The London production 2

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Re: The London production 2

Post  MajesticPhantom on Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:25 pm

Justin- I am interested in why you don't like his performance... Could you expand on your opinion a little? Honestly, I am interested in your view...
Here is mine:
For me, John Owen-Jones balances gorgeous singing with shouting in appropriate moments. And the shouting, in my view, always happens at dramatically appropriate times. His performance is high stakes. This is a man who is middle aged, living in a basement, has never been touched... this would feel like the end.
It harkens back, actually, to older styles of musical theatre. While not necessarily shouty, there was more of sense of conversation and speaking within the musical phrases when it came about. The Final Lair in London is musically directed to be a bit more shouted/spoken/sung than in other productions, anyway.
But, sure, technically he isn't singing everything. But making the choice not to sing something is different than not being able to at all. I am more interested in emotional truth emerging from strong technique foundation than just technique.* That's why I respond to him so. I get that it's not what is always preferred, of course.

*ETA-John Owen-Jones' screams are a text book example of healthy on stage screaming. It's kind of amazing, drama students.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  justin-from-barbados on Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:55 pm

I would also admit that the last time I saw him lave was way back only a year or so after he first started, but many times since on youtube. I guess it is all personal preference aswell. The London production does seem to be directed more at shouting, practically every phantom since goes on a shouting spree.

The shouting I refer to is mainly in the go now and leave me bits.

It's one thing to sing the notes somewhat aggressively and get carried away with emotion, but (Ramin on the RAH concert is a good example) it's just overboard to me and distorts the music of the scene.

I guess to for me I equate such screaming more with anger than with sadness/regret and at that moment I feel that the Phantom is more upset by the events on a regret/sad/depressed mode rather than angry.

To me it's just a bit too much, and for someone with such a nice voice too.

I much prefer a weeping/sobbing/crying phantom at this point.

Keep the screams for little exclamations or adlib outbursts in other parts of the final lair.

I just remember when I saw him after the go now and leave me part I was like "ok, that was over the top" but again I think I am a monority on that, some one even started clapping up in the back then realised he/she was the only one clapping so quickly stopped Very Happy

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Re: The London production 2

Post  justin-from-barbados on Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:58 pm

All that said I am looking forward to seeing the london production again (been 10 years)

I;ve become so used to the Broadway version with the expanded set, brightly lit lair, bigger theatre. Would be nice to feel the intimacy of the London production again.

Is that ugly big white thing still hanging from the ceiling?
what was that anyway? something for sound or was there roof problems?

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Re: The London production 2

Post  Irina de France on Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:39 am

I was crossing my fingers for someone fresh and new for POTO. I love JOJ, so in result, I won't be complaining too much, though.

Christine is going to be played by Celinde Schoenmaker... I wonder how she'll be, especially that opinions about her Fantine seemed to be mixed as best.

And BTW, does anyone know anything about Ben Forster (he's going to replace JOJ in June, if I recall well)? I know he did JCS, but that's it... still surprised they're having him for the 30th anniversary, and not a CamMac favorite like Tam Mutu or Hadley Fraser.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  Mandrake on Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:46 pm



I was just browsing What's On Stage when I saw the glorious news.

What a time to be alive.

I really shouldn't be so happy since JOJ's return will account for a vast chunk of my salary over the next year or so!

but it's only for four months? ;_;

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Re: The London production 2

Post  IamErik771 on Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:10 pm

I found a clip of Celinde Schoenmaker singing the title song in Dutch for a concert. (Shortened version of the song, but hey.) Not sure what to think, really . . . but since she was cast, I'd assume she can do the cadenza in the normal key. I did like her as Fantine when I saw her in the recent US tour of LM, so we'll see how it goes. (ETA: And I agree, it'd be cool if she also gets to be a blonde Christine alongside Emmi Christensson. Very Happy )

As for JOJ... I like him ok in the role. Wish I could love him, since his voice is awesome; but his acting in his most recent run often made it seem like he was really bored and wishing he could be somewhere else, which is a shame. Hopefully, he'll get back some of the fire he had when he played the role in the early 2000s.

