|Booking From:||Saturday, 29th March 2014|
|Booking Until:||Saturday, 29th March 2014|
|Running Time:||2 hours 20 minutes|
On the whole an interesting evening but not a memorable one theatrically. No night at the theatre is ever a waste of time as there was much to admire and discuss after. I particularly enjoyed the set design and the central performances were excellent. That said I did feel that it didn't really work as a West End musical. I think that a smaller production with a sharper political content in a fringe theatre would have served the subject matter better. The court scenes were good but they were too loud so the real significance of what was being said was diminished. Yes, Stephen Ward was a victim but not one that most people could really sympathise with. It seemed to me the real victim in this story was Christine Keeler who was exploited by just about everyone she came across. To sum up Stephen Ward is about the human condition and the mistakes we all make. Not a bad way to spend a Monday birthday night.
The show is very pedestrian. As a musical theatre student and theatre regular, I see flaws all over the place, from po-faced, insensitive direction and incongruous and poorly weighted story, - I understand one has to be careful with embellishment in a real-life story, but not to the detriment of the show - to mostly banal music (with one or two songs that, although average by the general standard of ALW, are good by those of this show). The biggest failure by far, is the lyrics book, which is nothing short of awful. When anyone writes a musical theatre show, they must aspire to be the best - Sondheim, Hart, Hammerstein - and not merely settle for mediocrity, and in some places, simply erroneously placed lyrics. This show could work if it was seriously re-thought, particularly the long-winded court-room scenes in act 2, which would benefit from being dispersed throughout the show because, guess what, we all know where it's going!
Very enjoyable show, to me it was as I expected it to be, if not a bit better considering some of the reviews it has been given.
To me it really just did not work. The actors were good but you feel no empathy with any of them. There were no real memorable songs but you could hear influences of ALWs previous works. I loved Love Never Dies an saw it many times but I will not be returning to see Stephen Ward and could not recommend it to any of my friends, in fact I would suggest they avoid it. Lord Lloyd Webber, I would like my money back, please!
Because of the adverse reviews, we were about to abort our trip to London - weather and trains. I am so glad we didn't. It was a brilliant show. The cast were all well selected and recognisable as the characters they were playing - I never did know the real story. I feel sorry for ALW if people don't see it because the critics were less than generous. Please make your own decision and go!
I was ambivalent about going....this is a musical and I am not one for sentimentallity! However, it was great!!! The story line was moving and telling. You didn't really even get distracted by the music as the story said it all ( surely the sign of a good musical ...or opera...is that you get swept away by the story and dont notice the music??? Well it is for me anyhow!!) . I am 100% recommending to my family and friends.
Sorry to say it, but really quite a naff show and I'm sure it would have not 'graduated' to the West End otherwise, if it did not have AL-W behind it; the two female leads are reasonable, as is the male lead, but far too many dodgy songs and a quite weak script to carry the lyrics all added up to a below average evening. One decent song (sung by wife of the Minister of War!) in the second half was good.
This was amazing. The music spans all generations and the story is rich. As a Canadian, this story fits with our current political reality. As a musician, I found the music interesting and definitely well written. Love the oboe thoughtful Need to get the music.
I have a lot of love for ALW's other musicals. I've played them, occasionally sung a few of them and enjoyed whatever I was doing.
This is utter dross. Something I would imagine ALW and Cubase knocking together in an afternoon. None of the characters have any depth. The music is insipid at best, downright patronising at worst. The esteemed Lord has obviously decided that we've never had it so good which, by pure chance, is the title of the only song in the entire production that is even vaguely good.
The cast, to be fair, makes a good attempt at an awful script and even worse music. Charlotte Spencer's performance overall, and Alexander Hanson's, was very good. The rest of the cast was good. But you can't make a musical silk purse out of a sow's ear.
Avoid. At all costs. I would have left shortly after half time had the guy next to me not had crutches. As it was, I stayed, and hoped that the final, final scene wouldn't take too long. It did.
Having read mixed reviews I was prepared for the worst but I absolutely loved it. Okay ....so there were no memorable songs but that didn't matter. It was fast-moving, slick and very well acted and I couldn't wait to get home and Google the actual story to see how it compared with the show, which was condensed into 2 hours! Do not be put off by negative reviews ...go along and judge for yourself ....you won't be disappointed.
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