Jump to content


Jeeves & Wooster


  • Please log in to reply
44 replies to this topic

#1 steveatplays

steveatplays

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 253 posts

Posted 16 October 2013 - 05:00 PM

The stage for this at Richmond (pending its West End run) was so high that it was restricted view for the first five rows. Even in row G, I was significantly below the stage floor. The reason for this was to provide a below stage crawl space for the actors, something Richmond can't accommodate without raising the stage more than two feet.

Even though I could see what was going on on stage, I didn't find the first half set up funny, rather a bit strained and tedious. The second half pay off was more amusing, though still sub Noises Off at the Old Vic, itself only average in my view.

I compare this to Noises Off because Jeeves and Wooster is about putting on a play for an audience, and the laughs come as the actors race around running into mishaps staging the story, most fires put out by Jeeves.

The fourth wall is broken as Stephen Mangan's Bertie Wooster directly addresses the audience. He tells a story of how farcical events befell him and how Matthew Macfadyen's Jeeves saved his bacon, even as Jeeves rushes around providing props and recruiting actors to save Bertie's story from becoming boring. Most usefully, Jeeves' recruits Mark Hadfield's Seppings to play the most hammy comedic parts in Bertie's story.

Hadfield is excellent hamming it up as a tall dictator and a frantic old aunt, and indeed, as Seppings himself, who only has a terrible cough when he is being himself.

Matthew Macfadyen and Stephen Mangan are extremely game and well cast, but like in Barking for Essex, I felt the performers were above the material they were given to work with.

Macfadyen's Private Lives and Mangan's recent pregnant man play at the Royal Court were both much funnier than this.

Only Trafalgar 2's recent "Play that isn't a play," or whatever it was called, triumphed doing this postmodern play within a play farce genre. Unlike this and Noises Off, there I was reduced to belly laughs. Here, my embarrassed forced smile did break into mild amusement in the second half, but I can't give it more than 2 and a half stars, at a stretch.

Which is a shame, as I've always been thrilled to see Macfadyen perform, ever since his wonderful appearance in that Poliakov television masterpiece with Michael Gambon. At least Matthew gets to dress up in women's clothes and operate a dog puppet, which was fun.

Incidentally, interval conversation proved more fun than the play when the lady sitting next to me revealed she had appeared in 2 Bond films. :)

#2 Parsley

Parsley

    Advanced Member

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

Posted 18 October 2013 - 10:05 PM

Please avoid this absolute pile of rubbish.

Just got back from the unfunniest ever "comedy" I have seen.

Watched open mouthed at the Richmond "audience" rolling about in laughter.

They must have empty lives.

I cannot believe it will be coming to the West End.

At the prices they are charging.

People are going to feel incredibly short changed.

I would not even award it one star.

#3 xanderl

xanderl

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2082 posts

Posted 28 October 2013 - 01:09 PM

I saw an absolute rave review of this on another forum.
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#4 Pharaoh's number 2

Pharaoh's number 2

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3754 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London

Posted 28 October 2013 - 01:10 PM

Went in to ask about dayseats today- £25 (which strikes me as rather expensive compared to all the other plays out there), location not certain though 10 tix are available. And they start doing them from Wed 13th Nov.



#5 Epicoene

Epicoene

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1239 posts

Posted 28 October 2013 - 01:21 PM

View PostParsley, on 18 October 2013 - 10:05 PM, said:

Watched open mouthed at the Richmond "audience" rolling about in laughter.
Made me laugh there - well done - not sure why that works, putting quotation marks round an unarguable fact.

#6 MrBarnaby

MrBarnaby

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1287 posts

Posted 31 October 2013 - 09:47 PM

It sounds like a stinker.. Shame , nice poster and great cast!
You can just tell it's going to be hideously unfunny

#7 Parsley

Parsley

    Advanced Member

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

Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:25 PM

It has no place in the West End.

Although with a cast of 3 and no set to speak of they will rake in the money on this one.

#8 woobl

woobl

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 01 November 2013 - 12:04 PM

I saw the first preview a few nights ago and although there were moments when the show dragged, I thought the end result was a very well put together piece of comedy. Yes, the 'Jeeves and Wooster' genre is not for everyone, but the majority of the audience were very much behind the piece. The three actors are very well cast in their respective roles and special mention should be made to Mark Hadfield who had the momentous task of playing about 6 roles. Currently other than 'The 39 Steps' there is not much in the West End that compares to this show in terms of genre and style.

Would be nice to think that the theatre going audiences will enjoy this for what it is - a good piece of farcical theatre. You don't have to think too much about it but who cares - it makes people laugh and that’s not such a bad thing.


#9 Viserys

Viserys

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 104 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 01 November 2013 - 12:08 PM

I agree. I saw it during its Brighton run and while I didn't laugh half as much as those around me, it did do its job of entertaining people very well. It doesn't pretend to be great anyway - they have only planned a limited run which seems based on the pulling power of its stars.

#10 AnnT

AnnT

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 136 posts

Posted 02 November 2013 - 02:24 AM

I like "steveatplays" post, pretty much sums up my feelings about it, and Viserys - I laughed , not as much as those around me, but it certainly wasn't the stinker I anticipated after reading a couple of the reviews above.  Audience around me were having a great giggle - young lad next to me, probably late teens, woman in front I would guess at mid-70's.  

I can see the comparison with "The Play That Goes Wrong", which, at just over an hour or so and at £15, was a superb bit of entertainment.  But I felt this worked, I love Wodehouse and there are some plummy lines.  "House Full" board was up at the front.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users