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    I saw Follies when I was in my thirties. <shudders...>

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      I saw it in High School

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        Saw Danny Dyer in Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter today (matinee), and it was very good indeed. Twas a double bill but I think tonight is the end of Dyer and Freeman's run.

        Dyer is physically impressive and moves well, which he's required to in this role.

        I had two empty seats next to me in an otherwise full theatre, which was nice.

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          Wilton's tonight for a one-woman play, The Shape
          of Pain.

          I found it clever, moving and funny in places, my friend thought it self-indulgent. But then, I had very low expectations and only went because it was Wiltons.

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            I don't think I've heard of Wilton's Music Hall before. Looks fantastic.

            You should start a hidden London thread in World.

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              Wilton's is great. Beware booking a spot next to a pillar; the chairs are all close together but those are uncomfortable enough to make an early departure seem very appealing.

              I went to a couple of things last week. Berberian Sound Studio at the Donmar Warehouse is an adaptation of the horror/suspense film from a few years ago. The production design brilliantly evoked a slightly seedy 1970s Italy and there were some fine performances from the mostly Italo-British cast, as well as Tom Brooke in the lead role. There were some very creepy moments and scary effects but it is a mood piece rather than a strong linear narrative. A weekday matinee didn't look to be sold out, which is unusual for the Donmar, and the crowd seemed younger than is often the case in that slot.

              Shipwrecked at the Almeida didn't work for me at all and I left during the interval, after a ninety minute first half. The main strand was a group of dislikeable, straight from central casting, 'rich liberals' talking about Donald Trump. It just seemed bogus and self congratulatory even when it was purporting to expose the characters' hypocrisies. Also the cast's American accents may have been technically accurate but felt unnatural and put on. Secondary strands about young man who had been adopted from Africa to the mid-west and some comic relief about an invented meeting between Trump and George W Bush were better but not enough to make another hour and a quarter of it seem appealing.


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                The Last Ship, the Sting musical about the closing of a shipyard in Wallsend in 1986. It's been a rough seas for this one. Opened on Broadway with Jimmy Nail in the lead. Didn't do well. Got retooled for a UK tour and did better. Still, it's wildly uneven. Decent songs, but not great songs. Sting is....fine. The set is simple, innovative and marvelous. Lots of loose threads and ideas that start and then don't seem to go anywhere. And the emotions get 3/4 of the way there, but never really earn their keep. A good effort, enjoyable, but certainly not 'must see'. 7/10.

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                  [URL]https://twitter.com/bhsdrew/status/1109508555701436416[/URL]

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                    Tomorrow night I'm going to see 'The Life I Lead' at the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park, a place I've never heard of before.

                    It's a one man play with Miles Jupp playing David Tomlinson (Mr Banks in 'Mary Poppins' and Professor Browne in Bedknobs & Broomsticks') who had a peculiar back story.

                    It might be a bit of an oddity but I love Jupp's work and it's got really good reviews so giving it a punt.

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                      Finsbury Park has both a baseball field and a gridiron field.

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                        To clarify, in case it's needed. It was the Park Theatre I've never heard of before.

                        I think I've only ever been in the park itself for gigs, despite going through the area a lot and living close by for a few years in Stoke Newington (though we had Clissold Park right next to us).

                        My office is actually in Finsbury, but that's three miles away and I've never worked out why they're similarly named.

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                          Bigre, straight from France ... where it's apparently a smash phenomenon.

                          Bigre is a one-act, 90-minute non-dialogue play with three characters. One messy 'hermit', one peculiar neat-freak, and one ditzy woman live on the upper floor of a Paris apartment. The play is about their interactions and relationship peculiarities. It's done with props, effects and tons and tons of slapstick and mugging. If that's your thing, you'll love it. If you don't get the 'genius' of Jerry Lewis, you'll grind your teeth for 90 minutes.

                          Admittedly, it has many clever moments. But it's largely dated, hack humour that leans heavily on cliche and stereotype. Well executed, but not my cup of tea. The largely French-speaking audience (based on chatter in the lobby and before the show) loved it.

                          The trailer, if you're so inclined.

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQyNzW7oG9Y

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                            It won the French equivalent of the Tony for Best Comedy In 2017.

                            I have found that anything classified as farce or burlesque rarely translates well, and it sounds as if that is true even if there are no words.

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                              We've seen a lot of stuff like it, which did well at some small theatre or workshop or a fringe-festival type of thing. But taken outside of its environment, it seems to feel wrong.

                              We saw an utterly dreadful take on Sherlock Holmes a couple of years back that apparently killed at some experimental theatre in Montreal. Won tons of awards. We walked out at intermission and I demanded - and got - my money back.

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                                I have long thought that I would happily have her dictate any cultural visit we make to the GTA

                                You not so much

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                                  We saw 'Orpheus Descending' - A Tennessee Williams play - at the Theatr Clwyd last week. It was a bad decision, as we had both been hard at work in the garden erecting a new greenhouse and by the time we got there we were pooped. The first act ran to 100 minutes, and nearly all the cast had fun practicing their deep Sounth accents, to the extent that we could understand very little of the dialogue. We had to leave at the interval, as Mrs. Thrillseeker's snores were getting louder. Anyway, it sounded like it all kicked of in Act Two with recriminations and deaths, as we were tucking ourselves into bed. Pity - I love a good play.

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                                    Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                                    I have long thought that I would happily have her dictate any cultural visit we make to the GTA

                                    You not so much
                                    Harsh, but fair.

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                                      I looked forward to seeing The Producers for years. The Toronto run was so awful I fell asleep for most of the second act.

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                                        Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                                        I have found that anything classified as farce or burlesque rarely translates well...
                                        As luck would have it, this thread was the last thing I read before going into the National Theatre to see an adaptation of Tartuffe earlier this evening. I don't know whether it is technically a farce but this version certainly went through the gears with characters hiding behind houseplants, rushing through doors and, at one point, losing trousers. That makes it sound unappealing but it was very well done. The physical comedy was all on point, the transfer of the action to an upmarket contemporary London pretty deft and the design eyecatching and colourful. The false prophet storyline lent itself well to nods at our current situation. I was on the front row and before the play started a naked man ran past and then the title character appeared and gave me a flower but thankfully that was the limit of the audience participation. The cast handled the material well without overdoing the pantomime. Olivia Williams, who I wouldn't immediately think of as a comedian, was very good as the wife of Tartuffe's mark and Kathy Kiera Clarke, aka dippy Aunt Sarah in Derry Girls, also stood out in the role of a relatively sensible servant.

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                                          Originally posted by Benjm View Post
                                          I was on the front row
                                          Are you mad?

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                                            Originally posted by Gangster Octopus View Post
                                            Are you mad?
                                            No, a cheapskate.

                                            The play was in the Lyttelton Theatre where they sell tickets for the first four rows at 15, compared to 50 in the main body of the stalls. These seats are slightly narrower than the full price ones but on the front row there's a five foot gap between you and the stage so the extra leg room compensates for it.

                                            Usually it's good being able to see the performers up close. If a production advertised itself as involving serious audience interaction, I would choose seats further back, quite possibly as far back as our living room.

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