Just seen this tonight- it was hilarious. I am actually exhausted from laughing so much. It is on at the Trafalgar studios- formerly Whitehall theatre- home of the Brian Rix farces- and they have done him proud. Its a mixture of Noises Off and other Ayckbourn farces mixed in with a bit of Python, Austentatious the Musical and the reduced version of 39 steps.
Anyway- if you want a rib tickler in an intimate venue ( very up close and personal) this is for you. If you want to make a night of it I can recommend the soup and pudding deal for £6.10 down in the Cafe Crypt of St Martins nearby.
If for some reason you don't find it funny- which I seriously doubt- you will surely be infected with everyone else's laughter.
It brought back happy memories of real life theatre mishaps I have witnessed over the years. My personal favourite was when I was watching Romeo and Juliet and Romeo couldn't find his poison bottle!
I think that the only way to beat the booking fees etc is either to vote with your feet and go to the box office in person or to not book at all. Unfortunately, ATG (which seems to be the main culprit on this thread) is no longer a theatre organisation; it is a ticketing agency which owns theatres which gives it a monopoly on ticketing in those venues. I did read that last year ATG made £15 million in profits, but after bank interest charges had been taken off, this was reduced to £180,000. With margins like this, ATG cannot afford to reduce it's ticketing charges and the only way that this can happen is if producers stop taking the hit shows to ATG venues.
On a lighter note... it is fantastic to see that THE FULL MONTY has announced that it is coming to the West End with no booking fees, restoration levies etc. Maybe the fight back has begun!
The Dominion is far too big, Adelphi would be a better theatre for Motown although depends on when either show is planning to transfer which I guess would late 2014/early 2015
Really looking forward to this. I've got the cast recording on pre-order and already have one of the tracks- Sex is in the Heel on my i-Pod. Massive Cydni Lauper fan- have been ever since she wanted to have fun over 30 years ago. That it itself is incentive enough for me to go and see this. Looks like a transfer next year is already on the cards.
But once again I see that the FOH staff, of two theatres, (Les Mis was affected as well) adopted the "let's just ignore it & see if it stops" policy! Literally an "Audience" member had to sort it out..not getting at all FOH people, but it annoys me when there is clearly a problem & they don't react.
An interesting point I feel also is customer perception of the theatres in Birmingham - particularly between the Hipp and the Alex. We get a lot of comments from customers at the Hippodrome who have been to the Alex and had bad experiences (customer service often comes up) but also other factors such as the decor of the theatre itself - the Alex is looking rather tired at the moment comparative to the Hippodrome, and also ticket prices. The Alex is part of ATG, who naturally charge "premier seating" prices (the whole concept really grinds my gears) and a restoration levy (seemingly not used for restoration) compared to the Hippodrome where top price is top price, simple as. Maybe this is the effect of large, national, private company with shareholders to please, versus charity trust. Hm.
the goodbye girl : saw this west end version and loved it shame didnt do well ... but then went on to tour extensively and sold out in birmingham & coventry deserves a new production .
Hard Times : got panned by critics but i really enjoyed it
I loved both of those, and especially the latter. Hard Times really struggled to get anyone through the door at all, which was surprising because there was nothing about it that screamed "avoid me at all costs" and it seemed to go down exceptionally well with those who did buy tickets. (It's also one of the few shows that ended up as a framed poster in my house.)
This theatre is special to me (being a local Brummie) as it was the first proper professional theatre I had ever been to (aside from the Palace in Redditch). But I must admit I haven't seen anything there since Spamalot in Christmas 2010 just as its over-shadowed by the Hippodrome's large scale hit shows.
Not to say there haven't been any shows recently that I regret not booking, i.e. One Man Two Guvnors, Chicago, Sweeney Todd or Scrooge (which I later saw at the Hippodrome anyways) but it seems the line up is mostly one-nighters like comedians, psychics, singers and kids shows.
However I can't help thinking that there have some recent Hippodrome shows that have looked to small there and probably would have been better suited to the Alex such as Avenue Q, Little Shop of Horrors, the countless number of Blood Brothers visits (however I suppose that's due to the combination of the popularity and the larger capacity).
The line up is woeful. Since when are Mel C and Kimberley Walsh the faces of west end musicals? They were both dreadful in their shows.
Melanie C makes sense. She's just won an award for JCS, and she's fine, and a bit different, in that. She was superb in Blood Brothers (as an refreshingly young and realistic antidote to the dodgy accents, dull portrayals and overly old characters often playing that role) and deserved her nominations for that too . Kimberley is inexplicable - unless she has another role coming up - though I suspect she would look better/slicker now after doing SCD.
More inexplicable is the lack of West End talent singing anything else much. You could easily find current performers who could sing most of the songs given to celebrity/US stars as well or better. He could even find people from his own TV shows who could sing many better. its just a bit odd - why you would fill a show with non West End people if you want to advertise your wares, and one or two big names would do to get the TV audience in? You would think he would want to show his achievements off at their best, rather than jump on the lets use a name bandwagon.
There are a lot of flaws in the story but i loved the score so would happily go see it. I quite liked the Australian version from watching the dvd, it was improved by a much more elaborate stage and less of the videos.
O.K.then.I saw Marti Pellow for the first time ever in Jekyll and Hyde on tour.I have seldom seen such a poor performance given on the professional stage.He couldn't sing;his acting was wooden;he moved round the stage in a strange jerky movement.His first entrance at the deathbed of his father was greeted by the screams of women of a certain age (younger than me!)I too felt like screaming.I laughed quite a lot.The whole sorry show was fortunately saved by the 2 female leads and an excellent ensemble.He was worse than Paul Nicholas in the same role.
Although having to keep standing up to let people into your row is annoying, you can hardly expect everyone in the row to take their seats in order, so I think that's just something we have to put up with.
I get very annoyed at latecomers too & shows going up late.
Much prefer the "latecomers will not be admitted until a suitable break in the performance" policy, which some theatres adopt and I think more should. My least favourite theatre for this is the Apollo, watching Wicked now is like being in a cinema with people wandering in & out throughout. I think the audience should have more respect for the performers - and indeed the rest of the audience.