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  1. #126
    Dick Whittington was fantastic, as I've reported in the panto thread.

    By way of total contrast, I'm going to see Titus Andronicus tomorrow lunchtime.

  2. #127
    Gangster Octopus's Avatar
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    Does he know?

  3. #128
    The element of surprise is all.

  4. #129
    wiblflibl's Avatar
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    We saw The Play That Goes Wrong in Chichester yesterday evening. Very well done and very very funny.

  5. #130
    TA was brilliant. Gruesome and clever. As always, so glad we went. I won’t be eating pie for a bit, though.

  6. #131
    Customer gave me two tickets to see SIVE by John B Keane in the gaiety theatre as a thank you. It's a very popular play in Ireland but wondering if anyone has seen a production and what's it like

  7. #132
    Ray de Galles's Avatar
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    I went to the National Theatre tonight for their stage adaptation of ‘Network’. It’s one of my favourite films so I was a little trepidatious but it was excellent, a really inventive, unique staging unlike anything I’ve seen in the theatre before and the production design is fantastic.

    Bryan Cranston can’t help but channel Peter Finch a little but gives a truly great, gripping performance and Michelle Dockery & Dougie Henshall are strong in the supporting roles.

    They’ve kept the setting as mid-seventies rather than update it which is probably a wise choice. It does mean the message of the play doesn’t directly address the internet and social media so perhaps some it’s relevance could be called in to question but it still feels very prescient.
    Last edited by Ray de Galles; 07-02-2018 at 23:55.

  8. #133
    Benjm's Avatar
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    Thanks for the report on Network, Ray. I doubt I'll get to see it given the level of demand (and my reluctance to spring for top price tickets). The National has had a few duds since Rufus Norris took over, so it has been a welcome hit. That's probably why last year's excellent Amadeus has returned too.

    The onstage restaurant thing seems a bit weird. When it was announced I entered the ballot but by the time it came round to booking had second thoughts about how enjoyable having a meal on stage might actually be.

  9. #134
    Ray de Galles's Avatar
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    Yeah, I was looking at the “Foodwork” tickets and decided against it as I thought I might feel a little self conscious. I’ve been offered one for the last night of the run so I may take it up just for the experience.

    Taking my wife, mother-in-law and youger daughter to the ENO’s ‘Iolanthe’ on Saturday night. I’ve been accompanying my mother-in-law to Gilbert & Sullivan productions for nearly twenty years as nobody else in her family was a fan and I loved them. My wife finally joined us for the same venue’s ‘Pirates of Penzance’ a few years ago and has been tempted to return and it’s the first for my daughter.

  10. #135
    Macbeth at Wiltons is on now, and there are some tickets. I highly recommend it and am thinking of going again.

    It's a dance production from Mark Bruce, who did Dracula a few years ago. This is almost as good.

    Hard to convey how scary and strong a dance version can be. A woman fainted two seats away from me.

    I think you need to know the story, or you'd just think it was people looking scary and then stabbing each other up (it's not referred to as "the Scottish play" for nothing, ho ho. Any Scots in here tonight?).

  11. #136
    Benjm's Avatar
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    I'm going to see Tosca at Covent Garden tomorrow. I was going, then wasn't due to a family thing, now am again as the family thing has been snowed off. They're putting the matin into matinee by kicking off at midday, so no Saturday morning loafing for me.

    Macbeth has got quite a long run at Wilton's. It does look good.

  12. #137
    Felicity, I guess so's Avatar
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    Went to a small theatre to see 4 short plays about food banks, two written by people I know and work(ed) with.
    Enjoyable, not too ‘worthy’ apart from 1/4 and the best bit was seeing a young actor from the college really grab the audience’s attention, including a shift in character to comedy that got the loudest laughs in a small (<100) audience I can ever remember an amateur get.

    Edit: The theatre is called 'Alphabetti', near the Discovery museum and the plays were called 'Bankers' not that they'll be touring anytime soon)
    Last edited by Felicity, I guess so; 06-03-2018 at 10:19.

