UK Tour, Bristol Hippodrome Saturday May 26th 2012- Matinée

View previous topic View next topic Go down

UK Tour, Bristol Hippodrome Saturday May 26th 2012- Matinée

Post  EarlFan on Mon May 28, 2012 7:37 pm

I celebrated my 25th performance on Saturday and I so wished for it not to be an awful show, sadly it turned out to be a huge disappointment. The cast is doing a wonderful job during the circumstances though, they should have credit for that.

Warning, this is going to be quite a negative review even though there might be some bits and pieces mentioned, that I liked.

The Phantom: John Owen-Jones
Christine: Olivia Brereton
Raoul: Simon Bailey
Carlotta: Angela M Caesar


ACT 1

Prologue/Overture

I kind of liked the look of the auction scene when it comes to the stuff they were auctioning off, eg. the Hannibal dress, but to me it was not as exciting as in London. They didn’t really build up the Philip Griffiths thrill if you know what I mean. I can’t really see the point of the new design of the music box, we have to see it open and shut a couple of times during the show and it looks a bit like something from outer space. I didn’t really like the look of the chandelier either. After ”with a little illumination. Gentlemen!” the chandelier’s lights started to flicker, it shot some sparks and then it rose upwards. Since the rising were over pretty quickly the new thing to look at while they are playing the overture music is Raoul having his flashback. I didn’t mind that much, except that you can question whether it’s really his memories we see since the Hannibal rehearsal unfold and we see a lot of other things going on, and he wasn’t really there at the time. Anyway….

Hanninbal/Think of Me
The soldier’s costumes looked pretty tacky to me and they had this little useless sword fight which I thought looked ridicolous. Before Carlotta begins to sing TOM she is discussing with Reyer how she wants the song to be played and how she wishes to sing it. I actually liked that they added this, it makes Carlotta look a bit more like a diva who wants to decide for herself and also shows that as a singer she want this song to be perfect. I liked Angela M Caesar as Carlotta. Her voice was good and she had these nice little touches which I haven’t seen before.
Part of Christine’s TOM seemed pretty boring because she doesn’t get the scarf until some ballet girls enters with it and hands it to her. So she’s mainly just standing there raising her hands up in the air. Olivia Brereton has a nice, sweet voice though so I enjoyed listening to her singing.

Angel of Music
Not a fan of the new set here. It’s even written in the book that Christine has her own dressing room and I think they should have stuck to that. It just doesn’t work out. Christine sort of tells Meg about the angel of music in front of everybody and how the Phantom managed to stay a secret tutor to Christine is a bit of a mystery since it seems a lot of people run in and out of that dressing room.

Little Lotte/The Mirror
When Raoul comes in he gives a rose to Christine which she keeps holding on to, when the Phantom appears in the mirror she drops it on the floor. This worked pretty well because when Raoul see the rose and picks it up he understands that something is wrong since she shouldn’t have left it behind like that. A bit of a crime scene.

Phantom Of The Opera
Most part of the title song is spent walking down a lot of steps coming out from the wall. They have to descend fairly slowly as they wait for the steps to slide out from the wall and barely any time is spent in the boat. I would have prefered more time in the boat, it’s over way to quickly and it feels like it’s not really a lake anymore, more like a big puddle they have to cross. No candles rise through the floor but we can see lights reflected on the floor. I hated the floating candles a-la-Hogwarts. It completely ruined the scene for me, I only found it annoying.

Music of The Night
This is usually a wonderful scene to watch on stage but I’m sorry to say that here they have completely ruined it by making it silly and boring. It doesn’ start to bad. The Phantom singing about his music and holding his sheet music close to him, in that way showing how much his music means to him. But then the whole thing just goes on as a lecture, with The Phantom every now and then moving some candles, and I found it boring with Christine sitting there on the bed doing next to nothing. When The Phantom randomly put a blindfold on her it just got so silly I was actually laughing. And she doesn’t even faint either, it just looks like she all of a sudden got very tired and decided it was now a good time to have a nap on this strange man’s bed. At least if you closed your eyes you could still hear John’s wonderful voice, without watching the horrible things happening on stage.

I Remember/Stranger Than You Dreamt It
Christine singing ”I remember there was mist, swirling mist upon a vast glassy lake” doesn’t make as much sense anymore because there were barely any mist nor a lake. It would have been more like ”I remember there were steps, lots of steps coming out through a wall”. And I hated that The Phantom has already taken his mask of when Christine sneaks up behind him because then it feels weird that he’s so mad at her for not doing anything, she was just standing behind him.

