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Charlie And The Chocolate Factory - The Spoiler Thread

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#341 DeNada

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 02:19 PM

View PostHalpster, on 18 June 2013 - 08:12 AM, said:

really makes me chuckle to read back on some of the posts here and how the show is dissected and ripped apart....its a MUSICAL.....! try not to forget that....

Should we forgive a show its flaws because it's a musical?  If it had no songs, would it deserve harsher consideration?  The reason people dissect shows like Charlie to pieces is because we love musical theatre and want to see it done well.

It's nothing to do with wanting "soaring melodies".   Besides, we get one - Pure Imagination.  Nor would I want More Of Him To Love in a Lloyd Webber show (you'd never get it, unless it was By Jeeves or similar...).  Lots of shows don't have big lush ballads in, but they have strong, memorable scores - and Charlie just doesn't, IMO.

#342 Zinone

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 02:44 PM

I must say "It's a MUSICAL" is among the more ludicrous justifications for a weak score I've heard.

#343 Catqc

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 03:14 PM

If it wasn't a musical there would be no score - good or bad!

#344 Halpster

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 04:19 PM

Quote

View PostDeNada, on 18 June 2013 - 02:19 PM, said:

Should we forgive a show its flaws because it's a musical?  If it had no songs, would it deserve harsher consideration?  The reason people dissect shows like Charlie to pieces is because we love musical theatre and want to see it done well.

It's nothing to do with wanting "soaring melodies".   Besides, we get one - Pure Imagination.  Nor would I want More Of Him To Love in a Lloyd Webber show (you'd never get it, unless it was By Jeeves or similar...).  Lots of shows don't have big lush ballads in, but they have strong, memorable scores - and Charlie just doesn't, IMO.


Sorry guys think you missed my angle. What I am saying is that i think people are trying already at an early stage to make the show something its not. I honestly felt the show I saw last night doesnt bear resemblance to the one some people are saying it is on here. The show doesnt have a weak score ..the songs to me fit the purpose and came across well. Yes of course Pure Imagination sticks in peoples minds as its so well known...the keen musical ear will spot the theme straight away tucked in the under score in the opening scenes i just dont like it when people are keen to shoot down something so harshly and not take into account the overall end product

#345 Halpster

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 04:21 PM

View PostZinone, on 18 June 2013 - 02:44 PM, said:

I must say "It's a MUSICAL" is among the more ludicrous justifications for a weak score I've heard.

not a ludicrous justification just trying to make a point that each musical genre has different scores and needs to serve the storyline....some constructed in a complex way and others to suit the purpose and be a lot simpler...also bear in mind the key target audience for charlie is are families and the ones around me and coming out last night enjoyed themselves for the overall experience.

#346 Jamiem

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 06:04 PM

View PostHalpster, on 18 June 2013 - 04:19 PM, said:





Sorry guys think you missed my angle. What I am saying is that i think people are trying already at an early stage to make the show something its not. I honestly felt the show I saw last night doesnt bear resemblance to the one some people are saying it is on here. The show doesnt have a weak score ..the songs to me fit the purpose and came across well. Yes of course Pure Imagination sticks in peoples minds as its so well known...the keen musical ear will spot the theme straight away tucked in the under score in the opening scenes i just dont like it when people are keen to shoot down something so harshly and not take into account the overall end product

Could anyone else find the writers credit for PURE IMAGINATION?

#347 KevinUK

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 06:48 PM

Making it into something it's not? Something as famous as CATCF - which has generations of fans - you have to get it right because people will automatically have high expectations. Anything that lets it down should have been cut and fixed before it opened.

In fairness, it's not a bad score - it's just forgettable. If you are going to write a musical and include a popular, famous song then the new material must be able to stand up against it, and to an extent, better it (For example, in Wicked if they included a small part of Follow The Yellow Brick Road in the scene where Glinda waves an unseen Dorothy off, it wouldn't have taken the focus off of Wicked's own brilliant score). The inclusion of Pure Imagination is needed, as the show doesn't have it's own standout track - a new musical shouldn't need a song that's 40 year old.

Personally I loved the inclusion (as do the audience), but if have liked it just as much if they could have written their own brilliant standout track to use in the same scene.

But as for building it into something it's not.... Well, we all read this as children and use our imaginations to build our own factory when reading it. If its not as magical on stage, it'll be a let down for fans of the book (to an extent). Sometimes they get this right, sometimes they don't.
If I stay awake, it must be good.

