Best of This Week’s Theatre Blogs - 6 Jun 2009
Date: 5 June 2009
Welcome to another new regular feature on Whatsonstage.com. Every week our theatregoer reporter Corinne Furness will be trawling the web and finding some of the best gems from the myriad theatre-related blogs and discussion forums and condensing them into one easy-to-read “Best of the Blogs” round-up each Friday. Here’s the first instalment...
In the week that a hello was said to Jude Law’s Hamlet and (an earlier than expected) goodbye to Spring Awakening, there was an altogether more sombre matter that preoccupied bloggers: the death of legendary female impersonator Danny La Rue. Amongst those penning moving tributes were the Guardian’s Michael Billington and our own Michael Coveney on Whatsonstage.com.
Ahead of next week’s opening, it was off to the Old Vic to see The Bridge Project’s The Cherry Orchard, which became the most blog-reviewed play of the week. The consensus was that no one quite knew Anton Chekhov’s original well enough to comment on the faithfulness (or otherwise) of Tom Stoppard’s new version, though everyone felt able to comment (favourably) on the quality of the acting. While the West End Whingers pointed out confusion regarding who Ethan Hawke actually was, Feigned Mischief certainly didn’t make the same mistake with British thespian Simon Russell Beale.
Meanwhile, the Wallace Shawn season at the Royal Court put the issue of audience members walking out of shows back on the agenda. It was “Paul in London”, however, who dealt with clearly the most important question the season has raised: what exactly is it about Wallace and cats?
- Michael Billington on the Guardian Theatre Blog -
Danny La Rue glittered, and was gold
“Danny's achievement – it is hard to think of him as Mr La Rue – was to have taken female impersonation out of the clubs and pubs, and into the theatrical mainstream … Danny didn't just make female impersonation popular. He occupied the stage with a larger-than-life presence and could make a sentimental song like ‘On Mother Kelly's Doorstep’ sound like a piece of folk art. His passing deprives us of a genuine star.”
- Michael Coveney on Whatsonstage.com -
Wotcher mates: Danny Departs
"None of us really ‘got’ his special relationship with the British public, or celebrated sufficiently his extraordinary stage glamour, or the beauty of his costumes, or the rich Black Velvet of his Irish vocal effervescence: Guinness and champagne".
- West End Whingers -
Review: The Cherry Orchard
“It’s quite long (2 hours 40) and it’s gloomily and erratically lit. This much we remember … We’re always slightly at sea when it comes to new adaptations of translations, not having memories good enough to recall what’s original and what’s new, but we’re pretty certain that the fellatio is Mr Stoppard’s insertion.”
- There Ought to Be Clowns -
Review: The Cherry Orchard
"Sinéad Cusack as Ranevskaya is far and away the star of this show … she is dramatic without being melodramatic and maintains the aristocratic hauteur of this fading matriarch right through to the bitter end ... (but) despite the first-rate acting, I am not a fan of the actual play."
- Life in the Cheap Seats -
Review: Aunt Dan & Lemon
“I think (the reason people left) was because it’s just an irritating script, which, despite the sprinkles of sex-zaz … and politics, ultimately comes off as being rather too much like an irritating party guest who just won’t shut up about something incredibly boring, or listen to anything besides themselves talk.”
- Paul in London -
Review: Grasses of a Thousand Colours
“Monologues are interesting stuff when they are witty and unusual and have a new point to make, but when it is just relentless cat sex, it does just become a bit of a drag ... If the night was warmer and the play was duller, I definitely would have left at the end of act two … There was general agreement that the cast made it almost worth hanging around to see, but coffee would be advisable”.
- by Corinne Furness - Theatregoer Reporter
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