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Member Since 22 Dec 2012
Offline Last Active Apr 11 2014 07:48 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Donmar, Spring 2014

11 April 2014 - 07:47 AM

The 'interactivity' is not compulsory, but going on last nights' evidence, some audience members will find themselves involved even if they didn't explicitly agree to 'participate'! (Better say no more, but nothing too bad...)

In Topic: Donmar, Spring 2014

10 April 2014 - 10:51 PM

Apologies, couldn't find a Privacy thread!

Just got back from the first preview tonight - this was a lot of fun, and lots to chew over afterwards. This really is one where the best advice is to steer clear of all reviews/spoilers, though suffice to say, it's not your standard show - let's just say that there's lots of interactivity!

The cast and technicians really worked hard on this one, and it was in very good shape for a first preview. It went down very well with the audience. Quite long - we were out at just before 10.20pm, with one interval - though didn't feel like it.

The lead, as such, is played by Joshua McGuire, and he's very good indeed, as is everyone.

If you saw Blurred Lines at The Shed, or that play Audience by the controversial Dutch (?) theatre group that was on at Soho Theatre a couple of years back, this is in the same vague ball-park in terms of form, though I thought this was a lot better than both of those.

One last thing - if you're going, bring your smartphone with you and make sure it's charged!

In Topic: Versailles - Donmar

09 March 2014 - 12:13 PM

I saw this a couple of days ago and am totally with steveatplays on this one - I really loved the characters and thought it was a brilliant ensemble cast.

I saw it a couple of days after seeing The Pass at the Royal Court Upstairs, which was one of the best, most visceral and in-your-face plays I've seen for ages, so I was a bit worried this was going to be dry as dust - but while there is a lot of speechifying, I didn't feel it dragged at all, and it was so well acted. It was one of those plays where I came away really wanting to know more about what was going to happen to the characters - is so-and-so going to get together with so-and-so etc. No weak links in this cast - everyone at the top of their game, I thought. And I didn't notice any interval quitters/snorers around me...

In Topic: The Duchess Of Malfi (Gemma Arterton)

22 January 2014 - 02:17 PM

Hi peggs - just spotted your post. I had a good look at the various seating options when I was at the Playhouse last week. I'm still glad I sat in the pit, because of the closeness to the stage and the fact you are looking at the production face-on, though there's probably a bit of a trade-off with all the seats.

Row A of the pit is the most central, but it's also the lowest of the four rows, so not so good on the neck-ache front. If you're in, say, B1 or B10, they're 'only' £25, but you're probably having to turn about 45 degrees, which is fine really.

My conclusion was that the pick of the bunch in the pit, if you can get 'em, were C1 and its mirror image, C14. They're cheap (£25), you're not looking up at the stage so much, and you're super-close to the stage, so you have the actors swishing past you in their costumes. Also, you're not looking over someone else's head, as you might be in C2 or C13.

I'm not sure I'd pay £60 for the lower gallery side stage seats, though if I did splash out, the ones I'd go for are AA1 or AA2 or their mirrors, BA1/BA2. They are nearest the front of the stage and looked pretty good. However, I'm not sure about side stage seats - I sat in one at Twelfth Night at the Apollo and, while it was a thrill to be close to the action, there was something a bit weird about looking at it all side-on. At the Duchess of Malfi, there was a bit of eye contact/addressing audience members in the side seats, if that appeals!

I hope that helps! Theatremonkey is probably doing a colour-coded seating plan guide as we speak...

In Topic: The Duchess Of Malfi (Gemma Arterton)

15 January 2014 - 10:27 AM

I went to see this last night, and I'm not quite sure what I think. The venue is very...odd. And very small. On her blog, Poly said it's like being in a doll's house, and she's absolutely bank-on. Like an Ikea doll's house, I'd add, because of the type of wood used.

I was in B1 of the pit, just a few inches from the stage. In some ways, the pit's probably the best place to be in terms of the viewing the stage and performers head-on, and the closeness, but a word of warning to those with back problems etc - you're sitting on wooden benches covered with a funny carpet-y stuff, and my bench had no back to it (it may be that the row D ones do have a back - I'm not sure). Plus, with some of the bench seats such as mine, you're facing people on other benches rather than the stage, so you have to twist round. Plus, certainly from row A and B in the pit, you're looking up at the stage a bit. Plus it's very intimate in terms of your neighbours etc. So, all in all, a bit of a challenge on the comfort front, and I'm pretty hardy on that score.

In terms of the candle-lit aspect... some of it worked amazingly. There was one scene in particular where some of the characters are each holding a single flame. There were a few times, though, when it felt like I just wanted someone to switch some lights on, and others where it seemed too light!

As to the play... it's a very thorough run-through - it finished at about 10.20pm, with a 15 minute interval. The Old Vic production certainly felt pacier. This one had some beautiful songs and music, though there wasn't quite enough 'grand guignol' and full-blown gothic horror for my taste. Gemma Arterton was very good, though the stand-out in my opinion was David Dawson as her evil/mad brother Ferdinand - an amazing performance that reminded me at various points of Kenneth Williams, Michael Sheen and David Tennant! For me, his performance is the main attraction. Others may feel his villain was too OTT and unbalances things a bit, but not me!

I'll be very interested to read the reviews...