Stevemar

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:50 AM

View Postexuberantlyblue, on 01 March 2013 - 01:25 AM, said:

The real standout performance for me was Jamie Ballard as Macduff - I see someone said he was "shouty" and maybe he was from close up but from Row M he was bang on perfect. Two women in the front row stage seats were surreptitiously wiping away tears.

Yes, that was me that said he was a bit shouty. In fact, I thought he was terrible until he was told about his family when there was a slight improvement, but just my personal opinion. He also got a round of applause mid show. I can't recall which speech it was but it was a patriotic one, so that might have something to do with it.

I posted a full week after I saw the play, and (possibly like Nicholas) on the day I was mostly "I'm not sure about this" in that it was quite unsubtle in places and I predicted (wrongly) that the critics would be divided with the direction choices rather than 4* mostly raves.

Also, as I have not seen the (£5!) programme, is there a particular reason for setting it in a dystopian Scotland (as opposed Scotland generally). I don't think they were trying to make a political point despite the obvious paralllels. What I mean, is did this ADD to the play and its understanding. Personally, I think the new context lost some of the original nobility of the play, so it seemed more like a lot of tribal warfare fighting over some scraps rather than the future of the country and power to unite it.

On the fire drill point, our matinee performance started 15 minutes late as the audience was held in the crowded foyer beforehand (not a fire drill though). I wonder also at the end of the play, some theatres let you exit through fire exits etc (usually you end up in some side street), but here the way out via one exit and one staircase was pretty slow and cramped also.

#123 Epicoene

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:11 AM

View PostBackdrifter, on 01 March 2013 - 10:45 AM, said:

Have sent yet another complaint to ATG about their booking system. I went to book a £15 Monday ticket, and could see 2 singles available, at either end of the same row. You're ahead of me here I'm sure - of course, I wasn't allowed to book either, because of their stupid infuriating "single seat rule". Obviously they were both soon gone anyway. I've had enough of their system and have no desire to use it again.

It is slightly odder than that because today two seats at either end of the "on stage" row, which I take to be actually arranged around the stage in a circle rather than in a row (?) were totally unbookable either as 1 or 2 seats because it claimed each option would leave a "single seat". The same two were left for several Monday performances.

#124 Backdrifter

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:20 AM

View PostEpicoene, on 01 March 2013 - 11:11 AM, said:

It is slightly odder than that because today two seats at either end of the "on stage" row, which I take to be actually arranged around the stage in a circle rather than in a row (?) were totally unbookable either as 1 or 2 seats because it claimed each option would leave a "single seat". The same two were left for several Monday performances.
Yes, I started looking at a different Monday and saw the same 2 there as well.

With unrelated unsuccessful attempts to buy tickets online this morning, I've had a gut full of internet unhelpfulness. It's not bothered me too much before, but with stuff like this and add-on fees I'm starting to feel like it's all arranged to make thing as annoying as possible. As I said earlier in the fees thread, more and more I'm simply not bothering with stuff I probably would have booked before.
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#125 Latecomer

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:39 AM

Have 2 tickets for 18th March front row stage currently in basket...will be released by me in a couple of minutes! So get ready if you want them Backdrifter! I am planning on April visit but thought I would have a try out of booking system!

#126 Backdrifter

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:41 AM

View PostLatecomer, on 01 March 2013 - 11:39 AM, said:

Have 2 tickets for 18th March front row stage currently in basket...will be released by me in a couple of minutes! So get ready if you want them Backdrifter! I am planning on April visit but thought I would have a try out of booking system!
Thanks and thanks also for the PM, sorry I can't make it  - make sure they are re-housed!
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#127 Bovery

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 02:15 PM

I've heard of people queuing for four hours today to buy a Monday ticket.

I'm really worried about not being able to buy a single seat for April, based on that strange ATG booking system. Will I be forced to buy two seats and try to sell the other? How absurd.

#128 Backdrifter

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 02:19 PM

And maybe not only when asking for singles. Twitter descriptions of attempting to buy pairs of seats, then being unable to, then losing out. One person tweeted to ATG she still had her basket on screen 2 hours later, waiting for it to move on to the payment page! So even if you try to buy to 2 to get 1 - absurd, I agree - you might not be able to.

By the way the ATG system while annoying isn't that strange - others do this as well
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#129 mallardo

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 02:19 PM

View PostEpicoene, on 01 March 2013 - 11:11 AM, said:

It is slightly odder than that because today two seats at either end of the "on stage" row, which I take to be actually arranged around the stage in a circle rather than in a row (?) were totally unbookable either as 1 or 2 seats because it claimed each option would leave a "single seat". The same two were left for several Monday performances.

Which onstage row were they in?  The front row is fine for all seats but the end of row seats behind it are partially blocked by the back of the proscenium - no, the seats are not in a circle - and should be marked Obstructed View.  I was in the last seat in Row C and could not see the far end of stage right.  Luckily a lady two seats along left at the interval so I could move.  Otherwise I would have missed the entirety of McAvoy's wonderful delivery of the "She should have died hereafter" speech which was downstage right.

Bottom line, the seats they wouldn't let you choose you probably wouldn't want to occupy.
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#130 Nicholas

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 02:32 PM

Stevemar, you've pretty much said exactly what I thought.  That said, I really liked Ballard an awful lot and found his moment about his family suddenly astonishingly moving.  I thought McAvoy was really great at showing an evolving and morally grey character.  Claire Foy wasn't keen on, for the reasons people have said here.  I just didn't get any motivation, any love or any passion from her.

As for the setting, yes...  I remember someone criticising King Lear (I think, it might have been Macbeth) because most productions have a kingdom that's not worth fighting for, and that's what I thought here.  I first read your comment of ADD as Attention Deficit Disorder and with those flashing light and big boom scene changes would have agreed - I found it hard to settle into and not in a good way.  I mostly feel the setting was a gimmick as opposed to a conceit - it wasn't Macbeth-y and didn't add anything.

And the witches, I disliked twofold - I wasn't keen on those three and the idea behind it (everyone's said it better than I could have, but just gas masks - why?  Everyone else could breathe), and then when McAvoy came on with the potion in the second half I just knew he'd be gulping up the prophecies and whadayaknow...  But I did feel mostly positive mainly because I really enjoyed McAvoy's performance and Ballard's performance and his strengths mostly outweighed the weaknesses.

Oh, and the stage seats - I'm sure they're great to sit in, but they're quite conspicuous and sort of ruined the fourth wall for me.  At times it just looked a little, well, silly to see people flicking at a programme or talking to each other or just to see faces respond.  At the end of yesterday in the final fight they almost ran into a person, whose response was quite amusing, so people laughed (I think I did), which set a comic tone for the finale.  When a bloody Mr Tumnus head is funny...

Oh, and watch Ralph Fiennes' Coriolanus.  It's like this but a bit more coherent and a bit better.




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