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bickypeg

Member Since 04 Sep 2011
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 05:29 PM
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#266132 X Factor The Musical To The Palladium

Posted Titan on 22 May 2013 - 03:16 PM

Whilst this has potential, especially with a better title now, I just think they have missed the boat.  X Factors audience has been dwindling for the last few years, and shows taking the mickey out of singing competitions have been done before. I dont think fans of the show (who are probably also Harry Hill fans) will have an issue with it taking the piss out of X Factor, but neither do I think they will flock to London to see it, and i cant imagine it getting the tourist market much either.  

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)


#261677 X Factor The Musical To The Palladium

Posted stevepearman on 11 April 2013 - 05:11 PM

View Postpopcultureboy, on 11 April 2013 - 03:17 PM, said:

This is just the most depressing news. Clearly, zero lessons have been learnt from Viva Forever.
They learnt not to use Jennifer Saunders for writing the script!


#266042 The Ongoing Les MisÚrables Discussion Thread

Posted wickedgrin on 21 May 2013 - 07:32 AM

I have been following the "ongoing" Les Mis thread with interest. I hope the contracts are for shorter periods than 12 months as hopefully it keeps the cast on their toes. The last time I saw Les Mis at the Queens I was struck by how automated it all was including the performances. The show was certainly slick - it was like someone pressed a button and it set off. The music just drove along hardly allowing any time for applause, it was like a click track that couldn't be halted. As for the performances it was like watching animatronics - move DSR here, raise arm there, emote now etc.

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!

Thoughts?


#266050 The Ongoing Les MisÚrables Discussion Thread

Posted Cactus on 21 May 2013 - 09:30 AM

wickedgrin, short contracts are not automatically the solution... There are a lot of positive things to be said about casts the grow together and stick together for a while without constant new and tiring rehearsals to allow new cast members to get used to the show. Having new people join doesn't mean they're 'kept on their toes'. The rehearsal period is very short and often just about blocking and lighting cues etc. and having talked to a number of performers, it's the first few months of performing the parts when you really get to explore the show and find your footing and get confident and secure in your portrayal. Especially with characters like the students it usually helps to establish them as a group.
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.


#265906 Evita Uk Tour 2013

Posted Dawnstar on 19 May 2013 - 01:32 PM

View Postdjp, on 19 May 2013 - 01:44 AM, said:

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.

I was sitting there yesterday thinking thank goodness the male ensemble didn't look as young as in the last cast!

View Postdjp, on 19 May 2013 - 01:44 AM, said:

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.......

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.

View Postdjp, on 19 May 2013 - 01:44 AM, said:

The music volume, particularly early on, was too loud,

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!

View Postdjp, on 19 May 2013 - 01:44 AM, said:

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.

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.

View Postdjp, on 19 May 2013 - 01:44 AM, said:

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.

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.


#265876 Evita Uk Tour 2013

Posted djp on 19 May 2013 - 01:44 AM

View Postpopcultureboy, on 17 May 2013 - 11:02 AM, said:

It's...............ok. It's marred by an unnecessarily complicated set (pillars and staircases move in and out a lot, all somewhat clumsy and extraneous) and a hollow Che. Marti Pellow is miscast. He gives a very blank performance, sings it ok, but doesn't seem to be bothering with the accent much. Some numbers are need to be simplified (the mirrors in "Rainbow High" should be taken out, for a start) while others could do with having a bit more oomph.

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.


#265767 Wicked 2013 Uk Tour Thread

Posted tommy123 on 17 May 2013 - 04:01 PM

i thought natalie was okay in 9 to 5 - remember the context of the musical, it was a dolly parton musical, the acting wasn't the most important part! as much as 'two pints' has a hatred label (from me as well) the first few series were great and natalie was very good in that both comedy and serious.

re. sheridan - while it's important that she can sing the role, would producers worry about this or just worry about the name for the role? amanda holden and shrek is all i shall say!


#265780 The Ongoing Les MisÚrables Discussion Thread

Posted JD094 on 17 May 2013 - 04:50 PM

Anyone else reckon that Geronimo's latest tweet makes it sound an awful lot like he's staying on?


@GeronimoRauch:1m

A year ago I was arriving to London without knowing what my future would be! Now I can say that I'm staying for a while!



#265740 Evita Uk Tour 2013

Posted popcultureboy on 17 May 2013 - 11:02 AM

It's...............ok. It's marred by an unnecessarily complicated set (pillars and staircases move in and out a lot, all somewhat clumsy and extraneous) and a hollow Che. Marti Pellow is miscast. He gives a very blank performance, sings it ok, but doesn't seem to be bothering with the accent much. Some numbers are need to be simplified (the mirrors in "Rainbow High" should be taken out, for a start) while others could do with having a bit more oomph.

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.


#265701 Wicked 2013 Uk Tour Thread

Posted Titan on 17 May 2013 - 06:19 AM

Natalie and sheridan are no way good enough singers for those roles, let alone the acting aspect


#263873 What Is The Christmas Musical At The Menier Chocolate Factory This Year?

Posted Pharaoh's number 2 on 01 May 2013 - 06:47 AM

There has been talk of Maria Friedman reviving The Woman in White.


#265671 What Is The Christmas Musical At The Menier Chocolate Factory This Year?

Posted Jon on 16 May 2013 - 06:40 PM

Woman in White I think will be summer 2014.


#265579 Viva Forever!

Posted Catqc on 15 May 2013 - 07:59 PM

View PostJamiem, on 15 May 2013 - 07:37 PM, said:

We're not

very true!


#265546 Viva Forever!

Posted Steffi on 15 May 2013 - 04:07 PM

I know someone in the show but I'd never even think of talking about his feelings re the closing in public. That'd be just wrong.


#261167 Evita Uk Tour 2013

Posted Vicky on 07 April 2013 - 09:26 AM

I'm really happy that Madalena has the role of Eva, 1st saw her in Fame in 2007, and loved her voice back then - I never got to see her in Les Mis, but things I heard she sounded amazing...