I knew nothing of Ben Forster other than that he won "Superstar." After looking him up on YouTube, though... Ick. I can hope he improves a lot before he starts in the role, but I'm not sure how likely that is. Sad

Yay for Nadim Naaman! I liked what I've heard of him as Raoul previously, and am glad he's getting another shot at it.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  MajesticPhantom on Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:37 pm

It's a solid cast change. I'll have to reserve my feelings on the Forster casting until after he starts...
Hopefully will see the show in January... either at the top of January (to see Kristina fran Duvemala in Stockholm, as well) or at the very end to see JOJ's last shows... probably both Friday and Saturday nights, so I can see Christensson and Schoenmaker.

I saw Nadim Naaman as Raoul opposite Katie Hall and JOJ in December 2011. He was so good. There was an established character, a beautiful boyishness and vulnerability, and a lovely voice. Would be so cool to see him play it, again, four years later with more experience in life, his craft, and the role itself!!

JUSTIN- The white thing isn't on the ceiling. I believe it was for restoration purposes... It hasn't been there at least since 2011 when I first starting seeing the London production...
Bigger question--- have they dusted the proscenium arch angels??? I last saw it in November 2013 (Rauch/Brereton/Palmer), and that dust was just as bad as in 2011 and 2012! haha

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Re: The London production 2

Post  justin-from-barbados on Fri Aug 07, 2015 12:49 pm

My guest is they would have dusted it when they changed the sound system, in NYC they had to remove their proscenium, I assume they had to do the same in London.

But way way back in 96 I went backstage and was quite appalled at the state of things back then.
The stage was set for the auction and the masquerade curtain, though painted at the top to look old and dark, was indeed coated in dust, and not FX dust either, lol. The dressing room table was covered in dust. The Hannibal drop was covered in dust. I pulled up and looked down a couple of candle holes and saw quite a few missing candles. I thought to myself they could pay me to dust everything Very Happy

But that was back in 96, IM sure things were cleaned since then, not sure why things in a closed up house would be so dusty. Didnt seem nearly as bad the few times I went backstage on Broadway

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Re: The London production 2

Post  Mandrake on Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:01 pm

I'm looking forward to seeing Celinde Schoenmaker too. I've really liked her Fantine; I can see her, JOJ and Nadim Namaan bringing great performances out of one another. Here's hoping! I really do wish JOJ would be there longer, though.

I've been disappointed by the state of Her Majesty's for some time. I always have the impression, there, that the absolute minimum is being done in the way of maintenance and upkeep. The state of RUG theatres generally leaves something to be desired, particularly when compared with Delfont Mackintosh theatres: these always seem to be kept in very good condition and are regularly refurbished.

There are just little things at Her Majesty's which suggest, to me, that not a great deal of attention is being paid to the theatre. It's always a bit dirty and dusty in the auditorium, it seems (though front of house is always sparkling and the staff are excellent). For example, I was in B12 on Tuesday and that row (front of stalls) is separated from the orchestra pit by a black velvet curtain hung over chicken-wire type stuff. It's secured by those cheap little cable-tie things- but not very well. It's too short in places, meaning strong light from the orchestra leaks through the gaps.

Prices are much steeper at RUG theatres, too. For drinks, at least. Whereas prices are more reasonable (for central London) at Delfont theatres.

I've had the impression for a while that RUG is more coldly focused on profit as the overriding priority whereas Delfont, naturally not entirely unconcerned by profit, cares a little more about theatre in general and has a somewhat more altruistic outlook. They do seem to give more back.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  auctioneer on Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:50 pm

So, my friends, JOJ is back. Not going to complain about that. One of my favorites over the past fifteen years. I will take a strong leading man like him over some of the more experimental casting being done in leading roles in other productions, that's for sure. Speaking of which, I don't know much about the fellow taking over in March (I live in Canada). Here's hoping he has the chops to do it eight times a week.
Seems like a good choice for our new Christine, though I was holding out for the return of Gina Beck. I had heard some rumblings, but I guess that they weren't accurate. She is still young enough to play the role, was one of our best, and doesn't appear to be doing too much these days. Such a shame that she hasn't been snapped up for something big at the moment. She was the best Christine I've seen on either side of the pond.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  MajesticPhantom on Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:09 am

Yes, so it seems the last dusting was potentially was in 2007/08 season when they changed the systems in both cities. Oh, boy!

