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Barnum?


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#21 Titan

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 07:37 AM

View PostPharaoh, on 18 July 2013 - 06:32 AM, said:

That's what this is. I was hoping for a massive tightrope above our heads (with safety net, obv). In the tent it could be done.

High expectations maybe?

Id never expect that to be honest, but I would expect circus tricks on stage.  I know at least one of the cast was in LND and is an acrobat

#22 Reich

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 07:46 AM

I saw a national tour in the early 90’s at the Manchester opera house staring paul Nicholas. He walked the tightrope. Which was pulled tightly across the proscenium arch and it seemed quite high, maybe two metres or so … this show needs real spectacle or it just won’t work

Broadway has been very good to me. But then, I've been very good to broadway.


#23 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 08:30 AM

View PostTitan, on 18 July 2013 - 07:37 AM, said:

High expectations maybe?

Id never expect that to be honest, but I would expect circus tricks on stage.  I know at least one of the cast was in LND and is an acrobat

Of course I had high expectations. This is Cameron Mackintosh, Tim Sheader, Chichester, Scott Pask..... These folks are some of the very best in the business. And you're doing it in a big top. And you've got money. If the little circus which pops up on my local recreation ground every year can do what I mention, surely they can here. There wasn't even a clown in sight.

It's a short show- came out at 9.45 last night. Act 2 is only 40 mins. You could bulk it out with a couple of big circus routines.

Love Never Dies featured 3 minute circus section at the v beginning and that was it. Wasn't mind-blowing, but it sufficed. The difference here is that this show is about the circus. And about the founder of one of the greatest circuses ever.



#24 Titan

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 08:44 AM

I dont disagree with you on the whole, I just dont expect gimmicks like over the head stuff.  I would expect loads going on on stage though.

I have heard positive things from non forum people so im interested to see it for myself in a couple of weeks

#25 theatremonkey.com

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 08:55 AM

The "overhead" thing everybody remembers was the final "death slide" on a wire from the highest upper circle boxes onto the stage. There was a big thing made about "the Palladium boxes are closed for the first time ever" back in 1981, I recall.

I didn't like the show when I saw it during the Victoria Palace run, but the BBC broadcast of it (available on DVD but the colours are awful on that for some strange reason) had me hooked. I think the big problem is that it's always sold as the "circus musical" when Barnum in fact didn't do that until very late in life - and the show reflects that.

Still, hope they get the show working so we can see it in London some time.

#26 Honoured Guest

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 09:57 AM

It's tough to present a show which revels in cheesy historic performance and make it appeal to a modern audience. At the London Palladium in the '80s with Michael Crawford, you could succeed by playing it straight and replicating the spirit of the "greatest show on earth.". But in the age of new circus, and in a sophisticated theatre venue, one might expect Barnum to be more of a commentary on or critique of Barnum.

This has reminded me that I find Gypsy to be the queasiest of shows to experience in the theatre, because I can't get over the distasteful performances which feature in the story.

#27 Anthony

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 12:13 PM

Hmm, I've been reading these posts. Personally, as a fan of show, I'm excited about seeing this, and not just becausre the female lead is Australian. I've never seen Barnum professionally. I have the Michael Crawford DVD and the Jim Dale/Glenn Close cast recording in my i-Pod.

I kinda question if you're expressing frustration over the fact that Christopher Fitzgerald cannot perform on the high wire, surely he too must be feeling that frustration?

I've also never been to Chichester and actually found myself the other night on the website looking at train fares and logisticaly how to get there.
Don't we get to be happy? At some point down the line, don't we get to relax without some new tsuris to push me yet further from you!

Who dare tell the lambs in Spring what fate the later season brings?

#28 meister

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 12:20 PM

Saw it last night (Wednesday) and agree with Pharoah's Number 2 and Craftymiss.

Saw it back in the 1980's with Michael Crawford and somehow he could pull this off.  Last night, they didn't.  It came across as very thin both in terms of story and delivery.  The sound seemed muted and at times it was hard to catch all the lines especially with an air con unit going full blast behind us.  Christopher Fitzgerald just didn't have the charisma for Barnum and the three attempts at the tightrope walk seemed increasingly desperate.  He also fluffed other lines as well.  The whole thing just lacked oomph and spectacle.  A real missed opportunity and not worth a recommendation I'm afraid.

The theatre in the park is an amazing structure but wander up during the interval (8.40ish), have a look round and enjoy a drink/ soak up the ambience rather than pay for a ticket!!

Cam Mac was there last night and he was limping so perhaps the stairs have claimed him too!!

#29 timsy99

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 02:46 PM

I went last night... It must be the dullest version of Barnum on record... Can't see this making the west End...

#30 showtoones

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 07:56 PM

When is Barnum scheduled to come to the West End and do they have a theater yet?




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