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A Trip to the Theatre

gavin

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I forgot this topic was here. I haven't seen anything for a few months now, but will just back track a bit.

Oedipus

Stephen Berkoff's new version, which mostly uses the original script from Sophocles as far as I could tell. I've already said in this topic that I don't like Berkoff much, but that was based on the original plays he's written (East urgh) and seeing his stuff done badly way too many times by drama students who think that throwing a few stylised movements into a performance makes it Berkovian. As a director, I've got a much higher opinion of him now.

It was staged very simply, just around a long table, with Oedipus and his advisors forming a "Last Supper" on the stage. It looked amazing, was executed incredibly precisely and acted really, really well.

Roald Dahl's Twisted Tales

This was a stage version of a selection of Dahl's more adult stories, adapted for the theatre by Jeremy Dyson (The League of Gentlemen). I didn't really find the stories themselves all that "twisted", but it was staged well, with a really dark, tense atmosphere. Some of the acting was a bit ropey, but some of it was fantastic, especially Selina Griffiths (played the alcoholic daughter in the last series of Benidorm), who was absolutely amazing throughout the whole thing.

Ghost The Musical

This opened a few months ago before moving to London (starts this week I think?) and I wasn't really interested to be honest. Some friends were going though, so I went along as well.

Hmmmm, it looks amazing: the set, lighting and projection design are (mostly) fantastic and there are some absolutely brilliant effects.

The music isn't up to much though. To be fair, that's often down to the story with the female lead having about a million songs about being alone/dead husband etc. The Whoopee Goldberg character is played by Sharon D. Clarke, who totally steals the show, both because she's the strongest singer in the cast and she has the more entertaining character.

Basically, it just is the film put on stage, so if you liked the film, you'll probably like this.
 

Thekingin64

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Got dragged along to an amateur performance of Jesus Christ Superstar at my local theatre on Wednesday. Turned out two of my friends were in it.

It was much better than I expected. As good as the film. The actor playing Jesus was clearly gay though. Also, when the actors came out into the bar afterwards, I noticed one of the actors looked like AJ.

8/10
 

gavin

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What?! An actual homosexual in an amateur dramatics group?! I've never heard of a "clearly gay" person being in any way involved in the theatre before!
 

jokerman

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Good Lord, I leave the site for a couple of months and suddenly people other than me have started using this topic.

I really wanted to see Ghost Stories, but exams and things have been in the way. Shame really, looks good.
 

jokerman

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^But I'm not in the country for much of that time, and I'm already going to the theatre a lot. I might try to squeeze it in though.
 

gavin

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I went to see Evita yesterday. I'd seen it before about 15 years ago and loved it, so decided I'd like to see it again.

This production seemed a bit "bigger" than last time and included the song "You Must Love Me", which I'm gathering has been put in to modern productions since it was written for the film version.

Anyway, LOVED it. Musically, it's probably my favourite musical after Phantom of the Opera. The performances were excellent, especially the woman (no idea of a name) playing Eva, who got the balance of the character perfect; you really couldn't decide whether you loved her or hated her or whether you were glad or sad when she dies.

All around just brilliant.
 

Uncle Arly

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I should probably update what I've seen since the last time I posted in here!

Matilda - A Musical
World Premiere, November 9th, 2010. Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon.

With a score and lyrics by Tim Minchin, book by Dennis Kelly and choreography by Peter Darling, I was expecting this to be rather good, especially since it is a Royal Shakespeare Company production.

I was not disappointed. The set was lovely the cast were incredible. Though, there are 3 sets of children cast, so not sure what the the other two were like. Paul Kaye was perfectly cast as Mr Wormword and I am glad he will be reprising his role on the west end.

The music and lyrics were witty, and clever. And I would say very challenging for the kids of sych a young age. The older school pupils (played by the adult cast) were full of energy and you could mistake them for the kids.

It really is a fantastic show, and Mrs Trunchball played by Bertie Carvel stole the show completely.

