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mallardoMember Since 05 Mar 2011
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Posted EmiCardiff on 07 June 2013 - 10:42 AM
Posted Latecomer on 07 June 2013 - 06:44 AM
Like Lynette if I am taking a non-forum friend I tend to play it quite safe!
Some plays are meant to be seen solo...I thoroughly enjoyed Emperor and Galilean but would have been so tense taking someone else!
Posted EmiCardiff on 07 June 2013 - 08:19 AM
We need badges or a signal or something (though Mallardo did impressively track me down at the NT once!)
Posted Nicholas on 02 June 2013 - 10:05 PM
Personally, I didn't find any of the characters irritating other than comic irritation (it is a comedy) and saw deeply flawed but deeply human empathetic people - it sounds like only I saw it, but there we go. It's the unfussiness that still strikes me - nothing on-stage diverted our focus from the characters and their dialogues and debates. The effing was naturalistic in a way the tamer "bloody frigging bloody frigging" wasn't in Upton's Cherry Orchard. I always connect to Chekhov on paper but don't always on stage as sometimes the samovars are more important to the director than characters or subtext, and sometimes the aim to be modern means the original is somewhat discarded. Here, no such problems. For me it really worked.
But that said, the people next to me (a group of girls probably in sixth form, I'm bad at telling ages) said of this that it was the dullest thing they'd seen at that theatre (clearly they missed The King's Speech). But that said, people near me said the same thing at the very traditional Vaudeville Vanya, and the radical Russian Vanya. So if I'm limping towards a conclusion it's that Chekhov's more challenging than he might seem, and it's likely impossible to find a translation that pleases everyone.
Posted Steffi on 06 May 2013 - 07:13 AM
I am a blogger myself, however I usually don't put links to my blog on here (unless you count the link in my profil). Why do I blog? Quite simple: Because I enjoy writing and I love writing about my main passion which happens to be theatre. My blog consists of reviews and some interviews with performers. I sometimes write about general things that I feel are worth a mention (my blog post about the WOS Awards actually made it on here - and no, it wasn't me who posted the link).
I don't want to be a professional writer, I don't want to be famous - I just enjoy writing. Obviously it's great if people enjoy my reviews, interviews and such. But I'm not expecting anyone to be interested - anyone who thinks my blog is a waste of time can just ignore it.
Posted EmiCardiff on 19 April 2013 - 07:57 AM
Personally, although I go to London frequently to see theatre, not living there means I have to be very picky about what I see, cinema broadcasts allow me to see things I wouldn't have time to in London. Doesn't mean however I won't see it because there's a cinema broadcast (saw 'This House' a couple of weeks back despite the upcoming NT live broadcast) but it allows me to see things I've 'missed'.
Another useful aspect is for students, I teach at a University and getting a coach load of students to London to see a play is time consuming and costly, however if an assigned text is being broadcast at cinemas (Othello is a good example considering it's sold out also) then getting students there to see the theatre version is a wonderful resource.
Posted trafficlighttheatregoer on 27 March 2013 - 08:34 PM
Oo, re-reading it, it is a bit cryptic - the safety curtain came down several times during the play with the legal document (aka present) on it. It slowed the action down at moments when, imo, the play should have gathered pace.
(i) it signifies:"I'm very knowledgeable/informed/clever and my comment isn't addressed at you", or:
(ii) an errant predictive spelling has been left uncorrected.
Hi Honoured Guest,
Yes I really am a pretentious, jumped up know-it-all but hey as the Reader's Digest used to say, it pays to improve your vocabulary ... Please forgive until the next time, I do the same thing ... lol
Posted exuberantlyblue on 23 March 2013 - 12:29 AM
Superb performances, though. If the play itself wasn't magical for me, the actors often were.Everett of course is phenomenal, but for me Cal MacAninch's quiet Robert Ross stole the show (a feat considering other actors on stage had certain show-stealing opportunities that Cal didn't). Freddie Fox was also quite good, which made me glad as I liked him in Hay Fever. And Tom Colley's, um, attributes may get the lion's share of the attention, but beyond that his easy friendliness was an effective foil to Bosie and Wilde in the second act.
Interesting audience as well - the intrigued feminine murmurs/sighs that swept the room whenever one of the three young men took their kit off threatened to have me in giggles. Particularly when Colley came back on stage dripping wet; the mass intake of breath and involuntary appreciative noises were hilarious. Plus my interval was jazzed up by the funniest, meanest pair of middle-aged ladies behind me: in fifteen minutes or so they dismissed Everett as "so ugly!" (who did they want to play Wilde, Brad Pitt?), his clothes as "shabby" ("I expected Wilde to be dressed so beautifully, but he's all crumpled and dirty"), the nudity thus far displayed as "not much" (said in the most disapproving tone!), and the young man who'd thus far bared all as "in good shape, I suppose, but hardly good-looking" (harsh!)
