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Posted MusicalTalk on 09 March 2014 - 10:52 AM
What I enjoy about We Will Rock Your is our own Mike Dixon's arrangements of the songs are, whilst still faithful to the originals, quite new and exciting - with the grander endings of songs and such.
Posted James84 on 08 March 2014 - 10:45 AM
Posted steveatplays on 08 March 2014 - 10:29 AM
Lloyd is constantly underlining - the actors in rabbit heads illustrating just what Don't Be The Bunny is really saying. We don't need it.
Lockstock himself, as played by Jonathan Slinger, seems misconceived. Too smarmy and sleazy and overtly sadistic. Lockstock has to be a charmer. All the bad things he does are done with a fresh gleaming smile, not a leer. And what's with the bad New Yawk accent? The show is not set in New York so why do it?
And what's with the buckets of blood? Way too literal. Not only unnecessary but wrong.
I wish Lloyd had trusted his material more and not felt the need to add his own unhelpful flourishes. But the show is strong enough to survive them. And, despite my carping, I had a good time. Don't think I'd see it again though.
Glad you had a good time regardless. Like Freckles, this was the first time I have seen this, and I didn't know the book or music before I did.
For me, this was like falling in love, I loved everything about it. I have no other version of this to compare it to, and I would balk at a toned-down or sanitised version of it. And that includes loving all the extreme things Jamie Lloyd did to underline the theme, to make it gory and filthy and mean and in your face.
I am aware that the producers are saying this version is "darker" than the original version because they feel darker plays more to the British psyche. However, I personally doubt this justification. As a take on an apocalypse scenario, Americans are lapping up the TV show "The Walking Dead," which is very bit as dirty and filthy and mean and visceral as this, though it lacks the humour of this as well as the satiric critique of what we are doing to our world.
So I believe over-the-top is perfect for this material. Blood will be spilled in the future in bucketloads over resources, and so it should be in this. The contrast between the humourous book and lyrics and the extreme visceral visions of a bloody dirty apocalypse are themselves hilarious to me.
The image of humans with rabbit heads I took to be a vision of that apocalypse, referencing the doom-foreshadowing image of the rabbit-headed human in the movie Donnie Darko.
Whether Urinetown is New-York-of-the future like Gotham City is in DC comics, I have no idea. But I certainly had no problem with Slinger's New York accent, and I especially liked his sadistic glee. Surely this type of revelling in cruelty is going to be a prevelant coping strategy of the apocalypse, just as sadomasochism itself is a psychological way of coping with insecurity, so will revelling and making hay out of other people's misery be a hellish coping strategy of the future. I'm glad Slinger is leering, rather than gleaming in his smiles. Gleaming would indicate that he is an inhuman robot, who we can dismiss as unrealistic, leering is a sadistic sickness of the human mind we all recognise.
All the buckets and buckets of blood that will be spilled in the future by our descendants are reflected back in our faces here, for us to look at right now, as they should be.
Oh, I love this show, I love this show, I love this show lol!
And I do envy anyone who saw the original Broadway run of this, even if it was very different to what we are seeing now.
Posted freckles on 08 March 2014 - 09:18 AM
Oh, now I want to see it again AND see another version...
Posted steveatplays on 07 March 2014 - 09:35 PM
Posted Distant_Cousin on 07 March 2014 - 09:08 AM
Posted DanielJohnson14 on 06 March 2014 - 03:13 PM
Posted Althea on 06 March 2014 - 10:20 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.
Posted dallardice on 05 March 2014 - 07:25 PM
Posted wickedgrin on 05 March 2014 - 09:16 AM
Woman 1 "do you think the ceiling is going to fall in"
Women 2 " it would be more exciting than the show wouldn't it"
Woman 1 "I'm glad Gladys didn't come she would not have liked the swearing"
Woman 1 "There's nothing scandalous about it now is there...."
Woman 2 "Ooooh no, I bet it's all going on today, it's just that we don't know about it, and wont do for another 30 years or whatever, the establishment - they're all still at it"!
Woman 1 "Yes look at that Patrick Rock"
Woman 2 "Who dear?"