Notes/Prima Donna
The manager’s office could have looked good if it didn’t look so much out of proportion. I liked that they had more props and it was more of a set than only the desk they normally have. But it looked so small, and very crowded in there when they were all gathering in there reading the notes. Carlotta’s costumes might be some of the worst. Because you’re used to them looking so fantastic, these re-made, down-scaled things just look really cheap.


Il Muto
I liked that they have added some more humour to Il Muto, with Don Atillio hiding first behind a mirror and then in a wardrobe. Also I like that we can see the hanging of Buquet, although I would have preferred the phantom to at least wear a hat of some sorts. I could see it was The Phantom even before he turned around and hanged Buquet because you could see part of the mask and obviously his hair., Oh, that horrible hair, I would recognise it anywhere! Most throughout the show he’s without a hat and for some reason it really bothers me. If he wore a hat he would have something to at least try and hide the mask under. But not even when he’s out in the snow he’s wearing a hat. Not sure what I thought about the new ballet dancing, it wasn’t too bad but I think I do prefer the original one because a lot from the original have been cut and it felt like something was missing when watching it.

All I Ask of You
I like the fact that the Apollo statue is there but they need to fix it so it looks less tacky. It wobbled every time John touched it. While adding the statue I can’t really understand why they have removed everything else. There are no stars, no rooftops, only some snow over the statue. They even cut the line ”To the roof, we will be safe there”. So apart from the snow, and Christine nearly killing herself by falling into the orchestra pit, it’s not as obvious as in the original that they have headed to the roof. Some great singing from Simon and Olivia here though.

ACT 2- Set twelwe months later

Masquerade

How they have managed to totally kill one of my absolute favourite scenes is beyond belief. It’s just not alive anymore and it makes me sad. Everyone is pretty much wearing the same masks. And none of the costumes really stand out, yes, there are many dresses in a lot of different colours but they are not the least exciting to look at! It gets even worse because now the choreography makes them all dance exactly the same in nice little rows too. And without a Monkey, Butterfly, Triton, man-woman costume and all those other costumes I love to look at it’s just horribly boring. And that they randomly pick Christine up and lift her up in the air is just so silly. I’m sure that’s exactly how they used to do it when dancing in the old days. And you are sitting there, waiting for something to happen and then…. Boom! No, not really, because The Phantom enters dressed as Napoleon and doesn’t look terrifying at all. The gold and glittery mask he’s wearing only makes it worse. If his entrance was bad the exit might be even worse, he throws some fire, everyone screams ”aah” and look at the fire. The Phantom simply walks away the same way he came, because they are all so amazed by the fire that nobody would ever have thought about trying to catch him while he’s walking so nice and slowly.


Don Juan Triumphant Rehearsal
I liked the way they have changed this to look more like a rehearsal than just a score sing-through.

Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again/ Wandering Child

Olivia sang very well but the set didn’t look very nice. The grave looked pretty weird to me and there were no date on it, it only said DAEÉ. After her singing the Phantom appears behind the statue, he’s standing behind her for a while before she realises he’s there. The fact that the Phantom is on the same level as Christine and Raoul again makes him less terrifying and I don’t like that.

Point of No Return
I love the original PONR but in this version I thought Christine spent much more time than needed on the table, showing The Phantom her legs. And I didn’t like the look of the cloak, especially the thing that covers his face looked a bit strange to me. After Christine takes The Phantom’s cloak off and he tries to run, Raoul shouted ”Stop him!” and I liked that they added that.

The Final Lair

The Phantom is holding the veil but instead of putting it on Christine he just throws it onto the bed. I’m not sure why they bothered to keep the veil because at the end when he sings that the music of the night is over he holds his sheet music instead (which I liked), maybe it’s just to make it more clear that she’s actually wearing a wedding dress. They did the choking just like the Royal Albert Hall and I don’t like it, because he holds her throat for quite some time and later on he sings ”Did you think that I would harm her….”. Yes, you just did, you nearly choked and killed her. Definitely not a fan of the choking. I quite liked the Phantom’s dissaperance at the end, it’s a nice little trick, but still I think I prefer the throne.

EarlFan

Posts : 278
Join date : 2009-09-21
Location : Sweden

View user profile http://riasphantomfiles.webs.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: UK Tour, Bristol Hippodrome Saturday May 26th 2012- Matinée

Post  NightRachel on Tue May 29, 2012 1:10 am

Thanks, EarlFan, for sharing your review. Very interesting. Neutral
Don't think I would run to see this new re-staged Phantom production.