Theatre ladies aside, while I didn't love the play itself, I had an enjoyable evening and the acting was first-rate. The lighting and set were also great, with one exception - the fact that the drapings on the beds were SO HUGE, with those enormous canopies taking up like half the stage, was a bit strange to me. No doubt it was thematic. But the little sofa bed in particular having such an enormous canopy triggered my funny bone. The rest of the staging, though, and the lighting in particular, was lovely. Particular shout-out to the end of Act One with the lighting and the passage of time.
Oh, and sitting close to the stage is a good choice, if you can. You feel like you're right there in the room. The only drawbacks are when Bosie's running around in a sheet and then a towel and you're trying to avoid looking up said sheet/towel from your vantage point directly below.
Posted Lynette on 16 March 2013 - 11:28 PM
I vaguely remember the old movie of this story but had never seen the play. It is an interesting one if you don't mind a lot of talky talky and some staginess which I don't. One set which frankly was a bit of a disappointment as it is supposed to be the Edwardian home of a retired bank person and there wasn't a bit of either Edwardian stain glass or arts and craft stuff anywhere to be seen. I kept thinking of what they would have done at the Donmar or the Lyttleton [ which I hate but am prepared to admit they do good sets at] They tried to vary things with the lighting and a few sound effects.
The play has a contemporary resonance as it is about doing the 'right ' thing against the conventions, prejudices and priorities of the time. It is about family loyalty, integrity and above all about the law! The central character of the lawyer who takes the case of the boy is dynamic and powerful. Nicely played by Peter Sullivan. I felt that the heart and soul of the play was in the character of the older sister, played by Naomi Frederick, impressive as ever, who is a suffragette, the most intelligent of the three children, bursting with integrity and so on... as if Rattigan has set out to write a play about the boy's case but found his sister more interesting.
Henry Goodman whom I had expected to shine slightly disappointed me. I thought he should have been colder and more truly the scary 'Victorian' style father at the beginning. There should be some ambiguity about why he pursues the case. But he played it as a loving father from the off. 'Spose it worked ok.
I notice in the proggie it says the play was first on in 1946 so comparison possible with Priestly's An Inspector Calls which of course had a such a radical renewal of life with the 'no such thing as society' production. This is also about what we should hold as important to our society and to humanity but though based on a real life story has less theatrical punch. Nice end to Act One though, a real show stopper.
Posted exuberantlyblue on 16 March 2013 - 03:16 AM
~ Richard McCabe (Harold Wilson) is sublime. Terrific performance. I adored him.
~ Helen Mirren (the Queen, duh) is also great. Particularly in her scenes with McCabe, but with the others as well. She's on stage for pretty much the entire thing, and it's very much her show (obviously). I feel very privileged to have seen her act live.
~ Bebe Cave (one of the three Young Elizabeths) was luminous. Loved her, and her scenes with Mirren were spot-on.
~ On-stage costume changes!
~ State dress, absolutely gorgeous.
~ Balmoral set - divine.
~ The thing they do with the invisible window that gave me the shivers.
~ One very topical joke they must have inserted a couple weeks after opening. It brought the house down.
The not-so-good/slightly less good:
~ I just couldn't suspend my disbelief for some of the PMs, particularly the ones I knew well. Edward Fox (Churchill) was lanky and too young, which made his elder-statesman role fall flat for me. Nathaniel Parker (Gordon Brown) and Rufus Wright (David Cameron) largely had the accents/intonations of their characters down (although Parker's voice was too high, imo), but they just ... didn't look right. Gah. [For Brown I may have been spoiled by his portrayal by David Morrissey in The Deal, so your mileage may vary.] This may also be entirely my fault for sitting too close - maybe from farther away they would have blurred a bit at the edges and been easier to squint into their inspirations, but sitting in row C I couldn't get past the feeling that they were party-piece impressions.
~ I totally bought Mirren at most of her "Queen ages" - varying flavours of middle age and elderly - but her "new Queen" didn't work for me. I could tell she was working really hard at it - her intonations, body language, and carriage were different - but I just couldn't buy her as a 26-year-old new queen. It might have worked better to age the Young Elizabeth up and have her do that scene; I suppose that wouldn't have worked with it being the Mirren Show, though. (And also then the transition between Churchill & Eden wouldn't have worked, I guess.)
