EmiCardiff, maybe you also saw Caligula by David Greig after Albert Camus in Cardiff last week? The senators were played by local senior citizen community performers and they were seated amongst the audience. They muttered audibly to each other all the time while the senate was being addressed by Caligula. I guess these comments were improvised in rehearsal but they must have been carefully selected because some of them were hilarious. My favourite was towards the end when Caligula, becoming ever more extreme, rhetorically demanded of the assembled senate: "Do you ever think how it is to be me, in my position?" and one of the elderly senators quietly and nonchalantly responded with a quiet: "Not really...", which brought the house down.
So, what's Table like? Worth seeing? The 8pm start time, with a running time of 2hr25 is off putting. I have one matinee slot.... should I go?
It depends... If you want to experience this temporary venue's promised innovative and buzzing theatre for the dawn of a new generation, etc., etc., then I'd recommend giving this a firm miss. If you primarily like to see your favourite actors and it so chances that one or more of them is in this, then you'd probably find it a pleasurable experience. It struck me as a more-than-decent, well-acted production of a bog-standard new play which the NT thought it might as well put on because it had spent nearly three years workshopping it and it would be a waste to just write-off that investment. There's nothing wrong with it but not much special either. The newspaper critics' reviews (mainly awarding three stars) have all been generous, benignly noticing the better aspects, probably because they want to support the venture of the Shed, looking forward to its full programme over this forthcoming year.
The nub is that SoLT is gradually stepping up their manipulation of these awards to favour the productions they want to promote. They no longer honour what a critical panel decides is the "best". The SoLT awards are now similar to the WoS awards. Both are of interest in reflecting what certain interested parties wish to publicise but neither is an honest assessment of quality. It's a shame that the SoLT awards are degenerating into crassness just as they regain their former media prominence but the two changes are probably closely related. The SoLT awards can only get mass media coverage by honouring what is already most familiar to consumers of the mass media. Unfortunately, the award winners now know their awards are devalued. The "Olivier" awards are now the "Salt" awards, to be forgotten on the next day's chip paper.
At the bottom of the NT's homepage is a link to the "Press" webpage where you can download all press releases. The Light Princess will open in the Lyttelton in October, playing in rep with first Liola (opening in August) and then From Morning to Midnight (from November).
The What's On / Calendar View / Season webpage is occasionally updated to confirm which new productions will be booking in the forthcoming season brochure but there's no info there at the moment. I wouldn't be surprised if they open booking early for this musical in the next season brochure, like they did for The Count of Monte Cristo ...
Some ticket agencies, especially for gigs, do use Lynette's "airline" e-ticket system. Everyone who turns up on the night has to be individually checked off against a master-list, and also has to present acceptable i.d. to prove they are the true purchaser. It takes forever. It wouldn't work at a theatre where everyone expects to be admitted for a set performance start time. Lynette would start a moaning thread about it...
Snow falls and settles across the land and day and night temperatures hover around freezing point for days, but those expert RSC meteorologists start their Summer Season performances in six days' time.