Woman 1" Do you think that they (the cast) give their all when they know it's closing in a few weeks?
Woman 2 "Well that Christine Keeler gave it her all (cackles) but I suppose they hope to be picked up for something else - they never know who's watching"
Woman 1 "There are some nice songs aren't there... it's a pity he did not write them for a different show"
Woman 2 " But then it would have been a different show wouldn't it"
Posted Seriously on 05 March 2014 - 05:35 PM
Posted wickedgrin on 02 March 2014 - 04:14 PM
Posted Seriously on 02 March 2014 - 03:08 AM
Ring Keith Strachan... we need some more songs
Watch old X Factor tapes for anyone who looks vaguely right.
Book auditions for theatre school graduates who need work as ensemble.
Remember this one is an actor muso show, so they'll need to bring their own instruments
Email TDK, ask him to cobble together some more backing tracks for the bits they can't play.
Get old costumes out of stores
Book one week in a church hall for rehearsals
Send clip art to Poster people
Start rumour it'll be transferring to The Playhouse
10.05am Homes Under the Hammer
Posted alec_e10 on 02 March 2014 - 09:30 AM
Loved the show and echo what others have said. Superb cast, great production. Jenna Russell brilliant as always and Richard Fleeshman is perfect in the role.
This Is a very slick and expensive production so surely they must be hoping for a west end transfer.
I need to go again soon
I wonder what the critics will think as they are a funny old bunch.
Posted steveatplays on 01 March 2014 - 07:29 PM
It's like someone decided to rework the TV series, "The Wire" as a laugh out loud comedy, and succeeded.
Each season of The Wire looked at a different human organisation, be it police department or politics or education, and suggested that human nature undermined it. Urinetown is like every season rolled into one two hour show that's absolutely hilarious.
And it's not about laughing at "others" with Jim Davidson snideness, like "Book of Mormon." It's about laughing at ourselves as human beings, and as musical theatre devotees.
"Urinetown" is like Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows," where we all know how selfish we are ("rich folks get the good life, poor folks get the woe, in the end it's nothing you don't know") except with less dirge, more splurge, such is the energy invested by cast and director.
Indeed, Jamie Lloyd resurrects all the darkness, dirt, death and blood that made his recent Macbeth gruelling, but which here are perfectly balanced by the sheer joy of the most catchy melodies.
Great intelligence underlies the characters of Officer Lockstock (played with ferocity and gleeful violent charm by Jonathan Slinger) and Little Sally (played with captivating cuteness, in both senses of the word, by Karis Jack). Indeed, every time I thought I spotted a flaw in the plot or presentation, either Lockstock or Little Sally chipped in to echo and answer and subvert my thoughts, making a mockery of my inner critic. This occurred from the very start, as Lockstock put down his large copy of Malthus, to sing "Too much exposition." It is the Brechtian distance and humour, that these narrators inject into the plot, that makes untraditional plot elements and dark themes palatable to a wide musical theatre audience.
I got so much energy and enthusiasm from the cast, it was infectious:
Jenna Russell holds her cigarette with such flamboyance she seems to take the death out of smoking. Her "Privilege to pee" had me feeling like I might; Simon Paisley Day seemed cruel and imposing, as well as reasonable and charming, all at once, his "Don't be a bunny" making perfect sense in a very evil way; Richard Fleeshman's naive yet heroic Bobby Strong embodied a hummingbird beauty and softness in his voice that was perfectly suited to taking the misery out of "Les Miserables," singing the generic "Look at the Sky," satirising musical theatre sentimentality, as well as the supreme showstopper, "Run Freedom Run!;" and kudos also to the actors playing Little Becky Two Shoes and Hot Blades Harry, singing "Snuff that Girl!"
All in all, I was bowled over by this and only too happy to join in the standing ovation. 5 stars.
nb: The bottom of the upper stage is level with the sightline of Row G, making that the optimal sightline for both upper and lower stages. Front row beats back row, because it's better to see heads than feet of upper stage performers, and also because the intimacy with the lower stage must be fabulous!
I wish my train wasn't delayed, as I can't wait to get home and try to book another ticket for the end of the run.