Yet Another Cycling Forum

Off Topic => The Pub => Arts and Entertainment => Topic started by: mrcharly-YHT on July 01, 2012, 12:48:24 am

Title: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on July 01, 2012, 12:48:24 am
"Close the coalhouse door"
That were good, that was.

Lots of laughs, lots of serious stuff. Good cast.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: CrinklyLion on July 01, 2012, 04:39:37 am
I saw that on Friday!  It was rather splendid, wasn't it?  My review, from facebook, on Friday...

Quote
Went, on my own, to see a play... about mining communities in the north-east, the formation of the unions, strikes, and a whole lot more. Humour, history, politics, chain-smoking Geordies, some cracking music and plenty of self-referential Brechtian dismantling of the fourth wall. Brian who directed the Youth Theatre I was in as a teen (most famous Brian quote from that era must be "Yes I think all theatre is political. Life is political") would have approved, I feel. I did too, even if I suspect lots of it went straight over my ignorant head. Although there's summat slightly surreal about watching a self-proclaimed socialist drama complete with a bit of good old-fashioned agit-prop tendencies and the odd snippet from the Red Flag whilst sat on scarlet velour seats among the ornate plasterwork in the chandelier-lit Theatre Royal, surrounded by people sipping interval-bought white wine or G&T. It was probably a post-modern experience. Or something. Great show - if you're in York and free tomorrow I'd recommend it.
http://closethecoalhousedoor.co.uk/

But that wasn't actually the last play I saw.  Yesterday evening's facebook review....
Quote
Continuing my weekend of pretending to be cultured, I went to see another show. In the Studio this time, so less chandeliers and plasterwork and gin and a bit more leaky roof (due to the torrential rain outside) but still rather splendid in a distinctly different way. A new two-hander, a folk tale with folk music, performed mostly with aplomb. Whimsical, conversational, visually ingenious with accomplished musical performances on an astonishing array of musical instruments from harps to accordions. An little over an hour of escapism and exploration of liminal space. Well, that was always likely to strike a chord for me, wasn't it? The bridge thang is for a reason, y'know ;-)
http://www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/shows/beulah.php#.T-_F0PV90mR

And I hadn't planned to go to the theatre at all this weekend - it was a last minute decision on Friday teatime!
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: LindaG on July 01, 2012, 10:29:06 am
I think it's five years since I went to the theatre!

Terms of Endearment, at Darlington Civic, with Linda Gray as the mother.  It was great.  I cried.  Of course.   ::-)

A mother/daughter story.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: essexian on August 23, 2012, 11:37:42 am
Dandy Dick at the New Alexandra Birmingham

A farce set in a 19th C vicarage where the said Vicar stupidly agrees to finance a large project without having the funds to do so. Can his wayward sister and a racehorse call Dandy Dick save the day…….

Can’t say it was the best play I have ever seen as it was a little formulaic: Two daughters being wooed by a solider and a gentlemen, a wayward sister and a long not seen friend from Cambridge who has a romantic interest in the sister….or was it Oxford? I forget. There were few laugh out loud moments and what action there was could be seen approaching from a couple of furlongs away: Oscar Wilde it wasn’t sadly.

The best bit was straight after the break when….. well wont say as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone with tickets. Talking about tickets, we paid £13.50 for tickets in the stalls: good value especially as we were five rows from the front and the house was less than 40% full.

Next up for us is Timon of Athens…. Now that’s a real barrel of laughs! (actually, the production at the Globe a couple of years ago was the best thing I have seen at the theatre!)

Ah, the Guardian review says it better then I could ever!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2012/jul/04/dandy-dick-review
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on August 23, 2012, 01:13:10 pm
Taming of the Shrew at the Globe. Good fun, though a play that hasn't worn as well as some.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: CrinklyLion on September 25, 2012, 09:41:32 am
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, first night at York Theatre Royal, a couple of weeks back with CrinklyAuntie.  Highly recommended. 

http://www.pilot-theatre.com/?IDNO=1006
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: microphonie on October 07, 2012, 10:31:38 am
I'm not normally one for the theatre but last night I saw  Jack The Ripper: The Panto  (http://www.jacktheripperthepanto.com/) at the Maddermarket.

Absolutely fantastic night out: grisly murders, cannibalism, ropey old whores, prissy fairy godmothers, an evil cat, opium-addled coppers & S&M-themed singalongs galore.  :thumbsup:

Edit: now available on video: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/25939269 the longer vid is Part 1

Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: essexian on January 18, 2013, 03:30:00 pm
The Magistrate, National Theatre London *

To quote the National Theatre website: “John Lithgow takes the title role in this fast, furious, brilliantly plotted farce set in Victorian London…..” Such a strap line hardly sums up one of the best nights at the theatre we have had in many a year.

Funny, brilliantly acted with a wonderful cast and setting, The Magistrate is a gem of a play. Based upon the premise that a women can never be seen to be her actual age, The Magistrates wife takes five years off her age, making her son 14 years old….. as with all such comedies, this lie can not last and as soon as her sister and an old friend from India arrive, all hell breaks loose, including a seriously side bursting third act! 

If you get the chance to see this, do! (Sadly it ends on the 10th Feb, so best get your finger out!) The trailer can be found here:

 http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/the-magistrate?play=1


* When I say live, it was broadcast live to our local Arts Complex: well saves a trip into that London!

Up next is "Bedroom Farce" by the Lichfield Players in Feb and then Carman in March.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: CrinklyLion on March 01, 2013, 10:14:25 pm
Running on The Cracks, in the Studio at York Theatre Royal.

a) I really like the Studio.  It is a tiny cosy little gem of a performance space with brilliant sightlines and everything sounds right and every seat in the place is so close you can see the whites of their eyes.
b) Nice set and design.
c) Blimey, there's a lot of material in there.  Theme-tastic.  Family, friendship, loss, bereavement, runaways, identity, mental heath, drug abuse, multi-culturalism, abuse.  With a bit of a detective story thrown in too.  And jobsworths and the DPA.  Leo, teenage orphan, runs away from her aunt and creepy uncle's in Bristol to Glasgow in search of the grandparents she has never met and is befriended by a stranger called Mary (who has spent all her DLA on biscuits) in the park, and encounters Finlay the teenage paperboy.  Dim sum as a deus ex machina play a pivotal role in the narrative.  Will she find her family before the Uncle finds her?
d) Superb ensemble cast.  The whole thing made me vaguely nostalgic for when I used to do that kind of thing and that feeling of being part of a cast that locks together like a jigsaw and won't let anyone slip - before I actually studied theatre at uni and discovered that there most actors were bloody annoying and it was more fun on the tech team who weren't the cool kids but had better coffee and less ego.  The two young'uns were bloody good as Leo and Finlay.  The three other performers played (counts on fingers, scratches head...) maybe 15 characters between 'em.  Crisp, efficient effective transitions and strong characterisation.  Slightly alarmed at one or two moments that they'd land in the audience mind.

And I managed to hold the Cough Of Doom at bay throughout the whole thing.  Hurrah.

Recommended.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: CrinklyLion on March 16, 2013, 10:44:51 pm
I'm slacking.... I've seen three more plays since then!

So first - an overdue Theatre review from Thursday evening last week. A double bill in the De Grey rooms, complete with chandeliers....
http://www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/shows/some_small_love_story_beulah.php#.UUT0OVcp4YQ
First up, Beulah. I saw this in the Studio, last summer, and really liked it. In fact I think I reviewed it somewhere up there ^^^^^.  I really liked it again :) Very much the same show, although with only one of the two actors I say last time, yet somehow completely different in a different space. A little more slick in the performance, a little less theatrical in the presentation, different but still good. I think, on balance, I preferred it in the slightly less luxurious environment of the Theatre Royal's Studio where the physicality of the performance was less constrained by the space. Plus I always like stuff performed in thrust or the round better, and this show in particular, what with its theme of the construction of a shared imaginative space and all, worked well there with the audience as backdrop. Music sounded gorgeous in the Cocktail bar, mind...

Then, Some Small Love Story. Now musical theatre isn't my thing. Let's get that clear at the start. But if you are going to do a stripped down musical with no stage or set or costumes or props or movement - just spoken lines and sung words performed to the accompaniment of a keyboard by four actors in jeans and black t-shirts looking like they've just wandered out of a Paris jazz club - then it needs to be really really good. As in the content needs to be good. The writing needs to be superb. And the singing needs to be brilliant.

This wasn't. There was a load of tripe dialogue about someone being in ICU.  I sat there thinking "Oh shit, LG will _hate_ this!" because even I could tell it was sentimental bollocks, a view confirmed by our expert-in-attendance.  Failed the "arse test" completely - where you spend more time thinking about the fact that the chair isn't particularly comfy than about the show. Meh.  We clapped politely, but only because we are British.  Deano commented as we exited (as if pursued by a bear) the De Grey rooms that he's never been so glad to leave a theatre in his life.

I sort of wished they'd put them in the other order, to finish on a high. But in the end realised I was glad they hadn't, as otherwise LindaG and That Deano wot I dragged along with the lure of Blake-related folk-musically-rich goodness might have left at the interval and not seen Beulah which was more than worth the ticket price on its own.  And they'll probably forgive me for the other one, eventually.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: CrinklyLion on March 16, 2013, 11:08:13 pm
And then tonight.... Random Pick!

I had been contemplating a gig, but I went to one of them with a mate last night and it was splendid and I decided I probably couldn't be arsed with going to The Duchess on my own for a random pick that I might or might not like.  Theatre is easier on your tod.  Despite still being on the platform at Yarm station at18:03 I managed to make it back to York and the Den and get changed out of Lycra and back out to the Theatre Royal with 10 minutes to spare before the performance started at 7:45.  I couldn't actually remember what said performance was going to be of, so wandered to the Box Office and asked for a ticket for "tonight's show in The Studio" and picked a nice quiet seat in the corner.  Turns out it was this...
http://www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/shows/breathing_corpses.php#.UUTvHFcp4YQ
Suicide, murder, domestic violence, cruelty to animals, and chocolate theft, treading a tricky path along the edge of rather bleak humour.  Almost more stage hands dealing with the minimalist set than performers.  I worked out at the second set change that this actually slightly annoyed me.  The transitions just weren't slick enough, which with that number of people on hand they should have been, and it meant that the occasional odd choices for props and set dressing grated because I was thinking about them more than I should have.  Would they drop the pill bottle?  Would they leave the doorknobs behind?  It didn't quite inspire confidence and distracted a little from the narrative.  Very much my kind of set - not a lot to it, used with cunning - but it felt a little clumsy and you were almost waiting for something to not quite work.  Strong performances on the whole - although a few moments where it felt like a line got lost or the dialogue tripped over itself.  One or two real "moments" though and Charlie, the last character we met, was quite simply bloody good.  I came out thinking 'that was OK' but somehow feeling like there were a few too-obvious choices made and that I've done plays with higher production values... not quite the quality I'd expect from the Studio.  Then I went and read the blurb and realised it is in fact put on by an amateur community theatre group.  Made a bit more sense then!
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: CrinklyLion on May 03, 2013, 10:09:02 am
This one
http://www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/shows/angels_insects.php#.UYLZq0rm_K0

A stage adaptation, apparently, of a couple of AS Byatt stories.  Back when I used to read I remember enjoying AS Byatt so this one pinged on my radar a few months back.  Then I realised that this was the last week of the run so I needed to go this week if I was going to catch it.