As I've said, it's opening in the West End in October, so go see it. It really is a fantastic musical, and sticks to some of the darker themes from Roald Dahl's book.

Wicked
December 2010.

Second time I have seen it. Brilliant, as per, and Rachel Tucker was a very good Elphaba. Not really gonna say uch more, as pretty much everyone has seen it.

Billy Eilliot
Wednesday, 25th May, 2011.

Epic. I've wanted to see it for years, but never had the chance. I got free tickets as they were bought for me by my bes friends mother for her 21st birthday.

All the songs that I had listened to to death over the years were instantly reawaken by the cast, and they were incredibly powerful. Especially 'Once We Were Kings' which brought me to tears. There is something about a choir of men singing that it so powerful.
 

peep

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Uncle Arly said:
As I've said, it's opening in the West End in October, so go see it. It really is a fantastic musical, and sticks to some of the darker themes from Roald Dahl's book.

Ah, awesome, I didn't know when or if it was even coming to the West End, glad I'll get a chance to see it now. I didn't even know Paul Kaye was in it, even more excited about seeing it now that I know that, win :D
 

AJ

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tjacks55

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Oh you seen Wicked! Me too loved it But I must say that I prefer ghost, I think its more touching and reveals feelings hidden...It really moved me and my boyfriend even if he didn't want to admit it lol I loved Blood Brothers aswell;)

Here's there website I think: ghostthemusicallondon . com

xx
Theresa
 

peep

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Saw two shows this weekend. First I saw Lend me a Tenor, the musical.

It's AMAZING!!!! All the cast members are just fantastic and some of them are just spectacular singers. The set was ridiculously awesome, the way it all moved and that was genius and really added to the show. The songs were great fun too and some of the scenes were absolutely hilarious (almost like a classic British comedy film). I really have to see it again and again as it is just that amazing and everyone that can should go see it too, you won't regret it!


I then saw Shrek: the musical today.

Didn't plan to we just randomly walked in and got £20 tickets. I suppose it was worth seeing and there are some parts I really loved but overall it just left me with a bit meh feeling. The cast were ok but the main actors couldn't really sing very well but in the acting bits they were excellent. Some of the effects were cool (got to love that dragon) and I liked the simplicity of the sets.
 

jokerman

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One Man, Two Guvnors at the Lyttleton, National Theatre.

A lot of people have been put off of this play because it stars James Corden, who has appeared in some, admittedly, terrible TV shows and films recently. I was originally one of these until I remembered, of course, that the National was where Corden first rose to fame as part of the cast of The History Boys. I ended up buying a £5 standing ticket, since the show has sold out, although if you get there early enough some £12 day seats are available.

The play itself is an adaptation of an old commedia dell'arte play, translated to 1963 Brighton. It is, essentially, a farce. But don't let that put you off. Although the jokes are utterly ridiculous you will be laughing all the way through. And not just tittering, full on guffawing. I cried it was so funny, and it took some time for my sides to recover since they actually hurt so much from laughing.

And what about Corden? He is absolutely fantastic. Hilarious, showing that live performance is certainly where he belongs. Although much of the humour is scripted, occasional improvisation throughout the play make it truly special to watch. The other performers deserve equal credit, as this is certainly an ensemble piece, with meticulous timing required to make everything go smoothly.

And then there's the band, who play before each act, and at various times throughout the play. The laughs keep coming during their songs as well, meaning you can't let your guard down since you never know where the next joke is coming from.

If I had to sum it all up though I would definitely say it was the funniest thing I have ever seen. Ever. It tours once the production has finished at the National, so there's no excuse not to see it.

10/10
 

Uncle Arly

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I went to see Betty Blue Eyes last night.

Brilliant. Didn't expect much as I hadn't heard a great deal about it, but it was fantastic. 'British romp' would be the best way to describe it, and the music if very 1940's wartime jazz. Very funny, though the 2nd act was much stronger than the first.

Sarah Lancashire who plays Joyce was much better than I expected, and she plays the part very well and has a very strong voice too.

9/10.
 
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