Front row on sale for £20. Not restricted at all.
- WhatsOnStage Forum
- → Viewing Profile: Likes: KevinUK
KevinUKMember Since 01 Jun 2011
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 10:46 PM
- Group Full Members
- Active Posts 780
- Profile Views 2597
- Member Title Advanced Member
- Age Age Unknown
- Birthday Birthday Unknown
Posted KevinUK on 06 March 2014 - 02:38 PM
Front row on sale for £20. Not restricted at all.
Posted KevinUK on 06 March 2014 - 10:47 AM
The songs are ok but only 'I Can't Sing', 'Please Simon' and 'It Could Be Me' really stick in your head. Act one was fun with quite a strong book and some knowing winks to the audience but I hate to say it but Act 2 is a MESS. The first twenty minutes are promising but it then just falls apart after Fabulous - they don't know where to go with the story and it sort of lopes towards an ending reminiscent of Viva - maybe talent shows just don't make good drama? It came in at about 2hrs 40 plus interval so they need to shave at least 20 mins.
Cynthia has a great voice but her part is quite underwritten and her finale number isn't Beyonce. Simon Bailey is hilarious and really picked up the show's tone when it was flagging, I enjoyed Simon Lipkin's Dog Barlow where he seemed underused and overused all at the same time. Nigel as Simon was very funny and you could tell he was enjoying himself. BEST number is the Jedwoods - it's brilliantly staged and VERY funny.
The show isn't as clever or as sophisticated as it thinks it is and the weirdness needs to be tamed a little - it's not got the educated silliness of Spamalot to make it work.
They need to lose the Exec Producer (what the hell was that about his charm bracelet??) and most importantly the Hunchback - he's set up as the villain but then has a terrible pay off and his big rap number doesn't deserve its stage time.
Supermarket Mary's number should also go not only because it steals the travelators from Kinky Boots but because it's just not very funny. As said by someone else on here - it should be a number about all of the other contestants.
I hope they manage to fix the show as it has potential but maybe planning on selling out the show in a space as big as the Palladium was an overestimation.
I didn't mind the Tesca number, but agree it could be replaced with something a bit more entertaining - I assume it's inclusion is because the lady is also in the final.
Act 2 really does fall apart and it's a huge let down after act 1. They need to scrap the 'will you marry me?' part - it's just not needed and feels really thrown in. The alien thing comes out of no where, and is odd considering we see Simon at various ages.
Personally I think they should remix the Beyonce number and release a video on YouTube. They should push it as a big number from the musical, so that by the time you see it on stage, it feels like 'a hit' is being sung.
Would it have been that hard to include a bit of Build Me Up Buttercup? Talk about a build up!
The Exec Producer needs removing from everything everywhere he appears. A camp Simon is all very well, but he doesn't need a camp sidekick too. What was that whole 'it's hot in here' thing all about?
A big issue I had with act 2 is that everyone knows XF live shows are live. I know it's all done for comedy value, but ignoring that fact when attempting to stage a final is just silly - an Exec would never run on stage and tell Dermot to say something when broadcasting live!
Jordy is also underused - and I'm surprised they didn't include a reference to her Geordie counterparts sacking. Though the wig is certainly a homage to that fiasco!
Louis - hardly in it!
Posted KevinUK on 05 March 2014 - 11:27 PM
I'll keep this spoiler free, but I'm not a fan of the ending, which starts approximately 30 minutes before the ending. It goes from a great new musical comedy into bad panto, and I have a feeling it'll really impact what could have possibly been 4 stars up until that point.
Two characters need cutting, but I doubt it'll happen. You'll know who once you've seen it!
The music is what you'd expect - there might be one or two other great songs in there, but the rest complement the musical itself - nothing musically bad here really. One or two cheap shots at Madonna and Cher (that didn't go down as well as I expect they thought they might), but not many other name drops. Poor Geri Halliwell got a good laugh.
It'll be interesting to go see it in a few months when things have been tightened up, and a number of small rewrites done throughout: some of the humour doesn't work and definitely fell flat, so it'll be interesting to see these small changes.
