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Member Since 12 May 2012
Offline Last Active Mar 23 2014 05:32 PM

#270779 The Amen Corner - Olivier Theatre

Posted mallardo on 29 June 2013 - 07:09 PM

I can't think of anything I've encountered in recent seasons that I've liked more or been more affected by than this.  Absolute perfection in every department.  A wonderful, powerful play, a stunning production from Rufus Norris, and a flawless cast.  

Since the leading ladies have been rightly praised by others let me put in a word for Lucian Msamati (fondly remembered from Clybourne Park) as Margaret's wayward husband, Luke, and, especially, for young Eric Kofi Abrefa as her tormented son, David - this kid is going to be  a star.  

If there ever was a must-see it's this one.

#273809 Barnum?

Posted DeNada on 30 July 2013 - 07:18 PM

View PostJamiem, on 30 July 2013 - 06:51 PM, said:

Has Tim sheader now finally been found out?

Nah, don't think so.  The material here is so weak that he's mostly gotten away unscathed - he's barely even mentioned in most of the reviews, so many of them focus on Liam Steel and Andrew Wright's work rather than his.  And To Kill A Mockingbird had pretty good notices for its slightly out-there concept.

We must keep waiting...

#273607 The Bodyguard

Posted wickedgrin on 28 July 2013 - 09:06 PM

Heather being on is a MUCH more difficult question to answer!

#273625 The Bodyguard

Posted ABowlerHat on 29 July 2013 - 07:48 AM

The Upper Circle at The Adelphi can be quite good value for money as long as you're central.

Besides which, I wouldn't pay more than that for this show!

(Well, actually, I wouldn't pay anything for it again!)

#273597 Blithe Spirit Starring Angela Lansbury Autumn/winter 2013?!

Posted DanielWhit on 28 July 2013 - 07:00 PM

View PostMrBarnaby, on 27 July 2013 - 06:38 AM, said:

None of this has been confirmed so don't get too excited! One Man is still doing well so may not be given its marching orders.

It isn't doing all that well - I have been offered comp tickets on several occasions recently. It's also very much a shadow of its former self these days. A rest might do it good.

#273492 Blithe Spirit Starring Angela Lansbury Autumn/winter 2013?!

Posted theatrepaul on 27 July 2013 - 02:15 PM

She's on record saying shed love to play the Theatre Royal Haymarket. I for one would love to see her on the West End stage

#273456 Into The Woods Movie

Posted MrBarnaby on 27 July 2013 - 06:35 AM

LOVE Lucy Punch.

Hope Marshall doesn't mess this up like he did Nine

#273414 What's Minchin Up To Now?

Posted Jon on 26 July 2013 - 06:54 PM

Sondheim was interested in doing Groundhog Day as a musical but ultimately didn't pursue it, I think it would work well as a musical especially with Minchin as composer and lyricist. I do think he would solve how to have some songs repeated over and over again without making it repetitive.

#272304 The Bodyguard

Posted theatrejunkie on 14 July 2013 - 11:44 AM

That is piss poor from the theatre. For londoners not so bad but alot of people would have travelled from afar for this, some even staying overnight

#272128 Gemma Arterton Signed To Star In Made In Daganham Musical?!

Posted MrBarnaby on 11 July 2013 - 10:26 PM

Didn't like the film .. Not convinced she can act.. But we'll see. Maybe baz will mention it tmrw

#271898 The Woman In White Returns To West End?

Posted MrBarnaby on 09 July 2013 - 06:28 PM

It may work much better in a small theatre.. It still seemed like a dreary piece if I remember correctly though.

#271753 King Kong - Melbourne

Posted Matthew Winn on 08 July 2013 - 05:17 AM

View PostTitan, on 07 July 2013 - 07:32 PM, said:

also musicals always used to have a shorter shelf life, the long runners are really a modern scenario. now a run of 2 years is considered disappointing and of course with elevated costs of producing a musical they often cant turn a profit in two years unless they hit the jackpot of a constant sell out hit

But why are the costs so elevated? Digging out more figures, in 2000 the cost of bringing a new musical to the West End was £800k while in 2010 the cost of importing a show from the US was £2.5m. That's three times as expensive in ten years, during which time prices in general rose by 30%, and in the case of the more recent show it was an existing production so there was less work involved in getting it up and running. Where's all the money going?

#271706 Menier: Colour Purple

Posted hotshot on 07 July 2013 - 05:27 PM

While I did think it was good, I think it may only appeal to those in the industry and theatre fans. So while it may sell out for the Menier, I don't know how good it will do if there is a transfer especially as the topic is very USA centric specific.

I'm tempted to go back once it has officially opened but from the previews, i would've only given it 3.5 / 5. For me there was so much story and not enough time to tell it ...

<spoiler> for example, why did Celie suddenly come to accept her ex-husband..why/how did her ex husband change? Harpo and his various relationships..and he opening a diner? etc </end spoilers>

so in a way, while the cast is certainly strong, it wasnt a stand on my feet/must go several times production.

Just my humble 2 cents.

