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Trelawny Of The Wells - Donmar


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#81 Epicoene

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 01:23 PM

View Postyallerybrown, on 09 March 2013 - 04:24 PM, said:

God this was dull and unfunny.  

Haven't seen this one yet but the play gets produced a lot, the NT have done it twice (first time with McKellen and Jacobi), so one must conclude it is not inherently dull and unfunny.

#82 Nicholas

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 02:41 PM

View PostEpicoene, on 12 March 2013 - 01:23 PM, said:

Haven't seen this one yet but the play gets produced a lot, the NT have done it twice (first time with McKellen and Jacobi), so one must conclude it is not inherently dull and unfunny.

I think most people who know the play say this is a duff production of a good play and most people who don't know the play say the play's bad and the production does the best of a bad job.  I didn't know the play and said it was the best of a bad job, but I can see how actually it is a very interesting piece and think it's a shame that actually the impression most people (myself included) are getting is that it's Pinero's fault.

#83 mallardo

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 03:12 PM

View PostNicholas, on 12 March 2013 - 02:41 PM, said:

I think most people who know the play say this is a duff production of a good play and most people who don't know the play say the play's bad and the production does the best of a bad job.  I didn't know the play and said it was the best of a bad job, but I can see how actually it is a very interesting piece and think it's a shame that actually the impression most people (myself included) are getting is that it's Pinero's fault.

It is a wonderful play - the play that has kept Pinero's name alive - but this IS a "duff" production with some serious undercasting in the pivotal role.  As you say, it's a shame.
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#84 Rooster Byron

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:43 AM

Left in the interval, not for me at all this one. Since Josie has taken over I've yet to fully love a production, I think the choices of plays is probably to blame. Also if the Donmar are keen on increasing its young audience (I myself am in my early 20s) then it's not picking the right shows, and the £10 front row scheme isn't working. Every time I've been since it's started the seats have been full of people a LOT older than me.

The most frustrating thing is that I am a member, so last night I found myself in seats that I not only paid top price for, but also a premium due to my membership fees which had a worse view than the £10 seats. Terrible business model.

#85 Lynette

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:38 PM

I hope the Donmar reads your post RB. Just what I was thinking in relation to age of audience. But I'm an old fogey so  no one would listen to me.

#86 Nicholas

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:22 PM

View PostRooster Byron, on 26 March 2013 - 08:43 AM, said:

Also if the Donmar are keen on increasing its young audience (I myself am in my early 20s) then it's not picking the right shows, and the £10 front row scheme isn't working. Every time I've been since it's started the seats have been full of people a LOT older than me.

As a young person, I find the suggestion that the only encouragement I need to go to the theatre is cheap tickets patronising and simplistic.  Cheaper tickets are, frankly, essential for getting young people to go, but they don't encourage young people to go to the theatre, they encourage young theatregoers to keep on going to the theatre*.  I mean, I'm signed up to "Access All Arias" at the ENO but I'm not the world's biggest opera fan and only go when I see a show I really want to see, which is very very rare (haven't been since July).  Tickets being cheap help young people when they want to go to the theatre, but there needs to be more to make them go in the first place than price.  Keep tickets cheap, but not to encourage young people to start theatregoing but to help them along.  Find a better initiative for encouraging brand new theatregoers, just keep that cheap too.

*Besides, correct me if I'm wrong, but don't most regular theatregoers search the cheapest tickets anyway?  Evidently, the 'older' Donmar audience members like spending less - that's natural.  Cheap tickets encourage people who want to go to go, but as for encouraging people who might not want to, there are very few initiatives - in fact, at the Donmar I thought the free tickets and post show Q&A were good ideas pre-Barclays.  Unless Josie Rourke genuinely thought that Joe Wright or Arthur Wing Pinero or Ron Cook were big enough names to appeal to yoof culture...

#87 Lynette

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 09:06 AM

You are right, old uns like a bargain and will continue to bag the ten pounders when at all possible. It is a ridiculous scheme. I don't know who thought of it. But I suppose it ticks boxes so gets past the 'committee'.
Interestingly, the new theatre The Park Theatre in Finsbury Park offers concessions to over 60s.

#88 Epicoene

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:51 AM

View PostRooster Byron, on 26 March 2013 - 08:43 AM, said:

Left in the interval, not for me at all this one.

This one is a real dud, I haven't seen anything so poor at the Donmar for ages, a good play ruined by rotten direction. The central flaw is it is a play about the Victorian stage so they play it as a broad parody of the Victorian stage with comedy props and a pantomime dame in an attempt to get cheap laughs which aren't in the text. This establishes them all in the first half as caricatures rather than real characters so you have no empathy with them at all, they are all just stock types. The way to play this is entirely straight and let the text itself get the laughs - it would be far more amusing and affecting that way. Another indication they had no confidence in the play was that they brought in Patrick Marber to "improve" it - his handiwork was not apparent beyond a reference to Stockton theatre which sounded inauthentic to me. How on earth can the Donmar employ a director with no stage experience at all ? This type of superficial smart-alec direction is completely outside the Donmar tradition and represents a woeful fall in standards. On the other hand, good to see Bobby Ball still getting work.

#89 Lynette

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 10:53 AM

Let's pray they don't play The Weir for laughs!

#90 CAA

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 12:56 PM

View PostEpicoene, on 29 March 2013 - 08:51 AM, said:

This one is a real dud, I haven't seen anything so poor at the Donmar for ages, a good play ruined by rotten direction. The central flaw is it is a play about the Victorian stage so they play it as a broad parody of the Victorian stage with comedy props and a pantomime dame in an attempt to get cheap laughs which aren't in the text. This establishes them all in the first half as caricatures rather than real characters so you have no empathy with them at all, they are all just stock types. The way to play this is entirely straight and let the text itself get the laughs - it would be far more amusing and affecting that way. Another indication they had no confidence in the play was that they brought in Patrick Marber to "improve" it - his handiwork was not apparent beyond a reference to Stockton theatre which sounded inauthentic to me. How on earth can the Donmar employ a director with no stage experience at all ? This type of superficial smart-alec direction is completely outside the Donmar tradition and represents a woeful fall in standards. On the other hand, good to see Bobby Ball still getting work.

Got to agree its a duff production, that said the National Theatre weren't much better when they did the Magistrate.  Is it just a case that a play like this needs a strong cast, and a clear director trusting the work.  If not then it doesn't work.




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