Follies in London 2017

Started by Chris L, Jun 20, 2017, 09:55 am

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MartinG

To be fair, there was a stageful of action going on at the time  :D

Fingers crossed later today I'll have ten minutes to sit down and formulate my full response coherently...

Suffice to say for now that I think the lady next to me was a little embarrassed by my frequent sniffing and wiping away of tears.
Morals tomorrow

Chris L

Quote from: MartinG on Nov 04, 2017, 03:16 amTo be fair, there was a stageful of action going on at the time  :D

Fingers crossed later today I'll have ten minutes to sit down and formulate my full response coherently...

Suffice to say for now that I think the lady next to me was a little embarrassed by my frequent sniffing and wiping away of tears.
Was the lady next to you a friend or stranger? ;)

Let us know what you thought. I'm curious to hear!
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

MartinG

On its way...it's been a bit of a frantic week.
Morals tomorrow

Chris L

I'm really interested in what you have to say, @MartinG, but don't stress out about it. I can wait. ;) 
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

MartinG

Quote from: Chris L on Nov 04, 2017, 09:22 am
Quote from: MartinG on Nov 04, 2017, 03:16 amWas the lady next to you a friend or stranger? ;)
A total stranger - and she was late arriving so disrupted the whole row and surrounding area ten minutes in, which didn't dispose me well towards her in the first place, then she declined to applaud any of the songs until the end, which I thought was poor form.  >:(
Anyway, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?...
Well as intimated earlier, I was captivated and pretty emotionally wrought. I thought keeping the younger selves of the main protagonists present and conscious of the developing action so much of the time was brilliant, and really brought the themes of desperate regret, skewed perspectives and missed chances sharply into focus. Young Carlotta living every second of ISH was incredibly moving, and the incorporation of Young Phyl into Lucy & Jessie, dancing through awkward yearning to joyous confidence was genius and made perfect sense of the song. I loved the broken, dusty old theatre seats and associated rubble, though it made me feel achingly sad too.
Forbes and Dee I thought were perfectly cast and conveyed the contrasting but complimentary disillusionment and self-loathing of Buddy and Phyllis with painful credibility. Ben is a challenging character whose polished high-level diplomatic veneer means that it's necessarily difficult for him to give much away, but there were some nicely nuanced moments of hinted vulnerability throughout and his wretched, wrung-out post-breakdown figure was endearingly raw and helpless in the face of the unbearable prospect of life without Phyllis. Staunton was, of course, touchingly and frustratingly naïve and self-deluded, and brought a tense, slightly darker and neurotic tone to Sally. While I've been an ardent admirer for years, and stand by my bold assertion that her Nelly Lovett was second to none, there were however a couple of disappointing instances when she seemed to compromise the truth of the moment for the sake of an unnecessary laugh, e.g. "I should have worn green", which is so sweetly poignant if played with girlish sincerity but which I liked a little less as a petulant almost-aside to the audience, spoiling the tenderness of one of my all-time favourite songs. On the whole, though, the central quartet and their equally hard-working alter-egos were very well-balanced, and the show was generally conceived and executed with respect and sensitivity to the creators' original vision.
Can't wait to see it again in the live stream on Thursday now!  ;D
Morals tomorrow

Chris L

Nov 10, 2017, 05:32 pm #95 Last Edit: Nov 15, 2017, 01:27 pm by Chris L
Terrific review, @MartinG, and I agree with pretty much all of it.

Speaking of the ghosts, there's one I've been wanting to mention. We've both noted how amazing the ghosts are in this production, but among the secondary ones I was especially impressed with young Heidi. Josephine Barstow, as older Heidi, is a beautiful actress of well beyond a certain age, but when she stepped out of the spotlight during "One Last Kiss" and was replaced by Alison Langer as her younger self I could hear the audience gasp. More than any other moment in the show it felt like stepping back in time, back to the very earliest days of the Weismann Follies, and conveyed what overwhelming star power Heidi must have had when she was young, an exquisitely beautiful performer with an incredible voice. It  brought alive the show's sense of deep history more than any other number (not that the renditions of the other songs, and the ghosts that accompanied their performers, weren't wonderful).

I've never cared for "One More Kiss" that much -- Victor Herbert pastiches are apparently not my thing -- but Barstow and Langer really made it work.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Bobster

Quote from: Chris L on Oct 24, 2017, 10:13 pm
@Bobster -- any comments?
I'm seeing the rebroadcast on Monday so I can give a better opinion then.

Quote from: Chris L on Nov 10, 2017, 05:32 pm...but when she stepped out of the spotlight during "One Last Kiss"...

I've never cared for "One Last Kiss" that much...
[Wincing]   It's "One More Kiss"; "One Last Kiss" is from Bye Bye Birdie.   :-[

Chris L

Quote from: Bobster on Nov 15, 2017, 06:09 am[Wincing]   It's "One More Kiss"; "One Last Kiss" is from Bye Bye Birdie.   :-[
Oddly, I was consciously attempting not to make that mistake, but I seem to have blundered into it anyway. ::Hangs head in shame:: I'm off to fix it now.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Chris L

But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

MartinG

Really enjoyed seeing it again from different angles, which helped focus on bits of the ghosts' reactions that I'd missed and reinforced how brilliant the direction was. Vocals were a little low in the mix at times, but so pleased to get another bite at the juicy, dressy cherry!

One interesting change from the performance I saw a fortnight ago - the Burlesque Margie & Sally in Buddy's Blues had been male dancers in panto dame drag when I saw the show, but in the live stream tonight they were female dancers as in the original London cast. I wondered if the change may have been due to sensitivity about the unflattering portrayal of women??  :-\  
Morals tomorrow

Leighton

How odd!  I wondered if the drag Margie and Sally was typical of the show/written in, or a directorial choice 
Self indulgence is better than no indulgence!

Chris L

Quote from: Leighton on Nov 19, 2017, 11:36 amHow odd!  I wondered if the drag Margie and Sally was typical of the show/written in, or a directorial choice
I've never seen the roles played by men before (to be aware of it, anyway).
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Gordonb

One more trip to see the show this afternoon, in about 75 minutes to be precise. Front row A20, one of the 'snug' seats. So very much looking forward to it again.

Gordonb

Quote from: MartinG on Nov 02, 2017, 03:25 pmYes, without a smidgen of doubt there was a vast projection of Ben/Quast's head seemingly spinning - or filmed from various aspects - on the wall and the Loveland gauze, as far as I could see from my less-than-central viewpoint.

More anon...
I concur with Martin- you weren't hallucinating @Chris L, but from my front row seat it seemed to be a fleeting projection  onto the gauze. Had I not been watching out specifically I think I might have missed it!

Gordonb

Quote from: Leighton on Nov 19, 2017, 11:36 amHow odd!  I wondered if the drag Margie and Sally was typical of the show/written in, or a directorial choice
No drag Margie and Sally today.