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The Audience, I Just Booked


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#231 Latecomer

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 07:04 PM

View PostMonteverdi, on 30 June 2013 - 06:30 PM, said:

Just back from seeing the Encore screening of this. I loved it as much second time, appreciating the clever structure and the device of her younger self, and the fragmented chronology. Very beautifully written, but the screening at Altrincham was blighted with less than perfect sound this time - every few words had a pop or a crackle, as if it dropped out. Not great sadly. Twelfth Night tomorrow....oh I love these screenings.

Say hi to Altrincham for me....this is where I originally hail from! :)

#232 KevinUK

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 05:29 PM

There's further encore screenings in cinemas of this next week. Just booked to see it at Cineworld.
If I stay awake, it must be good.

#233 Nicholas

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 12:23 AM

Just back from an encore screening.  Last year I recall I said I thought this might be dire (I'll come to that) and I take no greater pleasure than admitting when I'm wrong, so it gives me great pleasure to say I thought this was extremely strong indeed.  Helen Mirren gives an award that deserves the garlands (but I don't think deserves them more than Hattie Morahan, who I still maintain was robbed) and Peter Morgan's script was witty, interesting and imaginative.  I'd love to throw all the superlatives at it but I think the best way to look at it is PM by PM, so...

John Major: Nice way to start - he makes a good character and establishes everything we need to know about power, fondness, the nature of the audiences and the temperament of the Queen.  Very good.
Winston Churchill: I know he was there to show how HM was different, headstrong, not able to be pushed around, and should have made an interesting power struggle (old vs young, male vs female etc) but it didn't work for me.  Partly it's Edward Fox who of course came in under abnormal circumstances but nonetheless seemed hammy.  I felt this didn't add a great deal to the Major scenes, only took away some of the humour and warmth and characters imbued with more than cariacature.
Harold Wilson: Richard McCabe deserves all the awards.  I reckon Peter Morgan liked writing Wilson more than HM.  Every scene with those wonderful, but everyone's said that already.
Gordon Brown: Nathaniel Parker, I thought, got closest with regards to mimickry but also made something out of this loveable, out of place intelligent fool.  Some of the dialogue reminded me of the actor Martin Davenport in Cabin Pressure ("And it’s so frustrating when you know, without any doubt at all, what you were put on this Earth to do, and you just can’t seem to persuade anyone else") but a really nice cameo.
Anthony Eden: This was a superb scene.  We have the Queen kitted out like a doll, almost acting for Beaton, still dressed in this regal, passive, girlish robe, yet every inch a woman beyond her years - a lovely scene showing the intelligence of the Queen and the difference between public and private persona.  Brilliant, does everything the Churchill scene should have.
Margaret Thatcher: Haydn Gwynne does a fine job as a drag queen Maggie Thatcher impersonator, but, I don't know why, this scene didn't work for me.  The theme of gender was brought up obviously then dropped.  Instead they debated nothing much.  The matters they talked about weren't dealt with in any meaningful way and it seemed a bit slight.  A great impersonation and embodiment, but slightly lacking writing for the occasion.
David Cameron: Actually, this worked nicely.  Rufus Wright is a damn sight better looking than David Cameron (and less podgy) but captures his mannerisms well.  The little bits of up-to-date news weren't tacked on and this was a nice way to wrap up, for the most part.  There was a truly touching moment at the end (spoiler, but update for anyone who saw it early in the run) where she compliments Cameron for reading at Thatcher's funeral and says "She was only six months older than me, you know" which, frankly, must have made Peter Morgan wish Thatcher had gone just before the play so that wonderful line that adds so much could have appeared from draft one.
James Callaghan: Well.  I know this was a late addition, and had I not known I would have guessed.  I liked the idea of this little flight of fancy but it added bugger all, except reminding us Callaghan existed.  All the PMs are there for a reason regarding HM, whether they worked or not (Wilson as a friend, Churchill as a superior, Brown as a patient to her therapist) but Callaghan was there for...?

The reason I was concerned is Peter Morgan's an erratic writer.  When he's good he's wonderful (Frost/Nixon), when he's bad he's unbearable (The Jury).  I recently saw a preview of Rush followed by a Q&A and he's a lovely, unpretentious man who clearly knows how to write and incorporate facts, but he has a knack of interrupting characters with exposition.  Rush is superb and all ought to see it, but there's a moment at the end typical of this where a character delivers a really moving speech into which is dropped exposition like a stone dropped into glass - it ruins it, almost.  Here he's very clever as the exposition really is character, and that's a skill.  The young Queen (very well played indeed) both let Morgan drop the exposition and develop the character, and bar one or two kronks the exposition was hardly even there.  So kudos to Morgan.  And Daldry, who directs well.  And the as of yet barely-mentioned Mirren, who does deliver a performance of extreme physical and emotional rigour.  So I was wrong about this being political karaoke, it was a tender character study.

Now, as for NT Live, Emma Freud, please stop.  I'm sure I'm not alone in having watched some of the Proms on TV and Katie Derham clearly knows what she's talking about, has a passion and knowledge of the subject and a sense of how to present herself in the occasion.  Clemency Burton-Hill looks like a sixth former eagerly taking prospective students round a school going on about how great it is with minimal knowledge or decorum visible.  Emma Freud's more one than the other, being almost overwhelmed by the mere presence of Peter Morgan.  Her interview for Macbeth was assonine and pretty much so was this.  She's not terrible by any means and I rather enjoy having a presenter but the Proms know how to present an event and NT Live just need to give it a bit more sheen.  The filming itself, however, was great.  A solid four out of five.

One final thing.  On the free 'programme' we get, there's this credit: Production Manager - Igor.  Um, could anyone explain please?

#234 Honoured Guest

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 10:26 AM

Designer - Ultz

People are permitted to choose their professional name.

#235 xanderl

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 12:14 PM

An amusing correction in today's Guardian

Quote

A picture that accompanied an article about inheritance tax in Saturday's Money section was not of the former prime minister John Major as we said. It showed Paul Ritter playing the part of John Major earlier this year in the play The Audience (Let's tax these unearned gains, 9 November, page 4).

http://www.theguardi...dclarifications
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#236 peggs

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 09:02 PM

spectacular!

#237 KevinUK

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 09:38 PM

Aww. I was hoping the bump was about a digital release. Is this still planning a broadway transfer? They're taking their time!
If I stay awake, it must be good.

#238 Jon

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 10:17 PM

View PostKevinUK, on 12 November 2013 - 09:38 PM, said:

Aww. I was hoping the bump was about a digital release. Is this still planning a broadway transfer? They're taking their time!

I'm guessing Helen Mirren's availability and finding the right theatre means a Broadway transfer isn't going to happen until late 2014 at the earliest.




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