|Booking From:||Thursday, 10th November 2016|
|Booking Until:||Saturday, 12th November 2016|
|Important Info:||Ticket purchases will be limited to a maxium of six tickets per person across all performances. Tickets will be dispatched 2 weeks prior to the performance. Audio Described Performance - 7.30pm Tuesday 13 September 2016. Captioned Performance - 7.30pm Tuesday 6 September 2016.|
To think I gave up badminton to see The Entertainer. A manic performance by Sir Kenneth Branagh left me with little sympathy for any of the characters,who seemed overwhelmed by it all.The only true acting was by Gawn Grainger,as Billy Rice,a welcome ray of sanity in this strange interpretation. I should have seen it on Hallowe'en.
I'm a regular theatre goer and enthusiast, and enjoy great performances regardless of whether the characters are played by stars or unknown actors. However, I think it is far more daring for a celebrity to put themselves out there as 1) the expectations are a lot higher and 2) often the audience come to gaze at the star rather than being interested in the the play (I've been to a few Shakespeare plays where I was convinced that the audience had no interest in Shakespeare and looked rather disappointed despite the brilliant performance of the celebrity in the leading role).
This seemed to have been the case on my recent visit to a preview performance of The Entertainer. People were there to see Sir Kenneth Branagh, and he did not disappoint! He was brilliant! Yet, the audience lacked enthusiasm, rewarding Branagh's stylish, energetic performance with lukewarm applause when he deserved a standing ovation. I felt that most people that evening didn't have a clue of what the play was about. It's a serious play about a personal and the country's decline, and the majority of the people were there to be entertained superficially, and then felt unable to reward an exquisite performance (I cannot imagine how much work went into perfecting this!). So unfair.
Sorry to say I completely agree with the above review and left at the interval. Kenneth Branagh at least delivered lines with some conviction but the other characters delivered all there lines at pretty much the same tone and pace. Just couldn't face any more quite frankly and managed to nod off during some extended ranting so much was I not engaged with the plot or the performers. A very expensive and disappointing night out.
If we could give less than 1 star we would have. Ken Branagh was excellent but the play is weak and the rest of the cast are too. We left at the interval as we could not take any more. This is such a shame as we have seen other Branagh plays this season and we have really enjoyed them.
I started going to the West End theatre regularly about 6 years ago. Since then my friend and I have gone almost every week. We've seen virtually every show in London in that time. I can honestly say that this was the worst - by far. Dull, flat, wooden, lifeless. Nothing was happening. And the stall seat prices were much higher than I normally pay (£95 per seat). I've seen far better plays recently (Truth, for instance) that were under half the price. OK, maybe I'm being unfair. My friend and I left at the interval. Maybe it got better in the second half. I will never know, I guess. I don't mind as, going so frequently to the West End theatre, I can put up with the odd turkey. But, I feel for those for whom the threatre is a rare treat and they find this. The woman in the seat next to me was from Nebraska, not exactly a hotspot for theatre. She told me just before it started how excited she was as she hadn't been to the theatre for 20 years. I noticed that after 10 minutes she'd fallen asleep. I can't say I blame her.
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