My mentor in London has many friends who were in Phantom during the 90s. Moreso than in NY, the amount of dust in the little crevices is harder to get to. At the end of the day, no one ever expected such a show to run as long as it has. I theorize the amount of dust backstage is why so many folks call out their first couple of months...immunity isn't built yet!

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Re: The London production 2

Post  operafantomet on Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:58 am

MajesticPhantom wrote:Yes, so it seems the last dusting was potentially was in 2007/08 season when they changed the systems in both cities. Oh, boy!

My mentor in London has many friends who were in Phantom during the 90s. Moreso than in NY, the amount of dust in the little crevices is harder to get to. At the end of the day, no one ever expected such a show to run as long as it has. I theorize the amount of dust backstage is why so many folks call out their first couple of months...immunity isn't built yet!

LAUGHING SO HARD. Would laugh even more if it wasn't true. Razz

I must admit I too hoped for Gina Beck to return. She is one of the best Christines to walk on Her Majesty's Theatre's stage, IMHO. I AM excited about Celinde Schoenmaker, though.

So now that Layla Harrison is leaving (sniff), it seems Georgia Ware takes over as u/s Meg.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  MajesticPhantom on Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:57 pm

Current Ballet Gal Daisy Hulbert will be promoted to first cover Meg, whilst Georgia Ware will remain second cover. Her management tweeted this: https://twitter.com/MBManagement1/status/632124226577825792

Sort of like when Richard Munday remained second cover after Nadim Naaman left during 2012 contract, and Antony Hansen stepped in as first cover. This past contract, Munday did go on quite a bit, but then again Liam Tamne was off quite a bit, it seems. The playing field evened. I am under the impression that Oliver Saville was first cover for 14-15.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  justin-from-barbados on Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:39 pm

As soon as anyone knows the Christine schedule for September, please post, thanks Very Happy

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Re: The London production 2

Post  MajesticPhantom on Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:59 pm

Emmi Christensson has posted dates on her official website:

During Harriet Jones' last week (next week), she plays Mon 31.8 and Fri 4.9.

For Celinde Schoenmaker's first week, Emmi will play both performances on Thurs 10.9. (I assume to give Celinde three shows in a row to get her sea legs).
The remainder of the month, Emmi plays: Mon 14.9, Fri 18.9, Mon 28.9, and Wed 30.9.

It's not totally crazy to assume that Lisa-Anne Wood will play Mon 21.9 and Fri 25.9. Emmi will be in Sweden for Joback's concert.

I infer you're going!

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Re: The London production 2

Post  Irina de France on Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:12 pm

So Emmi is going in Sweden for Peter Jöback's concert? Mmm, I do wonder if we'll get confirmation afterwards that she'll be playing Christine in the upcoming Sweden production.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  justin-from-barbados on Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:38 pm

Yes, going to the th. mat on the 17 (sept) and might try again for the Monday 21st. Usually I like to catch both Christines, but for some reason in London I rarely get to see the principal Christine and from what I've seen online from Les Mis, I am very interested in seeing Celinde

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Re: The London production 2

Post  IamErik771 on Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:19 pm

Heh, wow. How did I get the idea in an earlier post that I saw Celinde Schoenmaker in the US tour of Les Mis? Must've mixed her up with Genevieve Leclerc, somehow. D'oh! Embarassed

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Re: The London production 2

Post  MajesticPhantom on Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:29 pm

I have high hopes for Celinde, as well! She seems to have a really wonderful quality.
According to Phantom Twitter, Prince is in London working with the cast change folks this week! He comes in summer to London most years, I think.

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Off to see john owen jones in october

Post  stephantom53 on Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:32 pm

going to see john in phantom in ocotber,hope hes ok than,poor john hurt his voice and been off for couple of days,hopefully he be on when i go in two weeks,cant wait to see if hes any different,still me best

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Re: The London production 2

Post  operafantomet on Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:17 am

stephantom53 wrote:going to see john in phantom in ocotber,hope hes ok than,poor john hurt his voice and been off for couple of days,hopefully he be on when i go in two weeks,cant wait to see if hes any different,still me best

He's been back in the saddle this week, so hopefully it was just a temporary thing. Ironically, even right before bowing out he sounded awesome. That man got some serious pipes. I hope you catch him when you go!

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Re: The London production 2

Post  justin-from-barbados on Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:16 am

Saw the show on Thursday and here is a mini review. Usually I tend to focus more on the physical aspects but will talk also abut the cast.

