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Member Since 30 Aug 2011
Offline Last Active Mar 11 2014 04:41 PM

#286294 Stephen Ward - The Musical

Posted wetheatreboy on 09 December 2013 - 05:29 PM

View PostTitan, on 09 December 2013 - 12:51 PM, said:

I never understand the 'loss of work argument'.

One show closes, another opens therefore employing more people.  Its rare that a theatre just sits empty.

Yes but not the same people... The cast, sound dept, automation, stage management, musicians, the crew and follow spots will no longer have jobs.

Those people aren't going to be employed on the next show... Sometimes this happens, but not as a rule. The theatre always needs crew, for example, but the requirements will change from show to show. You might need 6 or 8 members of crew for a musical and less (if any) for a play. Similarly, musicals generally require followspots plays don't.

#285897 'The Musicals' - New Channel 4 Documentary

Posted wetheatreboy on 05 December 2013 - 04:45 PM

Talking of people in the programme, apparently Mark Shenton has been fired? http://www.thestage....calp-time-mine/

I suspect the decision to let him go might be less to do with inappropriate pictures and more to do with the fact his "research", as we saw on Tuesday's episode, is mainly looking up Baz's Daily Mail column...

I was also surprised to see that he said that Les Mis is a musical about the French Revolution, when that is what it definitely isn't about! And he's supposed to be a lecturer in theatre history?

#285853 Stephen Ward - The Musical

Posted wetheatreboy on 05 December 2013 - 10:51 AM

View PostMrBarnaby, on 05 December 2013 - 12:14 AM, said:

...he simply won't change his shows that much during previews to save them.

I don't think that's true... Wizard of Oz and Love Never Dies, especially, had pretty big changes throughout the previews with songs appearing and disappearing.

It's a common misconception that shows can be "saved" or "fixed" in previews... They can't, and that's not what previews are for... I wouldn't say that's necessarily what the rehearsal process is for either. All the problems with plot and structure need to be refined during the workshop process. If you don't start rehearsals with a production that is pretty much perfected already, you have no hope of salvaging it in rehearsals or in previews.

Look at it like making a film: The writing/workshop process is filming, the rehearsal process is editing (maybe cutting bits, moving sections around, adding in the special effects), and previews are like colour-grading a film (adding that final gloss that ties every shot together and makes it look like one whole film).

The main point of the analogy is that you can't go in to the rehearsal/editing process without having all the shots "in-the-can". If you don't have everything ready to rehearse/edit with, you're going to end up with a pretty rubbishy musical/film.

#285852 'The Musicals' - New Channel 4 Documentary

Posted wetheatreboy on 05 December 2013 - 10:28 AM

View PostMrBarnaby, on 05 December 2013 - 06:48 AM, said:

I think Nica did until the last episode .." That's my theatre... And that's my theatre.... "

If I owned six theatres I think I'd be like that! I laughed out loud a when she went to the Garrick, and was "I can just walk in and no one can stop me because I own it"... Then there was a shot of the box office manager who looked like he was thinking "oh no here's the crazy woman again"!

She is a genuinely nice person though (even in the conversation with the Happy Days woman that was surely staged!)... And generally in the programme the genuinely nice people came across well. Of course, the bitchy queens came across as bitchy queens as well!

#285246 'The Musicals' - New Channel 4 Documentary

Posted wetheatreboy on 29 November 2013 - 02:12 PM

View PostDrP, on 28 November 2013 - 09:59 PM, said:

wethetreboy, can you give some examples of how Les Mis is so different to its original press night? I find it interesting

Gavroche's Little People is an obvious change... It used to be much longer and actually had an additional section with a different melody which I don't think anyone's heard since 1985(!) This cut down to the version we would recognise today, but even now that version in the show these days cut down from the full song to just four lines.

The Runaway Cart section has also been cut down drastically. There used to be a bit more dialogue between the onlookers and Valjean. Now the cart comes crashing down and the person is freed in a quarter of the time.

There are numerous cuts like this throughout the show, where before there were multiple lines they have been cut back to one.

Now, lets be fair none of these are major changes, but combine all these cuts and the fact that the show is now played with faster tempi pretty much throughout and the result is "The Tourist Attraction - Les Mis" rather than the full show with it's original artistic integrity. A kind of whistle-stop tour through the show to get all the basic points of the story across, but with slightly longer stop offs at the songs that everyone knows already.

This is all based on the show I during the 1990s at The Palace Theatre, which I loved and saw several times. I imagine even that production would have been different to the show as originally presented in 1985.

#285154 'The Musicals' - New Channel 4 Documentary

Posted wetheatreboy on 28 November 2013 - 08:54 PM

View Postjaqs, on 28 November 2013 - 04:56 PM, said:

I've never heard of shows after a cast change being called previews, after all the show is open and essentially frozen (I know things can still change).

This period isn't announced publicly, and they're only informally referred to as previews as this is generally the period before a cast's "Press Night".

The new cast's official opening night is generally referred to as a "Media Night" as it's not really a press event in sense of getting new reviews... It's generally for daytime TV celebs, magazines, and anyone who's done a "favour" for the promotion of the show, like running competitions for tickets or giving a discounted rate on advertising.

This all serves to get the name of the show in the press again or get a celeb tweet about it on twitter, and a chance to promote the new lead of the show (if there is one).

It's a bit of a falsehood that the shows are frozen at Press Night. It changes from show to show, but things are always evolving. Take Les Mis as an extreme example... It bears no resemblance to the original show on Press Night to the extent that some of it doesn't even make sense anymore(!) But then it has evolved over 25 years, and been cut drastically to ensure that the orchestra don't go into overtime if the show starts late or the interval runs over!

Again, it depends on the show, but cast changes are often a chance to rework aspects of the show. This could be small tweaks to the show to suit the new lead's talents (or their lack of), or can be a lot more extreme. Each cast change at Mary Poppins always seemed to have a slightly refined book, sometimes musical tweaks, prop tweaks (new colours of dog!), and sometimes new items of set!

View PostAdrianics, on 28 November 2013 - 03:53 PM, said:

Kind of frustratating as there are many logistical questions regarding the nitty-gritty of running a West End show that I have, and the show barely even attempts to answer these in order to focus on this Happy Days show and their struggle casting celebrities.

Couldn't agree more... I wonder if Barnum had transferred we would have had another episode filled with Happy Days. I see that they are trying to show another side of the industry by showing an up and coming producer... But it would have been nice to see someone a little more established like Jamie Hendry, but who is still up and coming rather than a complete novice.

EDIT: also don't miss your chance to invest! http://metro.co.uk/2...chance-4153542/

#283700 Betty Blue Eyes 2014

Posted wetheatreboy on 13 November 2013 - 01:10 PM

I think it was what you would call "over-produced".

There were revolves, moving walls, and scenery that flew and tracked. They didn't really add that much, but they were a large added expense that the show could have done without.