Current London Theater

Jun 18th, 2005, 05:41 AM
  #1  
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Current London Theater

I will be in London in three weeks. Has anyone seen any great shows I should consider? Interested in plays that make one think, a little less interested in musicals. Thanks for all suggestions.
Nikki is offline  
Jun 18th, 2005, 05:32 PM
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Hi Nikki,
Try www.londontheatre.co.uk/ Although you won't get first hand input it's a very informative website and will give you detailed insight to what's on.
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Jun 18th, 2005, 06:07 PM
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Nikki, I'll be in London from June 24th to the 29th, and will be happy to report on the shows I see there when I get back. One show I'm planning to see, which sounds like it might be of interest to you, is The Home Place, a new play by the Irish playwright Brian Friel. The website pipsil mentioned has a review of it, as well as links to the newspaper reviews, at

http://www.londontheatre.co.uk/londo...omeplace05.htm
Bree is offline  
Jun 19th, 2005, 02:16 AM
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We were in London last week and saw Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace. The show was very enjoyable. One problem you may have is getting tickets. They had scattered singles on the day we were there.
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Jun 19th, 2005, 02:52 AM
  #5  
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I'd love to hear more. Bree, have a great trip and be sure to tell all when you return.
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Jun 19th, 2005, 02:57 AM
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if you want more thought provoking theatre look at:

http://www.nt-online.org/

the quality of the west end has declined greatly over the past several years. ticket sales are declining so they now mainly stage the sure "hits" (read - starring famous american actors) rather than anything that takes a bit of an artistic risk.

I don't go to the theatre that much in the summer so i've only seen The House of Bernarda Alba which was very good.

in reviewing what's on there now, they have a lot of interesting things...President of an Empty Room just opened and sounds interesting to me.
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Jun 19th, 2005, 08:04 AM
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walkinaround, thanks for the suggestions. I also thought that President of an Empty Room sounded interesting, but there appear to be no tickets available for our dates. And House of Bernarda Alba is not playing that week.
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Jun 20th, 2005, 09:12 AM
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Nikki,
Another source of information just occured to me. Send an e mail to [email protected] and ask to be placed on their newsletter list.
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Jun 20th, 2005, 09:25 AM
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For recommendations on which seats to get, go to

http://www.theatremonkey.com/
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Jun 30th, 2005, 05:03 PM
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As promised, hereís my report on the shows I saw in London earlier this week. I had mixed feelings about The Home Place (the play I mentioned in my previous post): I liked it, but it didnít move me as much as other Friel plays Iíve seen, like Dancing at Lughnasa. Friel has translated several Chekhov plays, and The Home Place is very similar in mood to Chekhov, without ever rising to the sublime level of a Chekhov play (admittedly, a high standard to rise to). On the other hand, itís very well-acted (Tom Courtenay has the lead role as an Anglo-Irish landowner in the 1870ís, but the whole cast is good), and itís certainly thought-provoking, which you (Nikki) said you were looking for. (Thereís a character who goes around measuring the skulls of the local tenantry in an attempt to prove his eugenicist theories about the inferiority of the Irish as a race.) Bottom line: I think itís worth an evening of your time, especially if you can get a half-price ticket, which shouldnít be a problem -- the theatre was only about half full this past Monday, and itís consistently been available at the half-price ticket booth.

On the other hand, I canít recommend the new production of As You Like It, which is set in late 1940ís France and features songs set to a sort of ďParisian cabaretĒ Ė style music. I could have tolerated the gimmick (although I didnít think it added a lot to the play) if the rest of the production had worked, but I thought some of the directorial and/or acting choices were questionable. (For example, Rosalind breaks into hysterical sobs when she delivers the line, ďO, that thou didst know how many fathoms deep I am in love!Ē I suppose itís one possible reading of the line, but it wouldnít have been mine.) The press has paid a great deal of attention to the fact that the role of Celia is played by Sienna Miller, who is Jude Lawís girlfriend. I thought she acquitted herself pretty well, for someone who doesnít have a lot of stage experience.

The third show I saw was Theatre of Blood, based on the 1973 movie, in which Vincent Price played a hammy Shakespearean actor who murders all the critics who have ever given him a bad review. This show is the very opposite of thought-provoking Ė itís just good, silly fun. Jim Broadbent was very funny as the actor, and Rachel Stirling (Diana Riggís daughter, playing the part her mother played in the movie) looked and sounded uncannily like her mother. The show is at the National, and is only on for four performances in July (on the 18th, 19th, and 20th).
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Jun 30th, 2005, 08:19 PM
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Thanks Bree, great to hear these reviews. Theatre of Blood sounds like fun, but I will not be there those dates. I'll consider The Home Place. Hope you had a great trip.
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Jul 1st, 2005, 01:09 AM
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thanks for that, bree. good tip on theatre of blood...i saw jim broadbent in pillowman almost two years ago and he made the show.
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Jul 1st, 2005, 06:39 AM
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". . .in which Vincent Price played a hammy Shakespearean actor who murders all the critics who have ever given him a bad review."

Thanks for the idea, Bree. I was just sitting here wondering what I should do today!
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Jul 1st, 2005, 08:43 AM
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Are we talking mass murder, Patrick? How many are in that club?
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Jul 1st, 2005, 09:50 AM
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I'm not talking.
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Jul 1st, 2005, 10:50 AM
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We also saw Billy Elliott. Head and shoulders over any musical we've seen in a long time, though the accents are a bit hard to deal with. You should see it there - I'm not sure it will get over here because of content and labor laws.
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