Post by stevejohnson678 on Oct 29, 2016 10:28:11 GMT
I really enjoyed this at Salford Lowry last night.
The set and costumes are absolutely first rate. In particular, I thought the anthropomorphism of the creatures is very cleverly realised - swallows dressed as air stewardesses anyone?
While the score possibly lacks a real standout 11 o'clock number, it's still consistently strong. The best of the songs tend to go to the more incidental characters. The Hedgehog's Nightmare, The Wassailing Mice, and One Swallow Does Not A Summer Make are all excellent, while the entrance of The Wild Wooders is another highlight and perhaps the moment where the show is at its most spectacular.
All of the leads give strong performances. I much preferred Rufus Hound in this to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, while Thomas Howes has Ratty to a T. Perfect casting. Abigail Brodie as a Swallow, Horse and Mouse stands out amongst the ensemble, particularly as a Horse pulling Toad's caravan and later a barge, with subtle expressions and knowing looks to the audience aplenty. It was clearly the Hedgehogs who stole the audience's hearts though, earning the loudest cheers at the curtain call.
Overall then, this is looking in great shape. It strikes me as stronger than both Charlie & The Chocolate Factory and particularly Aladdin and certainly has the production values worthy of a West End transfer if a suitable theatre can be found. The stalls and circle were both full last night, with just a few empty rows towards the rear of the balcony. While there were a fair amount of children in the audience, there were just as many unaccompanied adults so perhaps the claim in the programme that the story appeals across generations does ring true.
It's a couple of hours of fun escapism but it's not quite flawless. The first half sags a little when we first meet Badger so a little trimming here would help. However, with a cast of 50, a 14-strong orchestra and little evidence of expense being spared, what's refreshing is that this isn't an exercise in style over substance. The charm and quintessential Britishness of the story shines through, with the spirit and heart of the novel captured exquisitely on stage. Hugely impressive.
Saw the matinee today. What a gorgeous, fun production. I loved the design, which is like observing the goings on through a droplet of water with the way everything curves inwards. Huge sets, trains, barges, fast cars and numerous interior and exterior scenes. Also liked the choreography which had a contemporary twist, in fact the whole thing was very modern, all tweeness avoided. Those swallows as retro air stewardesses....fab, and we had the brummy hedgehog family trying to cross a road with traffic whizzing by, and Portia the otter eating worms like jelly sweets from a paper bag. The score is nice but the songs a bit forgettable, except maybe for A Friend Is Still A Friend which gets reprised several times.
All the leads are great but the role of Toad is perfect for Rufus Hound, he attacks it with huge bravado. David Birrel (last seen in Manc as a terrifying Sweeney Todd) was excellent as grumpy Badger too. The "friendship" between Mole and Ratty is portrayed charmingly.
Post by Phantom of London on Oct 31, 2016 21:03:04 GMT
Is it too expensive?
I kind of know what you mean though, but the main cost the sets, costumes and conceptulation has been paid for now. So if it didn't get offered a house that would all be a right off. Obviously the backers want to get a decent theatre with an open run.
If they don't, then they would have to take second best like Sadlers Wells or London Colesium for a limited run.
Cannot get it out of my head that this will go in the Piccadilly.