#348 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 06:27 PM

I caught the matinee this afternoon. Pretty full house, mainly consisting of school groups (shock horror). And Sam Mendes’ secondary school art teacher, who was sat next to me. So, here are my thoughts, which, given the nature of this thread, will contain spoilers.

This won’t become a classic. I think there are possibly two, maybe three, original songs which if I heard them a few more times would be memorable. The rest are bland and forgettable. There a no recurring themes, nothing to tie them together. The styles are v random. Mind you, the notes on the score a v random too. No good melodies. Also, it’s very much a story of two parts- Charlie’s house beneath the bridge, and Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. It reminded a lot of The Wizard of Oz in its construction; shift from a dull reality to a magical fantasy. But unfortunately here we’re spending too much time in the dull reality. It’s the whole of the first act. The TV set idea, where Charlie and his family see the different golden ticket winners, is a good one. There’s some brilliant characterisation there. But it’s all too static. The TV box restrains them. I was longing for massive song and dance numbers. Peter Darling can do those, very very well. But here they’re lacking considerably.

The opening is nice. A short film, illustrated by Quentin Blake, on the making of chocolate. It’s witty and doesn’t outstay its welcome. I read on here that it goes on for 5mins +. This afternoon is was no longer than 3mins. But then Act One is static. There’s a bit of business involving beds and dancing grandparents, and it’s entertaining enough. And then the TV sequence, which as I’ve said already, should be full stage. That said, the individual settings are neatly designed, and changed v quickly. Loved Gloop esp. The business with Charlie and his aerial wasn’t carried all the way through. At the sat his TV wouldn’t work unless he held it up in the exact position. Later on, it worked fine when it was left on the floor. Minor niggle, but it jarred with me.

When Charlie doesn’t get his ticket first time is a good anti-climax . We do feel for him. And I liked the business with the opera-goers getting ripped off buying chocolate and then dropping the money. Is that in the book or film(s)?  And then he gets the ticket and does a little reprise of his earlier song. Wonka (dressed as Fagin) watching him from a telephone box was a nice touch. But then we want a big number with the sweet-shop lady and others…. opera people back maybe? ...leading up to a sudden silence as he reveals it to his family, and then bursting out in song and dance again. Instead we get a slow song by Grandpa Joe. It’s a let-down. Also, I’d have loved a number earlier on with people of the town buying all the chocolate on Earth- a real frenzy. We see the odd projected photo of massive crates of the stuff, but I yearned for them to make something big from it.

The  end of Act One outside the factory gates has a nice business with the red carpet, but then the song – again – brings it down. Loved the projections in the windows. In fact, Jon Driscoll’s projections throughout were v effective. Forgot to mention the mother/father song, and the snow storm. Nicely staged.

So end of Act One is a bit of a downer. Thankfully Act Two is far far pacier. It’s visually impressive, though there was something slightly fake and manufactured about it. It’s hard to put a finger on it, but it lacked the suggestiveness and organic feel of Matilda. Gloop up the tube well done (fountain was nice…. was expecting something awful though after comments on here!).  And similarly Veruca’s squirrel scene was excellent. The best number in the whole show I think. Superb staging, and a reasonably catchy song. Teevee’s TV shrinkage v effective, was less keen on Violet’s bubblegum explosion. Inflatable costume good, but then she turns into this mirror ball which I was hoping would fly up with additional mirrorballs around the auditorium, but it fell a bit flat.

The Oompa Loompas were nicely done, even though occasionally I could see their operators. Allowed for some great acrobatics. Loved the scene where they sit on the giant tubes and we see Gloop through the windows. And the other Loompa-types kept things interested. At the very end, we saw a Loompa running across the stage. Was that a dwarf??

The zooming around the factory was a good way of covering the scene changes. Less keen on the boat… the river was blue. I wanted chocolate!

I’d forgotten about Charlie not getting the lifetime supply, so that was a nice twist. And lovely little scene with Charlie at the notebook, with the various projections (Blake again) on the back wall. And then we get Pure Imagination. Though the most memorable tune (partly because we know it already), it’s too quiet for the elevator sequence. You can hear the hydraulics.

