Florence Foster Jenkins and Quartet

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Florence Foster Jenkins and Quartet

Postby Barry » Tue May 10, 2016 7:13 pm

May 5th and 6th 2016

The film of the play, Glorious, that I directed about four years ago, and the play that I directed nearly nine years ago, but heck they were different. The character of Florence Foster Jenkins is one that has followed me for several years. I love here courage, her fortitude, and her wilful determination, and that we are still talking about her all these years on. The play was one of the happiest experiences, with me having been given a great cast, a great play, and a rather versatile set. we certainly gave her dignity, and gave her a wonderful coup de theatre at the end. There were moments of hysteria and moments of real sadness, but the film seemed rather too literal and too mellow. Full marks for making Liverpool and Glasgow look like New York, but it seemed a surprisingly slim piece, concentrating on three characters, but somehow the play seemed richer, and naturally, more theatrical. The film had little theatricality at all, and very little pace.
Quartet, performed by an amateur society new to me, was performed in traverse style and this gave it a lovely intimacy, as though we were other residents in the home, but heck they had a lot of furniture that needed moving in the scene changes, and again, the production was totally devoid of theatricality or music, or the sheer joy of singing. It was nicely performed but way too straight, with no direction or business - nothing that was not on the page. Such a common habit. we should be liberated when on stage, and we certainly were with our production and swept the audience along on a real joyous journey. I don't think anyone will forget the thrill of our transformation into the Quartet itself. Here, there was sadly no 'performance' at all. Disappointing.
Funny that both pieces are about Verdi, and performing - Verdi has been a huge part of my life really. I'd love to direct both pieces again.
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