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Cardinal Pirelli

Member Since 01 Apr 2007
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:30 PM
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: Birdland - Simon Stephens - Andrew Scott

15 April 2014 - 01:39 PM

I found this to be a very good play which wasn't particularly well served by the direction. Stephens' work is best when the director takes up the challenge to add their own imprint, in fact Stephens pretty much expects that and writes for it. British directors tend to be middling as regards using design for that and pretty poor when working with actors and this production was along that line. So many opportunities (the text is left quite bare with no production indications and a preface that invites a high level of invention) which were unexplored, opportunities that the likes of Nubling (or Van Hove and the like) just don't pass up. Instead we get a great central performance, a decent set and occasional glimpses of performance invention that then get sucked back into Royal Court realism (the nods to internal voices were so limited and random that it felt half hearted).

I did like the play through the production and, especially, Scott who carried it through the lack of directorial invention excellently, adding what he could, but, as his career disintegrates I would have expected a fragmented, disintegrating sense in the performance style as well as with the nod to it via design, the story cries out for a greater sense of artistic danger, it's there between the lines but it remained there. Anyone who saw 'Three Kingdoms' would have seen what I mean in the later scenes of it. Essentially Stephens is a European writer stymied by directors who are too timid and respectful.

I saw the opera 'Powder Her Face' at the weekend, directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins; after his Edward II which I felt constricted him, this was him at full throttle and, I thought, a wonderful piece of direction (if in a place with a horrible acoustic), Someone like him let loose on this play would have been very much worth the risk, I think.

In Topic: The Oliviers - The Results

14 April 2014 - 01:13 PM

View PostRyan, on 14 April 2014 - 01:05 PM, said:

If they had an award for shows with a top price of £20 at least Mr Cowell might be guaranteed that 'I Can't Sing' might win something!

Am  I missing something, top price is nearly £90 isn't it?

As for Cvitesic, that's one that I fully agreed with; a lovely truthful performance, Craig was excellent but I appreciated the physicality of it more than her performance as a whole. It's all just opinion though, and not really quantifiable in a way that can translate to 'best'. Saying that, I also can't find the sort of appreciation for Mormon that I had for Once (or Scottsboro Boys), to me it doesn't have the courage of its convictions.

In Topic: The Oliviers - The Results

14 April 2014 - 12:59 PM

The Oliviers don't cover the vast majority of theatre that I go and see, even for the ones I do see I rarely agree with the choices made. That's what comes of a small group voting on a limited number of shows, a lack of connection to what London theatre (never mind British theatre) is, perpetuating an outdated view of it.

With an artform that can be so expensive, to promote the most expensive end of it is something that I find unconscionable. How about an award for shows based on ticket costs, best show with a top price of less than £50, £30, £15? Have people realise that you can see great theatre for less than they might imagine. In fact, why couldn't the WOS awards do something similar?

In Topic: Time To Support Theatre On Forum!

13 April 2014 - 11:05 AM

What perplexes me is people who seem to like so little; if I liked less than half of everything I saw I'd seriously question my ability to make good decisions on what to go and see, I'd also be wondering what else I could have spent that money on.

If, on the other hand, being so negative is a choice then what's the point? Pro or amateur (Tim Walker, for example) I just find their views worthless, why would I take notice of someone with such narrow tastes?

In Topic: Donmar Membership Scheme

10 March 2014 - 07:17 PM

The Barbican is outstanding value for orange membership, great discounts across the board for theatre, music, film, galleries, food etc. The Royal Court works out well if you want to use it to grab £10 Monday tickets, so I'll keep that one unless the cost goes through the roof.

For the others, I'll give the NT a miss next year, the benefits aren't worth the cost, I also had Globe membership this year to be able to see the opening shows in the Sam Wanamaker but that was a one off (good reading matter from them though).

The BAC and Young Vic are other ones that I'll renew, with Goold starting at the Almeida I think my NT money will be going there instead.