The elevator is essentially a tardis, in shape and colour. Fitted with bright blue neon tubing. And it floats up and (sort of) out over the audience. Hard to tell how far out it went from where I was sitting. You couldn’t see any supports, boom arm or wires, so in that sense it’s very effective. But it didn’t have that magical feeling of, say, Mary Poppins flying out. Partly because it’s not quite the end, also because there’s no spine tingling music. It’s Pure Imagination, which really should’ve come a bit earlier and then it flies out.

The ending with the family is nice, liked the Loompas in the various boxes. But it should’ve been bigger, a real celebration. But, I was moved as Charlie put on a mini-Wonka uniform. I had a tear in my eye, so it did something. And the very end put me in mind of the end of the Cameron Mackintosh revival of Oliver!, originally directed by….. Sam Mendes. Fagin (Wonka), a lone figure on the stage, backlit. And then the unexpected twist.,… he collapses, leaving just his costume. Couldn’t tell how that was done. The only trick which I didn’t work out.

So, what of the cast? Douglas Hodge is an interesting choice for Wonka, and, in the most part, he pulls it off. He’s a weird character - can’t figure him out.  But he’s not all nice, that’s for sure. There’s a real sense of arrogance in him.  Nigel Planer does a good job of Grandpa Joe, though he could look older. And a couple of the parents really stand out: Jasna Ivir as Mrs Gloop, and Iris Roberts as Mrs Teevee. But the kids steal it. And I’m not just saying that because they’re kids. Tom Klenerman really does make you feel for Charlie, but, like Oliver!, the titular role is not the best part. The 4 other kids have got the best job, and I was particularly impressed with Ellie Simons as Veruca Salt. She was sensationally good. Had that brattish twat girl down to a tee.  

So it’s no classic. And it’s no Matilda- the inevitable comparison. But despite my moanings above, it’s worth seeing. It’ll run at the Lane (which looks absolutely beautiful  FoH now, well done Lloyd Webber) for a couple of years I guess. Will be interesting to see what the critics make of it next week.



#349 KevinUK

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 08:30 PM

Completely agree with 90% of the above, especially the suggestions - putting those in would give it the 'magical' feel I think it lacks. I honestly think it's a solid show which is a great follow up to Shrek, it's just missing that thing that makes a really good show into an amazing show. It just doesn't have that 'wow' factor about it.
If I stay awake, it must be good.

#350 mrtheatre123

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 08:47 PM

View PostPharaoh, on 19 June 2013 - 06:27 PM, said:

I caught the matinee this afternoon. Pretty full house, mainly consisting of school groups (shock horror). And Sam Mendesí secondary school art teacher, who was sat next to me. So, here are my thoughts, which, given the nature of this thread, will contain spoilers.

This wonít become a classic. I think there are possibly two, maybe three, original songs which if I heard them a few more times would be memorable. The rest are bland and forgettable. There a no recurring themes, nothing to tie them together. The styles are v random. Mind you, the notes on the score a v random too. No good melodies. Also, itís very much a story of two parts- Charlieís house beneath the bridge, and Willy Wonkaís Chocolate Factory. It reminded a lot of The Wizard of Oz in its construction; shift from a dull reality to a magical fantasy. But unfortunately here weíre spending too much time in the dull reality. Itís the whole of the first act. The TV set idea, where Charlie and his family see the different golden ticket winners, is a good one. Thereís some brilliant characterisation there. But itís all too static. The TV box restrains them. I was longing for massive song and dance numbers. Peter Darling can do those, very very well. But here theyíre lacking considerably.

The opening is nice. A short film, illustrated by Quentin Blake, on the making of chocolate. Itís witty and doesnít outstay its welcome. I read on here that it goes on for 5mins +. This afternoon is was no longer than 3mins. But then Act One is static. Thereís a bit of business involving beds and dancing grandparents, and itís entertaining enough. And then the TV sequence, which as Iíve said already, should be full stage. That said, the individual settings are neatly designed, and changed v quickly. Loved Gloop esp. The business with Charlie and his aerial wasnít carried all the way through. At the sat his TV wouldnít work unless he held it up in the exact position. Later on, it worked fine when it was left on the floor. Minor niggle, but it jarred with me.