The Studio again, with a very simple but effective set.  A two-hander, the principle characters being Mr Adamson, a Victorian entomologist and returned amazonian explorer of solid Huddersfield stock, and Matty Crompton - some kind of tutor for the younger children in the country house they both inhabit.  All the other characters in the narrative - the Lord, the indolent Lady, the smokin' huntin' sons of the family, the decorative daughters and the staff are present only through the descriptions and portrayals of these two.  My word, but it is wordy.  I remember that about Byatt.  Plenty of Victorian aspiration and repressed, seething, sexuality.  Matty Crompton speaks little for about half of the show, although her cello-playing forms part of the dialogue in the absence of her words and, later, in addition to them.  As a play, this one needed concentration to keep up with.  It didn't help that the lady behind me spent the first half hour doing battle with a Cough Of Doom but the performers were focussed enough to keep the momentum despite the distraction (that's the problem with the Studio, every audience sniffle is audible to everyone and apart from a few seats near the door there is no way you can 'escape' once the show has started) and accomplished enough that they kept my attention, at least.  A one act show lasting nearly an hour and three quarters is a lot to ask of both performers and audience, especially performed in such a word-rich way, and there were a few moments that it got a little lost, for me at least, in the maelstrom of speech and the pace felt a little off.  A couple of delightfully whimsical sequences, butterfly clouds and ant hunts and shadow puppetry included, added a more physical element to the performance and there was a nice balance of light and dark both thematically and in the staging.  As we wandered out at the end (past the ladies holding large signs warning Studio-attenders to be quiet, please, as there  was an ongoing performance in the main house) I overheard a couple of hushed conversations about how people had spotted "the sting in the tale" 20 minutes or so before the dénouement.  I found that a little odd, as I thought that the foreshadowing had signposted the way much earlier although not in a way that implies a lack of subtlety.  Maybe my half-remembered reading of Byatt gave me more clues as to the likely outcome than I realised.

A Jolly Good Show.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: essexian on September 12, 2013, 06:30:54 pm
"West Side Story" at Sadlers Wells London


Blimey, this thread doesn't get much action....


Off to London yesterday for the afternoon showing of West Side Story: we only discovered it was touring after we booked the tickets. Nevermind, I like Sadlers Wells as a venue and at £15 a ticket, you can't really argue (although £6.90 for a small glass of wine took some swallowing.... not used to London prices anymore I guess).

While enjoyable, the music is a little dated and some of the singing wasn't up to standard, apart from the women playing Maria: how did such a voice come out of such a small frame? The dancing which varied from modern to what could be called "light ballet" was powerful and brought the story line alive.

Overall, it was well worth seeing although SWMBO didn't think it was as good as Hair and Hairspray but better than Chicago and Cabaret (which we walked out of as it was so bad).
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on October 18, 2013, 10:21:46 am
I've been on a theatre kick during the last couple of weeks.

The excellent Sell A Door company performed Ibsen's "Ghosts" to a mainly studenty audience at Liverpool's Capstone theatre last week. http://www.fringereview.co.uk/fringeReview/5260.html   

I've not seen or read Ibsen before, but his reputation for gloom seems deserved!

On Wednesday I saw "Crime & Punishment" at the Liverpool Playhouse.  This was excellent,  I was in row B and could see the spittle flying off Raskolnikov as he plunged into madness & despair.  http://www.liverpoolconfidential.co.uk/Entertainment/Theatre-and-Comedy/Crime-and-Punishment-Liverpool-Playhouse

Last night was an Encore broadcast of the National Theatres "Othello" , a wonderful production, though my legs & bum were numb by the end.  FACT was packed out as well.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 18, 2013, 11:38:37 am
Macbeth in 30 minutes as a comedy.
Not recommended.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Ruth on October 18, 2013, 12:36:45 pm
'Floating', last night at the Arc in Stockton on Tees.

A single performer, monologuing for ninety minutes.  Her performance was extraordinary.  She managed to remain in character, whilst mimicking people whe was talking about.  She 'became' a frightened old lady, and a snooty lawyer, and a poorly old man, and an aggressive lout.  That must be what professional acting is for.

It was a play about an NHS Critical Care nurse, so I didn't learn anything new.  But whoever wrote the play must have talked to a lot of us, or spent a lot of time working with us, or even be one of us.  They must also have wonderful observational skills, because quite a few times I found myself thinking, "My god!  That's right!  They really do do that!  And I hadn't even noticed it, but yes, they do!"

Very clever stuff that.  I'd be interested to know what someone who wasn't on a busman's holiday made of it.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: nicknack on October 18, 2013, 05:12:24 pm
The last play I saw was Titus Alone at the Oxford Playhouse in 1981.

I don't go to the theatre much.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Pedal Castro on October 18, 2013, 05:21:08 pm

On Wednesday I saw "Crime & Punishment" at the Liverpool Playhouse.  This was excellent,  I was in row B and could see the spittle flying off Raskolnikov as he plunged into madness & despair.  http://www.liverpoolconfidential.co.uk/Entertainment/Theatre-and-Comedy/Crime-and-Punishment-Liverpool-Playhouse

Crime and Punishment as a play? Madness I tell you!

How long did it last?
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on October 18, 2013, 08:11:25 pm
2 hours 40 minutes including the interval.
I've not read the book but looking at some reviews a lot of the back story about his sister was cut out.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Tim Hall on November 01, 2013, 02:02:12 pm
"Katherine Howard" (http://www.archwaytheatre.co.uk/productions/2013/ketherinehoward/index.shtml) by William Nicholson.  Not what I was expecting, but in a good way. Tales of political machinations, undying love, betrayal, faction against faction. It doesn't end well for her.  Performed at the local amateur theatre.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Tail End Charlie on November 01, 2013, 05:53:32 pm
The Full Monty musical, because a riding partner pal of mine was playing the part of Keno (an American Chippendale).
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on November 14, 2013, 11:52:54 pm
A Shakespeare week.   Wednesday I was at FACT (http://www.fact.co.uk/) for Richard II, broadcast live from Stratford (http://www.screendaily.com/news/distribution/david-tennants-richard-ii-scores-at-uk-box-office/5063671.article?blocktitle=HEADLINES&contentID=40295).  This is a good way to watch plays you'd otherwise need to spend serious money to see, but each time I've seen a live broadcast or a repeated Encore there has been some level of technical glitch.  In this case we had sound without video for 10 minutes  :(

Overall a stonking show, though I thought Tennant's effete Richard just couldn't exist in the same universe as the battle hardened warriors who surrounded him.

Tonight was Much Ado About Nothing (http://www.thecapstonetheatre.com/index.php/whats-on/38-events/144-thursday-14th-november-traffic-of-the-stage-presents-william-shakespeares-much-ado-about-nothing) at The Capstone. Husband & wife Harry Meacher & Judi Bowker as Benedick & Beatrice.  A fun filled performance, with Meacher stealing the show, to an audience that was mainly schoolkids & students.

Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: CrinklyLion on December 15, 2013, 10:16:51 am
http://www.arconline.co.uk/whats-on/christmas-family/3-little-pigs

Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company with a puppet-tastic story at the Arc in Stockton in the jolly civilised company of Ruthie and jolly tiring company of both Cubs and their soon-to-be-step-sister.

First up - the venue.  I liked the space, great sightlines, comfy seats, big enough to feel like An Event, small enough to feel cosy.  Dreadful signage - tickets said door D but there were no signs to tell you where that was - and no staff checking tickets at any of the four doors which meant that a) we couldn't ask where our seats were and b) we could have just walked in for free.  Space and setup 9/10, FOH 3/10. 

It was a rowdy audience of teenies and Ruthie had expressed a concern that it might be a bit 'young' for the EldestCub.  Fortunately my little proto-teen isn't the kind that dismisses stuff out of hand for being baby-ish (well, not unless he's got his proto-teen mates around) and is clever enough at language and widely read enough to "get" a lot of the humour that was in the script for the parents and carers.

Two performers and 5 puppets.  Nicely judged juxtaposition of puppetry and humans.  Clear, crisp and efficient.  Some good prop stuff, a bit of slapstick, and the 6 year old audience participant in the cabbage sequence stole the show.  SmallestCub laughed like a drain, clapped til his hands hurt and sang along.  Their STBS-sister (who is a big fan of The Theatre) was utterly transfixed - sliding off her chair to kneel on the floor and hold onto the back of the (empty) seat in front of her at one point, and standing up to boogy along.  EldestCub agreed with me that the wolf puppet in particular was very good although we disagreed about the choice to use it so little - I thought it was a judicious decision to have wolfie mostly played by the actor and only appearing in puppet form towards the end in a sequence that made brilliant use of the really very good puppet where the Cub thought it was 'a waste of the best puppet'.  But I suspect Ruthie enjoyed it as much as the three kids added together :D
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on December 16, 2013, 11:42:54 am
Apart from taking the sprogs to panto and going to London to see We Will Rock You, I have only ever been to see a play once in my life, this April with SWMBO and a visiting Septic friend, we went to that there London again to see The Mousetrap. I have a feeling some of the props, scenery and cast have changed since it first opened, whereas the seating hasn't- god the seats were uncomfortable! The play was a hoot though :thumbsup:
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Andrij on February 06, 2014, 09:32:55 am
Last night I saw Henry V at the Noël Coward Theatre (London). 

