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Posted Steve on 31 May 2013 - 08:20 AM
I was a bit disappointed by the music, I love Hairspray, Bombshell and Catch Me if You Can, but nothing in this score comes close to any of those. It seems a real mish-mash of styles with nothing really connecting them at all. The songs to introduce the child ticket winners are pretty terrible, the one for Augustus is the only one I felt worked. The awful rap and whatever that was for Mike were terrible. And where was the song when Charlie found the ticket? I was expecting a huge celebration with lots of dancing, like in the movie, but it never really happened. If Your Mother Were Here and It Must Be Believed To Be Seen were the only songs that really stood out, but I couldn't hum either to you. I came out of the theatre with Pure Imagination in my head wishing they'd incorporated more of the movie songs.
I think the first act needs some extra work and something needs to be done with the ending. Having Wonka come back on as some kind of Fagin for a few seconds doesn't work at all. It needs a big production number filled with colour and Oompa Loompa's for the feel good factor. Charlie's first day in charge or something :-) I am looking forward to going to see it again in a few months and see what changes they made. The show is in pretty good shape, but could be made really wonderful with a few tweaks here and there.
Posted holler on 26 May 2013 - 08:34 PM
God, I hope so. Find out when it is and spread the word far and wide, and I'll go and see his infinitely more talented (I'm sure) understudy.
I'm sure booking him has sold a lot of seats and some of the ladies clearly enjoyed him but I heard a lot of people complaining they couldn't tell what he was saying and in a show like this that is sung through, that's going to be a problem.
Posted holler on 26 May 2013 - 08:19 PM
I thought the set was impressive for a tour. It didn't seem clunky to me - the only time I struggled was the previously mentioned mirrors. They seemed heavy and unyielding and kept reflecting the lights into the audience in an unhelpful manner.
As for Marti.. what can I say. He almost ruined the show for me. I saw Matt Rawle (? I think) in London 6 or so years ago, and I'm used to listening to him on the soundtrack and he OWNS every single song. Some of Che's solo songs are my favourites eg Oh What a Circus, and Marti does nothing for them. His voice has no soul, no depth, he can't act... ugh. He was every bit as bad as I feared, maybe worse.
I was appalled that he seemed to get a bigger cheer than Madalena at the bows. Grr!
Posted munchkinmania on 23 May 2013 - 09:25 PM
Posted jaqs on 23 May 2013 - 10:43 AM
Still i'll no doubt go and see it.
Posted MrBarnaby on 22 May 2013 - 11:23 PM
Posted dannyboyjohnson on 22 May 2013 - 09:59 PM
Posted popcultureboy on 16 April 2013 - 04:16 PM
Well, yes, but Harry Hill has never once made me so much as crack a smile. But that wasn't the lesson I meant. People love X Factor. People get SO involved with it, they give up their weekend evenings for it for months on end. They don't want to pay out a fair chunk of money to watch people of questionable talent ripping the p*** out of the X Factor. Judging from the synopsis, that would seem to be what Hill is aiming for. I can't see it filling the Palladium 8 times a week.
Posted popcultureboy on 22 May 2013 - 04:04 PM
Better???? It has a negative connotation in it!
One of them being Viva Forever. Another show written by a comedian way past their prime with a recognisable brand attached. Clearly, no lessons were learned there.
Posted Titan on 22 May 2013 - 03:16 PM
Families will have plenty of other shows to see (and if Charlie is the hit it could be they wlll be flocking to see that).
Although people invest their saturday nights into xfactor, its just an evening entertainment programme. they dont invest much time and money into the show after that (otherwise more winnerswould be more successful)
Posted stevepearman on 11 April 2013 - 05:11 PM
Posted wickedgrin on 21 May 2013 - 07:32 AM
Perhaps this was the fault of the direction, but I just felt I was watching a well oiled machine in action. Nothing wrong with a slick show but there was no time for the show to breath, no light or shade, no performance, no feeling. I felt all the cast were under strict orders to "get on with it" and that there would be consequences if the running time was 30 seconds over.
Perhaps 12 months contracts of 8 shows a week is punishing and shorter contracts may keep the cast "fresher"?
There is huge speculation on this board about casting particular performers and that's great and I am sure very valid - some performers will be stronger than others in roles - although it is subjective. However, to the casual theatre goer to the show who may only see the show once or twice this is not relevant as the show is the star ( unless a star is parachuted in such as Matt Lucas). So perhaps to performers it's a bit thankless having to perform to the template set by the production and the original casts.
Cam Mack is renowned for keeping his shows "up to scratch" and even popping in unannounced personally to check from time to time. But the show I saw although undoubtedly slick and very professional came across without heart and just like a money making machine - which it is!
