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Hazel

The Theatre, dahling.

125 posts in this topic

Rather than resurrect the thread for Theatre Visits, I thought I would just start a new one for reviews and upcoming plays you have seen, or will see.

 

 

Last Saturday I finally got to see The Woman In Black at the (eugh) Kings Theatre, Glasgow. It really was superb and I loved the premise that Arthur comes to a theatre to learn how to tell his tale and then he and the actor act out the tale with the actor taking Arthur's part while Arthur plays all the inconsequential characters on the way. The appearance of the Woman, gave me quite a start and more than a few people in the audience spent the time screaming! The last time I saw such audience participation was at the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

 

It was very well done and I was quite in the moment of the play. Both actors did a grand job and the woman who played the Woman in Black scared the bejesus out of me. The only complaint I would have is that in the denouement when the

Woman steps in front of Arthur's family carriage - we got to see just a little too much of the Woman which quite spoiled the ghostly appearance of her.

Still, it was a good show, and I managed to get the train home myself without any scares.

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The appearance of the Woman, gave me quite a start and more than a few people in the audience spent the time screaming!

After seeing it a few times in the West End I twigged that actually a woman is planted at the back of the stalls to scream loudly on the first occasion, which then sets everyone off!

 

Glad you enjoyed it, Hazel - it's quite an experience, isn't it! I wonder if it's worth spoilering your comment about the ending, since I think it'll carry on doing the rounds for a while yet?

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Done.

 

Really? I wondered why the first scream sounded so loud and piercing! Going to that show by yourself is brave indeed but I managed to keep my feminine emotions under wraps - jolting only slightly. I would definitely go again.

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Going to that show by yourself is brave indeed but I managed to keep my feminine emotions under wraps - jolting only slightly. I would definitely go again.

Imagine going, as I did once, with a school party. Teenage girls = mass hysteria. Mind you, I sat with another male member of staff who grabbed my arm at one shocking moment. Obviously he just thought it was the armrest.

 

Yes, quite obviously...

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Changing the atmosphere slightly, I went to see The Vortex at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester last week. It stars Will Young and if I'm honest I only went to see him as I've followed his singing career since his Pop Idol days.

 

I went with few expectations to be honest. The idea of pop idols being able to act didn't strike me as viable, but I like the intimacy of the theatre in the round and was curious. I was pleasantly surprised.

 

Will Young is probably not he best actor I've seen, but he played the part well. Critics I've read have panned it because he was too 'effette' an homosexual. I didn't think that, but he may have refined the role over the few weeks it's been running. What did surprise me was his capacity to express his character more foribly at the climax of the play.

 

Apart from my 'idol' I have to admit the supporting cast was surperb. One of the parts was being 'read' because the actress was not available that day due to an accident - a phrase that still has me wondering. Presumably she was not a direct understudy. Despite holding a script throughout, she acted the part admirably and deservedly received an ovation from the cast at the end.

 

My only complaint is that I picked up a virus that day and have been full of a cough and cold ever since. But I did enjoy it and am glad I went.

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He was in Mrs Henderson Presents, which I saw on TV a short while ago. I knew I recognised his face, but it took a while to place him (I still had to resort to the Radio Times to confirm it, even when I came up with the name to the face)

 

He was quite good... just a little camp

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He was quite good... just a little camp

Yes, I thought he was good too. It surprised me. I'm normally fairly curmudgeonly about 'crossover' artistes, but since he wasn't diabolical, as they usually are, I was impressed. It'll be interesting to see where he goes with this and which field will prove to be the more dominant.

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I saw a good production of As You Like It at The Crucible on Saturday. It's not one of my favourite Shakespearean comedies but this was an excellent production with Eve Best doing superbly as Rosalind. The set was both minimalist and imaginative at the same time, if that makes sense. I must say, though, that except for Twelfth Night I do prefer on stage the tragedies and history plays.

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Changing the atmosphere slightly, I went to see The Vortex at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester last week.

I saw Rupert Everett in the same role in the West End about a hundred years ago. I can remember it being quite a performance, but not a single thing about it. Apart from Rupert being rather lovely. I find the idea of Rupert Everett and Will Young in the same role rather odd. Although didn't Everett try to launch a singing career once...?

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I find the idea of Rupert Everett and Will Young in the same role rather odd.

Well, it's consistent on one level, at least...

 

(Nearly a good start to my moderating career - wasn't concentrating on which button to press to quote and instead pressed my new 'edit' button on your post, Jen. Had already highlighted a great swathe to delete for the quote when I realised! D'oh!)

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Well, it's consistent on one level, at least...

Perhaps Noel Coward wrote a clause insisting on it in his will!

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pressed my new 'edit' button on your post, Jen. Had already highlighted a great swathe to delete for the quote when I realised! D'oh!)

:naughty:It's very tempting, isn't it?! :angeldevi Oh. the feeling of power! :nono:

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I went to see a monologue play of Consider The Lilies at the Citizens Theatre last Friday night. Every Scot of my generation will remember being taught the book by Iain Crichton Smith at school. About the Highland Clearances, it focuses on the tale of Mrs Scott in the 1700s as she is being evicted from the croft that she has lived in since she was born there. Her parents and her grandparents before her also resided there. Over the course of a week or so she reflects on milestones in her life in the croft and seeks help from the village minister - who refuses to help. It is a very sad story.

