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Member Since 04 Sep 2011
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#297180 I Can't Sing - Changes (Spoilers)

Posted mallardo on 18 March 2014 - 05:04 PM

The alien reveal??  Just what kind of a show is this, Officer Lockstock?

#296831 X Factor The Musical To The Palladium

Posted Avfan on 16 March 2014 - 05:01 AM

I was really looking forward to this. I desperately wanted it to be good. I love Harry Hill and really liked the two songs I had seen on TV. Dear god what an absolute mess. The cast are doing everything they can with what they have been given, but the creative team need a big slap of reality if they are going to turn this around but being honest I'm not sure if they can?

The set in Act 1 is atrocious, Iv'e seen better panto sets. Act 2 is much much better set wise. The first fifteen minutes gave me hope for the show, as I was enjoying it, then it started to go down hill rapidly. The book is all over the place. Again another extraordinarily talented TV writer with no Idea what works on stage. This resulted in not just the set but the show itself veering into panto. Another poster put it very well when they described it as a series of sketches trying to work a story in. Simon Lipkin is a fantastic actor and he works his butt off on stage, but as soon as his character appeared that was it, it became sketch territory and surprisingly for Harry Hill a lot of it fell flat. The show could loose 3 plus characters easily as they actually cheapen it. Again not the actors but the poorly written characters.

It's fine to parody something, but that parody needs to be matched with substance. So even though you're laughing at the knowing winks and blatant self mockery it needs to be balanced out with some character development which this show is sorely lacking. It's essentially a five minute you tube video or Harry Hill sketch stretched out over nearly three hours. I was happy to leave half way through act 2 but my friend wanted to stay and boy am I glad we did, I will never forget the final two - three minutes of the show where we both sat there open mouthed at what was happening. I cannot believe that around 5 - 7 creatives signed off on that. Yep that sounds like a good idea and not at all a waste of money. Those who have seen it will know what I'm referring too but I literally sat there open mouth.

Again the cast worked so hard but when the core material is so weak then what can they truly do?

Where the hell was the creative team? Mainly the producers? Was there any voice of reason in the room? I don't understand how glaringly obvious problems were not flagged by the team. Cameron Macintosh may have a rep for being an interfering force in the rehearsal room but Dear God this show was crying out for a producer to step in as far back as week two of rehearsals, or even the workshop and squash numbers and story arks that should never have made it out of the room. Look who knows how much the show will change before press, but the only hope they have of salvaging the thing is by being ruthless, maybe even getting in a fresh pair of eyes for the script.

A large number of the audience seemed to enjoy it, but even the guffaws at the obvious jokes in act 1 had severely depleted by act 2. Now as tonight's house was heavily comped to industry people, maybe the reaction would have been different with a more general audience?

I think it can hope for one or two four star reviews at best but that will be if serious changes happen. However, overall I see the critics having a field day with this. If it see's Christmas it will be lucky, but it could also turn into a big seller if the target audience like it. Alas I think if it does hit the six month mark it will be heavily financed by a certain producer, as on a Saturday night, to be heavily papering the house is not a good sign,

#296749 Top Hat.

Posted MrTumnus on 15 March 2014 - 11:25 AM

Age and stature wise, Cheryl Baker would be a good choice. Her voice is still good and is famous enough, and held in high enough regard, to the 40+ age group to add to the audience.

Note to younger members - Cheryl Baker sang in a four piece popular music vocal group. In 1981 the group, Bucks Fizz won the Eurovision Song Contest with Making Your Mind Up. The UK's Abba without the musical talent.

#296695 Urinetown

Posted FireFingers on 14 March 2014 - 10:31 PM

Saw this tonight. Fan-bloody-tastic. First 5 stars I have given a show in a while. Great cast, great choreo, great set, great effects, great band. How this isn't selling out I don't know. If I had one criticism it would be that vocals could do with a bit of a push as they were occasionally getting lost.

I am desperately trying to figure out where I can slot in another trip before it closes, and I very rarely like to see the same show twice with the same cast.

Sadly, I don't think it'll transfer, unless it is somewhere similarly poke-y like Trafalgar Studios. Any space larger has competition from show more likely to turn a profit.

