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Posted jaqs on 12 December 2012 - 12:59 PM
Posted chess on 12 December 2012 - 09:26 AM
Posted poster J on 11 December 2012 - 11:59 PM
Posted Pharaoh's number 2 on 12 December 2012 - 08:24 AM
Interestingly they sent a pop critic rather than one of their usual theatre critics.
Really disappointed by that. Was hoping for a grumpy rant by Billers.
Posted Titan on 11 December 2012 - 08:07 PM
Posted Pharaoh's number 2 on 11 December 2012 - 07:36 PM
Posted djp on 11 December 2012 - 07:28 PM
But seriously, their records were all about spirit, branding and marketing. Strip that away, and how many of their songs were actually any good? IMO one of the reasons that Mamma Mia and We Will Rock you have survived is that as well as having a huge fasnbase, the songs are theatrical enough to stand up in a musical. The Spice Girls were all about frothy, throwaway pop - nothing more, nothing less, and unless VF manages to capture the silliness of it all then it is probably doomed in the long run. I probably wont see this show, my fears when i heard the lack of imagination in calling the lead character "Viva" in order to get the title seems to have been confirmed.
Mamma Mia and WWRY offer more money notes i agree. But a lot of established musicals don't have that many good songs - some have one or two - and there's probably enough mileage for a moving song in the likes of Viva Forever, Two Become One or Goodbye - as well as the energetic dance numbers - and the utter schmallz in Mama. They could also have used 3 or 4 of Melanie 'C's Geri's and Emma's solo hits - which wouldn't have been so hard to shoe horn into a story, and lend themseles to powerful solos or big dance numbers. I turn to you and its Raining Men are as good as many musicals can boast. They also had 5 strong characters to start with, without having to think them up, and they could have permed the home accents if they wanted to make them differ from the original group. There's no reason why the new Emma can't come from, say, Scotland, or Mel B from London, or Geri from Essex.
What they don't seem to have done is to follow the Mama Mia example and to make the songs if anything bigger and bolder, or the WWRY/Mamma Mia principle of getting some of the best people around in to sing them. They seem to have done something entirely different - which is to write a juke box musical that doesn't actually play the songs, and a Spice Girls free, homage to the Spice Girls . .It sounds like what you would get if someone went away with the lyrics, hadn't heard the songs, and tried to fit a few lines in here and there into a comedy sketch. I suspect if the book made some sense, there's a lot of top class West End singers free at the moment who could make the Spice Girls songs sound good enough, and no shortage of talent in a lot of current ensembles too.
Posted Alf on 11 December 2012 - 06:54 PM
Posted argen on 11 December 2012 - 09:57 AM
The opening is just FLAT... there's no other way to say it.. instead of using a big song to set the mood, it's just boring dialogue.The ''story'' was all over the place, the songs all cut .. half of them you wouldn't recognize.. and the other half were completely ruined (Say you'll be there, one of my favorites, just a couple of verses and then cut by nonsense dialogue)....
What is the deal with ''Spice up your life''??????????? With all the spanish dancers, and then in the middle a dance which looked like it came out of the lion king... oh dear.. just horrible!!!!!!!!!!
The book is not funny, the costume is nothing to get too excited about.. I still don't understand why Viva's Mentor (sorry i don't remember her name!) had so many songs while the girls barely appear after the first scenes... and WHY she comes in at the end of the first act when viva and her mum are singing goodbye/mama ???? What does she have to do with anything??? At first I thought (as someone said before) that she would end up being Viva's birth mother, but this didn't happen.. so I don't see an explanation for her being so important in the story.
Overall I was bored 90% of the time, the only exciting moment was the last 5 minutes of the show when the cast was dancing spice up your life/wannabe/stop.. Now that is how the whole show should have been!!! Fun and silly.. in a mamma mia or priscilla sort of way....
Disappointed! Not going to watch this again! Feeling bad for all the performers working in it, as I'm sure they have to know how horrible this show is..
Posted Front Row Dress on 11 December 2012 - 09:31 AM
Posted freckles on 11 December 2012 - 07:42 AM
Posted Parsley on 10 December 2012 - 11:25 PM
I agree with you......people will come and see this and think it is somehow "British comedy".
The book is an absolute disgrace.....Jennifer Saunders was never that funny to begin with....she is a joke of sorts, yes...but that is quite a different thing.
It really upsets me, as there is so much British talent out there and so many talented comedy writers who could have offered something, anything better than this.
