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Member Since 10 Mar 2012
Offline Last Active Apr 21 2013 08:23 PM

#259699 The Judas Kiss

Posted mallardo on 23 March 2013 - 10:52 PM

"Only the Italian Fisherman is blithely unconcerned (at length)."

I'm guessing the length is his reason for blithe unconcern.

#259658 The Judas Kiss

Posted mallardo on 23 March 2013 - 02:57 PM

Your review was impressive stuff, EB, wonderfully entertaining.  You've actually made me want to see the show now - now that it's too late.

#259613 The Judas Kiss

Posted Nicholas on 23 March 2013 - 12:50 AM

View Postexuberantlyblue, on 23 March 2013 - 12:29 AM, said:

And Tom Colley's, um, attributes may get the lion's share of the attention, but beyond that his easy friendliness was an effective foil to Bosie and Wilde in the second act.

That character was actually quite interesting, but the nudity got most of the attention - as you say, he's got to be a foil to those two despite his lines being (at least for me) un-understandable.  It's a shame that people think there was no more to his part than just his part, as his role had more meat to it than just his meat.  I couldn't help but wonder quite what he had to do when he auditioned for it, though.

#259120 Peter And Alice

Posted Kathryn2 on 20 March 2013 - 09:58 AM

Well, I'm still only 30, so you'd definitely be wrong about being the youngest! I was in the balcony and didn't notice many grey heads at all in the Balcony or the Upper Circle below.

And I disagree about the actors playing the fictional 'Peter' and 'Alice' - in fact I suspect you rather missed the point if you thought they were 'dreadful' - they were clearly not being played naturalistically because they are meant to be fictional characters.

#258955 A Tailor Made Man - Arts Theatre

Posted xy_whitefaerie on 19 March 2013 - 12:51 AM

Agreed, absolutely loved it. Everyone was so sincere in their performances: Dylan Turner had tears in his eyes in some of the scenes. I found Bradley Clarkson especially endearing as Jimmy and Faye Tozer was brilliantly funny in her scenes. Really loved the songs- very memorable tunes that I'm humming them now, and I thought they brought out the emotions of the scenes very well. The choreography was a spectacle to watch even though the set was simple. Romanticised true story, yes, but I don't mind as the story was very touching. I am glad that I didn't research much about the real-life story, as it made the ending just that much more poignant.

theatrically, thanks for posting the promo code!

P/S: I do have a little complaint regarding the seats though. Thought they were uncomfortable... Nonetheless, it was negligible considering how much I enjoyed the musical. Highly recommend everyone to watch it!

#254770 A Tailor Made Man - Arts Theatre

Posted Jame C on 14 February 2013 - 10:48 PM

Just back from the first preview, and had to post something...booked it coz I needed a cheap show to see with a mate (tickets from a tenner for the previews - sat in the circle slips - corner of stage missing but otherwise great view). Well, this is a show that makes me remember why I love theatre! Great cast all round, music, lyrics, choreography...loved it all - but above all a storyline that drew me in right to the end.

If you check the Arts website and the story sounds a bit odd for a musical, don't be put off....this is a show that deserves to be a hit. Can't wait to see it again!  And no - I have no connection with the production other than being a very happy punter, who wanted to share my excitement at finding an original show that entertained me more than any show has in the recent past.

#258706 Peter And Alice

Posted hotshot on 17 March 2013 - 01:15 AM

View Postexuberantlyblue, on 16 March 2013 - 05:46 PM, said:

Oh, one thing I was going to ask - from Row V, the top bit of the stage was cut off by the overhang. (For context, I could see the bottom of what I think were ribbons hanging down at one point.) Did we miss anything higher up? I think I remember Dame Judi looking up at one point and I didn't know if she was just gazing off into the distance or if there was something up there.

You missed some chinese lanterns to set the scene as Judi went back to her childhood.

I managed to grab some returns and sat 5 rows from the stage..amazing..loved it..but thought that it ended on a downer when i had expected something more light hearted and playful! However, am glad i managed to get to see it!

#256890 Bad Behaviour At A Show

Posted BringMeSunshine on 02 March 2013 - 11:53 PM

What a horribly selfish turn this topic has taken. I often attend the theatre with a patent who suffers asthma. Theatres are old dusty buildings and a lot of the stalls sections are actually underground. Even the damp in the air that a person blessed with regular breathing would never notice can cause unintentional coughing fits. Consider the struggles of others before moaning about them.

