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Stephen Ward - The Musical

New ALW musical (Don Black Christopher Hampton)

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#111 Jamiem

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:35 AM

View Posttheatremole, on 10 August 2013 - 07:52 AM, said:

Well, ALW did agree to cast Russell Grant in 'Wizard of Oz'...

I don't think he's right for this tho

#112 mallardo

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:54 PM

The poster/ad for this - man in dark glasses half-hidden by naked woman - is provocative and eye-catching and exactly right.  Just the sort of thing that would get me to see it.  Full marks to the designer.
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#113 The Scorpion

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 02:01 PM

I'm a little worried for this insofar as this is surely, out of the shows ALW has done, the one that has had by far the least publicity? And yet you'd have thought it would be one that would need it the most. Yet perversely they completely overhyped the unnecessary Phantom sequel (one show that surely needed the least publicity since it was cashing in on brand appeal), going as far as making grandiose and delusional statements about how it was going to take over the world and open everywhere at once. Seriously, even Aspects and The Woman in White got more publicity than this by this point in their gestation. The last RUG show I remember that got comparatively little publicity was the London Evita revival, as RUG focused all its efforts on The Sound of Music, and I think that is one of the reasons it didn't do as well as it ought to have done (especially given the rave reviews). The original Evita, though it was a similarly unconventional subject for a musical, had the benefit of the then-recent success of Superstar and a hit concept album. This has neither and it follows an unbroken string of flops since the mid-1990s. Why the hell can't ALW get someone who can actually produce?

#114 Boob

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 02:23 PM

Perhaps because this one isn't produced by RUG (probably a good thing)?  Robert Fox may have an entirely different press and marketing strategy.  I think it would be a waste of money to start heavily advertising a non-family show which doesn't open until December over the summer months.  Nice to see that their social media campaign is nice and alive though.  As you said, the massive campaign for LND didn't exactly help it...

#115 Viserys

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 02:43 PM

Love never dies always tried to cash in on Phantom's fame, so no doubt they hoped to create a huge "buzz of excitement" months ahead in the hope of selling tickets (and getting fans from all over the world to come to London).

They know that Stephen Ward won't be that attractive to foreigners (who know little/nothing of the affair) or to the young fan generation (who weren't around then) , so why create a huge buzz this far in advance?

Evita had never become as successful as it was (and is), if "Don't cry for me Argentina" hadn't been a huge worldwide hit and drew attention to the show. I don't know if ALW can still write songs of this calibre but I suppose that's what he'd need for SW too.

#116 Titan

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 03:56 PM

This is being treated more like a play in terms of a lower key approach to marketing which I think for now is the right thing to do. They dont have an angle, theres no star, no well known songs, no brand recognition.  I suspect they are hoping for a strong opening and word of mouth and kick it into gear then.

I quite like the cool black and white images, its a very different approach from the usual style of mega musical marketing.

As for Evita, reviews mean less and less these days if the public have little interest in the show (look at Merrily).  The mega sung through musicals are not as popular as they once were, especially when they tour extensively.  It will be interesting to see how Miss Saigon fares

#117 DeNada

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:10 PM

View PostTitan, on 25 August 2013 - 03:56 PM, said:

This is being treated more like a play in terms of a lower key approach to marketing which I think for now is the right thing to do. They dont have an angle, theres no star, no well known songs, no brand recognition.  I suspect they are hoping for a strong opening and word of mouth and kick it into gear then.

While this can work for a play - and would probably work better here if ALW were better respected these days - the only cold openings of plays we get in the West End these days do have angles and stars - think Peter and Alice, or The Audience.  The big West End plays of the past few years - your Jerusalems, your Enrons, your Chimericas - have all had hugely successful subsidised runs to build up that word of mouth before hitting the West End (and I guess Jerusalem had Mark Rylance and Mackenzie Crook but arguably no-one knows who Mark Rylance is outside of postcodes beginning WC).

Stephen Ward is and was always going to be a very hard sell.  I guess at least the marketing is mildly interesting, unlike, say, From Here To Eternity.

#118 danieldabell

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 11:21 PM

I wonder if Lord Webber had written this under a pseudonym that expectations would have been more realistic & the piece appreciated for what it will be rather than a relative piece of theatre to other Webber musicals. It's odd to hear/read so much opining on the actual show when we know so little yet.

#119 sam22

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 02:13 PM

I'm currently reading a book about the trial that I found for a $1 in a second hand store in NYC. It is out of print but if anyone is interested it is listed on Amazon, though not sure it is actually available and if so it will only be from someone selling it on the marketplace (http://www.amazon.co...of stephen ward)

It is providing a fascinating insight into the story anyway and making me quite excited to see the show, I'm only in my twenties so until I heard about the show I didn't even know the name Stephen Ward. I would definitely recommend it for anyone interested in the show and particularly in the trial itself and why it is often considered a miscarriage of justice. The author provided commentary on the entire trial and includes verbatim dialogue which took place when the witnesses gave evidence.

In another news, did anyone see the Daily Mail article about Christine Keeler, I'm not sure if it just a coincidence or if it is because of the trial being discussed again with the show coming up, it basically just showed a picture of her now and in the past and said she hadn't kept her looks, so nothing worth reporting really!

#120 DeNada

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 04:08 PM

View Postdanieldabell, on 25 August 2013 - 11:21 PM, said:

I wonder if Lord Webber had written this under a pseudonym that expectations would have been more realistic & the piece appreciated for what it will be rather than a relative piece of theatre to other Webber musicals. It's odd to hear/read so much opining on the actual show when we know so little yet.

If anyone other than ALW had written this, it would be playing four weeks at the Union with a single keyboard - much like A Model Girl did about six years ago (that was at Greenwich, though, I think) when it told the Profumo story from Christine Keeler's POV.

The only reason to have expectations of the show is because of him.  Otherwise there would be absolutely nothing to talk about!




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