#296687 Urinetown

Posted danieldabell on 14 March 2014 - 08:56 PM

Incredible show. Enjoyed this so much last night.
The cast are sublime, particularly Richard Fleeshman and Jenna Russell, truly great. The set is amazing. I was front row centre and while you do miss a couple of minutes worth of full body views on top level, it's absolutely worth the reduced cost 18.50 a ticket and you're basically on the stage at the front with cast falling within milimeters of you. I thought the story was very good and although not written with nowadays politics in mind, it's very current, relevant and topical. Some cracking songs as well. Absolute standout moment is RUN FREEDOM RUN. Fleeshman was genius in this song that appeared to riff a lot off of Sister Act! I am very tempted to try for another ticket!

#296634 X Factor The Musical To The Palladium

Posted Kathryn2 on 14 March 2014 - 11:55 AM

View PostDrP, on 14 March 2014 - 10:23 AM, said:

- the whole story is bonkers. There is barely a story actually, it's like a series of sketches.

This is kind of what I expected from a show written by Harry Hill. Presumably it's being aimed at his fanbase as much as at X factor fans.

#296653 Urinetown

Posted Parsley on 14 March 2014 - 04:27 PM

2h 20m

Saw it last week after almost bailing out due to fatigue and malaise

Glad I went

Wonderful cast and staging

Loved it!!

Marc Elliot has a thankless role and not even any proper singing

Well worth a trip

#296626 X Factor The Musical To The Palladium

Posted DrP on 14 March 2014 - 10:23 AM

My thoughts in a fairly random order

- they have thrown MILLIONS at this. Where some shows would have said 'oh we can't have that, it's too expensive', this lot have clearly just thrown more cash at it.
- the ending is ridiculous but genuinely took my breath away.
- the whole story is bonkers. There is barely a story actually, it's like a series of sketches.
- Cynthia is obviously a spectacular singer but seems to be rushing some of her lines, so a lot of witty stuff gets lost
- not sure why the publicity has removed the X Factor references, it's basically one long XF sketch from start to finish. If you'd never seen it, you'd be totally lost. It's also very British X Factor centric with lots of in jokes on past contestants and judges
- The narrating dog is funny but should be used a bit more consistently
- Good fun, but I just don't understand who will go and see this

#296618 X Factor The Musical To The Palladium

Posted theatrefan777 on 14 March 2014 - 08:28 AM

Finally saw it last night.  I was mildly entertain in some parts but overall this is a complete and utter mess.  I must congratulate the excellent cast.  They all give 100% and do everything they can to make it work but IMHO it's a really badly written show. I don't understand how someone would invest money to produce this nonsense.  Some isolated bits were fun to watch but they are just like short sketches, the overall result is really terrible.  And don't get me started on the Hunchback part...

Upper Circle was shut last night, therefore there were lots of upgrades.  Stalls was about 70% full and Dress Circle about the same.  Draw your own conclusions

#296596 ATG Present Annie Get Your Gun Starring Emma Williams And Norman Pace

Posted Dawnstar on 13 March 2014 - 11:59 PM

I'd see this just to see Emma Williams again (thought she was great in Zorro but haven't managed to catch her in anything since) if only Bournemouth wasn't about 5h from me. While I doubt it will achieve the West End it would be nice if it could tour to a few more venues further eastwards.

#295861 Will Viva Forever Tour The Uk?

Posted MusicalTalk on 09 March 2014 - 10:52 AM

Yes - I thought there were some I forgot! Thanks!  I don't know (or remember!!) TOO MUCH or GOODBYE, though.

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.

#295735 Urinetown

Posted James84 on 08 March 2014 - 10:45 AM

I went to the matinee on Thursday, knowing nothing of the story or the score. It was fantastic! Can't recommend it enough. Such a good use of space at the theatre and a great sound from the cast and band. A thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours of theatre.

#295732 Urinetown

Posted steveatplays on 08 March 2014 - 10:29 AM

View Postmallardo, on 07 March 2014 - 11:18 PM, said:

I thought Jamie Lloyd over-directed and over-produced it.  Too much set - it's better when it's played simpler.  

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.


#295727 Urinetown

Posted freckles on 08 March 2014 - 09:18 AM

Very interesting views, but with nothing to compare it to, I loved it & found it completely engaging. I suppose there's more than one way to interpret a show & Jamie Lloyd does seem to like taking his own path. But this one worked for me.

Oh, now I want to see it again AND see another version...

#295691 Playhouse After Spam

Posted steveatplays on 07 March 2014 - 09:35 PM

Like Steve said, I'd really like to see Urinetown move in there, and stick around as long as possible.