#256820 Bad Behaviour At A Show

Posted Lynette on 02 March 2013 - 04:23 PM

I hate it when coughs come from all sides in quiet bits. But I've had this cough ( a virus or similar to Matthew, cold legacy) for ages and continued to go the theatre cept when I felt truly ill. I take as many precautions - stop laughing - as I can. Before the show, I take decongestants. I always have water, ready opened in small plastic bottle to hand. I have either peppermints or cough sweets, unwrapped so no crinkly noise or usually both and a hankie to stuff in my mouth. For niggly cough you can perfect a breathing technique which I use. Diff to explain but it involves stomach muscles. This can stave off a cough.

Then if all this fails I cough.

#256614 James Mcavoy - Macbeth At Trafalgar Studios

Posted Stevemar on 01 March 2013 - 10:50 AM

View Postexuberantlyblue, on 01 March 2013 - 01:25 AM, said:

The real standout performance for me was Jamie Ballard as Macduff - I see someone said he was "shouty" and maybe he was from close up but from Row M he was bang on perfect. Two women in the front row stage seats were surreptitiously wiping away tears.

Yes, that was me that said he was a bit shouty. In fact, I thought he was terrible until he was told about his family when there was a slight improvement, but just my personal opinion. He also got a round of applause mid show. I can't recall which speech it was but it was a patriotic one, so that might have something to do with it.

I posted a full week after I saw the play, and (possibly like Nicholas) on the day I was mostly "I'm not sure about this" in that it was quite unsubtle in places and I predicted (wrongly) that the critics would be divided with the direction choices rather than 4* mostly raves.

Also, as I have not seen the (£5!) programme, is there a particular reason for setting it in a dystopian Scotland (as opposed Scotland generally). I don't think they were trying to make a political point despite the obvious paralllels. What I mean, is did this ADD to the play and its understanding. Personally, I think the new context lost some of the original nobility of the play, so it seemed more like a lot of tribal warfare fighting over some scraps rather than the future of the country and power to unite it.

On the fire drill point, our matinee performance started 15 minutes late as the audience was held in the crowded foyer beforehand (not a fire drill though). I wonder also at the end of the play, some theatres let you exit through fire exits etc (usually you end up in some side street), but here the way out via one exit and one staircase was pretty slow and cramped also.

#256656 James Mcavoy - Macbeth At Trafalgar Studios

Posted Nicholas on 01 March 2013 - 02:40 PM

And I went with a few other people and all felt etiher as I did or more positively.  Mixed responses for Lady M, some saying she got better as we went along.  All positive for James McAvoy (though some had a slight bias).  Lots of enthusiasm for Jamie Ballard.  A fair bit for Banquo and Duncan too.  Apprehensions over setting, or just didn't mind.  Opinions varied from mine - good but not great - to really very good indeed.

#256653 James Mcavoy - Macbeth At Trafalgar Studios

Posted Nicholas on 01 March 2013 - 02:32 PM

Stevemar, you've pretty much said exactly what I thought.  That said, I really liked Ballard an awful lot and found his moment about his family suddenly astonishingly moving.  I thought McAvoy was really great at showing an evolving and morally grey character.  Claire Foy wasn't keen on, for the reasons people have said here.  I just didn't get any motivation, any love or any passion from her.

As for the setting, yes...  I remember someone criticising King Lear (I think, it might have been Macbeth) because most productions have a kingdom that's not worth fighting for, and that's what I thought here.  I first read your comment of ADD as Attention Deficit Disorder and with those flashing light and big boom scene changes would have agreed - I found it hard to settle into and not in a good way.  I mostly feel the setting was a gimmick as opposed to a conceit - it wasn't Macbeth-y and didn't add anything.

And the witches, I disliked twofold - I wasn't keen on those three and the idea behind it (everyone's said it better than I could have, but just gas masks - why?  Everyone else could breathe), and then when McAvoy came on with the potion in the second half I just knew he'd be gulping up the prophecies and whadayaknow...  But I did feel mostly positive mainly because I really enjoyed McAvoy's performance and Ballard's performance and his strengths mostly outweighed the weaknesses.

Oh, and the stage seats - I'm sure they're great to sit in, but they're quite conspicuous and sort of ruined the fourth wall for me.  At times it just looked a little, well, silly to see people flicking at a programme or talking to each other or just to see faces respond.  At the end of yesterday in the final fight they almost ran into a person, whose response was quite amusing, so people laughed (I think I did), which set a comic tone for the finale.  When a bloody Mr Tumnus head is funny...

