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Donmar

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#1 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 12:47 AM

Even very good performances from Deborah Findlay, Hadley Fraser and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen can't save this mess of a production. It looks ugly, and Josie Rourke has too much random stuff going on without any coherency. The cast, for a lot of the time, sit up stage on a row of chairs, getting up whenever they're in a scene. And occasionally they all move downstage and just stare at the audience. It's silly, as is the weird choreography also involving chairs. After Berenice, I'm starting to think Rourke has a chair fetish. There's also some business involving paint to draw on the floors and walls (something which she did in The Physicists), and there's a lot of random falling material- red confetti, soil, water etc. It makes little sense, and slows the action down as it needs to be constantly cleared up.

Tom Hiddleston does a decent enough job, though he's not helped by his over-excited occasionally squealing fangirls, some of whom have queued over night twice already to catch the first 2 previews. And Elliot Levey seems to be playing Michael Sheen playing Tony Blair.

My mind drifted a lot and I longed to escape. As expected, it received a semi standing ovation at the end, but if Mr Hiddleston (and therefore an audience full of his adoring girls) weren't in it, I'm not sure if it would've got the same reception.....

No doubt the press will love it, as they seem to have done with Henry V. I saw that this afternoon and that was also a major let down.



#2 Honoured Guest

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 12:53 AM

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#3 Mrs Lovett's Meat Pie

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 01:38 AM

YAY! a bad review! LIKE ALWAYS!!!

#4 LBlaidd

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 04:45 AM

Just curious--several folk have reported quiet, respectful audiences save for giggling during appropriately humorous moments.  Are these individuals lying, then?

#5 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 08:31 AM

There was a little squealing - from the girls next to me, certainly - when Mr Hiddleston first appeared. Otherwise there was laughter at humourous moments, except they seemed to find far more humour in the play than I did, and they'd laugh with a great deal more enthusiasm.

I've never seen the Donmar as busy as it was last night.



#6 Kathryn2

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 09:20 AM

View PostPharaoh, on 08 December 2013 - 08:31 AM, said:

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I've never seen the Donmar as busy as it was last night.

Did you not see the McGregor Othello?

The place has a finite capacity - it can't be more sold out now then it was back then....

#7 Titan

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 09:31 AM

Yeah I don't get that comment. Ive been to the Donmar several times when its been sold out. Or do you mean extra people hanging around the stage door that didn't see the show?

#8 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 09:36 AM

View PostKathryn2, on 08 December 2013 - 09:20 AM, said:

Did you not see the McGregor Othello?

The place has a finite capacity - it can't be more sold out now then it was back then....

No I didn't :(  I'm sure I have seen the Donmar sold out (e.g. Anna Christie)- it's just the overriding image in my mind is the place half empty, as it has been at everything I've seen there this last year. I'd almost forgotten what a busy Donmar looked like.

Obviously this being packed to the hilt wasn't unexpected. I wonder if the mad overnight queuing for standing tickets will be sustained for the course of the run?



#9 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 09:37 AM

View PostTitan, on 08 December 2013 - 09:31 AM, said:

Or do you mean extra people hanging around the stage door that didn't see the show?

That, too. It didn't help that they didn't open the FoH areas 'til 7pm, and the Circle bar 'til 7.15pm so it looked even busier than it was.



#10 Kathryn2

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 10:18 AM

I've been lucky/determined enough to see a lot of sold out shows at the Donmar, several through getting up at silly o'clock to queue.  So I find it odd when the place is half-empty, and lacking that buzz of excitement you get from people who are psyched just to get a ticket.





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