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The Glass Menagerie, History Boys and The Reporter


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#1 Parsley

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 09:39 AM

The downtime had delayed my opinions of two fantastic plays. I actually saw the second preview of The Glass Menagerie. I am not the biggest TW fan, and this play is not the most engaging of his works. This production is superb: I am surprised the reeviews were not more positive. The whole concept of the staging was inspired and the set design was very effective. All of the cast gave commanding performances. Jessica Lange has made the role her own and I thought that Ed Stoppard was very good (much better than the rather critical reviewers thought, and far better than his terrible turn in Hamlet). My only criticism is the marketed ticket pricing. 49.50 is a bit steep and although there are discounts around for this everywhere, an odd delusion on the part of the producers.

I saw the History Boys on the evening of the 6th Feb. I have not see the play on stage since the fourth preview during the original run at the Lyttleton, well over two years ago. I am sorry to say, that I do not think is had aged well in this time. I would be very surprised if we ever see another production of this play: More than likely the NT version will continue, in the vein of the "original" An Inspector Calls. My main problem was, funnily enough, the stage and theatre. Such a small stage after that of the Lyttleton seemed to diminish the play. The performances are now competent rather than outstanding. I really missed Frances De La Tour as Mrs Lintott. It is commendable that the play has been around for so long, and I do not deny that it has wit and merit, but I can't help feeling a little smug that I saw it originally when I did.

This brings me to my theatrical highlight of 2007 (to date) and The Reporter. It totally made up for the lamentable Man Of Mode (the other new opening of late at the NT). What a triumph. I would not be surprised if this wins a raft of awards this time next year. The writing is exquisite: With a mix of narration from the lead character, it tells the story of the troubled last years of the BBC reporter James Mossman. We follow his rise and fall, the centre of which revolves around his lover, ending with his suicide. The play never really answers the question as to why he took his life, but the journey we have taken during the evening offers several possible theories. All of the performances were superb and the play reminded me of a refined Frost/Nixon. The staging is perfect and there is very effective use of projection and video throughout. A wonderful evening, a triumphant new play expertly directed and exactly what the NT does best at its best. THe current run is sold out (more or less). Buy a ticket when the new booking period opens!

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 10:04 AM

Just as a matter of interest, why didn't you add your comments to the existing threads about the History Boys and The Glass Menagerie?

#3 hedge_hog

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 10:30 AM

I'm really looking forward to seeing The Reporter, going in two weeks and can't wait.


#4 hedgehog

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 10:56 AM

There's a coincidence. We have a hedgehog, registered yesterday and hedge hog registered today. I look forward to lots of confusion as we get a sky light and a back drifter too.

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 11:09 AM

Yeah this isn't really working is it.  We've got a guest posting as marius on the general section too.  What with this and duplicate threads (already - how easy it is to look down the page and see what's there) iit's fast becoming a shambles.  I suppose you can at least rely on avs and sigs to tell who's who.

#6 hedge_hog

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 11:22 AM

QUOTE(hedgehog @ Feb 15 2007, 11:56 AM) View Post
There's a coincidence. We have a hedgehog, registered yesterday and hedge hog registered today. I look forward to lots of confusion as we get a sky light and a back drifter too.


FYI I joined the board 3 days ago, though the above one was my very first post  ohmy.gif

#7 hedgehog

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 11:31 AM

I apologise - you were indeed first. Henceforth I shall be known as armadillo (hopefully we don't already have one of those!)

The artist formerly known as hedgehog

#8 Guest_Guest_Marius_*_*

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 11:43 AM

I will still be known as Marius tongue.gif

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 11:48 PM

I have just seen the Reporter and was absolutely blown away. Ben Chaplin carried the play the entire way through, the writing was excellent and the direction was right on the spot.

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 10:19 PM

NT




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