Sunday, December 13, 2009

dramatic contrast

Moira+I went along to the Tobacco Factory last night to see Felix perform in “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”. It was absolutely brilliant. Hugely entertaining. The audience was completely captivated by a truly dazzling production. Brilliantly conceived and performed (we thought Felix was fantastic, of course, but we weren’t the only ones – see this review). The night was all about imagination, entertainment and the true magic of live theatre. You REALLY should see this show – it runs until 17 January – it will make your week/month… even year!
In sharp contrast, on Friday evening we went to see the St Paul’s Player’s production of “The Wind in the Willows”. I know it’s completely unfair comparing the Tobacco Factory’s professional theatre with the “Am-Dram” equivalent at St Paul’s Church, but the difference was striking in the extreme. In fact, the acting was largely good – we very much enjoyed the performances of Peter Nicoll (Toad) and those of our friends Anna (as a wonderfully engaging Mole) and Dean (as Albert, the horse). Unfortunately, in my view, the producer and director absolutely ruined the show. It was incredibly long (virtually three hours by the time we left) and would have been much more effective if two or three scenes had been cut completely; the change-overs between scenes were excruciatingly long (so much so that some of the audience started giggling in disbelief at one stage!); and the “design” of some of the props (especially the train!) was just embarrassing…. but what do I know?
You can book Ali Baba tickets on-line! Just do it!

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