An excellent production, though I'd quibble a bit about the costume of the Chorus.  BTW, Jude Law played Henry, and he was good.  I had read a few rather positive reviews, but always take those things with a pinch of salt.  I must say they were spot on.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: citoyen on February 06, 2014, 09:40:06 am
:thumbsup:

I've been umming and ahhing about whether or not it's worth forking out for tickets for that. I can imagine Jude Law would make a good Henry V.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Andrij on February 06, 2014, 09:51:01 am
:thumbsup:

I've been umming and ahhing about whether or not it's worth forking out for tickets for that. I can imagine Jude Law would make a good Henry V.

'Forking out' is an appropriate phrase.  When I bought mine (December?) all the decent 'cheap' seats had been snapped up, so decided on decent seats over price.  Sitting in the first row of the Royal Circle was very nice.  8)

Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: CrinklyLion on February 27, 2014, 12:13:10 am
Brassed Off, at York Theatre Royal.

Proper review may follow, but having gone straight from work on the off chance of a ticket and then stayed for the Q&A with the company after and then had to go collect the tandem from where I'd locked it safely at work, a long way away from the theatre, I didn't get home til about half 11 and am knackered.

Summary?

Politics and brass and ripping the piss out of Lancashire.  Lots of swearing.  Especially about the tories and That Woman.  And on-stage cycling.  What's not to like?  Recommended.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: tiermat on February 27, 2014, 08:20:20 am
Brassed Off, at York Theatre Royal.

Proper review may follow, but having gone straight from work on the off chance of a ticket and then stayed for the Q&A with the company after and then had to go collect the tandem from where I'd locked it safely at work, a long way away from the theatre, I didn't get home til about half 11 and am knackered.

Summary?

Politics and brass and ripping the piss out of Lancashire.  Lots of swearing.  Especially about the tories and That Woman.  And on-stage cycling.  What's not to like?  Recommended.

Interesting.

Brassed Off has to be right up there as one of my all time favourite films, probably one of only a handful I will watch over and over again*.

To me the whole point of the film is the climax, at the Royal Albert Hall, I would be interested in hearing how they manage to capture that, and the speech, in the stage play.

*The others being The Big Lebowski, The Godfather Trilogy and Once Upon A Time In America.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: CrinklyLion on February 27, 2014, 09:11:21 am
In york til sat then touring... with a different local brass band in each venue :-D
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on March 07, 2014, 12:07:54 am
Not long back from seeing the NT Live production of Coriolanus.   Very good,  I've never heard of Tom Hiddleston before but he gave a superb performance.  The rest of the cast were excellent as well, esp Mark Gatiss as Menenius and Elliot Levey & Helen Schleisinger as two scheming tribunes.

I wish I hadn't had that Lebanese mixed grill & beer beforehand though.... more gas than is left in the North Sea!
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on March 19, 2014, 12:14:27 am
A very exuberant performance of "Twelfth Night" at the Brand New Shiny Liverpool Everyman. http://www.sevenstreets.com/twelfth-night-everyman-review/ (http://www.sevenstreets.com/twelfth-night-everyman-review/)

I was far more commonly found in the old bistro than the old theatre,  but have seen plays there in the past, I recall it being a little grubby, cramped & very uncomfortable.  The new building (using bricks & wood from the old one) is a much more impressive space and the 400 new seats have ample padding & enough legroom  :thumbsup:

I really enjoyed the performance and was greatly amused by the device of Sebastian and his sea captain rescuer Antonio turning up on a tandem, and not just any tandem but a really filthy Thorn Raven Discovery , which gets taken for several spins around the stage  :D

Another review here http://gerryco23.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/if-twelfth-night-at-the-everyman/ (http://gerryco23.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/if-twelfth-night-at-the-everyman/)

Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Wascally Weasel on March 21, 2014, 03:36:39 pm
From Here to Eternity (technically a musical I know).  Really enjoyed it - sadly it's closing on the 29th of March.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on April 13, 2014, 11:21:20 am
"A View From The Bridge" at the Liverpool Playhouse (not the Young Vic!).   

http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/apr/02/a-view-from-the-bridge-review-greek-tragedy-work-boots (http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/apr/02/a-view-from-the-bridge-review-greek-tragedy-work-boots)
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Ruth on April 13, 2014, 11:41:04 am
That isn't a play I'm familiar with but reading the review I might need to amend this.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Fab Foodie on April 13, 2014, 03:40:15 pm
Dangerous Corners - JB Priestly.
Local AmDramSoc.
V. good.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: jsabine on September 04, 2014, 01:02:55 am
Medea at the National. Helen McCrory was tortured, Danny Sapani suave and manipulative, the chorus showed "the involuntary judders and tics of Lucy Guerin's disturbing choreography" (Independent) or were just slightly oddly modernistic depending on taste. I'm still giving little shudders at the memory of some scenes and don't really want to go to bed yet - bleak, dark stuff.

Sold out and the second-last night, but I booked a standing ticket for a fiver this morning and there'll be some tomorrow (well, today now): it's also in cinemas tonight as an NTLive show.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Kim on September 28, 2014, 07:05:52 pm
Knightmare Live

Geeks of a certain age rejoice!  This one totally holds up, in a student theatre silliness kind of way.   :thumbsup:

Bring a map of Barcelona, and cheer along with an auditorium of like-minded people whenever anyone says "Where am I?" or "You're in a room."

http://www.knightmarelive.com/
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: essexian on October 22, 2014, 10:25:47 am
The Importance of being Earnest: Birmingham New Alex.

Well that was different. I suppose it had to be given that the lead actors: Rosalind Ayres, Niall Buggy, Patrick Godfrey, Nigel Havers, Martin Jarvis, Christine Kavanagh, Cherie Lunghi and Siân Phillips are all somewhat older (by about 30 years!) than the characters they play; that was to be expected.  So, instead of playing it straight, last night’s performance of “The Importance of Being Earnest” was staged as a “play within a play.”

Did it work? Well to a degree it did, although people like me who had seen it before were somewhat confused at the start when instead of heading straight into the play, we had the “Bunbury Company Players” setting the scene with jokes about cucumber sandwiches and dead former company members…. Most strange.  And rather disappointingly, the need to end the play within the play by adding a number of lines on after the final and main joke: a joke on which the whole play is based, crashed the ending for me.

Overall, while Wilde’s play stands the test of time, the reimagining of it as a play within a play simply to allow the casting, felt a little, hum, not right. I suppose my slight reluctance to accept the changes stem from the fact that it is often impossible to improve what the writer wrote (although I suppose that is the job of the director/producer) while staging plays away from their historic setting (like as happened at Stafford Castle this year where a Shakespeare play was set in the Cold War…. I mean…?) often doesn’t work for me.

Sorry, this is rather rambling and no doubt it makes no sense.

Plus points…. £10 to sit in the fifth row of the stools (slightly off centre: we could see 90% of the stage) is great value, while getting to and from the New Alex in Birmingham is really easy.

Would I recommend this staging…well yes, if you like a laugh but don’t expect it to be played straight like the film or the West End staging some 6 odd years ago.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: jsabine on October 22, 2014, 04:36:12 pm
I got a freebie to one of the previews for that production in London - the first and only time I've seen the Importance. Glad to have seen it, but found it all a bit unsatisfactory - the play within a play conceit didn't really work for me because it just did stranger things to the farcical elements than I could cope with. Great cast though, even if they did seem to be playing well within their limits.

Great Britain: National transfer to Theatre Royal, Haymarket

Pretty mixed feelings about this too. Obviously it's the play of the phone hacking saga, and equally obviously it's lost something because there were so many acquittals. I wanted it to be biting satire, and found it was a bit of a toothless rendition of stereotypes which were no less tired or lazy for retaining some accuracy. Some good lines, some genuine laughs, and better than sitting on the sofa on a Tuesday night, but a bit meh overall.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Psychler on October 22, 2014, 04:53:30 pm
The last play I saw was "... Dorian Gray" at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.  The youngest Miss P. is studying there and we'll be watching her in "Pericles" at the end of November.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Si on October 24, 2014, 04:58:50 pm
Saw "Ha Ha..Hood" last night - the latest in the Ha Ha series (Ha Ha Hamlet, Ha Ha Hitler, Ha Ha Holmes).
This one had Sue Pollard and Canon and Ball (but sans Ball who'd been taken ill, so they had an understudy who'd only just been drafted in so had to read the script throughout).

Quite entertaining - better than I'd expected as I've never been a fan of Pollard or Cannon and Ball.  But not as good as the original Ha Ha plays when it was just the three unknown actors.  However, the bloke playing Bobby Ball was very good.  And, of course, half the front row of the audience ended up on stage.

They used to be £10 in the studio theatre, they are now £20 in the main. I preferred the studio.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Dibdib on October 27, 2014, 04:54:35 pm
Really enjoyed seeing Frantic's production of Othello at Oxford Playhouse the other night. Fast-paced (about 90 minutes, maybe a little over), with some fantastic choreography as well as a modern twist on the story.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: padbeat on November 01, 2014, 12:53:54 pm
Really enjoyed seeing Frantic's production of Othello at Oxford Playhouse the other night. Fast-paced (about 90 minutes, maybe a little over), with some fantastic choreography as well as a modern twist on the story.
I saw that at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth a good few years ago - I hadn't seen (and wasn't aware that it was) physical theatre and nearly got lynched by the 6 other navy guys I dragged along. I remember it was very good, beautifully choreographed and extremely fast paced.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: jsabine on November 09, 2014, 03:02:23 am
Made in Dagenham: Adelphi, London

Musical of the film of the industrial dispute. A bit frothy, a few tired jokes, a few jokes that got in the way, a few stereotypes played for laughs when a straighter performance might have been better - but hell, I enjoyed it and laughed like a drain through pretty much everything except the poignant bits.

Gemma Arterton (I'm not a Marxist, nor a Leninist. I'm a machinist) carries it well: song and dance cameos from Harold Wilson (complete with Gannex mac) and Barbara Castle, and a comedy Yankee (cowboy exec as panto villain) provide light entertainment. And I don't think the Bechdel scale goes high enough to score this one.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: citoyen on December 30, 2014, 02:05:04 am
Family outing to the NT this evening to see 3 Winters. Very good. A play about Croatian political history told through the experience of three generations of the same family wouldn't normally be my first choice but it was largely dictated by what was on and what tickets were available at short notice and not too expensive. And I was very glad to have seen it - interesting staging, well written (not too didactic or preachy, some nice one-liners), good acting all round.

