Jump to content


- - - - -

Biggest let down?


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
41 replies to this topic

#1 JWC

JWC

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 203 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 16 March 2007 - 11:58 AM

Seeing the remarks in the "Performers - Timothy West" strand set me thinking about big disappointments. Mine was definitely seeing John Gielgud (the only time I did see him on stage) in the NT's Volpone (the one with Scofield in the lead). Gielgud had a cameo and entered through the auditorium, said his first line then dried. An embarrassing pause followed while he stood literally speechless in the middle of the Olivier and then he finally yelled "Prompt!" destroying his own credibility and that of the production in nano seconds. Oh how the mighty are fallen!

#2 armadillo

armadillo

    Advanced Member

  • Validating
  • PipPipPip
  • 2740 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 16 March 2007 - 12:24 PM

The only time I saw Alec Guinness on stage (his last play, I think), the production (a two-hander about a Russian and American diplomat) was so tedious that I found it impossible to judge his performance.

But my biggest disappointment has to be the Helen Mirren / Alan Rickman Antony and Cleopatra which was another play that kept the NT prompter busy. Even from the front rows, Rickman's mumblings were almost inaudible.

#3 wickedgrin

wickedgrin

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1223 posts

Posted 16 March 2007 - 12:24 PM

Rather too many to list. However, one of my biggest performance letdowns was Dustin Hoffman in A Marchant of Venice. He might be a great and versatile film actor but on stage he was inaudible will little grasp of the text. He was acted off the stage by the rest of the company and Geraldine James in particular.

#4 JWC

JWC

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 203 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 16 March 2007 - 12:33 PM

QUOTE(wickedgrin @ Mar 16 2007, 12:24 PM) View Post
Rather too many to list. However, one of my biggest performance letdowns was Dustin Hoffman in A Marchant of Venice. He might be a great and versatile film actor but on stage he was inaudible will little grasp of the text. He was acted off the stage by the rest of the company and Geraldine James in particular.



Saw that too but had forgotten about it - obviously blocked it from my memory!

#5 Snout

Snout

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 75 posts

Posted 16 March 2007 - 12:52 PM

Patricia Routledge wasn't terribly good in that weak comedy with Roy Hudd at the Wyndham's (?) about a year or so ago. It had Cadillac in the title.

#6 Jan Brock

Jan Brock

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2756 posts

Posted 16 March 2007 - 01:29 PM

Specifically in the sense that I thought they'd be good and they weren't (I'll stick to Shakespeare):

Alec Guinness - Shylock
Ben Kingsley/David Suchet: Othello/Iago
Bob Peck: Macbeth
Michael Gambon: Falstaff
Antony Hopkins: King Lear

#7 Laughingmonsta

Laughingmonsta

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2424 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cheshire

Posted 16 March 2007 - 01:56 PM

Pete Postlethwait - Macbeth
This is my street, I smile at the faces I've known all my life, They regard me with pride.

#8 Backdrifter

Backdrifter

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 999 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:London
  • Interests:Moving, sleeping, eating, not being here

    Gender says 'not telling' but, clue: I own some Y chromosomes

Posted 16 March 2007 - 02:00 PM

On a similar basis to Jan Brock's choices:

Simon Russell Beale, Macbeth (Almeida)
Bob Peck, Goldberg, The Birthday Party (NT)

Not that I want to make it look like we're picking on Peck, so just to balance out, the one other time I saw him he was terrific (in Rutherford & Son at the NT) and I really liked him as a screen actor.

I haven't looked in this West thread but I thought he wasn't very good as Lear, and was all over the place in The Old Country. He also played Goldberg a few years back and wasn't too bad.
Turn up the signal... wipe out the noise

#9 Haz

Haz

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1264 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 16 March 2007 - 02:25 PM

i found patrick stewart in the tempest last year ridiculously disappointing, having previously thought he was wonderful.
whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should

http://curtain-up.blogspot.com/

#10 richard

richard

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 183 posts

Posted 16 March 2007 - 04:46 PM

angry.gif
There comes a time in most lengthy theatrical careers when the reputation is reviewed not the performance.  The Michael Gambon Falstaff in the awful NT Henry IVs is a recent case in point.
And this followed on a ludicrously overpraised and politically correct Henry V at the same venue - that one with all the jeeps scuttling around - oh, so 'down with the lads'.
The recent RSC Richard III at the Courtyard was another total disaster which promised much. And at the Swan the Anthony Sher Iago in a laughable Othello.  The greatest of all Othello disasters was of course Gielgud's in the lengthy RSC Zeffirelli production of 1961.
Some disasters though are must-see - i.e. the Peter O'Toole Macbeth at the Old Vic.  The night I went Peter O'Toole had just delivered 'I have done the deed', when a wailing ambulance roared down the Waterloo Road and even he had to laugh with the rest of the audience.  And in opera the infamous Huguenots at Covent Garden, when the ladies of the chorus appeared topless under Martini umbrellas, sipping cocktails by the swimming pool, and a voice from the gods cried out 'Get 'em on'!




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users