 

Anna Hepburn played Mrs Scott and was the only actor on stage. She delivered a 90 minute monologue which covered the whole story. It was a remarkable feat. How she remembered the whole script and without an interval I do not know but it was superb.

 

If you get a chance to see this, you really must grab it.

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I went to see a monologue play of Consider The Lilies at the Citizens Theatre last Friday night.

 

If you get a chance to see this, you really must grab it.

 

Aaargh! No! I had to teach that once. It was sooo depressing! I hated it and so did the kids (not surprisingly, since I had so little enthusiasm!) Did you enjoy it at school, Hazel? I think it's a really important book - just not much fun.

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Did you enjoy it at school, Hazel?

 

Not remotely. I only went to see the play because my hubby loves the book, but I was really surprised - the play was excellent and makes me want to go back and read it again.

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Anna Hepburn played Mrs Scott and was the only actor on stage. She delivered a 90 minute monologue which covered the whole story. It was a remarkable feat. How she remembered the whole script and without an interval I do not know but it was superb.

I saw Ian McDiarmid at the Almeida in the early 90s reciting Tennyson's In Memoriam, which was at least 90 minutes. I was extremely impressed!

 

Am I to assume it was the fiendish English who tossed Mrs Scott off her croft? I'm afraid I know nothing of the Highland Clearances but am quite happy to add it to the collective guilt.

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I'm afraid I know nothing of the Highland Clearances
You ought to read this book, then.

It's a while since I read it, and although it seemed somewhat dull and plotless as novels go, it was interesting and informative as a window on a piece of history I knew nothing about. (Although it is supposed to contain a number of inaccuracies)

It was also very moving, and is very short ;)

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Am I to assume it was the fiendish English who tossed Mrs Scott off her croft? I'm afraid I know nothing of the Highland Clearances but am quite happy to add it to the collective guilt.

 

Not always the English David - mostly the wealthier Scottish landlords (often in cahoots with wealthy English). They cleared people from their crofts and burnt them down to make way for sheep farming. Sheep were considered more valuable for the export of wool and meat, than the crofters who mostly by that time were the elders who were not producing anything from their land. Many of the young that could have done so emigrated to America and Canada, as Mrs Scott's son does in the book.

 

The book is fairly dull - but it's saving grace is that it is short. The play is a much more interesting bet.

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They cleared people from their crofts and burnt them down to make way for sheep farming.

Ah, so part of the general process of enclosures? That's interesting, and sadly not very isolated in history as you look at the vast swathes of rainforest slashed and burnt for beef farming even now!

 

Thanks, Hazel.

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I went to see The Glass Menagerie in London earlier this week.

Jessica Lange played Amanda, and Laura was played by Amanda Hale, who was Mary Musgrove in the new version of Persuasion.

Jessica Lange made a good job of creating some sympathy for Amanda, who can easily be just irritating but does deserve some sympathy (I think.) I liked Tom the best - he really got the weariness and detachment. It was a fairly straight production, with all the dim lighting and muted colours that Williams writes in - as it's a "memory play". They left out the projections that are in the original play, but I think most versions do. I'd quite like to see someone include these - not too hard to do.

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Going to see a Northern Broadsides performance of The Tempest at the Citizens Theatre on Saturday. I can't wait - I desperately need time away from hubby and the kids!

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The lovely little Georgian Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds reopens in September after major restoration. I have recently received a copy of the first season's programme.

I am looking forward to going up there to see what has been done...and to enjoy the productions, many of which are from, or set in, the period of the theatre's heyday.

I am particularly looking forward to a dramatisation of Northanger Abbey

 

In the meantime, I am planning another trip to the ADC Theatre Cambridge, in July, for a performance of an old favourite - Hobson's Choice.

I've seen that a few times over the years, and always enjoy it.

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Saw 'The Tempest' at The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester this week and thoroughly enjoyed it. Peter Postlethwaite was Prospero and he wielded his powers convincingly. The production was in contemporary dress. Based on the view that Shakespeare simply transported society as he knew it to an island they transported a 21st century group to that island - deck chairs and martinis on ship and pin-striped suited men dancing with invisible spirits.

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I went to see The Glass Menagerie in London earlier this week.

Jessica Lange played Amanda, and Laura was played by Amanda Hale, who was Mary Musgrove in the new version of Persuasion.

Jessica Lange made a good job of creating some sympathy for Amanda, who can easily be just irritating but does deserve some sympathy (I think.) I liked Tom the best - he really got the weariness and detachment. It was a fairly straight production, with all the dim lighting and muted colours that Williams writes in - as it's a "memory play". They left out the projections that are in the original play, but I think most versions do. I'd quite like to see someone include these - not too hard to do.

 

I had forgotten that I saw this until I read your review. I guess that's not good is it?? I certainly wasn't bowled over by it. I don't know what it is about T. Williams, but London theatre does seem to have some problems with it. I don't think I've ever seen a truly great version of any of his plays there. I see that the National is doing the Rose Tattoo but I just can't bring myself to see it. A while back I actually left The Night of the Iguana during intermission, I thought it was so bad.

 

I am being slightly unfair to this production in mentioning all those, because Jessica Lange almost always is worth the price alone. But I thought overall the whole thing just sort of peters-out in the end. All that drama and tension amounts to nothing.

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