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Galileo

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#1 Lynette

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:16 PM

Ian McDiarmid is a very great actor and capable of holding an audience in the palm of his hand.  I've seen him do just that more than once.

In this production, newly translated by Mark Ravenhill, he is surrounded by what I can only describe as fuss and isn't allowed to take the audience with him. Yes, I know it's  Brecht and we have to be aware of the acting of acting blah blah but here the best scenes are when the director has decided to trust the actors and let them do their thing. So the best scenes are the one between Galileo and the little monk and then the scene in which the followers of G are waiting to hear if he has recanted. No fuss, no red steps on wheels careering about, no raiding of the Haloween costume department, no raucous unsong like songs, no undressing and dressing, big rubber balls chucked about......which are all here in this show.

Ian McD does the vain, excited lover of the good things in life man very well and the bitter disappointed in himself man at the end but somewhere along the way he seems restrained, contained and then a teeny bit silly. Oh dear.

Some odd directorial choices. Brecht by being particular in his choice of man and time made all the points he wanted about science, repression, man's vulnerability and so on but here in trying to be all ages - the costumes and the language jerk from old to modern all over the place -  a lot of this is lost. There are soldiers at the end who could be in Mali right now. But they don't have much to do with the rest of the play. The clergy are in the full gear of course because the costume department love to show they can make a Pope's coat with all those diddly buttons which here have to be done up. So we are presumably talking the repression of the sixteenth century catholic faith. So much for a modern relevance.

So I was disappointed. There is a speech from Galileo at the end in which he talks about science and himself and it is quite profound really but here sadly, he is sitting on a chair to one side and it is chucked away.

Some nice work  from younger cast. Solid from the old guard. i reckon they do Cardinals first day at acting school. Audience appreciative but no sign of the standing ovation the RSC tweeted about yesterday.




#2 xanderl

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:29 PM

I'm not seeing this one having seen the SRB NT version a few years ago.

Did you see the other two shows with this ensemble?
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#3 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:39 PM

I'm seeing this and Boris Godunov in March (plus the Slinger Hamlet), but, as my luck would have it, it sounds like I'm missing the best of the 3, Orphan of Zhao.

It doesn't sound like the problems you have with it Lynette will be ironed out in previews; they're more intrinsic to the production than that. Oh well, never mind.



#4 The Glenbuck Laird

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:41 AM

Lyn calls it correct again. Average at best. Not seen another production of this play but I think there is more material to work with here, especially when you have Ian McDiarmid in the lead. Liked lots of the scenes, some parts I really did not like. Last part was very, very good.

#5 Abby

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:49 AM

Glad to see some reviews of this as I was thinking of booking, having loved the NT production a few years ago. Think I'll keep those memories unsullied, based on your feedback...

#6 Lynette

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:08 AM

I saw Zhao which is remarkable, moving, original and timeless. I haven't booked for Gudenov.

I'm wondering if the apron stage is more tricky to direct for than we think. Greg Doran has it nailed but some of the dare I say it, younger bods have not. Just a thought.

#7 David J

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 02:01 PM

What exactly are those electronic objects that were hanging above the stage called. The ones that had words streaming across like the sort at the stock markets

Or am I just being thick here and are they simply very mini screens
My reviews can also be found at "A Night at the Theatre"

http://www.anightatthetheatre.co.uk/

#8 David J

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:01 AM

A fascinating Brechtian production with a fantastic cast. A great follow up to ​The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.

Full Price

http://shallicompare...leo-review.html
My reviews can also be found at "A Night at the Theatre"

http://www.anightatthetheatre.co.uk/

#9 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:01 AM

Was really looking forward to this since it was announced. Saw it last night and was disappointed.

Some stupid carnival at the start of the second half, then the pace slows right down. There are some good moments near the beginning- shows McDiarmid at his best. Act 1 scene 1 is the best bit.

But the play felt a bit 2-D - we know who is right throughout, the Catholic Church comes across as ignorant and arrogant fools, there's little room for nuance, debate. Is this really Brecht's best, as Mr Doran suggests in the programme?

Michael Grandage and his partner Christopher Oram were in. Wonder what they made of it. And if they'll be at the (not v well reviewed) Hamlet which I see this afternoon.



#10 Honoured Guest

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 10:41 AM

View PostPharaoh, on 28 March 2013 - 09:01 AM, said:

Michael Grandage and his partner Christopher Oram were in. Wonder what they made of it. And if they'll be at the (not v well reviewed) Hamlet which I see this afternoon.

Michael Grandage was a leading young actor for Ian McDiarmid and Nicholas Hytner when they were both directing at the Royal Exchange so MG&CO were very likely there to see IMcD.





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