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Member Since 17 Mar 2007
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 10:31 PM

#300362 National Theatre Lets War Horse Musicians Go

Posted Orchestrator on 13 April 2014 - 03:02 AM

According to you the NT is, it seems to me arbitrarily, defining specific costs on a commercial transfer in such a way that it affects the budget for their productions on the South Bank. According to their argument, if I've understood it correctly, the more musicians they employ on productions in the commercial West End (where they've been transferred to make money) the fewer they can employ on the South Bank which is ridiculous.

#300125 National Theatre Lets War Horse Musicians Go

Posted Orchestrator on 11 April 2014 - 01:55 PM

The quote from the NT about the War Horse musicians costs being 25% of the NT's music budget of £1M doesn't ring true. West End transfers shouldn't be costing the NT anything at all (for any department); transfers should be completely self-sufficient. Not so long ago the budget for plays at the NT covered live incidental music from 1 musician in the Cottesloe, 3 in the Lyttleton and 5 in the Olivier, and that's before you budget for a musical. The music budget also covers composers, music copying, attendance of musicians in rehearsals, the teaching of songs etc. to actors.

#295695 Changes To Musicals

Posted Orchestrator on 07 March 2014 - 10:11 PM

Lots of different issues here. The stage musical of Cabaret continued to be played pretty much in its original form until Sam Mendes got permission to change it for his Donmar production, some 20 years after the movie version. Mendes was at the forefront of a wave of directors who managed to persuade the rights holders of major successful stage shows to allow significant changes—sometimes going back to early versions of the show, the original book, the movie, even in some cases (eg Company) using a song whose writer had been under the, obviously erroneous, impression that its presence in the show would destroy the central raison d'être of the show. And it's easy to see why directors aren't comfortable with following the original production and want to stamp their imprint on a new production, in the same way that actors aren't comfortable with taking over the character choices, moves, keys when they take over a rôle. Which neatly leads to how shows change during a long run. Normally the job of a resident director, dance captain, musical director during a cast change is to keep any changes to the show to an absolute minimum; partly out of practical reasons (some of the cast won't be changing and they won't want to change anything they are doing, new musical arrangements cost money and need expensive band rehearsals, new blocking will need changes to lighting cues, follow-spot tracks) and partly because the director of the show, the choreographer, and the writers have a contractual right to their work being maintained in its original concept and state. The fact that some shows do change over time is partly because runs are now much longer than they ever were and partly because the actors sometimes win battles of will with the resident director. And sometimes the director will come in and make changes. There is a big difference between small changes of blocking, maybe taking a character out of a particular dance sequence, the odd change to a line of dialogue on the one hand and, on the other, moving songs around, rewriting whole dance breaks and fight sequences.

#294634 Why Is Webber Crucified Whilst Sondheim Revered?

Posted Orchestrator on 28 February 2014 - 12:03 PM

When Beethoven was composing he received much negative criticism of the sort that has often been meted out to Sondheim. I don't think he was ever accused of being populist or a showman, or even a good businessman. Would you say that all Beethoven's music "sounds the same"? Do you listen to the late string quartets as much as to his more accessible orchestral music? What tends to distinguish most classical composers from the past whose music has stood the test of time and is still loved and played 100-300 years later is that they wrote what they did out of artistic necessity, often battling with their sponsors in the process.

"Artists are bizarre, fixed, cold … "

#294610 Why Is Webber Crucified Whilst Sondheim Revered?

Posted Orchestrator on 28 February 2014 - 08:38 AM

Which is entirely your prerogative, jaqs. What is fascinating and frustrating about theatre, completely exemplified on these discussion boards, is that there are not only different opinions about plays and musicals but everyone has a different way of appreciating theatre. The idea that the shows, taken as pieces of writing, of Sondheim and ALW are comparable in any way is incomprehensible to me. But obviously to you they inhabit the same world and can be judged equally, with, as you say, some pieces of each writer succeeding and some not. I think I get that on theatrical or showmanship terms but if we are talking about the relative artistic and intellectual challenges of the music and lyrics of the two corpuses of work then they are in different leagues.

#294592 Why Is Webber Crucified Whilst Sondheim Revered?

Posted Orchestrator on 28 February 2014 - 12:16 AM

Would you prefer to be on the receiving end of snobbery* or beneath contempt, jaqs?

*which could be translated as valid aesthetic judgement backed up with analysis of both music and lyrics

#277076 Candide At The Menier Chocolate Factory - Christmas 2013

Posted Orchestrator on 04 September 2013 - 05:40 PM

She might be playing the syphilitic Paquette.

#276992 Candide At The Menier Chocolate Factory - Christmas 2013

Posted Orchestrator on 03 September 2013 - 06:31 PM

If Jason can't make it work, no one can.

#276836 Assassins And Woman In White?

Posted Orchestrator on 02 September 2013 - 06:12 PM

Someone did try to tell you guys :-)

View PostOrchestrator, on 22 July 2013 - 02:04 PM, said:

Cinderella on Ice with Cilla Black
Anyone Can Whistle; the Noh/Semaphore version, starring Meatloaf and Sarah Palin
No, No, Nanette (Ballet) featuring live Ninjas
Despicable Me—The Stage Show with actual drama critics as the Minions
Ivor Novello—A Retrospective; Biggins playing Novello
Dynamo Derek—a unique novelty act
Everton—The Dance Spectacular (co-produced by Bill Kenwright)

#276598 Disgraceful Customer Service

Posted Orchestrator on 30 August 2013 - 08:38 PM

View Postseano68, on 29 August 2013 - 09:13 PM, said:

ooops sorry didn't realise this was a spelling forum....get a life will you !
Oops, sorry; didn’t realise this was a spelling forum … Get a life, won’t you?

#272578 Merrily We Roll Along @ Menier & Pinter

Posted Orchestrator on 17 July 2013 - 09:44 AM

View Postarmadillo, on 16 July 2013 - 09:43 PM, said:

The first time I saw this saw back in the mid 80s
Was that the Guildhall production directed by Ian Judge with Adrian Dunbar (was he Charley?) that transferred to the Bloomsbury Theatre for a week or two? I didn't see it but heard great things.