When Charlie doesnít get his ticket first time is a good anti-climax . We do feel for him. And I liked the business with the opera-goers getting ripped off buying chocolate and then dropping the money. Is that in the book or film(s)?  And then he gets the ticket and does a little reprise of his earlier song. Wonka (dressed as Fagin) watching him from a telephone box was a nice touch. But then we want a big number with the sweet-shop lady and othersÖ. opera people back maybe? ...leading up to a sudden silence as he reveals it to his family, and then bursting out in song and dance again. Instead we get a slow song by Grandpa Joe. Itís a let-down. Also, Iíd have loved a number earlier on with people of the town buying all the chocolate on Earth- a real frenzy. We see the odd projected photo of massive crates of the stuff, but I yearned for them to make something big from it.

The  end of Act One outside the factory gates has a nice business with the red carpet, but then the song Ė again Ė brings it down. Loved the projections in the windows. In fact, Jon Driscollís projections throughout were v effective. Forgot to mention the mother/father song, and the snow storm. Nicely staged.

So end of Act One is a bit of a downer. Thankfully Act Two is far far pacier. Itís visually impressive, though there was something slightly fake and manufactured about it. Itís hard to put a finger on it, but it lacked the suggestiveness and organic feel of Matilda. Gloop up the tube well done (fountain was niceÖ. was expecting something awful though after comments on here!).  And similarly Verucaís squirrel scene was excellent. The best number in the whole show I think. Superb staging, and a reasonably catchy song. Teeveeís TV shrinkage v effective, was less keen on Violetís bubblegum explosion. Inflatable costume good, but then she turns into this mirror ball which I was hoping the giant ball would fly up with additional mirrorballs around the audition, but it fell a bit flat.

The Oompa Loompas were nicely done, even though occasionally I could see their operators. Allowed for some great acrobatics. Loved the scene where they sit on the giant tubes and we see Gloop through the windows. And the other Loompa-types kept things interested. At the very end, we saw a Loompa running across the stage. Was that a dwarf??

The zooming around the factory was a good way of covering the scene changes. Less keen on the boatÖ the river was blue. I wanted chocolate!

Iíd forgotten about Charlie not getting the lifetime supply, so that was a nice twist. And lovely little scene with Charlie at the notebook, with the various projections (Blake again) on the back wall. And then we get Pure Imagination. Though the most memorable tune (partly because we know it already), itís too quiet for the elevator sequence. You can hear the hydraulics.

The elevator is essentially a tardis, in shape and colour. Fitted with bright blue neon tubing. And it floats up and (sort of) out over the audience. Hard to tell how far out it went from where I was sitting. You couldnít see any supports, boom arm or wires, so in that sense itís very effective. But it didnít have that magical feeling of, say, Mary Poppins flying out. Partly because itís not quite the end, also because thereís no spine tingling music. Itís Pure Imagination, which really shouldíve come a bit earlier and then it flies out.

The ending with the family is nice, liked the Loompas in the various boxes. But it shouldíve been bigger, a real celebration. But, I was moved as Charlie put on a mini-Wonka uniform. I had a tear in my eye, so it did something. And the very end put me in mind of the end of the Cameron Mackintosh revival of Oliver!, originally directed byÖ.. Sam Mendes. Fagin (Wonka), a lone figure on the stage, backlit. And then the unexpected twist.,Ö he collapses, leaving just his costume. Couldnít tell how that was done. The only trick which I didnít work out.

So, what of the cast? Douglas Hodge is an interesting choice for Wonka, and, in the most part, he pulls it off. Heís a weird character - canít figure him out.  But heís not all nice, thatís for sure. Thereís a real sense of arrogance in him.  Nigel Planer does a good job of Grandpa Joe, though he could look older. And a couple of the parents really stand out: Jasna Ivir as Mrs Gloop, and Iris Roberts as Mrs Teevee. But the kids steal it. And Iím not just saying that because theyíre kids. Tom Klenerman really does make you feel for Charlie, but, like Oliver!, the titular role is not the best part. The 4 other kids have got the best job, and I was particularly impressed with Ellie Simmons as Veruca Salt. She was sensationally good. Had that brattish twat girl down to a tee.  

So itís no classic. And itís no Matilda- the inevitable comparison. But despite my moanings above, itís worth seeing. Itíll run at the Lane (which looks absolutely beautiful  FoH now, well done Lloyd Webber) for a couple of years I guess. Will be interesting to see what the critics make of it next week.

Thanks for such a detailed post, a great amount of detail :)

Can I ask what u mean by the elevator sort of coming out over the audience? What is sort of bit?




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