Brassed Off and Noel and Gertie

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Brassed Off and Noel and Gertie

Postby Barry » Mon May 01, 2017 11:29 am

Last week in April 2017

Two very different shows. Brassed Off suffered by familiarity - not the production's fault at all. And I'm afraid I do not understand the thinking of 'this is how it was last time, so let's do it that way again'. I though one would jump at the idea to bring something fresh to it. And there was a lot of ambling on and off, and it is certainly a very bitty piece, and I sat there a little removed from it. The audience, however, were on their feet. a brass band can do that, and they were a joy, but I would have liked a little more presentation and flow to it all. I feel mean to have sat there wanting a bit more when the cast and audience were clearly besides themselves.
Noel and Gertie, however was very different. Just a touring two hander, but oozing slickness and charm and utter joy. The segueing from dialogue into scenes from the plays happened in an instant without props or anything, just body language and a vocal difference, and yep Coward was a genius. Exhausting for the two actors, but a joy to watch. A beautifully constructed piece, but if you were none the wiser you would have assumed that this was a forever frustrated heterosexual relationship over the years. There was only one fleeting mention of Noel's partner, and even then it only mentioned him in context of being in one of the plays. But a lovely evening, made lovelier by having a drink with 'Noel' afterwards. On the back of this, I watched some of the BBC's Coward productions, especially Tonight at 8.30, which was made as a vehicle for Joan Collins. Frankly, they were terrible, with her swanning into the theatre as a diva, surrounded by an adoring crowd of six, then doing an introduction in a theatre, but the plays were clearly studio bound, with truly ghastly canned laughter added later. I do remember seeing Joan Collins as Amanda in Private Lives and yep, she was terrible.
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