I thought Celinde was great (not blonde for those of you wondering) vocally she reminded me alot of Sierra (now Im not just saying that to sound like a new fan who only has Siera on DVD to compare to, I've heard and seen a ton of christines) her only difference is that she has a clear distinction between parts where she sings with a clear voice (no vibrato) and them the heavy vibrato kicks in on the higher parts. Her think of me cadenza was really really wonderful. Basically, she does not come across to me like many London christines in the past as just a pretty girl who can sing high notes but as one who at times might pass for an opera singer.

Nadim was an adorable Raoul, I honestly can't think of any time in my 29 times seeing the show where if I were Christine I would choose Raoul hands down with out a doubt. he is never cocky or obnoxious or overly aristocratic. More kind and caring, even in the whole little lottie scene where Raoul usually comes across as a self absorbed dick.

John Owen-Jones. True I haven't seen him live since 2002 I think, but I really liked him a lot more now. Yes his "go now and leave me" was a scream fest, but thankfully he kept down the screaming in other parts of the final lair as well as "stranger"
Probably the most interesting thing he did that I had not seen done nearly as convincingly before was in point of no return, he took the whole pretending to be piangi much further than anyone I'd seen. It did help that his voice sounds a lot like the guy playing Piangi too. so he kept the accent all the way to the end of his section of the song, he even did little piangi things like pat his belly a few times and did a strange "i don't know which cup I am suppose to take up because this show is gibberish so I am not paying attention" and just sort of makes these weird hand gestures till he finally picks a cup to use. Because of this, people who didnt know the show (and I went with someone who does not know the shoe) had no clue it was the phantom, it was very very effective. Even christine's reaction was perfect as she only realized it was the phantom when she felt the mask. she even shouted out something like "when will the flames at last consume - oh god no!"

ok now on to the knit picking regarding the physical
I hate to say it, and I hate to compare but the London production is a mess. It is really showing its age in a bad way. The drops for the opera scenes look really drab and dingy, the side boxes when the light catches them at a certain angle they look terrible, you can literally see the dust, and not the fake dust that is supposed to be there in the auction, but real dust. Also the side managers box moves alot when it shouldn't. where I sat I was inline with the stage left proscenium, that thing looks really battered up, the uprights are all bent out of shape (possibly from when they put in the sound system) and again the dust.
The chandelier took a long time to drop, not the drop itself, but the start of the drop, for a moment I thought it was not going to drop.

the chandelier. I think it is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE to be using a chandelier that is missing pieces and clearly they do not plan to fix it and the remaining lyres look very odd, like they are cheap plastic molds of the original. I can categorically say that this sort of thing would NEVER happen in the Broadway production. as soon as those lyres became wobbly or for what ever reason they were removed, they would have been replaced, or not even allowed to become wobbly in the first place. And this is the same for all the other aspects of this production that seem to be slipping in London.

Other random oddments:
all i ask of you
now this might happen all the time but tonight was the first time i ever noticed it. during buquet's death while he is handing there, the rooftop steps and trap came up and opened and christine and raoul went down the steps only to come right back up again when the scene was set. Again, I never noticed this and thought it was odd looking, it might always be done this way, I just cant remember.
During the duet, someone backstage must have passed too close to the star drop because it started swaying left to right quite noticeably.

The confidante has a lovely blue dress, accustomed to seeing her in purple paisleys.

Red death THANKFULLY is still using the original mask and not that crazy looking thing from the DVD, they also seem to have fixed the slack jaw.

And lastly, and this is a problem I have had at EVERY show I saw this week, and I blame it on the LED conductor monitors, blackouts are not black out enough, you can clearly see people onstage doing things.

All in all I was excited for seeing the show since it has been 10 years since I saw the London version. the cast was strong overall and it was enjoyable, but I still prefer the physical Broadway version over the London one any day




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Re: The London production 2

Post  MajesticPhantom on Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:12 am

Justin- thank you for your review! I do wish they would at least wash the set, it's been dusty since I first started going to the London production in 2011.

Gosh- I HAVE TO SEE THIS CAST.

