Saw this last night. I quite enjoyed it even though for a lot of it I had no idea what was going on or who the characters were. The problem was I had a side view seat and at the beginning had to pay attention to what was going on on stage, the surtitles way above me, and the screen at the back introducing the characters with subtitles. So I missed who at least 3 of the characters were and how the fit in. As everyone was amplified it was also quite hard to even tell who was speaking at times so I'd suggest middle of stalls or circle.
Still, it was quite the spectacle - sometimes camp, sometimes grotesque, plenty of nudity, fake blood, gunshot and deep rumbling noises if that's your bag. The plot wasn't too interesting to me, family industrialists and nazis, dynasty and country, family and duty, loyalty and betrayal etc. but the over 2 hours (no interval) flew by. There were both walk outs and standing ovations, my kind of production!
Thought this was excellent, well worth a visit if you can fit in one of the 4 remaining performances.
A long haul with no interval (was about 2 hours 20 last night) but as asfound says it does fly by! Also agree it takes no prisoners with the character introductions at the beginning!
Plenty of opportunities to play Ivo Van Hove bingo - cast getting changed and made up on stage, soft furnishings, set looks like a 1980s hotel lobby, based on a film everyone is pretending to have seen, action you can't see getting filmed live and projected, member of the cast leaves the theatre and goes for a wander around the theatre foyer followed by a video camera.
the coffins, with everything re-set each time as if nothing had happened, even as video showed them shrieking inside. Also I think the first time I've seen a naked actor tarred and feathered centre stage. Now, if we could apply that to phone users etc...
Not a gratuitous moment, tension rose and in fact I realised how much as it took the whole tube journey home to relax.
Thought the children were excellent (VERY uncomfortable scenes featuring them) and
Yes, one scene in particular was very uncomfortable and I can't see it being staged that way by a UK company. On the other hand this production has been staged since 2016 with presumably no issues regarding this.
It isn’t the only seemingly quaint house tradition. Company members are split into two groups, the pensionnaires and the sociétaires. Pensionnaires such as Montenez are hired by the administrator on one-year contracts, while the 39 sociétaires are seasoned actors who own stakes in the troupe. Every artist’s performance is reviewed yearly by a committee composed of the administrator, the dean and eight sociétaires, who have the power to let their peers go and to promote the pensionnaires.
Post by theatremonkey.com on Jun 21, 2019 17:10:11 GMT
Wow, imagine that at the RSC or National. On the other hand "peer review" by audiences... I'd start filling in all those feedback emails if that happened, LOL.
On the uncomfortable scene, I think it was borderline, but on the right side of it. I was very close and could see exactly what was going on. I don't think they would have been allowed to do it in London if the authorities hadn't cleared it, would be my guess.
Well, I wanted to see something different than I could see in the States, and this was definitely it. Only, it would have been nice to have known the play was performed in French (after last night's Russian Three Sisters!). The supertitles were mostly easy enough to follow without being too distracting (the titles at Three Sisters were distracting and confusing). But, to echo what others wrote - what a dark dark dark piece. (I have not seen the movie, but maybe now I might?) It was shocking, provocative, disturbing, challenging. And NeilVHughes is absolutely right about how the play indicts the passivity of the audience as people who did nothing to stop the horror and terror. Credit to the actors who somehow manage to perform this repeatedly. I can only imagine what rehearsals were like! But, this was stagework using all the bells and whistles and tricks and techniques to create an expereicne. I had a an excellent seat thanks to a late return and very nice box office people - so I did see the introductory slides of who everyone was - although I did occasionally get confused about the relationships.
There were seats in the back of the stalls available. An usher also gave a warning shortly before the play began about not being let back in if you left during the performance.
I think I would have really liked this, but sitting in the gallery was a huge mistake.
Trying to keep track of what was going on, looking between the surtitles, a (half-blocked) video screen, and the tops of actors’ heads was too much. Half the time I couldn’t figure out who was talking (amplified dialogue, plus lots of actors on stage, plus not seeing faces) so following the story in detail was difficult. The experience felt like watching a foreign movie in a shop window tv, with subtitles coming by text.
I enjoyed the visceral & emotional assault of the production, and the play had some magnificent moments, like the cameras in the coffins. In a better seat I think I would have really enjoyed it. (maybe ‘appreciated’ rather than ‘enjoyed’)
As it was, it didn’t make the sum of its parts. But boy were there a lot of parts.
Reading these other comments it's amusing to me that having spent a lot of time watching French films, including the New French Extremity, Catherine Breillat, Claire Denis etc. I didn't even think about, shall we say, the "logistics" of the uncomfortable scenes with Martin. It just seemed perfectly natural even as disturbing as it was but thinking back it is actually surprising they went there and I'm glad they didn't hold back. Good thing there wasn't a reviewer from the Daily Mail there.