#271443 The Drowned Man - Spoiler Thread

Posted Cardinal Pirelli on 05 July 2013 - 12:14 AM

Apparently some have seen Sleep No More over fifty times, I saw Faust and Masque of the Red Death about 6 times each over the year-ish long runs, Sleep No More three times (in Boston) and Duchess of Malfi a couple of times. Someone in the US on tumblr has already seen The Drowned Man four times on the bounce (they must be fit) and I know they've checked on here so hi (and I'm afraid I haven't got a clue how to use tumblr). So, this being my third time is going to be rapidly overtaken but I was taking advantage of preview prices and you get to see the changes made. Given that I've spent only as much for a West End premium ticket and I've had nine hours of show the economics are certainly pretty good. Anyway, what I saw that was new for me -

1) A dead horse; no, literally a dead horse.
2) The opening is changed, no sitting down, just straight in to get the masks and away you go.
3) followed the drum major in the Western section (for Punchdrunk regulars it was Vinicius Salles tonight) and he has an insane and wonderfully performed dance naked in the sand, really clever use of the sand (and it must get everywhere.....)
4) also followed Conor Doyle whose Hollywood side character is called Frankie, he's an aspiring actor who seems to parallel the Faye Greener character from the other side. His acting is compelling with probably the other best solo dance that I've seen (around the boardroom table).
5) Lots of characters played by different dancers tonight, it's a punishing show physically so no surprise there.
6) There were a lot of beeps in the Hollywood side on the second preview, they've all gone, were they used for timing?
7) There are one on ones, not for me though. It looks as though, as with previous shows this is going to grow organically throughout its run.
8) The dance is really a step up from any show of theirs that I've seen, a much greater variety and greater complexity, tonally there are even comic moments which is a first. I would hope that critics have seen that but I'm not sure that dance critics will be reviewing it.

The critics are likely do their worst though, many of them are getting on a bit, even more than me, and not really the target audience and, the way these things go, I suppose it's also the time in a company's life cycle which is ripe for 'the backlash' (as Andrew Haydon called it) . Could be wrong but snide comments from Coveney, Billington and so on recently suggest that's what they are aiming for. In the end it's ticket sales and audience that counts though.

Audience was fascinating, I had a break of ten minutes or so from the main action and I'm astonished at the number of people (and they are usually in pairs or groups) that were just wandering aimlessly, they look at an actor as they walk past them as though they are some sort of alien being and spend so much time making 'committee decisions' that it's too late if they do decide to follow them. These are also the ones causing pile ups of audience who get stuck behind them, would be nice if there was a way to split them up.

A woman in the audience was quite heavily pregnant and I also saw a guy on crutches. For a moment I thought I was at Lourdes.

#271647 Circle Mirror Transformation

Posted Pharaoh's number 2 on 06 July 2013 - 11:08 PM

Three Three
Six Six

It’s certainly unlike anything I’ve seen before. Annie Baker’s play comprises of a series of group exercises: memory games, improvisation, freeze framing. It’s incredibly episodic, yet Baker’s genius is that she turns this into a study of character, of human nature. It charts a six week therapy ‘finding yourself’ course, led by Marty (Imelda Staunton), in a community hall in an American town.  There are four of them in the class, including Marty’s husband, James. We see each person slowly develop and change, they form relationships, others break down. What seem at first to be absurd, abstract exercises start to mirror real life.

It’s very very funny, but there’s also something beautiful about it. We get to know, and care, for these people, and we’re troubled by what is revealed. And the ending is masterful.

I cannot fault the cast of five. It’s acting of the very highest calibre. They’re totally exposed, and this  play could so easily turn into a satire. So so easily. But here everything feels natural. If you walked in on this, you wouldn’t know they were acting.
It’s also got longer pauses than any Pinter play I’ve sat through. But as Baker says in the playtext, they’re necessary. There are moments of wonderful awkwardness. People not brave enough to speak. People who are uncomfortable, self-conscious, not willing to take a risk.

At approx 2hrs, it’s long. A couple of scenes could be cut I think, if only for audience comfort.  It’s played end on, front row on the stage. Leather benches (from the Royal Court Upstairs), in a steep rake. It’s very hot too. No air con, sadly. I was wriggling in my seat by the end. All sticky, sore bum! Take a bottle of water with you. Unreserved, queue formed 10-15 mins before house opened, which was at 7.45pm (8pm start). Sold out, though one walk out mid-way. And one loud phone, despite personal reminders at the door, and several  prominent signs.

The Rose Lipman building is easy to find. Max 5 mins walk from Haggerston Overground Station. The directions on the Royal Court website are v clear. Just print them off. There’s a café in the building, which says it serves coffee but doesn’t. Also says it serves croissants and cake, but doesn’t. Says it serves sandwiches and soup…. I’d had my dinner so didn’t ask about them. Went to the pub on the way to the building from the station- American grill type fare. Good quality, if a touch expensive.
Don’t worry if you get there early- lots of seating (resembles the Royal Court with leather sofas and books everywhere), plus free wifi.