Good narrative structure too. Essentially there were three scenes, one in 1945 immediately after the war, the second in 1990 on the day Slovenia and Croatia seceded from Yugoslavia, the third in 2011 on the day of the youngest daughter's wedding. The action hopped backwards and forwards through the three eras, gradually revealing details - a fairly standard technique but used intelligently here as a way of forcing the viewer to question their prejudices and assumptions, and illustrating that whatever side people fight on in a war, they're more complex than just representatives of a political ideology.

The revelation at the end was a bit predictable though. High quality all round despite that though.

(Alternative was Henry IV at the Barbican but we weren't in the mood for Shakespeare. Still might try to see that soon anyway.)

Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on April 15, 2015, 03:17:54 pm
BUMP
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Little Jim on April 15, 2015, 03:53:53 pm
Teechers by John Godber, performed by the Blackeyed Theatre group.

A total of 22 characters played by a cast of 3 at breakneck pace without any (obvious) slip ups.  It is a play about a school play.  Hugely enjoyable, one of the best things I've seen in the theatre and one of the simplest sets ever - played to greys with 3 tables and 3 chairs.  Top marks too for the lighting and sound bods as they had to work just as fast as the actors.

Apparently John Godber wrote in the stage directions that the music was to be kept up to date to stop the play from dating, and this works very well.

Also saw Made In Dagenham last week and I agree whole heartedly with jsabine, but it is too late to go and see it now as it closed at the weekend due to poor ticket sales (although it looked like a sell-out last Thursday when we were there).
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: CrinklyLion on April 20, 2015, 09:54:05 am
Cor blimey, I haven't seen a John Godber play in years.

(For a few years my secondary school drama studio managed to become a touring venue that Hull Truck and Remould took most of their shows to in the 80s - and we did a fair number of workshops and projects with both, plus the youth theatre I was part of got to perform at Spring Street a few times.  Feeling all nostalgic now!)
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Andrij on July 04, 2015, 01:29:09 am
Does opera count?  Or does this belong in the 'gig' thread?

This evening met a friend at Canary Wharf to watch a broadcast of the Royal Opera's production of Don Giovanni.  In a word: brilliant!  The performances were were compelling and well executed, but this star of this show is the staging.  If you get a chance to see it, do so.  I haven't looked, but some shows are also broadcast in cinemas.

I'd write more, but after a couple of bottles during the opera and some cocktails after, I'm rather tired.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on July 05, 2015, 09:18:03 pm
I'd write more, but after a couple of bottles during the opera and some cocktails after, I'm rather tired.

Is that suave and debonair gent speak for 'well oiled'?
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: jsabine on July 06, 2015, 12:04:18 am
I'd write more, but after a couple of bottles during the opera and some cocktails after, I'm rather tired.

Is that suave and debonair gent speak for 'well oiled'?

As tired as a newt.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on July 31, 2015, 10:09:02 pm
The Hook (http://www.northernsoul.me.uk/the-hook-liverpool/) in Liverpool a couple of weeks ago and Richard II (http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2015/jul/26/richard-ii-shakespeares-globe-review-charles-edwards-simon-godwin) at the Globe last Saturday.   I enjoyed this more than the David Tennant version I saw broadcast to cinema last year, there is a good dose of comedy mixed into it.   Worth catching if you can see it.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Jaded on August 08, 2015, 12:32:08 am
The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Nighttime.

Really rather good. Funny and poignant, inventive and exceptionally well presented. Especially the end.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Ruthie on August 08, 2015, 10:09:57 pm
This lot. (http://www.peculius.com/handlebards.html)

They performed 'Midsummer Night's Dream' in the walled garden at Raby Castle.  I saw them perform 'Comedy of Errors' last year and was worried this year would just be more of the same, but it was brilliant.  A mostly different bunch of friends came this year, but they loved it too.  Lots of hat and costume swapping, and creative use of buckets to indicate when they were playing a woman.  The fact that they're doing the whole national tour on bikes, including transporting all the props and scenery, is right up my niche  ;)

Go see 'em if you get the chance.  Very accessible and good fun.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on August 24, 2015, 09:00:35 pm
Have  just got tickets to see Frumious Bandersnatch playing Hamlet, at the local arthouse.   A repeat of a live broadcast from the NT.    I think that's the only way most of us will be able to see this one.   
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Jaded on August 24, 2015, 09:06:59 pm
The Heresey of Love

Really rather good, and all the more so at The Globe, which I hadn't been to before. After we got to meet the cast and gained a fascinating insight into the play and how it was written/put on, but more interesting for me, what is different about playing there as opposed to a conventional theatre.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on August 26, 2015, 11:58:23 pm
Live broadcast of Othello (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-reviews/11663749/Othello-RSC-Stratford-review-electrifying.html) from the RSC.

Really good,  keep an eye open to see if they repeat it.     Far too warm in the cinema though,   I was alternately nodding of & trying to uncramp my legs.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: benborp on August 27, 2015, 12:27:12 am
Really rather good, and all the more so at The Globe, which I hadn't been to before. After we got to meet the cast and gained a fascinating insight into the play and how it was written/put on, but more interesting for me, what is different about playing there as opposed to a conventional theatre.

I've done a fair amount of work at the Globe and seeing the mechanics of how both Elizabethan and modern plays need to work on that stage, in front of that audience answers so many questions. Afterwards working in other theatres and with directors and designers that don't understand those principles can seem a thankless task.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: citoyen on September 11, 2015, 10:14:29 am
Last night I watched my son perform in Alan Bennett's The History Boys. I didn't see the original West End production but I've seen the film and I have to say I think the play is much better - sharper, snappier, funnier. (I didn't really like the film that much, tbh.)

Quality of the production was generally pretty good for am-dram. The chap playing the headmaster was like a John Godber or Alan Ayckbourn character* - one of those old am-dram hacks who's probably been doing it for 30 years or more. But he was competent, as were the two playing Dorothy and Hector, though they have the unfortunate problem of being in roles that have been played definitively by Frances de la Tour and Richard Griffiths. The (very) young chap playing Irwin was pretty good too.

The boys were a mixed bunch. My son was superb (obviously) as Lockwood, and the lad playing Posner was excellent too - he's just about to head off to drama school and I wouldn't be at all surprised if he goes on to make a decent living as a professional actor. Scripps was also very good, as was Rudge. Unfortunately, the whole thing was marred slightly by Dakin, who was cast more for his looks than his acting experience or ability. It's a shame because he's such a key character but having been involved in amateur theatre myself in the past, I know it's sometimes a case of Hobson's choice when filling the parts, and you sometimes have to cast according to physical appropriateness rather than acting chops.

In all seriousness, I was very impressed with my son, looking at his performance as objectively as possible. He's entirely at home on the stage - comfortable, and generally very convincing. I didn't realise until last night that he's actually the youngest in the cast, and at 17, in fact slightly younger than the character he's playing - everyone else among the boys is older than their character - Dakin is actually older than Irwin, apparently, which is kind of funny in the context.

I liked the staging too, and the use of 80s pop music between scenes (though I could comment on a few anachronisms if I were inclined to be picky).

Going again tonight - dutiful and supportive parent that I am.


*Noises Off comes to mind, though of course that's Michael Frayn.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: geraldc on October 05, 2015, 04:41:54 pm
Photograph 51, about the discovery of DNA. I thought it was interesting, but didn't think that much of it or of the stars' performances. As a result when the rest of the audience stood up up to give Nicole Kidman a standing ovation, I stayed seated. I was right at the back, so she wouldn't have noticed, but went home satisfied with my criticism. It wasn't an immediate standing ovation, but one that kind of spread through out the audience.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Andrij on October 05, 2015, 05:22:35 pm
The Sting, at Wilton's Music Hall.

Go early, soak up the atmosphere of the venue, and enjoy!
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Andrij on October 07, 2015, 09:20:55 pm
It’s not often you can refer to an evening of opera as ‘light entertainment’, but you can when:
1) the opera is Le nozze di Figaro; and
2) the following evening you see a performance of Oresteia.


Le nozze di Figaro, Royal Opera House (by proxy)
Monday I took the cheap option and saw a live broadcast of Figaro at my local cinema.  This was the fourth ROH broadcast I’ve seen this year (others have been Big Screen outdoor events).  Like the other performances, Figaro did not fail to impress.  The ROH knows how to put on a slick production.  The chorus was solid and the soloists superb.

Concerning cinema / Big Screen broadcasts: I admit the atmosphere in a cinema or an outdoor screening (a great excuse for a picnic) is not the same as being there live, but one gains multiple camera angles, good pre-broadcast commentary and behind-the-scenes vignettes.  If you want to check out a ROH performance (opera or ballet) I highly recommend you try a cinema screening or one of the Big Screen events (the latter have ended for 2015).


Oresteia, Trafalgar Studios
Tuesday I balanced out Monday’s frivolity with an evening of Greek tragedy.  This production did a fair job condensing the Oresteia trilogy into 3h30m (including intervals).  IIRC, a recent BBC Radio adaption did it with three 1h30m (1h50m?) episodes.  I don’t recall how long a full staging would take, but the production I saw definitely cut out a fair chunk.  Viewers unfamiliar with the story might struggle to keep up, though I think the play might have a much stronger impact if you had no idea which way things were heading.  The surprises for me were how they adapted the story.

Yes, this was a modernised adaptation, but one which sticks to the story and is handled very well.  The staging was impressive, with use of sliding glass panels (made opaque/transparent as required) dividing the stage into three section.  Most of the action took place ‘up front’.  With no curtain, even the intervals had story-related activity (but nothing required for following the story).  Not sure if this is a part of a new, or old, trend, but the ‘chorus’ was a single actor.  At least this was easier to follow than a recent production of Antigone at the Barbican, where most of the individual characters were also the chorus, but only individually.

My only negative comment in regarding the theatre itself – seating was a bit snug (and armless).  I wouldn't like to see a show there in the winter when one would have to contend with bulky coats in limited space.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: citoyen on December 09, 2015, 01:37:21 pm
Twelfth Night

School play, with the offspring playing Sir Toby Belch (he wanted Orsino but Belch is a much better part). Generally a very well done production, played for the lols, with some very talented performers. Impressed. It goes without saying that the boy was brilliant but it's not just me who thinks so - he got a very nice personal email from the head of school congratulating him. Which is nice. The lad playing Malvolio was also outstanding.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: geraldc on January 11, 2016, 11:51:54 am
Vanity Fair, Middle Temple Hall. I think one of the actors was a lawyer who decided to turn producer/actor hence the venue.

Play was fun, it was done in the round, and they did a very good job of boiling down the plot even I managed to keep track of the characters throughout. All the actors played multiple parts throughout, both male and female.
Slight audio problems when the main character sang (it wasn't a musical, but there was singing), amplified audio was a bit muffled, but as the singing wasn't central to the plot, we lost nothing.
Very minimalist set, stepladders doubling for boats, horses, carriages etc.

I really enjoyed it, then went online to see another review where they weren't so keen.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: citoyen on January 11, 2016, 12:22:38 pm
I really enjoyed it, then went online to see another review where they weren't so keen.

Always interesting to read reviews but they're all just opinions and not always a reliable guide to whether or not you'll enjoy a piece yourself.

Reviews were pretty mixed for Waste at the NT, which we went to see between Christmas & New Year. We thoroughly enjoyed it. It's by Harley Granville Barker, a name I'm not familiar with but apparently he was a big deal in early 20th century British theatre. It's the story of a rising young politician who becomes embroiled in a scandal that wrecks his career - all seems pretty tame by the standards of today's politicians but was contentious enough to get the play banned when it was first written in 1907, so it didn't get its first performance until 1936. Style-wise it's rather dated - very reminiscent of George Bernard Shaw, which I'm sure is no coincidence (Barker, as actor and producer, was involved in many original stagings of Shaw plays) but that all seems a bit old hat these days, more the kind of thing you'd expect from am-dram than the National Theatre. Still, very well staged as you'd expect from the NT, and mostly well acted (Olivia Williams pretty much stole the show though).
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: essexian on February 19, 2016, 11:17:04 am
Noises Off – Horsehay Am-Dram society. Horsehay Village Hall Shropshire.

An excellent production of this farce made all the better for the cheap admission (£6), the free cup of tea during the first break and the “clowns” who drew the raffle.  ;D

I really like the productions by this Am-Dram society: the acting is first rate (including one bloke who looked so much like Rylan Clark it was worrying!), the sets excellent (the set was on rollers so was turned 180 degrees during the first break) and front of house very friendly. The only slight downer is that the village hall has a flat floor meaning that heads do get in the way if you are towards the back of the 95 strong maximum crowd.

Support your “local” AmDram society, you won’t regret it.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Jaded on April 13, 2016, 12:36:24 am
All's well that ends well. At the Tobacco Factory. With a chat from Andrew Hilton beforehand.

Rather good. For a problem play.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: hatler on April 13, 2016, 07:47:43 am
Beryl at the Rose in Kingston (a few weeks ago).

Really rather good. Mrs h was prepared to be stultifyingly bored but humoured me by agreeing to come.

What a surprise. Funny, touching, well produced. A genuine delight. Both her and little miss h thoroughly enjoyed it. (Mini-h had already been to see it as part of his drama course.)

The only slight downside is that Maxine Peake's stated intention behind writing the play was to bring BB's amazing story to a wider audience, but as far as I could make out everyone in the audience was already cycling aware and knew exactly who she was.

Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on April 23, 2016, 08:03:27 pm
King Lear at the Royal Exchange in Manchester.     Don Warrington giving a wonderful performance, and very good work from the rest of the cast.

Good eye gouging as well.....   Highly recommended.

(http://i1.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/incoming/article11150088.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/JS86722490.jpg)

http://www.themanchesterreview.co.uk/?p=6225 (http://www.themanchesterreview.co.uk/?p=6225)

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/theatre-news/don-warrington-royal-exchange-lear-11078454 (http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/theatre-news/don-warrington-royal-exchange-lear-11078454)
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on April 30, 2016, 10:10:44 am
One for the Brummies.   The excellent staging of King Lear that I saw last week is shortly moving to Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

http://www.talawa.com/productions/current-production/ (http://www.talawa.com/productions/current-production/)

Birmingham Repertory Theatre
19 May – 28 May - BOOK NOW (http://www.birmingham-rep.co.uk/event/king-lear/)ACCESSIBLE PERFORMANCES
Captioned Performance Saturday 28 May, 2pm
BSL Interpreted Performance Friday 27 May 7:30pm. Interpreter Mary Connell

Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: essexian on April 30, 2016, 11:07:21 am
One for the Brummies.   The excellent staging of King Lear that I saw last week is shortly moving to Birmingham Repertory Theatre.



Many thanks for the heads up. CBH has just finished reading this play so the timing is brilliant.

Booked.... ;D
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on April 30, 2016, 12:50:17 pm
On a Lear inspired theme, Kurosawa's brilliant "Ran" has had a 4K makeover and is now on release around the country.

I've only ever seen it on a small TV so am really looking forward to watching it at FACT next month.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwP_kXyd-Rw (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwP_kXyd-Rw)
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: DaveJ on April 30, 2016, 01:13:19 pm
God of Carnage (http://www.trinitytheatre.net/Whats-On/16530-/God-Of-Carnage) at the local Trinity Theatre last night.

The cast were good I thought, though I didn't think the script was quite as sparkling as some reviews suggested.  Still very enjoyable.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on May 08, 2016, 09:06:20 am
HMS Pinafore at the Grand Opera House

We blagged free tickets from MrsC's work

HMS Pinafore is a pretty naff bit of G&S but this is a brilliant production, using an all male cast to brilliant effect. Wonderful singing.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on May 12, 2016, 11:31:39 pm
"A View From The Bridge" at the Liverpool Playhouse (not the Young Vic!).   

http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/apr/02/a-view-from-the-bridge-review-greek-tragedy-work-boots (http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/apr/02/a-view-from-the-bridge-review-greek-tragedy-work-boots)

And again.  This time an NT Encore broadcast of the Young Vic 2014 production with Mark Strong as Eddie Carbone.  This got lots of award thingies, and deserved them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp5CMTEJHdo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp5CMTEJHdo)

It was a full house, with enough A Level English & Drama students to put me in grumpy old man mode, thinking they'd be noisy.  I was wrong,  you could have heard a pin drop.  Far too warm though, the aircon should have been dialled up a bit.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: citoyen on June 29, 2016, 01:37:16 pm
The Threepenny Opera at the National Theatre last night.

Cracking good fun. I'm not really familiar with the play so I can't say how it compares to other interpretations but the new adaptation really ramps up the smut, so it should appeal to a few round here. Rory Kinnear seems like a bit of an odd choice for Macheath but he's a great acting talent so is able to pull it off. His singing is a bit ropey though. Haydn Gwynne and Nick Holder were superb as the Peachums, totally playing it for maximum laughs, but also with a suitably nasty streak.

Of course, the play is really most famous for the music and that side of things was outstanding. The eight-piece orchestra were on stage throughout and integrated into several scenes and they did a fantastic job. Rory Kinnear aside, most of the singing was excellent too - George Ikediashi as the Balladeer did a wonderful rumbling bass rendition of Mack The Knife. And Rosalie Craig as Polly was almost too good - like serious opera good. Her duet with Debbie Kurup as Lucy was the standout highlight of the whole show for me.

I loved the staging too - going to town a bit with the Verfremdungseffekt to the point where it got a bit cartoonish at times (eg Mrs Peachum luring Jenny with a tin bearing the big label "DRUGS"), but to be honest, that's very much the kind of thing that I like (not so much a fan of naturalistic theatre).

I've read a few fairly critical reviews and while I understand where they're coming from and kind of agree with some of their criticisms, I just thought it was all immensely enjoyable, and a great way to pass an evening. Possibly a bit more pantomime than serious theatre, but that's not necessarily a bad thing in my book. I'm very glad we went to see it.

So, I might have one or two slight reservations about a few elements, but on the whole, very highly recommended indeed.

Rory Kinnear also did a nice bit of ad-libbing after the interval, cracking a not too subtle gag about the fact that we'd all chosen to Remain for the second half rather than Leave, and there was one scene that took on a slightly chilling note in light of recent events when the "Patriots", all clad in St George's flags, threatened to start smashing windows if they didn't get their way.

Also great from an equal ops point of view to see Jamie Beddard (https://www.theguardian.com/society/joepublic/2009/jul/22/disabled-actors-theatre) being given a prominent role in a part that isn't written as 'disabled' in the text (though his cerebral palsy is exploited to rather uncomfortable comic effect at one point).
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on July 08, 2016, 10:36:53 am
King Lear at the Royal Exchange in Manchester.     Don Warrington giving a wonderful performance, and very good work from the rest of the cast.

Good eye gouging as well.....   Highly recommended.

[img height=640 width=426]http://i1.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/incoming/article11150088.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/JS86722490.jpg[/img]

http://www.themanchesterreview.co.uk/?p=6225 (http://www.themanchesterreview.co.uk/?p=6225)

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/theatre-news/don-warrington-royal-exchange-lear-11078454 (http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/theatre-news/don-warrington-royal-exchange-lear-11078454)

Just a heads up,  this will be available on iPlayer from next week.  http://t.ymlp69.com/usmjhhafaejmwsacajehalauhuumm/click.php (http://t.ymlp69.com/usmjhhafaejmwsacajehalauhuumm/click.php)


http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p03zc113/shakespeare-lives-king-lear-part-one

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p03zc379/shakespeare-lives-king-lear-part-two


And now, we’re delighted to be able to share something really exciting with you - KING LEAR: The Film! The epic production of KING LEAR, which was filmed in the round at the Royal Exchange,  begins its free release from 11th July 2016, when it will initially be available on-demand through the BBC in the UK and internationally as part of the BBC/ British Council Shakespeare Lives digital festival for three months, online here.


 


WATCH THE TRAILER

The stage to screen adaptation of King Lear was made possible thanks to support from The Space and the British Council.  The co-production of King Lear was directed by Talawa's award-winning Artistic Director Michael Buffong.

You are among the first people to hear our news, this is the second production that the Royal Exchange Theatre has committed to film and will be Talawa’s first.
 
Please become part of our story in this, our 30th anniversary year.

Subscribe to get more news from Talawa Theatre Company.

Thank you
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on October 02, 2016, 12:27:10 pm
A live broadcast of Cymbeline, from the RSC at Stratford.     Not a play I'm at all familiar with, and I believe this production is unusual in that there has been some gender swapping of a few roles, Cymbeline being a queen rather than a king.

I enjoyed it a lot, though I thought the ending where everything is neatly tied up & everyone forgives each other a bit of a letdown.

Much praise for Bethan Cullinane as Innogen (wonderful), Marcus Griffiths as Cloten and Oliver Johnstone as Iachimo.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/theatre/what-to-see/this-brexit-inspired-revival-of-cymbeline-is-on-the-pulse/


By coincidence the esteemed Charlotte was tweeting the praises of "Imogen Reclaimed" at the Globe, the day before I saw this.

http://www.theartsdesk.com/theatre/imogen-shakespeares-globe

Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: citoyen on October 25, 2016, 09:03:05 am
Amadeus

New National Theatre production of Peter Shaffer's play. I've only seen the film before, and I love it, but it turns out it's very different from the play. And of course the play is much, much better. I can see now that the film lacks subtlety and reduces the story almost to a stock thriller, but the play has so many more levels of meaning - it's not really about whether or not Salieri murdered Mozart, it's partly about the existential horror of coming to terms with mortality. And the irony of the title is brought out by Salieri's rage at God.

Lucian Msamati as Salieri felt a bit flat to me though - at times he could have done with giving it a bit more ham. But that's partly because Mozart is so overplayed by Adam Gillen. I suppose they are meant to be contrasting characters but I'm not sure the balance was quite right. My son disagreed though - he thought Msamati was a much better Salieri than F Murray Abraham.

The staging worked well. I had anticipated something more naturalistic but the stylised simplicity put the focus sharply on the performances. Reminded me of Berkoff in some respects. And the onstage orchestra acted almost like a Greek chorus with a couple of the players doubling up as the Venticelli (Salieri's spies).

The supporting cast were all excellent too - especially Tom Edden as Josef II, like a more subtle and nuanced version of Hugh Laurie's George from Blackadder III.

And then there's the music...

I've never had much desire to go to the opera, but the Figaro and Magic Flute scenes were done so well that it made me want more. Opera suddenly makes sense when you see it performed live onstage. Who knew?

One of the strongest recommendations I can give for any play is that despite being nearly three hours long it felt like it breezed along and I was left wishing it wouldn't end.

Highly recommended.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: CrinklyLion on October 25, 2016, 11:37:49 am
Underneath a Magical Moon, in the Studio at York Theatre Royal with the SmallestCub (who was one of the oldest chiddlers in the audience).

We approved.  Also, 11 o'clock performances mean you can take in a show, eat lunch in the Theatre cafe afterwards and still ride 4-5 miles out to the outer ring road and so go trampolining before it's even teatime.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: mattc on October 25, 2016, 01:14:21 pm
Frantic Assembly and State Theatre Company of South Australia present, Things I Know To Be True, a new play by Andrew Bovell. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zftxPS65HQ

In Oxford; didn't cost us much with some last-minute offer, and more than worth the money. They're still touring the UK.

Some clever physical stuff - not enough to distract from the acting - and some genuinely moving moments.

(one small thing that I liked; they kept the setting as urban Australia, but let all the (British) actors stick with their natural accents. )
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: On the Huh on October 25, 2016, 04:30:43 pm
I went to see "Dare Devil Rides to Jarama" last Saturday at the local Community theatre.

The play was commissioned by the International Brigades Memorial Trust as part of its mission to keep alive the memory and spirit of the men and women who volunteered to fight alongside the Spanish people to defend democracy during the civil war of 1936-39.

It was really well acted and I'd certainly recommend seeing it if you have a chance.

Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on October 25, 2016, 11:18:08 pm
Just back from The Rivals,   I suppose the Lydia Languish character is intended as a vacuous, whining airhead, but Lucy Briggs-Owen  made her resemble someone I used to work with, & I wanted the scenery to collapse on her 😈

http://www.everymanplayhouse.com/whats-on/the-rivals

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/theatre/what-to-see/the-rivals-is-as-uproariously-funny-today-as-it-was-in-1775/
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: citoyen on October 27, 2016, 03:12:28 pm
Amadeus

New National Theatre production of Peter Shaffer's play... Highly recommended.

Last night was press night and it seems the critics all agree with me - which is interesting, as it's clearly intended to be a crowd-pleaser so I was expecting a bit more snottiness:
https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/oct/27/amadeus-review-national-michael-longhurst-lucian-msamati-salieri
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/theatre/what-to-see/amadeus-national-theatre-note-perfect/
https://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/2016/amadeus-review-at-the-national-theatre/
ect
ect
ect

Reading about it makes me want to see it again. There's going to be a live cinema screening in February which will be worth going along to if you can't get tickets for the real thing.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Basil on October 27, 2016, 08:18:49 pm
The Play That Went Wrong
Nothing deep or thought provoking, just hugely funny.  Had me laughing continuously.
Went to the matinee at the Duchess this afternoon.   Mrs. B and I will now be on a train for several hours.
Oh well.  1st class as far as Swansea helps a bit.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: citoyen on November 04, 2016, 02:15:01 pm
The Red Barn

New play by David Hare based on an obscure George Simenon novel. Starring Mark Strong, Elizabeth Debicki and Hope Davis.

Very strange. Quite a lavish production, using lots of high-tech stage trickery. Sliding screens narrow the focus onto particular areas of the stage in each scene, and the overall feel is cinematic more than theatrical. There are some really good special effects - including a scene early on where four characters are battling through a very realistic snowstorm. All very impressive as a spectacle.

Excellent performances from the three leads, tidy script (not dazzling, lots to criticise, but some very good lines) but ultimately a bit meh. It would make a good film noir, but as a stage production attempting to look like a film, it ends up being neither one thing nor the other.

Bonus marks for gratuitous nudity and on-stage shagging. Marks off for annoyingly intrusive background music.

In short, I totally agree with Michael Billington's review in the Guardian:
https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/oct/18/the-red-barn-lyttelton-theatre-review-david-hare-georges-simenon-mark-strong-elizabeth-debicki
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Legs on January 16, 2017, 08:19:59 am
The Play That Went Wrong
Nothing deep or thought provoking, just hugely funny.  Had me laughing continuously.
Went to the matinee at the Duchess this afternoon.   Mrs. B and I will now be on a train for several hours.
Oh well.  1st class as far as Swansea helps a bit.
Mrs L and I went to The Comedy About A Bank Robbery on Saturday afternoon at the Criterion on Piccadilly Circus.
Nothing deep or thought provoking, just hugely funny.  Had me laughing continuously.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Ruthie on January 22, 2017, 12:06:26 am
Lazarus.

Supposedly a sequel to The Man Who Fell To Earth, it was really a vehicle for some Bowie songs.  Some of the staging was very clever.  I'm not a fan of those nasal stage school female singers, but I liked the male lead's voice.

I don't have a clue what the plot was supposed to be about, but didn't expect to understand it, it's as arty-farty as The Man Who Fell To Earth.  But that wasn't the point really.  It was on Bowie's bucket list to write a musical, and this was it, and I was there.

Very good live versions of some classic Bowie, what's not to like.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on March 26, 2017, 12:00:27 pm
http://www.northern-broadsides.co.uk/cyrano/



http://www.britishtheatreguide.info/reviews/cyrano-new-vic-theatre-14005


A lovely performance of Cyrano by Northern Broadsides at Liverpool Playhouse.   


More wordplay than swordplay, a lot of music performed by the multi talented cast and excellent performances throughout, although for some reason I couldn't warm to Sharon Singh's Roxanne .


On tour around the county until the end of May, catch it if you can.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on April 17, 2017, 05:40:09 pm
Twelfth Night at Manchester Royal Exchange.    An excellent performance,  Malvolio played as a bearded hipster cyclist who rides on stage on a Brompton at one point  :-D


Kate Kennedy towers over everyone as Olivia, her bio says she's 6"3" and she was wearing heels!   Kate O'Donnell as Feste the fool http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/kate-odonnell/transgender-kate-odonnell_b_15684276.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/kate-odonnell/transgender-kate-odonnell_b_15684276.html)

Edit - some pictures https://www.facebook.com/rxtheatre/photos/a.10154772132133075.1073741831.96470993074/10154772132593075/?type=3&theater (https://www.facebook.com/rxtheatre/photos/a.10154772132133075.1073741831.96470993074/10154772132593075/?type=3&theater)

Edit - reviews


http://www.northernsoul.me.uk/twelfth-night-shakespeare-review-royal-exchange/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/theatre/what-to-see/beautifully-judged-twelfth-night-royal-exchange-manchester-review/ (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/theatre/what-to-see/beautifully-judged-twelfth-night-royal-exchange-manchester-review/)

https://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/2017/twelfth-night-review-royal-exchange-manchester/ (https://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/2017/twelfth-night-review-royal-exchange-manchester/)

http://www.mancunianmatters.co.uk/content/220476595-review-twelfth-night-royal-exchange-theatre-manchester (http://www.mancunianmatters.co.uk/content/220476595-review-twelfth-night-royal-exchange-theatre-manchester)


https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2017/apr/21/twelfth-night-review-royal-exchange-manchester-jo-davies-kate-o-donnell (https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2017/apr/21/twelfth-night-review-royal-exchange-manchester-jo-davies-kate-o-donnell)
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on May 05, 2017, 11:54:16 am
Twelfth Night again. A broadcast from the National Theatre with Tamsin Greig as Malvolia, a switch which works well & makes the scenes where she is imprisoned & mocked by Belch and the other conspirators even nastier & more disturbing than ususal. Good performances all round.


Last week was another broadcast. "Julius Caesar " from Stratford, I've not seen that before, another good show.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: CrinklyLion on June 06, 2017, 11:03:29 pm
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time at Newcastle Royal Theatre.  What a very lovely theatre it is, too.  They weren't kidding about the strong language - SmallestCub and I had discussed this in advance, and I followed it up afterwards with a 'if there's anything there you haven't heard before and aren't sure about _how_ inappropriate it might be, just ask me and I'll explain, OK?'. Fabulous show, although possibly one of the least autism-friendly performances I've ever been to.  I wasn't sure what the boys made of it but actually both gave it a positive review.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Kim on June 07, 2017, 12:30:11 am
Fabulous show, although possibly one of the least autism-friendly performances I've ever been to.

I'm reliably informed that there is / has been a special autism-friendly version of the play, with extensively modified lighting/sound (and possibly other stuff?), a relaxed approach to audience behaviour and extra accessible FoH loveliness.


