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Alf

Member Since 28 Nov 2010
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#299824 Time To Support Theatre On Forum!

Posted The Glenbuck Laird on 09 April 2014 - 07:12 AM

Always thought this as a very positive place. Some very good contributors who post very constructively. Nothing to see here


#298680 Stephen Ward - The Musical

Posted SF88 on 29 March 2014 - 09:50 PM

Seriously Parsley, sort that posting style out. It's ridiculous.


#297622 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Posted MrBarnaby on 22 March 2014 - 02:09 PM

Parsley

Why are

All of your posts

Written like

This?!


#295659 Unexpected Moments!

Posted Matthew Winn on 07 March 2014 - 05:45 PM

If we're doing to discuss assaults on the audience, when John Barrowman was playing Billy Flynn in Chicago he managed to let his cane slip out of his grasp and it hit me squarely in the nads. I missed most of the next half hour of the show.

And then there was the time in Mamma Mia when Alex Jay threw a glowstick at me.

Perhaps I should stop standing in the middle of the front row shouting "This show sucks! Why don't you get proper jobs‽"


#295665 Do I Hear A Waltz?

Posted xanderl on 07 March 2014 - 06:14 PM

Given past form I would hope the Menier would pick up one or two of these at some point!


#293369 The Book Of Mormon

Posted theatremonkey.com on 18 February 2014 - 05:47 PM

Tried them, yes. Good legroom, but you do look straight through and around "window blinds" style bars that protect the ends of rows. 42 is better than 43. If you are happy to miss the nearside action in particular, it is OKish. You get what you pay for in 42 at least, IMHO.

http://www.flickr.co...38490/lightbox/


#294219 The A-Z Of Mrs P

Posted ecm on 25 February 2014 - 08:59 AM

I really wanted to like this (how many posts here begin with that statement?!). But ultimately I just couldn't, despite a brilliant cast doing their very very best, beautiful set design and music that was intelligent, if a little afraid of going for full-out emotion when it really needed it.

The problem is two-fold - the subject choice and their treatment of it. The bottom line is - a woman making a map is not inherently a very dramatic subject - or, rather, not a subject that sings. So immediately they've got their work cut out. Mrs P is an interesting woman but she's just not someone that, to me at least, cries out to be immortalised in song. Therefore the writers have to work overtime figuring out how to make the story dramatic and, to be brutally honest, they don't succeed.  

The first act is simply boring. You start the show with a woman leaving her husband and leaving the country where she lives to go back to the city where she grew up. You don't feel this in the telling. It all remains incredibly polite and somehow overly cute. The cringeworthy things the ensemble are asked to do - make rain by going 'pitter patter' is a good example - are at best straight out of drama school and at worst remind me of Brian Cant on Play School. Mrs P herself gives the impression that she's maybe getting over agoraphobia - certainly not changing the course of her life. Things largely continue in this vein for the best part of ninety minutes.

Act two is markedly better. There are some strong songs, including a wonderful comic number when she's taking her A-Z around bookstores attempting to get it stocked, and a very striking and original duet for her mother and father. However, the big problem for me here is the drama feels tacked on. As if realising that the central story is lacking in drama, they delve further into her family history to uncover the story of her unstable mother and overbearing father. But in no way do they tie this in to the central story. Surely when telling a story actions have to lead to consequences? You have to get that moment where you say 'ah! I see! Now I know why x did y'. At no point does this happen. She had problematic parents. She made a map book of London, encouraged by her father. Those two things are completely separate and never tied together (maybe because they simply don't tie together!). There isn't even a cursory attempt in the book to have her talk throughout about wanting to map out her life, or put things in order, or make sense of her own personal chaos, which at least would have gone some way towards tying it all together, however forced it may have seemed. The family drama in act two could have come from a completely different show.

The writers also try to cram a much too big time period into a show that already feels overlong. The second world war starts and stops in about thirty seconds. A scene is immediately followed by another that casually tells us the preceding one was years (decades?) ago.

Ultimately this leaves us with an evening that veers from dull to emotionally unsatisfying. The writers even refrain from examining the only really interesting controversy surrounding the A-Z - the disputed claim by Mrs P that she walked every street of London mapping the book. Isy Suttie admitted as much on Radio 4 last night. I came away feeling rather sorry for the cast and wondering how something so dramatically misjudged could have wound up getting on, when it's so hard for any new British musicals to actually reach the stage.


#293916 Unexpected Moments!

Posted Nicholas on 23 February 2014 - 12:19 PM

View PostMrs Lovett, on 22 February 2014 - 09:31 PM, said:

have u been to a performance where something unexpected has happened???!

We went to see My Fair Lady, and Martine McCutcheon was on.


#289919 Fatal Attraction To The Haymarket?

Posted Ryan on 20 January 2014 - 02:18 PM

Yikes!  It all sounds a bit 'Channel 5' doesn't it...?


#290031 #stageyandproud

Posted popcultureboy on 21 January 2014 - 01:17 PM

My favourite Starbucks story is someone giving their name as "Primrose Everdeen" and when it's called, yelling "I volunteer as tribute!" and taking the coffee.


#288124 What I'm Looking Forward To In 2014.....

Posted KevinUK on 01 January 2014 - 12:33 AM

2 words: Angela Lansbury


#288957 Urgent! Marriage Of Figaro Production - Anyone Remember?

Posted xanderl on 09 January 2014 - 01:48 PM

Presume the pub quiz is over!


#288196 Bad Behaviour At A Show

Posted Duncan on 01 January 2014 - 10:41 PM

I was at Les Mis the other night when a rather tweedy looking man, who seemed to be accompanying his parents and obviously not enjoying himself, actually got out his phone and made a call right in front of me during the performance!

Will this inconsiderate behaviour ever stop? :P


#287930 What I Regret Missing 2013

Posted Cardinal Pirelli on 30 December 2013 - 01:21 AM

I know, it's just frustrating not being able to have a view on what, to me, are the more interesting productions that lie beyond the occasional star name such as Tennant. At least with Edinburgh I can guarantee to see a lot of shows each day, at Stratford you have to go more than once to be able to pick up most things.


#287845 What I Regret Missing 2013

Posted Mrs Lovett's Meat Pie on 28 December 2013 - 11:58 PM

I wish I had seen Shrek (that was this year, yah?)
I imagine it was 59% better than Charlie and his Choclate Twaddle
* moderator - don't ban me over this comment, IM JOKING*