~ The butler/equerry fellow felt a bit over-the-top. Probably intentional. But he was shading on caricature.
~ One of the PMs felt entirely shoehorned in, which I think may have been the point but came across rather awkwardly.
~ Thatcher ... looking back, I'm torn. I think they did a decent job with her scene, and yet I couldn't help feeling like it wasn't quite as awesome as it could have been? I don't know how they could have bettered it, though, so it seems a bit unkind to criticise.
~ The programme is 4 quid and about 70% the exact same as the Book of Mormon programme, which was annoying.
~ No mobile phone announcement beforehand, which I'm unfairly blaming for the fact that someone's phone went off two rows behind me in the middle of a quiet scene.
Anyway, to sum up, it was an enjoyable evening and I'm glad I went - it was great to see Mirren being her fabulous self, McCabe was a revelation, I'm going to keep an eye out for Bebe Cave in future, and everything is better with corgis.
I kind of want a sequel with just Mirren and McCabe, though. Maybe the Queen and Harold Wilson could be zombie-hunters defending the UK from the invasion of the undead. Or I'd even enjoy an indepth exploration of the Wilson premierships - make it The Audience 2: The Greatest Hits, and give me 10-15 Queen & Wilson audiences. Ted Heath could show up and be the bad guy. Oh, and throw in the corgis, they're awesome.
Posted vickster51 on 06 March 2013 - 11:32 PM
Also, any info on the day seats? (good/bad view, long/short queue in the morming, etc). Thanks
I'm just home from seeing this wonderful production again. I'm sure the other actor performing on Mondays and Tuesdays is good but I would still say if you are only going to go once, then go and see Luke Treadaway. He really is superb in this role. I found the play just as emotional and moving as at the National.
There are some tweaks. I don't want to spoil anything but I will say that the walls are used in this instead of the floor for certain things and there are projections on the walls as well as the floor which mean that even from the front row you don't miss anything significant. There are some new quirks too which I very much enjoyed, making the transition to the new space work very well.
I benefitted from my friend queuing for day seats this morning, which are the front row for £12. I'd say this is well worth it for a second visit, as although the stage is high, you don't miss out on anything and it's wonderful to be so close to such brilliant performances. I'll definitely try and day seat again for this, as I have a friend who would love it.
Posted Mads1607 on 27 February 2013 - 10:33 PM
A Chorus Line is very different to every West End show I've seen before in that there is basically no set, and I've got to be honest, when I first sat down to see it I did think it looked very bland (bearing in mind I'd never seen the show before OR the film). However, I thought the set worked fantastically because it drew attention to the characters. With nothing to distract me in the background I found myself paying much more attention to the stories they were telling through dance, song and their words - and for a show that's so full of fantastic stories, I think that's essential. If you want to see a show that's visually stimulating then A Chorus Line probably isn't for you (although I find it fascinating how the cast members sometimes become a moving set, in a way, and also I think the lack of colour throughout the show makes the background in One Singular Sensation much more dazzling) but if you want a show that's rich, deep, funny, interesting, heartwarming, real and full of great music and dancing then you're in the right place!
I've seen it a few times now and it's been completely worth every penny I paid.
Posted cat123 on 27 February 2013 - 10:11 PM
Value in theatre for me is about how much I connect with the piece, how strong the story/characters/concept is and the emotional impact it has on me. And this show ticks all three boxes.
If you're panning the show for its simplicity then you are missing the point. Which is fine, it's not for everyone. But that's the risk you take when going to a show "blind". If you want to do that then ok, but don't complain about spending the money on a show you didn't enjoy when a quick scan of Wikipedia would have given you a clue that that might be the case.
Posted peggs on 27 February 2013 - 06:45 PM
Posted west_london on 27 February 2013 - 03:31 PM
What you say makes no sense. The whole point of the show is to get the audience to connect with these 'faceless' ensemble members but this would never happen if there were the proverbial falling chandeliers and helicopters taking off to disctract us. When I saw the show last week, the whole audience was drawn in to point that at times you could hear a pin drop in the auditorium. The moment at the end when the lights around the proscenium came on (the simplest stage effect imaginable) produced a gasp and a cheer because it was like a tension had been released. This is simply one of the most moving and at times devastating musicals in the West End at the moment...and you write it off because it doesn't have a flying car.
If 2013 audiences struggle with A Chorus Line then I think it says more about how lazy and fickle we have all become rather than how dated this show is.