ETA:  It appears that such performances are now A Thing...  http://www.autism.org.uk/about/family-life/holidays-trips/performances.aspx  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: essexian on June 28, 2017, 08:19:45 am
Tempest at Stafford castle.

At last.... a Shakespeare play I did not enjoy!!!!

Thinking back, I think I have seen at least 10 of the Bards output from the often played regulars to the brilliant Timon of Athens (The Globes production around 10 years ago was just outstanding) in venues from the Globe (you must try standing up and watching if your legs can take it!) to Tutbury Castle and the old RSC HQ in Stratford (not been since they did it up).  CBH and I have also been regulars at Stafford Castle for the annual Shakespeare Festival held there: last years Othello was outstanding and much better than the King Lear we saw a few weeks later in Birmingham.

Anyway, back to the Tempest. To us it seemed to be Shakespeare's most underwritten play with little plot and very, very few jokes. Indeed, the first half seems simply to be a series of set pieces rather than the narrative of a play.  The second half was better but frankly, the love story was poor and had no tension, while simply forgiving everyone at the end was a cop out.  The one high point of the show of course, was Ariel who was well written and acted. 

We also had issues with the staging of the show in that the music was over mixed meaning at times you could not hear the actors. Finally, there was a lack of crowd involvement in the play, partly due to there being the smallest house at Castle I have ever seen: perhaps 150 in a venue that holds well over 700 people. It was so quiet that I did think some people had fallen asleep. Oh and come on weather Gods, it was the end of June for Juno's sake, please give us some warmth and keep the rain and cold away!

If you like "heavy" Shakespeare, this is not the play for you.



Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: citoyen on June 28, 2017, 01:16:38 pm
If you like "heavy" Shakespeare, this is not the play for you.

Sounds good to me! I think my tastes are too modern for Shakespeare - I can appreciate the wit and wordplay, but generally I find Shakespeare an ordeal. Still keen to see Tamsin Greig in Twelfth Night if I get the chance though.

Last play I went to see was a local am-dram production of Boeing-Boeing - a "classic" 1960s bedroom farce - which was their entry for the Kent Drama Festival. And they won 'Best Play' for it. It was very enjoyable, convincingly acted (good consistent accents throughout) and tightly directed with lots of pace and verve, and plenty of belly laughs, but the play itself seems horribly outdated. Just about the only box not ticked on the list of farce tropes was a vicar losing his trousers.

Wikipedia tells me it was revived in the West End in 2007 with Roger Allam, Frances de la Tour, Mark Rylance, Tamzin Outhwaite, Daisy Beaumont and Michelle Gomez, which seems just about perfect casting - would have liked to see that.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on July 01, 2017, 12:07:08 am
Only connect....


I was reading a comic in which someone gets their hand crushed,,, http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3513


Which lead me to google the legendary "Shake Hands" scene from "Boys From The Blackstuff" https://vimeo.com/194695691


Which lead to me watching the original play, "The Blackstuff".   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duhykhvV36g      I remember watching the original broadcast of this in 1980 when I was 16.


,
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: CrinklyLion on November 16, 2017, 07:57:34 am
Rita, Sue and Bob Too at York Theatre Royal, with CrinklyAuntie and my next door neighbour - the mother of the SmallestSuperheroNextDoor.  We all remember watching the film as teenagers, so when the email turned up advertising it I decided I'd be daft to miss the stage version.
Theey weren't joking when they warned us at the box office that it contained strong language and nudity... I'm quite glad that I decided against booking the available front row sats and went one row back.

Strong cast, well-designed set and lighting, evocative music of my teens, without the black lace - at the cast Q&A afterwards they said they always get asked why they don't use the gang bang song.  As per the original script Bob is played as late twenties rather than the older character in the film and was played as fairly charming - the actor said that some audience members felt he should be more 'slimey' but a) basically he needed to try and play Bob as a person, with motivations and reasons for his behaviour and b) I reckon part of the point is that abusers don't have it tattooed on their foreheads and are often at some level 'appealing'.  The cast didn't need to be judgemental about the characters, because that is the audience's job - it's right there in the script that Bob is verbally and physically violent towards his wife and his kids, and obvious that he knows that 'going with' the teenages is unacceptable - he himself says that he 'wouldn't do that' because they are 'kids' and 'too young'.   The two actors playing Rita and Sue were utterly convincing as teenagers.  I'd been interested to see whether and how they would change it 35 years later on, when the plotlines about grooming, unemployment and social deprivation are so very topical.  They played it historically and very straight from the script so it was distinctly 80-tastic - some of the costumes were a wonder of nostalgia - and it was hilarious for all the right reasons.  It felt like a period piece (and, being of a similar vintage myself, there was some nostalgia in there for me - I remember watching the film and it being quite the rudest thing I'd ever seen on normal telly in my mid-teens) but it's a relevant period piece.  The actor who played Michelle commented afterwards that it had been thematically a bit miserable/gruelling/challenging in rehearsal and after weeks locked in that world they were all a bit shocked when they performed to an audience, got massive laughs and remembered that it is actually a comedy, albeit a dark one.  Highly recommended.

http://www.outofjoint.co.uk/production/rita-sue-and-bob-too

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQqGsVdfUDE

The actor playing Bob had quite the most _expressive_ buttocks I've ever seen in my life...
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Basil on January 29, 2018, 02:49:10 pm
Well, not really a play, but it involved actors acting within a large theatre.
Last night we attended 'Fawlty Towers - The Dining Experience' in Cardiff.
Obviously not performed on a stage, but in the theatre restaurant, which had been completely taken over for the event.
I quite enjoyed it once I'd got over the frankly, poor quality of the food.  (I had to keep reminding myself that was not really the reason we were there)
The three actors (Basil, Sybil and Manuel) worked very hard and managed to entertain well throughout.
Audience mostly 40s upward and ranged from those who could probably recite every episode line by line (me) to a young couple we chatted to who'd never seen it.

Would I recommend?  Not sure.

I believe this run is drawing to a close, but they did mention their next production will be 'The Wedding Reception' where you will be guests. 
There has to be a fight scene, surely?
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Wowbagger on February 03, 2018, 11:04:52 pm
This evening. Lady Windermere ‘s Fan. Vaudeville Theatre. Directed by Kathy Burke. Very good indeed.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: geraldc on February 04, 2018, 10:35:20 am
Went to see Hamilton. It really does live up to the hype.
Was slightly worried that I wouldn't know enough about US history to fully appreciate it, but you can really go in with zero knowledge and you'll be fine.
George III has the catchiest tunes ever, still humming it a day later.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Legs on February 05, 2018, 01:06:40 pm
You lucky so-and-so!

I looked for tickets a few months back and the cheapest I could find were £850 p/h  :o
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Kim on February 05, 2018, 04:35:38 pm
I only recently realised that Hamilton wasn't about Neil Hamilton...   :facepalm:
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on March 22, 2018, 08:42:25 am
The Cherry Orchard. I discovered that Chekhov actually does story and characters, and even humour, rather than just impenetrable dialogue and odd effects. The only thing that slightly grated was the pronunciation of various Russian names, which was not only "wrong" but varied from actor to actor (some went to "Harkov" others to "Karkov", some said "Pee-oht-ruh" others "Pyott", etc), but I guess that's inevitable to to some degree, most people wouldn't know what was right (I can't really claim to know the correct pronunciation, mine would sound more like Polish so wrong in a different direction), and only secondarily important anyway. I went with my son, which was great because he has a slightly different take on everything.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on April 27, 2018, 10:29:27 am
Half Breed. An hour-long monologue which was completely riveting, in part because the one monologueist played a few characters.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Basil on July 15, 2018, 08:16:43 pm
Forgot to mention.   Mrs B and I went to Cardiff last week to see Warhorse 1
Not impressed.   I suppose that I'd heard so many good things about it from other people that I was expecting better.
The story, which I knew, was weak and disjointed and the cast hesitant and shouty.
Maybe it's better with a more competent company, but I certainly wouldn't recommend this production.

1 Mrs B had expressed an interest in us seeing Titanic The Musical.  I absolutely refused.  We compromised.  Tickets for An Evening With Patti Smith for me and Warhorse tickets for her.  Patti won easily,  as Mrs B admitted.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: sg37409 on September 28, 2018, 12:17:41 pm
Early Doors, stage production at the Armadillo in Glasgow.  :thumbsup:
If you liked the series, you'd have really enjoyed this. Funny, feel-good stuff, but we were sat a bit far back to see expressions clearly.
The set was very clever with the pub, kitchen and living room upstairs nicely done.
The mother and the cleaner were excellent, they were the funniest.

I got tickets to see Warhorse at the same venue, so a bit disappointed to read basils notes
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: ian on September 28, 2018, 06:49:13 pm
You lucky so-and-so!

I looked for tickets a few months back and the cheapest I could find were £850 p/h  :o

I finally saw it the other week – after a long wait because we weren't paying stupid prices (we'd initially planned to see it in NYC, then saw how much...)

Knowing a bit of US history from the period is helpful, but not essential, the songs are very catchy and well done. On paper, it sounds like a terrible idea, but works brilliantly.

And my wife got us a box. I'm not asking what it cost, some things I don't want to know. I flinched at the price of a bottle of wine and it wasn't even fizzy wine.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Jaded on October 03, 2018, 11:54:45 pm
Touching the void

Astonishingly good. Creating space, atmosphere, despair and angst on a tiny theatrical stage.

Go and see it when it tours.

Warning: contains mild peril and big swears.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on October 09, 2018, 11:27:53 pm
"The Importance Of Being Earnest", a live broadcast from the Vaudeville theatre.   The critics seem disparaging, but I enjoyed it , and judging by the suppressed laughs so did the rest of the audience.


I now know far more than I ever wanted to about Mr Bunbury.....
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Jaded on October 20, 2018, 07:24:36 pm
Just seen my niece in Cerano de Bergerac at The Lyceum, Edinburgh  :)
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: essexian on December 27, 2018, 08:15:59 am
As is a Christmas tradition in this household and in part to stop one of us from going postal with boredom, we tend to head out on Boxing Day, not to the shops and alike: hell getting stuff is what the internet is for, but for entertainment given that most (if not all) Christmas TV viewing is crap.

