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Park Theatre - New North London Venue


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#11 Backdrifter

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:46 AM

Hmmm, I'm not sure. It's a good mix but I don't feel too inspired by it. But as I'm very curious about new venues I'll make myself go to at least one.

Still haven't gone to the St James's due to silly prices, now additionally the leg room issues some have mentioned.
Turn up the signal... wipe out the noise

#12 Nicholas

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:23 PM

Just back from their first show.  The artistic and executive director came on and were very proud about announcing its opening - and why shouldn't they be?  It's basically a sleek Donmar (again, nothing wrong with that) with Young Vic-y seating that's a tad uncomfortable for some 1 hour 45 straight.  It's also, if you don't know Finsbury Park, a bugger to find, but actually very easy if you simply, unlike me, do your research.  Hideously hot too - they ought to invest in air-con for the bar.  Also the behind the scenes people are visible from an angle which, if you're vaguely central, is no issue, but if you're to the right of the stage you'll be looking at them and I can imagine that being offputting.  But it's a nice building and a nice theatre.  Good space with potential for variety.

About the show, These Shining Lives, it's the kind of American I Want A Pulitzer Play focusing on a BIG EVENT with a clear BIG POINT at the end.  Due to the plot's pacing I won't say too much (I think the website says more than I would) but it's about four women in a watch factory (real story) who end up with a bigger purpose than just painting dials.  The play's take on the matter isn't controvertial and its morals are fairly clear but it's interesting.  I don't like plays (Peter and Alice being the worst offender) that feel like revision and show don't tell is a fairly good rule this play breaks.  It also starts with the tritest characterisation you'll see all year.  But when it moves away and allows the characters to speak for themselves it's rather strong and sometimes affecting.  The actress who plays the central role (I think Charity Wakefield) has what I can only call star quality, by which I mean it is impossible to take your eyes off of her - she gives a very strong performance that does elevate this somewhat (as do the rest, but I could take my eyes off of them).  Also it's very rare these days to see a play with four women and two men much less with four decent(ish) central female roles.  They could have picked better opening plays but also much worse and this is the kind of play I've not seen in a while (a certain type of modern American writing) and though I hope they don't end up with a 'niche' if they bring in different types of plays that won't be a bad thing.  Also, all their own programming as opposed to St James which is transfer island.

Also one rather memorable moment when, in carrying a box full of watch faces on, one of the characters dropped it and it - quite, quite visibly - broke into a number of pieces.  What sounded like "Oh sh-" whispered from backstage.  Gotta christen the theatre somehow.

#13 armadillo

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 06:35 AM

Very interesting - must go ahead and book something. However, you've failed to answer the most important question of all. How many ladies loos are there+?

#14 Nicholas

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:32 AM

Funnily enough I didn't poke my head into the ladies.  I could only see one gents so probably only one.  Also, toilet doors require a Herculean effort to open.  Almost couldn't get them open.  Bring muscle.

#15 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 04:46 PM

Is the stage Donmar height then? Am thinking of booking front row.

And is this a playtext or programme venue?



#16 Lynette

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:10 PM

Going soon for school for scandal. I will check out loos.

#17 Nicholas

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 01:30 AM

View PostPharaoh, on 09 May 2013 - 04:46 PM, said:

Is the stage Donmar height then? Am thinking of booking front row.

And is this a playtext or programme venue?

I'm going to be a great help here.  I didn't buy a programme, but they were available and if the free brochure's anything to go by they'll be pretty decent in quality and not full of fluff.  No playtexts as best I could see, but I might be wrong - I didn't need to hunt this script down.  And no idea about the stage - it's lowish, because someone walked on it to get to their seats, but I a.) was in the circle so couldn't see, b.) wasn't really looking and c.) can't remember for the life of me how high the Donmar is.

Also (I'm sure you know this from pre-booking) they don't print out 'tickets'.  Some people I saw had paper tickets printed from home, whilst for my 'collect at box office' they printed out a small normal paper slip, the shape and size of a small receipt.  That must be better for the environment and for that they should be applauded.

#18 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 07:45 AM

View PostNicholas, on 12 May 2013 - 01:30 AM, said:

Also (I'm sure you know this from pre-booking) they don't print out 'tickets'.  Some people I saw had paper tickets printed from home, whilst for my 'collect at box office' they printed out a small normal paper slip, the shape and size of a small receipt.  That must be better for the environment and for that they should be applauded.

Thanks. That's like the Print Room where you get given a laminated card, which you hand to the usher on the way in. Not much good for those who like to collect their tickets though....



#19 americaninlondon

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 09:23 PM

It's a beautiful space - passed by it the other day.  I'm really excited about "Yellow Face" - big UK Premiere!  It's a Pulitzer Prize finalist by David Henry Hwang, who won the Tony for "M. Butterfly."  He's had a bunch of stuff on Broadway recently, but his stuff is long overdue here ("M. Butterfly" with Anthony Hopkins was his last one here over 20 years ago I think).  I'm going to check out These Shining Lives next week..

#20 Montmartre

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 06:00 PM

The St James's Theatre seating is fine if you choose an end seat!




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