Oh, and watch Ralph Fiennes' Coriolanus.  It's like this but a bit more coherent and a bit better.

#256594 James Mcavoy - Macbeth At Trafalgar Studios

Posted Nicholas on 01 March 2013 - 01:40 AM

I was today in Row M too!  I was the annoying one with water, wine gums and cough sweets - very very sorry.

It was a fire drill - someone forgot to say "We're on with The Scottish Play in five..." and the stage erupted in flames.  That's not actually what happened (probably).  I assume, since it took us an extra ten minutes to get into the building, it was a fire drill, but I was a bit late and have never been gladder for a fire alarm.

Actually, on the note of coughing, given how tempremental most people's throats are at the best of times, let alone in a particularly virus-y February, I thought opening with smoke and incense was perhaps a bad idea.

Anywho, I think I'll post more tomorrow as my thoughts are more with my throat than with the theatre, but I felt a little more hohum about bits of this than most people.  There was a lot of very good stuff (McAvoy was ace, Ballard, some nice touches) but a lot that to me didn't work and overall I rather enjoyed it but bits - Lady Macbeth and a couple of what I thought were gimmicks (for example the witches and, actually, the overall setting) - didn't work.  Mostly positive though, but some fairly big quantifiers which left me thinking this was ever so slightly more tepid than most people think it.  I also had perhaps unfair problems, in row M, with the onstage seats.

Theatrical highlight of the year though - I go to my friends in the back row and say "Not too keen on Lady Macbeth, she felt a bit shouty to me, though that might just be me."  As I finish to draw breath, someone down the row said "She was a bit shouty."

#253590 Julius Caesar - Another Bladder Buster?

Posted Nicholas on 03 February 2013 - 12:51 AM

I was really astonished by this.  Firstly, the cast is just incredible, and were there an award for ensemble I can't think of a more deserving lot.  Frances Barber, who at the beginning I thought I wouldn't like, was brilliant, Harriet Walter equally superb and Cush Jumbo felt like a definitive Marc Antony.  More importantly, I can't remember being so engaged in a production in yonks.  It was gripping as a thriller, haunting, slightly mystifying.  The conceit of putting it in a women's prison turned out to be genius, in ways people here have more eloquently said than I could - importantly, the story of the prisoners correlates, if not completely matches, the story of the Shakespeare, which gives both stories more depth.  I adored Frances Barber literally casting a shadow over the events after her death.  Other tiny details worked a treat - I went with my parents, who both thought that perhaps the Irish accent hinted at something there with regards to that crime, for example.  I'd quite like to read Phylida Lloyd's notes on the production, because I could imagine they'd be worth analysis in themselves and there's much I missed.

Afterwards, I couldn't help but compare it to the Rickson Hamlet I absolutely hated.  With that, I felt the points that he and Sheen were trying to make and the points Shakespeare were trying to make were at odds with each other, which meant Rickson said nothing about institutionalisation and mental illness and Shakespeare said nothing about the Dane and three hours of my life were down the drain (if memory serves, wasn't it even longer?).  With this, it was a perfect marriage, and both explorations of violence, influence and power spoke clearer than ever, and for the next week I know I'll keep picking up on more.  The highest praise I can offer this is that I completely forgive Lloyd for inflicting Pierce Brosnan's singing on us.  Haunting and remarkable, five stars.

#249569 Julius Caesar - Another Bladder Buster?

Posted popcultureboy on 20 December 2012 - 08:29 AM

Was there last night too. It was packed, couldn't see any empty seats, front row or otherwise, and there were people standing too. Which, after what I've read on here to the contrary, was a nice surprise.

Really very much enjoyed it. The opening few minutes, with Cush Jumbo singing "When You Walk In The Room" and Frances Barber reading her horoscope out of a trash mag filled me with absolute dread, particularly after seeing and loathing The Changeling earlier in the week. But then it was fine, the concept informed the production from there on in, rather than overwhelmed it. Performances were uniformly excellent, though special mention has to go to Jenny Jules, Harriet Walter and Cush Jumbo, all of whom were exemplary. This was leaps and bounds better than the all black RSC version from earlier in the year, not least because Harriet Walter's intelligent and impassioned Brutus was in a completely different league to Patterson Joseph's bellowing monstrosity.

May well take advantage of the Front Row scheme and go again.