About the trapdoor in London for the Rooftop- Yes, it has always been that way there, from what I understand. I noticed it the first time I went in 2011 because I was sitting directly in front of that spot. It's one of those "this is how we have to figure it out" things from the original tech, if you think about it. It's a small theatre, and the way they installed the show just made that the way it had to be. I kind of love it. It's one of many things about the amazing London production that makes it feel like they're "putting on a show."

It's interesting to note that Broadway spends resources on fixing the set and reusing costumes while London spends it resources making new costumes but not maintaining the set. I personally don't mind if the sets make noise, but I do mind if they look unkempt, if that makes sense. I haven't seen the London production in about 2 years (and last time I sat up in the Grand Circle). Next time I will sit up close, again, and compare my experiences to try and form a timeline of when certain lax qualities started popping up.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  Scorp on Sat Oct 03, 2015 5:53 pm

I saw the production (front-row seats) earlier this week and while the drapes certainly could do with a cleaning (they are not nearly as bright as they are Broadway), I wouldn't call the production a "mess" by any means. It's still my favourite production of all of them, and it has a huge amount of energy in both the cast and orchestra which makes it seem that it only opened yesterday. Got a standing ovation too. That said, the chandelier is looking a bit...lacklustre (pun not intended) and I hadn't realised bits of it were missing like justin claimed above.

Agreed about Nadim. I saw him as understudy Raoul a while ago, but he's grown into it properly now he's the principal Raoul and he's great. I loved his Anthony too in the pie-shop Sweeney Todd earlier this year.

I am not so convinced by Celinde Schoenmaker, however, but I've learned she's off at the moment just a few days later, so maybe she wasn't 100%. Her voice was oddly quiet and held back when I saw her.

I really need to check the score of the show, because since Geronimo was in the role, the word "prey" has been sung as a D natural rather than an E flat. I thought this might have been a mistake on Rauch's part, but JOJ is now doing this too. He never used to do this in either of previous stints in the role at Her Majesty's. And I've never heard this done in any other production. So either the score has changed, or in almost 30 years they never noticed they were singing the score incorrectly and now have corrected the error. I asked JOJ about this and he said the note is supposed to sound discordant...but wasn't too sure (I'm sure he appreciated my ridiculously nerdy question Razz ).

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Re: The London production 2

Post  MajesticPhantom on Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:33 pm

Thank you for sharing, Scorp. Could you also shed light on the new managers? I am curious.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  justin-from-barbados on Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:47 pm

I thought the new managers were ok, but then again Managers don't usually stand out for me unless its a pair that have been together a long time and have chemistry. Andre did physically remind me alot of Gareth Snook, and the Firmin is not an old totter as he sometimes cast as.

Thought just occurred to me, wouldn't the managers have only known each other for a short time prior to the story line? so maybe not having good chemistry is a good thing for them?
They don;t have much of a back story but I always got the impression that they both sort of took over things and recently met eachother.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  MajesticPhantom on Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:03 pm

They are business partners, so it's likely they did know each other in some capacity- but it's possible they weren't "close," and knew of one another.

It's a tough relationship to navigate, and does take time to establish well. Also, it requires actors who can incite passion and excitement... a lot of folks walk through it (a LOT, meaning most, if I am honest). I thought Snook and James were really, really strong when I saw them on many occasions. The only other pairings that have wowed me were Donn Cook and Ian Jon Bourg in the 2nd US Tour, Jeff Keller and George Lee Andrews (in 2003, mind), and DC Anderson and David Cryer in the 3rd US Tour in 2003 and 2005.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  Scorp on Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:40 am

I actually think the managers -- or at least Michael Matus's Firmin -- did make an impression in this new cast. I haven't seen such an angry, impatient, misanthropic Firmin since Jeff Keller. I loved his take on the role; it was quite refreshing.

Plot hole point re the managers that a friend of mine pointed out when he saw the show recently in Hamburg: why is Raoul forced to sit in Box 5 during Il Muto? He says there's no space anywhere else, but the only people in the managers' box are the managers themselves. Madame Firmin is nowhere in sight, and during Hannibal that box could accommodate her, both managers and Raoul...

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Re: The London production 2

Post  LadyCDaae on Sat Oct 10, 2015 8:39 pm

Scorp wrote:
Plot hole point re the managers that a friend of mine pointed out when he saw the show recently in Hamburg: why is Raoul forced to sit in Box 5 during Il Muto? He says there's no space anywhere else, but the only people in the managers' box are the managers themselves. Madame Firmin is nowhere in sight, and during Hannibal that box could accommodate her, both managers and Raoul...

