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Death Tax

Royal Court Rep

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#1 Latecomer

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 06:48 AM

Well this was great. Fantastic performances all round and fine little play. Ran 1 hour 30 mins straight through and well worth seeing. Very enthusiastic audience response well deserved. Can see this one having a life after this week somewhere. Interesting take on the issues of how money is passed down the generations but also some nice personal relationship stuff mixed in there and good debate about right and wrong...do ends justify the means. Go see!

Borrowed a set of headphones from the front desk when I arrived nice and early and listed to plays on MP3 player (10 of them...about 6-10mins for each) . Was supposed to stand on yellow dots throughout the building but felt an idiot doing that so went to bar and sat in comfy armchair with pot of tea (much better) Nice. Good for lone theatre goers! And bar was air conditioned. Have to leave 10 deposit at the desk.

#2 xanderl

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 07:26 AM

Interesting, thanks for the review. Dates didn't work out for me to see Death Tax, but I'm seeing Pigeons next week (go to http://www.ideastap.com. register for free, look at discounts and offers, get top price tix for Pigeons for £5 :) ) Hoping to get there in time to do the headphone thingy.
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#3 mallardo

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 07:29 AM

View PostLatecomer, on 20 June 2013 - 06:48 AM, said:

Well this was great. Fantastic performances all round and fine little play. Ran 1 hour 30 mins straight through and well worth seeing. Very enthusiastic audience response well deserved. Can see this one having a life after this week somewhere. Interesting take on the issues of how money is passed down the generations but also some nice personal relationship stuff mixed in there and good debate about right and wrong...do ends justify the means. Go see!

Borrowed a set of headphones from the front desk when I arrived nice and early and listed to plays on MP3 player (10 of them...about 6-10mins for each) . Was supposed to stand on yellow dots throughout the building but felt an idiot doing that so went to bar and sat in comfy armchair with pot of tea (much better) Nice. Good for lone theatre goers! And bar was air conditioned. Have to leave £10 deposit at the desk.
You found an empty armchair at the Royal Court bar?  I guess I just don't get there early enough.
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#4 Latecomer

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 08:09 AM

View Postmallardo, on 20 June 2013 - 07:29 AM, said:


You found an empty armchair at the Royal Court bar?  I guess I just don't get there early enough.

There is a new secret snug at the back of the room....all concrete bunker and old fashioned sofas and chairs..if I didn't know better I would think Soutra Gilmour had designed it!

#5 Honoured Guest

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 02:16 PM

This play fits the Weekly Rep format well. It already seems a successful, full production after only a week's rehearsal. This is the sort of play that I imagine could quite easily be grasped by just reading the script. It wouldn't gain much from an "excellent" production of the kind that the Royal Court customarily bestows. It's too "ordinary" a script to merit a major production, although the excellent actors do bring the best out of it. Most theatre tries to provide a "theatrical" experience of some type, and I felt that aspect is missing from this play, which would work very well as a BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Drama. I agree with Latecomer that there was some enthusiasm amongst quite a few of the audience and that proves that it would be good if a place could be found on the theatre scene for this kind of scripted play. I've seen quite a few regional theatre studio productions of new plays like this, but these theatres usually beef up the theatrical experience, which is praiseworthy in principle but which these types of mundane play often can't really carry. Maybe, in future, the Royal Court could produce a "cheap and cheerful" season of short runs of basic but well crafted new plays like this in a Theatre Local venue. It would give more production opportunities to emerging writers while leaving the well-equipped home theatres free for more formally and technically demanding theatre. And it would give audiences a chance to see the work of more writers without the weighty expectation that hangs over every Royal Court show now.

#6 Poly

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 04:06 PM

View Postmallardo, on 20 June 2013 - 07:29 AM, said:

You found an empty armchair at the Royal Court bar?  I guess I just don't get there early enough.

Not sure whether you have been recently but they have redone the bar, much better use of space, as a result there are more seats: tables, bar seats, sofas, it feels that the space has many nice corners and they increased capacity. I approve.

As for the play, interesting story with many different debates that the play carries effortlessly. Nuanced performances by all and an accomplished production (especialy considering the time restrictions).

#7 Latecomer

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 04:08 PM

Honoured Guest....goodness....was a load of condescending drivel....I really don't know where to start. I just thought it was a lovely, interesting play well done. Since seeing it it has been on my mind, popping into my head at odd moments, making me think of both the issues raised and the performances. So for me, it was just a good play and a good production. Enough!

#8 Honoured Guest

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 10:32 PM

Latecomer, we're 90% in agreement. This production was knocked up in a week and it works because it's a sound script (which, I'm glad to hear, really hit the spot for you) and because this play doesn't need a more complex production. Most play productions at the Royal Court couldn't be satisfactorily created in a week. The Royal Court regularly says that it can only afford too short a rehearsal period, of (I think) four weeks. The best recent example is The Low Road which was effectively still in rehearsal right up until press night. And the first Weekly Rep play, The President Has Come To See You, was quite rough and unready in comparison with Death Tax.

There must be lots of other good scripts which could similarly be rehearsed quickly for a cheap production, at a low cost, and played to appreciative audiences. Enough?

#9 Latecomer

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 08:19 AM

View PostHonoured Guest, on 22 June 2013 - 10:32 PM, said:

Latecomer, we're 90% in agreement. This production was knocked up in a week and it works because it's a sound script (which, I'm glad to hear, really hit the spot for you) and because this play doesn't need a more complex production. Most play productions at the Royal Court couldn't be satisfactorily created in a week. The Royal Court regularly says that it can only afford too short a rehearsal period, of (I think) four weeks. The best recent example is The Low Road which was effectively still in rehearsal right up until press night. And the first Weekly Rep play, The President Has Come To See You, was quite rough and unready in comparison with Death Tax.

There must be lots of other good scripts which could similarly be rehearsed quickly for a cheap production, at a low cost, and played to appreciative audiences. Enough?

Sorry, misunderstood a little....thought you were putting down the play, which I liked a lot. I guess I am quite a fan of the play beats the production anyway....one of my highlights of last year was the staged reading of Look Back in Anger.  So yes, maybe a stage where you know there won't be an incredible set and a huge production but the writing and acting will be fabulous!





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