I am all for girl power, but this project is a bad advertisement for feminism and women in general.....although interestingly directed by a man.
Having said all this, this is shot through with Mamma Mia all over the place and that is a great success.
So there is no accounting for taste.
I forgot to comment on Lynne Page and her "choreography"....OMG.....I hope she reads this.....she should then watch any sort of modern music video and see how pop dance has progressed a bit....I generally find West End choreography is miles behind actual proper "dance".
And of the costumes......hysterically horrendous.....!
I went with my sister, who rarely goes to the theatre (usually only a few times a year)...the last thing she saw was Matilda.....felt really sorry for her...and guilty for making her come!
I wonder how many WOS and Olivier awards this will win..(sniggers)
For £67.50 (unbelievable top price, which is a day worth of average salary and hard work for most people) you can go to the opera for this price and see people who can actually sing!
But hark!.....stop and listen....it has the words "bloody" and "s***" in it....so edgy and stylish and daring and naughty....perhaps they should add a warning to give it some credibility!!
And I have just remembered the funniest line....a reference from one of the talent show judges not to sing Whitney Houston songs....oh the sheer irony of it.....
Posted Parsley on 10 December 2012 - 10:54 PM
Seems like press night is split over today and tomorrow for this.....I simply could not wait so went tonight.
It is bad. It is really, really bad.
On the plus side I managed to catch up on all my work e mails and reply to loads of texts whilst there. Even did an excel spreadsheet!
It made The Bodyguard (which I thought was really quite okay) seem like the highest form of art (I draw a comparison purely because after quite a long barren period, 2 major musicals are opening within a few days of each other). That show at least has artistic merit and I think it shows that the director (Thea Sharrock) has a proper theatrical background.
I also think that Marianne Elliot made a nifty career move to "disengage" with Viva Forever.
I really have nothing positive to say about this. The staging reminded me of a school gymnasium. I felt deeply ashamed for Sally Ann Triplet (shame on her). Memories of Anything Goes seem so distant.
The 4 female "leads" sound like constipated cats being strangled whilst straining to open their bowels.
The vocal arrangements were (generally) weak and meant that much of the "spirit" that drove the original versions of the songs was lost.
Spanish fiesta scene has now taken the award (formerly held by Daddy Cool) for the most pointless and stupid props (you have to see them to believe them).
The book is like a tapestried version of all the worst and unfunniest bits of Absolutely Fabulous.
The biggest irony is that the very shows which this is trying to parody are actually done with the highest of budgets and production values and (despite the actual content being highly variable) pulled off with visual panache and flair.
Viva Forever fails to be even vaguely visually arousing or pleasing in any way whatsoever.
I really wonder if Judy Craymer sits and watches this and is actually proud of it.....?
The best bit about the show for me was the safety curtain which has beautiful detailing in pastels and gold.
I also took some delicious apricots covered in thick dark chocolate.
I anticipated eating these all during the first half and eagerly gobbled them up during the interval.
Posted Old Man of theatre on 10 December 2012 - 03:22 PM
So much so, I left at the interval.
No redeeming factor at all for me, sorry, just my opinion.
I'm now going into hiding.
Posted Matthew Winn on 09 December 2012 - 07:05 AM
People who want to see a show playing in Newcastle or Sunderland?
I haven't been to either of those - there's no easy train from where I am and I've only recently learnt to drive - but I have been on theatre day trips to places like Birmingham, Blackpool, Bristol, Cardiff, Chichester, Colchester, Derby, Edinburgh, Hereford, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Peterborough, Plymouth, Sheffield, Tunbridge Wells, Woking and Worthing, and a couple of times when I've been willing to stay overnight I've been further. I've been to the cinema in places as far apart as Birmingham, Norwich and Sheffield. I enjoy travelling so it's no imposition. In fact I enjoy travelling so much I'd rather go a long distance than see something just up the road because it adds to the adventure.
Once you're used to travelling around these places don't seem a long distance away any more. (There have been times when I've been sitting at home, bored, and decided to go for a walk in the country. And the country I've been for a walk in is Wales. If I can get home the same day it's not a long journey.)
So yes, there are people who travel to see regional productions. Sometimes it's because they enjoy the experience of travel itself. Sometimes it's because they love visiting towns they've never visited before. Sometimes it's because they like to sit in audiences made mainly of regular theatregoers instead of the ooh-it's-him-off-that-sitcom-why-isn't-he-being-funny crowd in the West End. Whatever the reason, they exist.