So, mid afternoon yesterday we followed the tradition which in previous years has taken us to see an pantomime (oh yes it did….), to the Royal Opera House for ballet, to the Alex for Spamalot and last year, to the dull fest which was Stafford Rangers V Stourbridge….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. This year’s destination was the Alex theatre Birmingham….

And talking about Birmingham, after an easy drive down the M6….no traffic queues to get off at J9 which confused us, we arrived at the end of the Aston Expressway turning off at the roundabout with the A34 to find that someone has built several hundred (okay perhaps not but it seemed that way) tower blocks around the university. It looks a right mess around there. Oh…and why block off the turn in Digbeth which takes you to the Bull Ring? It was a complete nightmare finding another way to our car park which didn’t involve long queues of traffic!

Anyway, arriving at the theatre to collect our tickets from the Box Office: we had only had the decision to attend three days earlier, the bloke in front of us was buying a ticket. CBH looked at me and I at her with the: “I bet he sits next to us” look. Well, she was half right as he sat in front of us. The reason for our look…. This gent smelt of urine so much so that people noticed as he walked by them. Then, when we got to our seats, CBH was sat next to “Billy Big Balls.” Why is it that some men are unable to sit with their legs closed? I am a man and I can. Its really irritating that some people take up other people legs space just because they don’t give a damn. We moved to a couple of empty seats as soon as the lights went down to get some fresh air and leg room.

Onto the play… “Benidorm” with five or six of the cast having starred in the long running TV series.

As we had arrived just before the start of the show we did not get to read the shows posters but I imaging the following: “A 107% hit” The Express, “Brave Brits getting one over on foreigners in the sun. I laughed so much I brought back up my sangria ” The Mail, “Tits, tits and more tits” The Star, “Not a laugh a minute, a laugh a second” The Sun and “A gritty in-depth exploration of working conditions in an overseas hotel” The Guardian….are things the posters would not have said. Instead, if I had been writing a review….er….then I would have used words like: “Mostly filler with little killer,” “some poor acting not helped by a poor script,” “They forgot to write a book to base this play on as what plot it had a two year old could see coming,” “two hours long...too long by two hours,” “the ice cream during the break was nice,” “Trainspotting in the rain at Sugarloaf is more fun” and “don’t bother unless you really, really, really, really don’t have anything else to do.

Yes, we enjoyed it……not. Not one of our best decisions but hey, what did we expect?
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Kim on December 27, 2018, 03:02:51 pm
And talking about Birmingham [...] It was a complete nightmare finding another way to our car park which didn’t involve long queues of traffic!

This is, I reckon, the whole point in Birmingham.

(Blocking off that turn in Digbeth is IIRC somehow related to the pseudo-pedestrianisation of Ladywell Walk and the top of Hurst Street.  Traffic flows or something.  As a cyclist it's a small improvement, as you can nip up the pedestrian crossing past the barriers, rather than having to go up the hill or filter through a perpetual traffic jam.)
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Jaded on December 29, 2018, 11:09:26 pm
A Christmas Carol at Bristol Old Vic.

It is rare that a production at the Old Vic fails to please, and this was no exception. Scrooge was outstanding, there were jokes and audience participation, and a sort of steampunk design streak that went from monochrome to colour as the transformation takes place.

A notable addition was Bob Cratchit being played by a deaf actress. Signing, translation and her being given her cues visually was great to see.

I hope I haven’t spoilt the story.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: rafletcher on March 15, 2019, 02:55:19 pm
A Play About a Bank Robbery by the Mischief Theatre Company’s touring company, at the Aylesbury Waterside.

Apart from the surprise of it being set in Minnieapolis, with the consequent American accents (which for some reason my wife sometimes struggles with, despite spending 6 weeks a year in Chicago for th3 last few years) it was enjoyable farce. 
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: PaulF on March 29, 2019, 05:54:05 pm
Macbeth at the Watermill in Newbury. Initially ay went as a “duty” because it’s my son’s GSCE text butch thoroughly enjoyed it. A modern take on the story with many of the traditionally male roles being played by women and vice-versa with a great musical accompaniment.

If you’re local I’d definitely recommend.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: 100%JR on April 18, 2019, 01:47:51 am
Bought my daughter Hamilton tickets for her 16th in Feb 2017.The tickets were for March 18 so she was actually 17 when we saw it.I was dreading it but it was very good.
We then went to see “Everybody’s talking about Jamie” at the Lyceum Sheffield...not for me but she enjoyed it.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: Man in a tree on April 18, 2019, 06:14:04 pm
A live cinema relay of David Hare's "I'm Not Running". I had high hopes as I like his stuff usually, but they were sadly dashed: it was tedious, wrongheaded, and preachy, and oddly set in a present day with no mention of Brexit. I should have read the reviews before I decided to go, but at least I only paid cinema prices.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: jsabine on April 19, 2019, 01:21:02 am
We saw that a while ago at the National - a good production, but not a very good play.

More recently, Downstate (National) - difficult, emotional, thought provoking. Treads a fine line, balancing portraying child abusers, their victims and those dealing with them as all flawed but still human.

A German Life (The Bridge) - an hour and a half of Maggie Smith. She was always going to be good. Astonishing how shut-not-shut the eyes of someone who just happens to be Goebbels' secretary can be.

Follies (National) - sparkling, dazzling, bitter-sweet. A fab, fab production - but I still don't like musicals that much.

Shipwreck (Almeida) - New York liberals trapped by a snowstorm, with Trump as a brooding shadow over the whole. Better than that makes it sound, but still 'interesting' rather than a theatrical classic.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: CrinklyLion on May 17, 2019, 02:58:08 pm
I realised yesterday evening that my recent theatre attendances have consisted of 3 musicals and two Shakespeares.  That's almost as many Shakespeares and probably more musicals than I had watched in the 45-odd years preceding.... anyway:

Hadestown on its penultimate day at the National.  Glorious.  Go to New York and watch it on Broadway tomorrow if you can - I would if I could.  And I say that as someone who doesn't really like musicals.

The Comedy of Error's at York Theatre Royal - done as one of the RSC's 'my first Shakespeare' series of productions.  I loved it, and so did the SmallestCub, for whom it was indeed his first Shakespeare.

Wise Children, also at the Theatre Royal.  More musicals... bloody amazing show, and I scored a couple of the cheap seats for a fiver each!

Kinky Boots at Leeds Grand.  Good fun, but not a patch on any of the above.

Then last night, The Tempest performed by the Handlebards at the Merchant Adventurers Hall - a place I first visited, as I told the SmallestCub, when I worked as a wine waitress there when I was temping, 25 years ago.  Venue just as beautiful, fabulous performances and an extremely inventive production.  The Cub's review was "excellent, and hilarious!" and now he wants to go and see the Boys troupe performing Much Ado, and go and see them do an outdoor show somewhere too.  Highly recommended.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: jsabine on May 19, 2019, 10:06:47 pm
Hadestown on its penultimate day at the National.  Glorious.  Go to New York and watch it on Broadway tomorrow if you can - I would if I could.  And I say that as someone who doesn't really like musicals.

Brilliant, wasn't it? Orpheus visits the underworld via a 20s speakeasy - and you always know he'll never be reunited with Eurydice ...

Went to see The American Clock at the Old Vic at least partly because it was the same director. Again, a luminous, illuminating production. I thought it gained more than lost by splitting the central family into three sets of parallel lives, but you could see why its an Arthur Miller that doesn't get produced very often ...

Small Island at the National last week. Beautifully staged, with Hortense's brittleness and uptightness lapsing sometimes into an all too real nastiness. I wonder if some of the critics are right to cavil that this novel gets an adaptation by a white writer and a production by a white director, and it's not as good as Michael Billington reckons in the Guardian, but it's a powerful, emotional piece. Must read the book now.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: CrinklyLion on May 20, 2019, 07:43:44 am
Brilliant, wasn't it? Orpheus visits the underworld via a 20s speakeasy - and you always know he'll never be reunited with Eurydice ...

Utterly brilliant.  I first encountered Anais Mitchell as a 'random pick' gig several years ago and have been listening to songs from the original Hadestown album since then.  It's a fascinating journey it has been on... I took  a couple of friends along and the next day we went for a trip to the seaside and I played them all the different recordings of "Why we build the wall" I could find, including the Billy Bragg one.  I really loved the way that the show felt like a real ensemble performance, rather than the stars+chorus more typical of musicals - and the band were splendid.  It seems to have nimonations and awards coming out of its ears since the move to Broadway.
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: ElyDave on June 22, 2019, 09:06:51 am
bunked off work early yesterday, to head down to London to see A Comedy of Errors at the Globe.

two firsts for me there, having not been there and not familiar with that play. Loved the Globe as a venue even while trying to peer around a post. Didn't know any of the cast, all 8 of them, but it was a great experience, though less rowdy than back in the bards day of course. 

only slightly marred by some bloke who seemed to be finding different bits to everyone else funny, and letting us all know very loudly
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on July 31, 2019, 11:35:11 pm
"Measure for Measure" broadcast from the RSC at Stratford.  I understand that it will be on at the Barbican later in the year.   Well worth catching if you can.


Not a play I had any pre knowledge of, but very enjoyable, with excellent performances of the Duke/Friar from Antony Byrne, who must be one of RSC's hardest working actors, I've seen him in 3-4 different plays, and Lucy Phelps as Isabella, the virtuous novice nun at the centre of the plot.


https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/lifestyle/review-measure-for-measure-rsc-stratford-on-avon-13966/


https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2019/jul/08/measure-for-measure-review-royal-shakespeare-theatre-gregory-dorant
Title: Re: What was the last play you watched?
Post by: andrewc on October 18, 2019, 11:12:24 pm
'A Midsummer Nights Dream" broadcast from the National Theatre at The Bridge.     https://www.timeout.com/london/theatre/a-midsummer-nights-dream-review-1 (https://www.timeout.com/london/theatre/a-midsummer-nights-dream-review-1)


Absolutely fantastic, though a tad long.  The audience was in stitches at the roll reversed love play between Oberon & Bottom.   It got a 12A rating for some reason. 


Excellent cast especially David Moorst as Puck.  And oh, those faeries.... :D


http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/media/video/ntlout35-a-midsummer-night-s-dream/CK03N-wKOTk (http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/media/video/ntlout35-a-midsummer-night-s-dream/CK03N-wKOTk)


https://peterviney.wordpress.com/stage/a-midsummer-nights-dream-bridge-2019/