I'm inclined to think that Raoul's comment is meant to be ironic, ie. "Oh darny darn darn, there are absolutely no other seats available in the whole opera house, I suppose I simply must park my keister in the notoriously haunted Box Five." Like the managers, he doesn't entirely take the threat of the Phantom seriously at this stage, and is making light of the moment.

~LCD

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Re: The London production 2

Post  Mandrake on Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:02 am

I think I agree with pretty much all the comments about this new cast!

It does seem very strong, I don't think I've seen a cast I've enjoyed more.

JOJ is my favourite Phantom of all time, so there's not much I can say about him. He is practically perfect in my view, my only complaint is that he's there only for 5 months or so. I do hope he'll return again, for a full-length run. I know nothing about the technicalities of music but I find the strength and passion in his voice mesmerising and he always seems to get caught-up in the role, making it convincing. That's always struck me as the essence of good acting: that you see character, not actor.

(Incidentally, I was there October 9th without realising it was the 29th anniversary: JOJ got the whole crowd to sing "Happy Birthday" to the Phantom at the end- that put a smile on my face which took some time to fade. Didn't think I'd ever sing at Her Majesty's!)

I've really enjoyed Celinde's Christine. Her voice has seemed very strong and clean to me. I think you must have caught her at a low-point, Scorp, maybe not 100%. She's struck me as almost a female JOJ, very confident in her voice and nothing held back. It'd be interesting to hear if you detect a difference next time! One thing that's struck me is that she seems to play a rather "modern" Christine, more 21st than 19th century. Although she's initially enthralled by the Phantom, she seems to shake loose of the girlish infatuation faster than other Christines I've seen so that, by final lair when she comes to return the ring, her look is a more womanly, slightly indifferent pity- almost contempt- for the Phantom with not much of the sadness, regret or enduring affection we often see here. Her goal in Final Lair seems to be solely focussed on freeing Raoul, with little consideration left over for the Phantom- which makes her interactions, here, with the Phantom seem more manipulative than conflicted. The thing is, her acting is very very good (in my view) so, although I'm not 100% on-board with this interpretation of Christine (it seems to lessen, somewhat, the Phantom's redemption) she acts, I think, her choices extremely well. There seems, as I've mentioned, a lot of confidence in her voice and her diction, if that's the right word, is very very clear- her voice never seems to hide or shy away from difficult phrases or notes.

The same seems also true of the new Carlotta, Megan Llewellyn I think. Very strong voice and very clear and confident and her acting is entirely convincing. There's a thing that a lot of Carlottas do, toward the end of Prima Donna, when everyone on stage comes forward to sing a final "Once more!"- many Carlottas seem, here, to drop the "m" from "more" so that they actually seem to be singing "Once ore!". I've often wondered if that "m" consonant sound is something that's hard for a singer to hit at that point, singing so loudly... But Megan's Carlotta has none of that, she just belts out the whole thing. Very satisfying! An excellent Carlotta, I think.

Firmin and Andre also very good, in my view. It's odd how the relationship between these two seems to shift, from cast to cast. One cast seems to have Andre as the leader of the pair and the next has Firmin. I think it's definitely Firmin this time, the hard-headed businessman, who's leading with the more sensitive Andre following his lead. Michael Matus's Firmin does seem to be very Type-A, angry and impatient as Scorp says, and it's very effective. It's also quite funny- he seems to inject a good bit of unintentional self-deprecation into it, self-exposing pomposity and a palpable sense that he just can't believe how naively stupid some of the people surrounding him are (joke's on him). And Michael Dickins' Andre plays very well against this, soothing an cajoling, trying to tame and steer his aggression.

I'd say probably JOJ, Celinde and Megan are the best in their role I've seen. Managers are excellent, too; I'd want to see more of them. I think it's an excellent cast, all-round, definitely well worth catching if you can!

(ETA: I just had a thought about the London chandelier- it does, indeed, always seem very slow in falling. So the strings start descending, in that way, a good few seconds before the chandelier... I wonder if the chandelier actually falls too quickly, and they can't (or won't) change it, and they've timed the fall to start (late) so that it coincides with the crashing end of the music...)

Mandrake

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