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The Low Road

Royal Court

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#21 AnnieInTheStalls

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 11:34 PM

Didn't like this at all. In fact I hated it so much I've resolved to get through my backlog of already booked theatre tickets and then never go to the theatre again.

In the play's defense, I skipped the second half, which might have been brilliant! Just like the 20 mins I slept through in Peter and Alice must have been brilliant to justify the rave reviews.

#22 Nosferatu777

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 12:00 AM

A spralling historical "satire" about American economics and Capitalism. Yep, sadly its as dull as it sounds. A good cast, led well by Johnny Flynn, battle manfully with the script but you know its a stinking pile of shit when an actor as good as Bill Paterson keeps tripping over his lines. I think Norris possibly falls into the same category of playwright as Alan Bennett & Shakespeare, who all never got to grips with the concept that often by having their characters say less, what is said is far more effective and meaningfull. As it happens, last week I saw Norris's "Purple Heart" at the Gate which was a far superior piece in that regard so it seems he's getting worse as he ages (yep, I loathed "Clyborne Park" as well).

I also must mention Johnny Flynn's nude scene. It really is quite odd, a good 15ish minutes in length yet so coyly and conservatively performed it looks absolutely ridiculous. Ok so there is an in-joke that requires the audience to see his arse (I'm sure many will apreciate it but can't say it was a view I was overly enthused about) but than having the leading actor's back to the audience for the majority of a lengthy scene just reduced it to some sort of "Carry On"-style bawdy farce (complete with occasional "titters" from tonight's audience). As other recent plays have shown ("The Judas Kiss", "Mydidae", etc) for stage nudity to really work it needs to be written and performed as freely and naturally as possible, unless there is a direct, specific meaning intended alternatively.

#23 itsuckstobeme

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 02:21 PM

Have to agree with you there, it did look weird. If you're going to do a nude scene no point getting all shy about it.

#24 foxa

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 03:38 PM

I didn't dislike this as much as many of the above, though parts are a mess and the ending is absolutely ridiculous - laughably so.
However, I thought Johnny Flynn was really, really good - such an unlikeable character, delivered with so much variety and conviction and, well, star-power, really.  And some nifty multi-rolling from others (Elizabeth Berrington, John Ramm, for example.)  It was a super ambitious script, some of which worked (and had me nodding - 'yes, that's right'), some (like the ending), not really.
But the three hours went  pretty quickly for me as there was so much invention and wit and relevance.
I did wonder about the design and direction a bit.  There were some odd 'comic' moments (the big wooden horse) that seemed contrived and, at times, the actors appeared to be living in a sort of prop hell - that weird ham, the pistols, the books.  Maybe it was my imagination but a look would cross the actors' faces as they were presented with another obstacle by way of a quick change or awkward prop.  And sometimes worse than that - like when one moustache fell off and another threatened to (the actor had to keep turning upstage to stick it back on.)
If you have got tickets, definitely go, and if you can get inexpensive ones, go for it.

#25 PaulR

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 10:28 PM

Well I think that this must have improved a lot since earlier viewings. I thought I was going to hate it but really loved it. The performances were tight and I saw none of the problems with lines or props mentioned before. The scene where Jim was naked just demonstrated his awkwardness and embarassment of the situation he found himself in and I thought the  scene towards the end was ludicrous but enjoyably so. Thoroughly recommend this, the three hours flew by.

#26 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 01:44 PM

This is weird, messy, surreal at times, but hugely enjoyable. A brilliant satire, Act One better than Act Two. The scene set at the Brethrens is superbly written. Norris at his best. But lots of second half loses its way. The modern section, though well done, sits uncomfortably. It adds to the piece, but it's in the wrong place. The epilogue - I won't spoil it - is one of the biggest WTF moments I've had in a theatre. Visually thrilling, but I was just thinking WHY? It undermines most of what has preceded it, but there is one interesting, and perhaps true, comment which it does make which, looking back, I think justifies its inclusion.

V strongly directed by Dominic Cooke, fab cast, and a brilliant stripped back, Brechtian design by Tom Pye.

The play lacks the tightness and clever structure of Clybourne Park- an unquestionably superior play - but the classic Norris traits are in there. And he likes to push boundaries.



#27 Punk Rock

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 10:17 PM

I would just like to add to the positive reviews for this play - made some solid points and threw some questions to debate at the audience, but never po-faced and always entertaining.

I would recommend this is you can still get tickets.

#28 peggs

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 07:54 PM

Have been hard pushed describing this to anyone since Saturday but I really rather enjoyed it, I didn't know what to expect when it started and still didn't know what to expect when it finished but kept me glued which at that length is pretty impressive.

Oh and I forgotten how comfy the seats are....now if we could only have those everywhere!

#29 mallardo

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 06:24 AM

I finally got to see this now that it's near closing - and loved it!  It's American picaresque meets The Wealth of Nations and all quite fiendishly clever.  I liked the use of Adam Smith as the Henry Fielding-ish host and narrator but it was strange that he seemed to keep his moral distance from the protagonist, Jim Trumpett.  Virtually everything Trumpett says and does IS Adam Smith but there was no endorsement from the owner.  Kudos to Johnny Flynn for making Trumpett utterly despicable and never trying to alleviate the nastiness with actorly charm.  Plus he was able to handle reams of economic argument with such style that it seemed spontaneous conversation.  Truly a fine performance.
Excuse me if I seem jejune
I promise I'll find my marbles soon.





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