NightRachel

Posts : 200
Join date : 2012-04-21
Age : 38
Location : New Jersey, USA

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: UK Tour, Bristol Hippodrome Saturday May 26th 2012- Matinée

Post  operafantomet on Tue May 29, 2012 7:50 pm

EarlFan wrote:I celebrated my 25th performance on Saturday and I so wished for it not to be an awful show, sadly it turned out to be a huge disappointment. The cast is doing a wonderful job during the circumstances though, they should have credit for that.

Warning, this is going to be quite a negative review even though there might be some bits and pieces mentioned, that I liked.

(...)
I too like that they've added a lot of stuff to the auction in the new UK tour. But Raoul with Hannibal flashbacks sounds odd. Like you say, he was never there. For the gala performance, sure. But not the rehearsals. Not even in the movie, which often is the safe card when continuity is screwed up...

You're one of many commenting on how Christine is in desperate lack of something to DO before she gets the scarf. Seeing how strangely animated Sarah Brightman can be on stage, especially with her hands, when singing, it's not hard to see why the scarf was added in the first place... And I think it's been a savour for many sopranos to follow her.

TOTALLY in agreement with you concerning the common dressing room Christine is now featured in. In Leroux's novel she has her own room, in the end of a dark corridor, and the Phantom gives her singing lessons here every day. It's also where Raoul seeks her out. Also, in Leroux both the Phantom and Christine is obsessed with music, to fill out the otherwise missing pieces of their lives. Having the Phantom potentially spying on a bunch of naked teenagers and not devoting himself to Christine lessens the character. I see how they felt it was more logical to feature Christine even more as one of the ballet girls (though they DO refer to her as "chorus girl" in the stage musical). But it's a ripple effect which affects so many other details of the privacy of the Phantom and Christine, her actual role at the opera etc.

The left-behind rose is a nice detail, though.

Music of the Night sound so awkward. So forced. So... odd. I understand squad of it. Kinda feels like the actors got too free hands on creating the new blocking? I wonder if Earl Carpenter will inherit it, or do something else.

Il Muto sounds cool. With a big minus on the ballet.

I like that the chandelier crash seems so underwhelming that you haven't even mentioned it. Laughing

Masquerade.... Gag me with a spoon. Like you say, another iconic scene not just made worse, but butchered. As I've written many other places, I don't mind the change of setting. But I greatly mind that so many re-interpreted versions transform it into a jolly and/or stylish ball. The chaos, the colours, the danger lurking underneath, should be tangible, always. This scene is almost a promise of the dangers ahead, not a choreographed Viennese waltz. And I haven't even mentioned Red Death.

The Final Lair... I don't really get an impression of it. Not because your review is lacking! It's because I cannot picture it, I think. But the ending, with the Phantom disappearing, leaving only the cloak, is a cool one. I've always mourned that what the trick consultant for the original production suggested was not followed up - that this is how Red Death should disappear, instead of going through a trap door.

Thank you for an interesting review!

_________________
JOSEFINE TO THE PHANTOM:
You come off as... somewhat... rough...

operafantomet

Posts : 3600
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 37
Location : Norway

View user profile http://www.anea.no

Back to top Go down

Re: UK Tour, Bristol Hippodrome Saturday May 26th 2012- Matinée

Post  EarlFan on Tue May 29, 2012 8:06 pm

operafantomet wrote:
I like that the chandelier crash seems so underwhelming that you haven't even mentioned it. Laughing

Haha, I realised just now that I haven't written anything about it. Well, the chandelier itself was not very interesting and I didn't like the look of it but as mentioned is Scorp's review they had this big panel falling down from the top of the proscenium. I liked that they at least added that so we could see that the chandelier did some damage.

EarlFan

Posts : 278
Join date : 2009-09-21
Location : Sweden

View user profile http://riasphantomfiles.webs.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: UK Tour, Bristol Hippodrome Saturday May 26th 2012- Matinée

Post  LadyCDaae on Tue May 29, 2012 9:27 pm

The left-behind rose is a nice detail, though.

I've always thought that would be a nice way to play the Mirror scene--Christine holding a rose from Raoul then letting it drop from her hands as she falls under the Phantom's spell. It's a shame that they seem to be getting in these neat little details but screwing up the major moments...

~LCD

LadyCDaae

Posts : 724
Join date : 2009-10-04
Age : 39
Location : Denver

View user profile http://musicalhell.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: UK Tour, Bristol Hippodrome Saturday May 26th 2012- Matinée

Post  Sponsored content Today at 8:14 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum