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Member Since 19 Feb 2007
Offline Last Active Apr 09 2014 10:03 PM

#285625 Henry V

Posted Latecomer on 03 December 2013 - 10:31 PM

Interesting last bit in the Independent....
" Occasionally, the even-handedness makes it all feel a bit middle-of-the-road.

Nicholas Hytner’s searing Iraq War version may be an unfair comparison because it was responding to events in 1993. Some of that sense of urgency, though, would not go amiss here. But if this Henry V does not end the season in a blaze of glory, it’s a conclusive vindication of an enlightened project."

4*s.....but this smacks of they have been sold by the "concept" of the Grandage Season (theatre for £10 for the masses) and are awarding an extra star just for that! Most of the blogs I have read have provided a truer picture. I just think it's a shame, as he was so good with the Donmar West End, and it's a shame all those people new to Shakespeare think this is as good as it gets!

#285437 Henry V

Posted Epicoene on 02 December 2013 - 10:41 AM

View PostParsley, on 30 November 2013 - 09:33 PM, said:

Lack of any sort of modulation and poor casting of roles

When he was at the Donmar I think a very large part of his success was due to brilliant casting - I think of his Wild Duck which was just perfectly cast - given the best cast then a simple production and a simple set in a small space will work brilliantly. However, it seems in the commercial sector his casting decisions have been constrained in various ways and there's not enough in the other areas to compensate. Greg Doran is another director who needs a very strong cast (which at the RSC he has). I will be interested to see what the film he's going to direct next turns out like - I'd say he's far from the type of theatre director who can transfer successfully to film, but we'll see.

#284945 Michael Grandage Season

Posted KevinUK on 26 November 2013 - 10:20 PM

View Postfringefan, on 26 November 2013 - 06:03 AM, said:

Maybe I'm just snobbish, and if it gets people to the theatre, the reason is really none of my business, but I'm not comfortable with them going just because a production features a particular name or names.   A personal view again, but whilst I might be encouraged by seeing the cast list for a forthcoming play, that is not why I book; I'm interested in the subject matter, the writer and, perhaps, the reputation, if any, of the director and venue.

I've noticed with unease that a discussion elsewhere in this section about a production new to London already seems to have turned into a debate amongst a few about one cast member in particular - what about the rest, the play itself, the direction, etc? - and that another (American Psycho) seems to be heading that way even before it has opened, to the extent that I'm now wondering if I would find the experience so distorted by fan fever that I'd be better off cancelling.

Of course people are free to go, or not to go, to the theatre for any reason(s) and to say what they like here as long as they do so politely and with respect for others' views, so maybe this is another case where I'm in a minority, or even alone in my view, but does anyone else feel that the focus on billing is skewing discussion and attendance?

I couldn't disagree more. I never look to see what a production is about, and make my decisions based purely on the venue and cast. I'm open to any story that someone wants to tell, so I never really look to see what it's about before hand (although I'm not a fan of war drama - in any form of text).

There are certain venues I now trust to put on a brilliant production and gladly buy tickets: as soon as the Old Vic announce something new, I'm online booking tickets because they've proven themselves - in the last 4 years of theatre going, I've never been disappointed (though I did miss Much Ado, as I saw the Tennant and Tate one).

But I'm more inclined to buy tickets to a show if it has a name. It can't just be any name - I'm not quite that fickle. But there is a whole bunch of actors out there with a proven talent that deserves to be seen.

When buying tickets I like to be in the front row of the stalls watching an actor I admire doing what they do best. I want to see their eyes, their expressions, their ability. And the best actors are those that make me forgot that they are a known actor. Helen Mirren did it wonderfully in The Audience, Spacey in Richard III, De Vito in Sunshine Boys and somewhat surprisingly, Daniel Radcliffe did too in this very season we're discussing.

I liken it to a gig - why pay to go watch it from the back? You pay for the names that sell the tickets at the end of the day.

Of course, a name doesn't always sell tickets. Whilst he is more than capable of selling 20,000 seats at the O2 - doing multiple nights! - the name Lee Evans alone can't seem to fill a theatre with less than 2,000 seats (and in a comedy!).

But - and it bring this all back on topic - if Grandage hadn't had his 10 seats, would this season have sold as well? I think it's important to remember most seats weren't 10, but still sold, which is all the more interesting as I'd have expected new or casual theatre goers to see Lee Evans over Sheridan Smith/David Walliams/Shakespeare if paying more than 10.

#284918 The Duchess Of Malfi (Gemma Arterton)

Posted Honoured Guest on 26 November 2013 - 07:15 PM


#284730 Michael Grandage Season

Posted Latecomer on 24 November 2013 - 10:07 PM

View PostEpicoene, on 24 November 2013 - 09:49 PM, said:

Interesting. The economics seem odd. The Donmar subsidy is not that big but they could afford a staff of 15 whereas in a theatre 3 times bigger and mostly sold out he could afford a staff of only 3 ? How come ? Maybe due to paying the actors more than equity minimum ? Wonder how much he gets paid himself ?

And one of those members of staff is employed solely to retweet positive comments from people who have been to each show...... I hate it when theatres do that....

#284356 Frank Langella's King Lear - Chichester

Posted Lynette on 19 November 2013 - 10:49 PM

I'm not going to be able to see this prod ( even if it comes into London I don't think I can take two Lears in one year) but I will be seeing the NT prod. What I have never seen is that the kingdom is worth fighting for and that the gals are thrilled to be getting it early. I don't want to see dingy brown walls, hessian clothes and broken down buildings. I wanna see serious bling! The gals are meant to be dressed up to the hilt- it's in the text - so I wanna see designer off the shoulder, utterly 'gorgeous'. I wanna see the foreign princes awed by the wealth and so it is an issue that Cordelia isn't getting a dowry. I wanna see opulence and ....

maybe cake..

#283783 Shakespeare In Love - Noel Coward Theatre, July 2014

Posted xanderl on 13 November 2013 - 08:24 PM

James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave are hotly tipped for the leads

#283045 Rickson Mulling Mojo Revival

Posted xanderl on 05 November 2013 - 02:38 PM

Interesting article from the Guardian yesterday, including stuff about the hanging upside down!


#282850 Rickson Mulling Mojo Revival

Posted Poly on 03 November 2013 - 04:54 PM

Mojo is a young playwright's play, full of chutzpah and energy and a dazzling quality. In that sense, it reminds me of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and not just because Potts and Sweets remind me of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

And it's a thrilling ride, and all these things go a long way. Plus it's perfectly cast in this production so yes I loved it quite a bit.

#281119 A Doll's House - Young Vic & Duke Of Yorks

Posted Lynette on 17 October 2013 - 10:43 PM

Glad I didn't miss this. One of the best productions of recent times and what a performance from HM. Defining as they say. Two big school/college groups in tonight, rapt of course and it was wonderful to hear their enthusiasm when it was over, all commenting and talking about it...flames well and truly lit. Warmed my old cynical heart.

#279558 NT 50th Anniversary Celebration

Posted Polly1 on 02 October 2013 - 09:07 AM

Got a great seat - at the moment ('subject to change'), might have a camera in front, I suppose,  but at the moment I am more excited than is seemly for a woman of my age :)

#276755 Edward II- NT Olivier

Posted Pharaoh's number 2 on 01 September 2013 - 08:45 PM

View PostSnciole, on 01 September 2013 - 07:44 PM, said:

They need to sort out the set at curtain up-I don't want to see the set for Othello in the background or actors wandering around during their half because it ruins the moment.

I liked that- it's a reference back to Elizabethan theatre. But also it's Brechtian, which is the best way I could describe this overall approach to the play.

Of the production as a whole, it's a mixed bag. As a play I don't think it's great, but Hill-Gibbins makes some genuinely interesting choices and uses the Olivier space in a really exciting way. It doesn't all work - the video work is sometimes a bit too much, mainly because the two screens, often each with different images, are at the extreme sides of the stage. And why the mics? One Friday night, there was the odd bit of feedback and it actually upset the clarity rather than improved it. But the concept of the closed sets, the mixed-costuming and the brilliant pre-filmed bit, I liked a lot. The second half is slower in pace and feels a bit pared back. We get so much before the interval and I wanted that to continue. The bit with the tarpaulin and shaving cream slows things down- echoes of his Changeling jelly there. The performances? Mostly very impressive. Loved Heffernan and Soller, and I thought there was a genuine chemistry there. Kirby I liked a lot more in this than I did in Three Sisters. Bettrys Jones does her best as Prince Edward- she could be Bryonny Hannah's cousin. But one of my pet hates is women playing young princes (or boys in general). I see it might be simpler/cheaper, but it annoys me.

But anyway, well worth seeing. It's by no means perfect, but it's an exciting staging, an interesting play, and nice to see such a young cast play the Olivier. They deserved to take more than one bow; the audience certainly kept on applauding, hoping they'd come on again, which they sadly didn't.

#278026 Henry Vi At The Globe

Posted Nicholas on 13 September 2013 - 12:29 AM

View Postpeggs, on 11 September 2013 - 05:54 PM, said:

But would we have to introduce ourselves two fold, real name and board name (if they are different) just in case we were board members? We need identifiers!

If someone introduced themself as Lynette or Alf or suchlike, I'd just have to ask.  If someone introduced themself as Peggs or Pharoah or Mr TheatreMadGoer, I'd just be concerned.

#277518 Rickson Mulling Mojo Revival

Posted Honoured Guest on 09 September 2013 - 06:02 PM


#277519 Rickson Mulling Mojo Revival

Posted Pharaoh's number 2 on 09 September 2013 - 06:09 PM

Utterly disgraceful :lol: I'm going nice and early in the run, so I'm not too bothered.

It's not like this is going to struggle to sell out though. Must be so Sonia can make the claim that over 100 £10 tickets are available for each performance etc.