Jump to content


Children Of The Sun National Theatre, London


  • Please log in to reply
51 replies to this topic

#31 Boob

Boob

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 418 posts
  • Location:London

Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:42 AM

View Postarmadillo, on 13 May 2013 - 06:34 PM, said:

The Menier doesn't either. The director took over a part in a show a couple of years back

Yes indeed.  Maria Friedman was off, so director Ian Talbot stood in for her, complete with script, dress, wig and mysteriously jangling boobs.

#32 armadillo

armadillo

    Advanced Member

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

Posted 14 May 2013 - 12:53 PM

View PostPharaoh, on 13 May 2013 - 06:45 PM, said:

The Menier had understudies for Merrily.
Were they all chorus member (party guests etc?). That's a bit different from having actual understudies for a play.

#33 Pharaoh's number 2

Pharaoh's number 2

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3752 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London

Posted 14 May 2013 - 03:39 PM

Not sure- would have to dig my programme out. But even if they were ensemble members, lots of plays have understudies who have small roles every night. At Children of the Sun for example, the understudies play townfolk, similarly understudies in The Hothouse play the folk who come in a cover everything with white drapes near the end. And in Shakespeare, nearly all understudies play minor roles. Eg Soldier no 2.



#34 popcultureboy

popcultureboy

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 677 posts

Posted 15 May 2013 - 05:48 PM

Quote

lots of plays have understudies who have small roles every night

True, they do. But I can't, off the top of my head, think of any that the Menier have staged. The only plays I can recall that have been there all have small casts, with each actor having a fairly substantial role and no ensemble/bit parts.

#35 Princeton

Princeton

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 31 posts

Posted 15 May 2013 - 10:07 PM

In the Cottesloe I've had tickets for performances of The Pillowman and Gesthemene which were cancelled because of cast illness and no understudies, and I know that some performances of Curious Incident were also cancelled.  I attended one of the This House performances which had replacement actors with scripts, and at the Menier Tiffany Graves covered for Tamsin Outhwaite in Sweet Charity when I was there.

#36 armadillo

armadillo

    Advanced Member

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

Posted 16 May 2013 - 09:56 AM

James Hazeldine died early in the run of The Talking Cure (or maybe still in rehearsals?) which meant Dominic Rowan got to play two , Then there was Paul Rhys dropping out of the one about St Paul after a couple of performances. I assume there were some cancellations before Adam Godley took over. Didn't Paul Rhys also drop out of a Chekhov quite late in the day - can't remember who took over though I did see whatever it was?

#37 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1779 posts

Posted 16 May 2013 - 09:59 AM

Hazeldine died during previews. I happened to see his last performance. Wonderful actor.

#38 Epicoene

Epicoene

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1239 posts

Posted 16 May 2013 - 11:17 AM

The RSC understudy arrangements during a recent season were notable. Sam Troughton was playing two leading parts (Romeo and Brutus) and was Third Gentleman in Winter's Tale. On the night I saw it three actors were off including Darryl D'Silva as Polixenese and it turned out Troughton was his understudy - to cover all three absentees there was a general "upgrading" amongst the existing cast and extras. I wonder if they regularly ask their "leading" actors to understudy roles, and how many accept the offer ?

#39 Nicholas

Nicholas

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 331 posts

Posted 13 July 2013 - 11:25 PM

View Postmallardo, on 03 May 2013 - 09:59 PM, said:

Indeed there are shades of Chekhov - characters living in a bubble, everyone in love with everyone else - but, on this showing, Gorky is much cruder and clunkier than his great contemporary. It's a play of ideas but the ideas are too often presented raw rather than emerging naturally from character.  The last act especially feels like a jumble with the heavy handed Hamlet/Ophelia thing and characters who have run out of new things to say. Nothing but praise for Howard Davies' production though, or the cast - especially Lucy Black as the abject Melaniya.  I thought she was astonishing every moment she was on stage.

That’s just what I thought during the first half, but the second half compelled me.  I had the most terrible sickening headache this morning and was barely feeling myself for a while (the train had no sodding air conditioning!  Bloody sadists!), so that might have contributed, but in Act I was reminded that Chekhov’s worst play, The Wood Demon, has thirteen characters jabbering about trees and love whilst perhaps his best, Uncle Vanya, only has eight and is more focused without pontificating.  This play features characters who can see no further than the ends of their nose, and short-sightedness haunts the play.  In the first few scenes I felt the doctor was quite two dimensional in his self-focus but later with interatction the short-sightedness in others was clearer and thus debate ensued which was fascinating.  Debate, indeed anything other than pontificating, seemed absent initially.  Either the play’s slightly slow or I was and today it was probably me.  I found act 1 disappointing and expository, act 2 very good and acts 3 and 4, as I say, compelling.  There's a great deal of extremely good stuff, primarily in Davies' construction, Bunny Christie, a piece of work by Gorky containing fascinating lines of thought that linger after curtain calls and is more than worthy of this fine rediscovery and a cast all of whom deserve namechecking (but Jamie the crossest man in Scotland, especially in act 3, just nips the best actor in this play).  The end had some people around me in tears, and I could see why.  This isn’t a very articulate view as I wasn’t feeling very articulate today, but aspects of this - the argument over the future and the present, the role of the bourgeoisie - are going to be turned over a fair bit mentally over the next week.  I agree that Chekhov's subtler endings work better than the EXPLOSION, but firstly the final three minutes are up there with the ending of Danton’s Death (I remember very little about 1hr 58 of that and still rave about 2 minutes of it) and secondly the play will nonetheless hover over my thoughts somewhat over the next week.

#40 peggs

peggs

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 494 posts

Posted 14 July 2013 - 08:23 PM

I read somewhere that Andrew Upton has changed the order of some of the things in the last act, does it end differently at all in the original does anyone know?

I'm not a huge Chekhov fan although the things that bother me (characters endlessly going on about their problems but never doing anything about them) are really not that different to Gorky so perhaps it is the productions I have liked better. Not sure this was as good as Philistines or The White Guard but still very good and I loved the explosion! As noted ensemble casting of great talent and another cracking set, i'd have loved a closer look at that lab.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users