QUOTE(Comment on article @ Jun 4 2007, 11:21 AM)
At the Royal Court we have no funding for understudies so when, in our recent production of The Seagull, Carey Mulligan was rushed into hospital, Anna Madeley read from the text. The audience understood, enjoyed the play immensely and showed their appreciation.
I realise this is a little off-topic, but that glib description of the understudy fiasco at the Royal Court in the first comment really gets my hackles up.
I was in the audience. I did not enjoy the play, there was someone reading flatly from the script. I understood that they had no money to have understudies, I do not appreciate that they went ahead with the performance. It should have been cancelled for a few days and that's that. It was really quite bad. Yes, I clapped politely, but that's because management didn't come on stage so I could boo at them. I still wish I hadn't seen that atrocious performance. If I hadn't booked tons of things to see already, it probably would have put me off the theatre for a few months.
Back on topic: I saw both Barber and Jessop, and personally I preferred Jessop. She completely restored my faith in understudies. Maybe they should have gone with 2 pressnights, one in Stratford for the cast that would perform most of the Stratford performances, and another pressnight in Newcastle or lateron in London, so Barber can have her moment in the sun.