The cast is incredibly strong. They only did 1 group bow this evening (probably because of time), and deserved to be allowed more. Nigel Harman isn't used as much as I'd have liked, and his take on Simon will probably evolve which will be good to see. But he does a good job. 'Fabulous' makes more sense with its actual staging, so don't judge off what was shown at those silly TV awards!
Random fact: for some strange reason they have Victoria Beckham's autobiography on stage.
There's a great visual trick at the end that is reminiscent of another visual trick that happened in a neighbouring theatre that I know was discussed a bit on here.
Anyone still after tickets - I can't recommend front row enough, especially for £20. The stage is much lower than it was for The Wizard of Oz: had an actual dog ran onstage in this you'd see it no problem. Not a single restriction, and no wing views!
Posted KevinUK on 05 March 2014 - 10:53 PM
Posted KevinUK on 05 March 2014 - 08:53 PM
Posted KevinUK on 04 March 2014 - 11:20 PM
There's also the arguement that the public prefer a more 'musically accessible' musical (sorry, I've no idea what the technical terms are), but musicals over the last 10 years have sounded a lot more commercial than anything ALW would write: you largely know that an ALW musical is going to have that classical, traditional sound. Then of course ALW has a reputation for serious subject matters too.
My guess is is that the public see plays as serious theatre, and musicals are light hearted, good time theatre. Which possibly isn't too far off the mark: what plays has the west end staged in even the last 5 years are are pure comedy? All I come up with is OMTG.
Posted KevinUK on 03 March 2014 - 01:17 AM
Posted KevinUK on 25 February 2014 - 12:07 AM
ALW and his POTO are fundamentally the blueprint for most new musicals: everyone seems to be after the next long running musical. Sondheim doesn't. His work doesn't always start off on broadway, or play in large capacity theatres. He doesn't personally hype them up.
So to some this may mean they feel Sondheim and his work has some form of integrity ALW's don't.
Posted KevinUK on 24 February 2014 - 11:26 PM
Posted KevinUK on 24 February 2014 - 09:05 PM
Performance. Drama. You're right there in thick of it. There's no one else there but you. You get lost in it and for me, that just makes it a greater experience. Everything you've mentioned is cosmetic, and all I'm interested in at heart is the performance. When I sit further back or high up, it's really easy to feel disconnected, like a spectator. There's a truth being up front can bring that just doesn't work at the back. I like to watch more than just the delivery of a script - I want to see that they mean whatever it is they're doing in their eyes - and the best actors can do it.
But it's just my personal choice - I have a background in TV/film production which is probably to blame.
Posted KevinUK on 04 February 2014 - 07:19 PM
Posted KevinUK on 25 January 2014 - 01:09 AM
Posted KevinUK on 22 January 2014 - 12:35 AM
Posted KevinUK on 20 January 2014 - 06:42 PM
I'm glad there's a small extension - it makes much more sense than going all in, taking no prisoners, and expecting something go be a hit. I'm assuming they made a big loss with LND, and are attempting to minimise potential losses this time around.
But it really does deserve to find an audience. I think it's a brilliant score and listen to it daily - I've never been a big ALW fan (having seen next to none of his work ), but this has really peaked my interest. If he wanted to prove he still had 1 great musical in him, then musically, I think he's more than achieved it with this.
I've noticed that they've started using an almost recreation of 'that' Christine chair pose on their advertising now.
One thing I will add, is that after seeing Wicked again last week, I was reminded of the power of connecting to a main character. I think it's fair to say this doesn't do that, and unlike Evita (his other political venture) Stephen Ward is very much about the scandal than the individuals. I love the show as it is, but wonder if more should have been made about who Stephen was, rather than what he supposedly did.
But musical theatre should be diverse, and I see nothing wrong with how the show is now.
Posted KevinUK on 15 January 2014 - 09:05 PM
I don't understand what you mean?
I'm surrounded by popcorn eating, chatter, heckling (my 'favourite' being a rather loud 'You go girl!' to Elphaba's solo dance in DTL), phones going off (who on earth has a Gnarls Barkley ringtone nowadays?), someone's drunken partner clearly isn't enjoying it (verbally expressing himself) and all from row B in the stalls.
So just like The Lion King, the audience are clearly free to do whatever they want. And all I've described are those in front of me, to one side and behind me.