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The Audience, I Just Booked


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#91 Mrs Lovett's Meat Pie

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:40 AM

Possibly I meant Barbra Cartland. She was the original Sandy in Grease, yeah?

#92 Jamiem

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:45 AM

View PostMrs Lovett, on 24 February 2013 - 11:40 AM, said:

Possibly I meant Barbra Cartland. She was the original Sandy in Grease, yeah?

No she was frenchie for gods sake

#93 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:58 AM

This is outstanding. Helen Mirren, as expected, is superb, but the play itself -and its construction - is very special indeed. Peter Morgan has clearly done his research. There were a few (tiny) things I questioned - eg Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's wedding taking place on a Wednesday - , but I looked them up when I got home and lo and behold, he was right. But factual research isn't enough. It could've so easily been terrible, or just very very dull.

Instead, it's wickedly funny yet devastatingly poignant. We don't see all of the Queen's PMs, and some of them -Callaghan for example - make mere appearances. Thatcher, Cameron, Eden, Brown and Churchill all have relatively long scenes. Major has two. But it's Morgan's decision to focus on Harold Wilson - exceptionally played by Richard McCabe - which allows the this 'special relationship' to come across as so incredibly human. These are two of the most important people in the world, both with immense responsibility. But the portrayed warmth between Wilson and The Queen, and the hand of friendship the Queen extends as Wilson resigns because of health issues is heartbreaking, and immensely touching and organic. It transcends the pomp and circumstance, the written constitution and customs.

It's still in previews, and poor Robert Hardy - now 87 - playing Churchill needed prompting a couple of times. If anything, that added to it. Churchill was far too old to be PM when Princess Elizabeth became Queen, and that, in an odd way, made the performance more truthful. I may sound too forgiving... it's the first time I've ever seen an actor being prompted.... but it seemed apt for the situation.

Daldry's production is very filmic and as Mirren's split-second changes take place on stage, the piece is far from schematic. Bob Crowley's design is restrained. There's no box-set of a Buckingham Palace drawing room here. It makes excellent use of gauzes, and the shift to Balmoral at the start of Act 2 is a refreshing change, and allows for one of the play's best scenes. Plus corgis- could it get any better?!

It also features the best use of flashback - something a bit of a theatrical cliche - I've ever seen. Maya Gerber is perfect as the young Elizabeth -she's got the voice just right - and the interplay between The Queen and her younger self emphasizes the enormity of the role bestowed upon her. It also shows how, in this case, responsibility and formality takes precedence over family. "Will I not be able to call him 'Papa' anymore?" she asks her nanny. This may all sound sentimental on paper, but it's not. It just makes for a stunning piece of theatre, and one of the best plays I've seen on the West End stage.



#94 young offender

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:46 AM

I agree, Pharaoh – a hugely enjoyable evening.  As with Frost/Nixon, what could be inert (two people sitting in a room talking to each other) is made riveting by the quality of Peter Morgan’s writing and some masterly performances. Even Robert Hardy was word perfect on Friday 22nd. OK, so it's very white and middle class, but even a Tower Hamlets councillor might enjoy this more than Anders Lustgarten’s latest at the Republican Court.

I would advise said public servant to get his/her ticket this week, before the reviews appear. This will do a Mormon. We sat in the Grand Circle, Row F I think, in ‘restricted view’ seats - because all the action happens in the middle of the stage, our view was not impeded in the least.

#95 Titan

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:12 PM

Robert Hardy has withdrawn from the production.  Apparantly he had a fall and has been continuing to do previews despite being injured.

#96 MrBarnaby

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:17 PM

Interesting Hardy has left . He forgot a LOT of his lines the night I went so I imagine they've decided he should leave rather than this 'fall' thing .

#97 AnnieInTheStalls

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:24 PM

I think I went before you MrBarnaby - he was fine for us, so I'm happy to believe it. I hope he recovers soon.

#98 Titan

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:26 PM

Or the fall and the following pain is why he has been forgetting lines

#99 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:32 PM

View PostTitan, on 25 February 2013 - 07:12 PM, said:

Robert Hardy has withdrawn from the production.  Apparantly he had a fall and has been continuing to do previews despite being injured.

What a shame. He was very good as Churchill, despite the prompting. Wasn't a lot though- twice, in a rather long speech. Pleased to have seen him.
Who's the replacement, anyone know? How about Warren Clarke?



#100 Cat6

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:58 PM

View PostPharaoh, on 25 February 2013 - 07:32 PM, said:

What a shame. He was very good as Churchill, despite the prompting. Wasn't a lot though- twice, in a rather long speech. Pleased to have seen him.
Who's the replacement, anyone know? How about Warren Clarke?

Too bad for Robert Hardy. A fall can be nasty on the mind (you're either in pain and that knocks your thinking out, or you take pain kiillers and those knock your thinking out. Tough choice.) I wish him well.

Pharoah's -- that is a brill idea for a replacement! A droogie as Churchill. I'd love to see it.




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