Posted Cactus on 21 May 2013 - 09:30 AM
If a performance seems tired or lacklustre it's almost certainly due to direction and individual performances. I remember when I saw Les Mis for the first time after several years which (as I later found out) happened to be towards the end of a cast's run. They'd been performing together for about ten months and I still remember how many small details and layered interactions there were, and how great the energy was. They didn't have to concentrate on blocking or cues but were completely at ease with the material and had explored the characters to the fullest. In comparison, I saw the 25th Anniversary UK tour just a couple of weeks into their run and all the students seemed to be one generic body, not individual characters.
That said, seeing Les Mis about six months ago (so just about four months into the cast's run), I also felt that they seemed to just be 'there' as if to say 'the house will be full anyway so why bother?'. I put this down to casting and direction and given my experience with other casts I'll stick with that - but it was frustrating. The audience still seemed to enjoy it it but I'd definitely seen more passionate performances in the show (even ten or so months into a cast's run).
I know that quite a number of performers really enjoy having an entire year or more with their characters and use it to the fullest by exploring their parts to the fullest and work out various interactions - after all, it's quite an ensemble-heavy show and it allows for more freedom than A Chorus Line for example, or Phantom which almost entirely relies on the three leads. A fair number of actors and actresses in the past have chosen to stay with Les Mis for several years (both as principals and in the ensemble) have have continued to give strong and original performances. I've seen performers who, after almost two years in their role, had more passion and dedication than others showed after three months. But I also agree that direction at the moment seems to be superficial.
Posted Dawnstar on 19 May 2013 - 01:32 PM
I was sitting there yesterday thinking thank goodness the male ensemble didn't look as young as in the last cast!
I'm pleased she's got the lead this time, I saw her on as the understudy on the last tour & thought she was good then.
Goodness, yes! The volume seems to have been notched up since last time. Parts of the opening few minutes were painful to the ear & I felt the floor vibrating a few times!
I saw very few signs of any discernable acting, he just seemed to be looking saturnine throughout. I think he might have smiled once! His vocals were okay but sounded like he was at the limit a few times. I also found some of his vowel sounds to be very ugly e.g. "She's not coming back to yaow". I also think the stubble is a mistake as his beard looks to be greyer than his hair so it makes him look even more too old for the role than he is already.
I felt Madalena was slightly over-acting at the start & trying to act a bit too girlishly. I imagine that's the sort of thing that will probably settle down with performance time.
Posted djp on 19 May 2013 - 01:44 AM
The women save the day. Sarah McNicholas is quite lovely as the mistress and I thought Madalena Alberto was sensational as Eva. I can absolutely see why her voice is a divisive one, but I loved it.
Quite liked the scenary. Looked quiet classy/Presidential/imaginative?. Provided something to watch in duller moments. Thought the ensemble was very strong, if almost uniformly young looking. Great to see a proper musical out there thats using some of the young talent though. General Peron was strong enough for an Argentine General. . Magaldi (Nick Gibney) was strong. and got a very good reception. The Mistress, Sarah McNicholas, was really excellent and also got a very strong response - someone to follow . Great look for Eponine, or an interesting Cosette.......
The accent thing was odd, . accents appeared with some characters, and never with others. The music volume, particularly early on, was too loud, which meant that even when the 2 main leads hit all their notes, the last ones tended to get lost, and it didn't help establish the characters. Strings would be nice. Something looked very wrong with Don't Cry For Me when, after the song, the cast all started clapping as Evita's public, and the audience sat there making not a noise as they were confused whether the scene had ended or not. They can't have intended that the biggest song in the show got no applause can they?? Rethink needed?
Agree Marti Pellow. Slightly better - but Russell Crowe's vocal range, and Nick Jonas's acting came to mind. Got better for a couple of songs in act two, which had some oomph. Lacked edge and never quite looked like public enemy number one, or a revolutionary leader. Kept things going along though, and served his purpose - he's pulling in his fans, they like him, and judging by the response he got, there may be 10-20% of people at least there to see him.
Evita was interesting. You can see why she gets the role - thought Don't Cry For Me was good, and after she was diagnosed as dying and added emotional content, her songs were very good indeed. The treatment of some of the earlier songs got some strange looks as they were hit into orbit . Depends what you want/like - some will love vocal fireworks - I preferred the versions of those where the lyrics and music provide the emotions, rather than hearing the emotional build up end in a vocal explosion. Not sure that the idea of Evita as someone who stands out and someone who comes from the people works. I thought Evita started out looking remarkably like Piaf had in Leicester - which makes sense given the role similarities, and Madalena playing her recently, but Piaf worked because Frances Ruffele has enormous stage presence, and the early scenes were directed to allow her to show that, and it wasn't helped here by Evita getting lost in her taller ensemble. Not sure either she comes over as a woman of the people strongly or convincingly enough at the start - there's not much to use, but Madge managed that better. That may all change though as the tour progresses, if they think of things to add, and take out some of the more OTT bits. The audience seemed impressed, and Evita was suitably ovationified - though some were heard saying they expected something different.
I thought it was well worth a visit, but Che is not the obvious best casting choice, and Evita is currently a bit of yes, and no, and yes.