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Member Since 11 Feb 2013
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 03:45 PM

#287965 My Fair Lady Starring David Walliams And Sheridan Smith?!

Posted Monteverdi on 30 December 2013 - 10:58 AM

Walliams may be posh but he is simply a terrible actor -everything is an almighty gurning fest! I've certainly not grown accustomed to that face.

#286938 Charlie And The Chocolate Factory - The Spoiler Thread

Posted Monteverdi on 15 December 2013 - 08:56 PM

Crikey - Elphaba's flight is one of the most disappointing effects around. So over staged for very little effect. The Witches of Eastwick and Poppins flights were so much more effective and honest and understated.

#285235 'The Musicals' - New Channel 4 Documentary

Posted Monteverdi on 29 November 2013 - 12:54 PM

Even the nearly four hour Les Miserables I saw back in 85 till didn't really explain how Jean Valjean suddenly became Mayor,

#283081 Sweeney Todd - Wyp & Royal Exchange

Posted Monteverdi on 05 November 2013 - 11:49 PM

This has moved and been restaged beautifully for the Royal Exchange, and has gained in sheer claustrophobic tension.  The cast have an awful lot of fast running in an out of doors to suggest different locations. The lack of anywhere to drop down the bodies has forced some creative staging that works rather well. It is still a masterful production of a true masterpiece, and the whole cast and band and crew are stunning, but oh my Sweeney is magnificent, especially his laugh when he realises Mrs L's plan. And Little Priest is gloriously bawdy, as it should be. I've seen so many limply sexual productions, but this finally shows what drives Mrs L. Do not miss it.

#283030 NT 50th Anniversary Celebration

Posted Monteverdi on 05 November 2013 - 10:33 AM

Don't forget Diana Rigg in Jumpers, a very significant production - she did many plays there and at the Old Vic. I particularly remember Heartbreak House - what a cast that was.

#282732 NT 50th Anniversary Celebration

Posted Monteverdi on 02 November 2013 - 11:38 PM

Oh well I loved it, and thought it eloquently staged with exquisite lighting and a wonderful lack of bombast. Sublime, made even more sublime by the BBC then going into the deeply unfunny and crass Sarah Milican Show.

#282014 Sweeney Todd - Wyp & Royal Exchange

Posted Monteverdi on 26 October 2013 - 11:13 PM

Just back from the last performance in Leeds - monumental, brilliantly reconceived (though that conceit was a little fluid to ay the last), and finally the complete score and book. Great and radically different performances from Todd  and Mrs L, and how nice to hear a judge who can sing (I'm still scarred by Alan Rickman and others in the movie). A truly epic design using huge flying peices, traps, epic chunks coming in from the side - all of which will have to go when it goes to Manchester next week. It really will be a totally different experience at the Exchange. What will be missed with some great staging (particularly the final entrance of Sweeney and the whole literal box of tricks that was his room) will be made up in claustrophobic intimacy, and the performances will be even more stunning. A great production, but I was glad to have seen it first in Leeds on that magnificent stage. Loved what they use for the factory whistle, and Little Priest was the best stage version I have seen I the probably 15 productions I have seen, and unlike the film it did not involve literally pointing at fops, priests, general etc. Great stuff, and with Merrily we Roll along this week, it has satisfied by thirst for Sondheim.

#281649 The Scottsboro Boys

Posted Monteverdi on 23 October 2013 - 04:33 PM

I've just ordered the cast recording - very excited to hear it after all the comments on here. Thank you for whetting my appetite.

#281550 Sondheim Working On A Revised Version Of 'company'

Posted Monteverdi on 22 October 2013 - 10:03 AM

I always assumed that Sondheim was at heart writing Bobby as gay. I think this version could work very well, and it's doing no damage to the original which will always be there. Companies, as it were, can have a choice. Certainly 'Being Alive' works particularly well sung as a gay man - gay men don't have the sole right to be alone but the song does have much more resonance when sung by a gay character.

#280115 The Ongoing Les MisÚrables Discussion Thread

Posted Monteverdi on 08 October 2013 - 02:29 PM

dear lordie, please let this casting news not be true......

#280045 American Psycho

Posted Monteverdi on 07 October 2013 - 05:51 PM

naked chain saw wielding I wonder?

#279844 The Illusionists

Posted Monteverdi on 05 October 2013 - 09:52 AM

Go see these guys - seeing magic live is how it should be seen. It's not quite the epic staging I'd imagine, but then a succession of one night visits probably put paid to tricks that needed longer to set up. still a train appeared out of nowhere, the water cabinet was there and some very impressive sawing in half. A large screen allowed the mind tricks and card tricks to work and it was all warm ad friendly, but nothing new, which is a very dismissive thing to say when I was left with a big grin. No levitation as promised. A couple of tricks involved some startled looking doves, and performers, uncredited performers, with major disabilities, which left me a little queasy. seven major illusionists but at most they got to do two stunts each. Said water cabinet gent cam on and stripped off and in he went. And yes wildly impressive but that is all he did which must lead to a strange existence round the world. Oh there was an opening section when everyone did something so quickly that you didn't know where to look.....there was one amazing quick change that I'd like to have been prepared for. One stunt did amaze me - of the ubiquitous glamorous lady put in a barrel, and as flaming arrows were shoved through it, she ran down the aisle. That's the amazing part, that some usher let her in without a ticket. My mind is now rambling for a scenario where she is left outside the building trying to explain to a jobsworth usher. So a few niggles, but I would sit through it all again tonight.

#279321 The Light Princess

Posted Monteverdi on 29 September 2013 - 11:44 AM

I think probably the cleverest opening of any musical is Ragtime - it sets up every character and their story effortlessly and with glorious invention - and a great score. When it is done we know exactly where we are and who is who. Brilliant.

#278191 Cabaret Starring Will Young - 2013 Uk Tour

Posted Monteverdi on 14 September 2013 - 10:58 PM

I'm just back from seeing the tour in Manchester, and it is in mighty fine shape, still shattering, still inventive, and beautifully performed. Great to hear the elder couples songs so beautifully sung, but my audience, clearly here to see will Young, chose these tender scenes to text, go out for drinks and chatter. I loathe audiences now as no-one seems to be able to concentrate for an hour, or go for an hour without going to the toilet. However the production is still a definitive production. I did see it with Wayne Sleep who was OK (but oh the earlier production he starred in - with Kelly Hunter - was just hideous). The production stands totally removed from the film at last. But did anyone see Alistair McGowan or Julian Clary who both played it in the West end first time round, I believe. Both dubious casting, but Will Young has so much presence and that smile can vanish very suddenly. He was brilliant actually. And dear audiences, that's a bum, that's a breast, get over it. This is a production about bigger things. That last five minutes could go so easily wrong, but thankfully it is set up well, and their was finally stunned silene and attention from the audience. Overhearing conversations from the audience makes me astonished at time. The couple next to me really did not get the Nazi references - what!!! What does it take for an audience to connect with what the are watching?

#277699 Edward II- NT Olivier

Posted Monteverdi on 10 September 2013 - 04:26 PM

if you want to read even more poorly written reviews, have a look at The Stage or my local paper the Manchester Evening News. Listing the characters, the production crew,relating the plot and saying the actors 'performed admirably' doth not a review make.