  13. #138
    I rented Daniel Kitson's show It's Always Right Now, Until It's Later from his website at the weekend. The 1hr 30min show costs £3 for a 72 hour window and it's as gloriously funny and touching as it was when I first saw it at the Royal Exchange in Manchester in 2012. Heartily recommended.

  14. #139
    Wiltons refunded my friend's ticket, so I'm off to see the Scottish dance again on Tuesday. Hoorah.

  15. #140
    Benjm's Avatar
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    That was good of them. In the end I plumped for the National Theatre as my preferred Scottish stabfest provider, in a fortnight, but the reviews suggest that this may have been a mistake.

  16. #141
    The second visit was nearly as good, in that it was superb. I prefer a front row seat, but that can be overwhelming. Interesting to see that they'd changed a few things, I wonder how much is improvised and how much is down to their deliberately changing things or mixing them up.

  17. #142

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    Saw the revival of Pinter’s The Birthday Party in the West End last night. Well worth catching if you can grab a ticket, even in the “cheap” seats up in the Gods.

    60 years old now, but just as unsettling as it must have been in the 50s when the initial London run was halted within a week, after it got a panning from all but one of the critics. As one (more contemporary) commentator put it, it’s a mixture of Agatha Christie and Kafka, with themes and language that have remained relevant.

  18. #143
    Benjm's Avatar
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    I went to the National Theatre to see Macbeth yesterday. The reviews had been underwhelming but weren't unfair. The post-apocalyptic dystopian setting was detailed without really shedding any light upon the play. Rory Kinnear and Anne Marie Duff are solid rather than outstanding, which their track records show they often are. Kevin Harvey was good as Banquo and the his ghostly reappearance was striking. £15 for the centre of row C in the Olivier stalls can hardly be anything but very good value; I wouldn't spring for a full price ticket though.

  19. #144
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    I haven't been going to the theatre as much as usual this year and since Macbeth in March I've only been once, to see Machinal at the Almeida (great production and design, wasn't so sure about the play itself). On holiday we did a tour/transfer from Tallinn to Riga and one of the other people in our party was a real theatre nut, based in Phoenix but he and partner come to London once or twice a year to catch up on the shows. Chatting to them over lunch got me thinking that it was time to start going more regularly again and I've booked tickets to see Katherine Parkinson in Home, I'm Darling at the National. I like KP and the show was well reviewed in an run at Theatr Clwyd earlier in the summer so hopefully it will help to reignite the old enthusiasm.

  20. #145
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    ms ursus is going to see a Japanese samaurai themed production of Macbeth this evening that may be in Japanese.

    I will report back.

  21. #146

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    Neil Simon has died.

    One of those stage writers who you know because you saw his work on screen, even if you didn't realize it until the credits. Anyone see his plays in the theatre?

  22. #147
    Benjm's Avatar
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    I'm more familiar with his work from screen adaptations but I did see Jeff Goldblum in The Prisoner Of Second Avenue in the West End in 2010. The play was a revival from the '70s and had been brought over from Broadway on the strength of Big Jeff's star power. It was very much of a particular time and place. With Simon's work in general, it seems that the jury is still out on whether it has the universality to ride out the tides of fashion and establish itself as part of the canon for the ages.

  23. #148
    Felicity, I guess so's Avatar
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    Just got in from Roddy Doyle’s “Two Pints” at Live Theatre in Newcastle.
    Awkward to hear one of the characters facing away from us in the 1st bit but it is really well crafted in terms of the dialogue and really funny as well as poignant.
    There was a ‘cabaret seating’ deal downstairs (Mark Thomas among those benefitting) which meant they got served by the play’s barman and I’d recommend that if anyone’s got the chance to see it on tour. I believe it’s even playing in pubs in some places.

  24. #149
    Benjm's Avatar
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    That looks great, FIgs. Typically though, it only seems to be touring to Newcastle and Sunderland. Why don't the people who organise these things ever think of London and the South East?

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