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Trelawny Of The Wells - Donmar


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#41 mallardo

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:08 PM

The problem here is not with the play which is a great piece of theatre but with a production that never brings it to life.  As Lynette said, above, Joe Wright's blocking of scenes and fundamental movement of actors is often at odds with the drama.  Big lines are lost because the actor saying them is off in a corner of the stage.  And, by the way, although the Donmar is in its usual three-quarter setup most of the action is played straight out.  Sitting in the side stalls, as I was, you get the play in profile.

And there have been a couple of very bad casting choices.  Although the plot follows Rose Trelawny - a very good Amy Morgan - the engine of the piece is really the fiery actor/playwright Tom Wrench and his passion for a new and more realistic theatre. When everyone else is hamming it up onstage he should be keeping it real.  He's the only true artist among them and we have to see that and feel his intensity. The Tom in this production is so laid back and uncharismatic that the author's message is barely delivered. The result is there's a hole in the centre of the play. Very disappointing.
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#42 AdamG

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 07:58 AM

View Postmallardo, on 21 February 2013 - 11:08 PM, said:

The problem here is not with the play which is a great piece of theatre but with a production that never brings it to life.  As Lynette said, above, Joe Wright's blocking of scenes and fundamental movement of actors is often at odds with the drama.  Big lines are lost because the actor saying them is off in a corner of the stage.  And, by the way, although the Donmar is in its usual three-quarter setup most of the action is played straight out.  Sitting in the side stalls, as I was, you get the play in profile.

And there have been a couple of very bad casting choices.  Although the plot follows Rose Trelawny - a very good Amy Morgan - the engine of the piece is really the fiery actor/playwright Tom Wrench and his passion for a new and more realistic theatre. When everyone else is hamming it up onstage he should be keeping it real.  He's the only true artist among them and we have to see that and feel his intensity. The Tom in this production is so laid back and uncharismatic that the author's message is barely delivered. The result is there's a hole in the centre of the play. Very disappointing.

Such a shame to hear!! I've always loved the play so was really looking forward to this!!

#43 mallardo

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:06 AM

Adam, I love the play too which is perhaps why I'm so hard on this production.  But I would urge you to see it for yourself!
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#44 popcultureboy

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:15 AM

Quote

Sitting in the side stalls, as I was, you get the play in profile.

Uh oh. I am in side circle on Wednesday night....

#45 mallardo

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 11:12 AM

It will be better from above.
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#46 Cardinal Pirelli

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:12 PM

I've read some very positive web reviews (I don't see it myself for a while) and they all appreciated the artifice and humour. Any negative reviews I've read haven't appreciated the artifice and humour, as such it looks like a production which may get wildly different responses.

#47 mallardo

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 01:01 PM

View PostCardinal Pirelli, on 22 February 2013 - 12:12 PM, said:

I've read some very positive web reviews (I don't see it myself for a while) and they all appreciated the artifice and humour. Any negative reviews I've read haven't appreciated the artifice and humour, as such it looks like a production which may get wildly different responses.

I'd say that's a fair assessment.  There is much artifice - Wright has a concept to play the play as if it were the absurdly heightened kind of Victorian piece that Tom Wrench wants to do away with.  The set is in fact a stage with period backdrops and with the actors changing the props between scenes as an integral part of the action. The Act One farewell dinner party features cartoon food - no attempt at realism.  And this gets a laugh.  The performances in general are very broad which also inspires laughter.  The doubling of roles - especially in the case of Ron Cook - inspires laughter of the nudge nudge wink wink sort.

But there's more to the play than this.  Trelawny is not The Magistrate.  It has a serious point to make and this production - to me - fails to make it.  I wish Wright had played it straight.
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#48 Lynette

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:39 PM

Hear hear.

#49 Parsley

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 10:17 PM

And I thought The Audience was bad....at least I made it to the end of that play.

You would not think that a film director is involved in Trelawny Of The Wells.....although they are hardly visionary works I suppose.

Anyway I left at the interval (as did the couple next to me and the woman behind me- I saw them at the tube station).

The Donmar was far from full (surprising on a Saturday night) and I really do think the programming is much patchier since Rourke was appointed into her post.

It feels less exciting and fashionable at The Donmar in general (and I genuinely do not mean in a pretentious way at all).

She opened her reign with an astounding success and I loved The Recruiting Officer.

Julius Caesar was interesting but the rest has been forgettable.

I hope the new season that is being announced in March will be more interesting- at any rate with Goold taking the reigns at The Almeida that may well overtake The Donmar!

#50 Lynette

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 10:52 PM

Parsely, it is precisely the opposite - you DO believe a film director directed this because it was all over the place. Different skill. Only a few can do both but many thnk they can.




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