La critique

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La critique

Message  Matthieu le Ven 11 Oct 2013 - 12:12

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Re: La critique

Message  Luce le Lun 14 Oct 2013 - 19:20

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Re: La critique

Message  Matthieu le Lun 21 Oct 2013 - 14:52

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Re: La critique

Message  Marina le Jeu 24 Oct 2013 - 19:11

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Re: La critique

Message  Marina le Mer 30 Oct 2013 - 7:36

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Re: La critique

Message  Matthieu le Mer 6 Nov 2013 - 17:20

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Re: La critique

Message  Luce le Jeu 7 Nov 2013 - 18:31

Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense (Peter Viney's Blog, 26 octobre 2013) Very Happy

Spoiler:
Lose preconceptions. Forget drawing rooms, beautiful 1920s furniture and French windows. Really, really forget Fry and Laurie in the TV series altogether. We opted for this, pre-London run because of the combination of Stephen Mangan (see Birthday review plus Episodes is my favourite sitcom in the last ten years) and director Sean Foley (see reviews of A Mad World My Masters and The Ladykillers). I’ve watched quite a few of the Fry & Laurie Jeeves and Wooster because they  happened to be on TV, but never made a special effort  to do so, nor ever timer-recorded any. I’m also not an apologist for Wodehouse, nor more than a casual reader, and that was years ago.  I’m not sure either whether the title is Jeeves and Wooster or Perfect Nonsense as the latter is always written in small type.

This is a three man play. Let’s also try and get over a ticket price more than three times that of Richard II at the RSC in Stratford, just a couple of days earlier with a cast of twenty plus; and starring David Tennant. It was outrageously expensive for Jeeves and Wooster for our circle seats, aggravated by Brighton’s war on parking, so bad that I’d avoid any Brighton run in future if a play is anywhere else at all. But OK, we’re discussing subsidised theatre (RSC) versus (very) commercial theatre. We opted for expensive circle seats because the stalls have little or no rake, and last time my companion, who is five foot, could barely see anything. Early on, there is a fire in a grate, represented by a deliberately naff piece of red cloth, and when it appears Stephen Mangan as Bertie Wooster and  says “They’re getting their money’s worth!” with a knowing look to the audience. And we hoped all three actors get a splendid payday. They thoroughly deserve it, because they work their socks off. And the theatre was full.

It’s a brilliant concept. It starts with a bare stage, with a chair. The sides of the theatre with pulleys to lower backdrops are on view (in fact it’s all part of the set, not the actual theatre wall). Bertie Wooster is solo. He wants to tell us a story, but being an ass, he keeps messing it up. He summons Jeeves to help him. Then his aunt’s butler, Seppings, to help as well. So Jeeves and Seppings have to act out all the characters in the story, both male and female. Bertie Wooster remains Bertie throughout, and congratulates his assistants when they do something well, or corrects them when (say) hastily applied facial hair falls out of place. There are a lot of double takes as Jeeves or Seppings realize they now have to be in a different role and costume and hair. So we have actors playing Jeeves and Seppings, who in turn are acting other roles, in an Art of Coarse Acting style.

Stephen Mangan, as narrator, is our eyes, so can never leave stage, nor do any scenes occur without his involvement. He is “on” for the entire play. His gleaming teeth and manic smile are vital for the part, and his infectious laugh runs right through his narration of his own story. He can also step outside the “play within a play” to interact with the audience, but does so as Bertie Wooster.  Messrs MacFayden and Hatfield have to do many many parts with incredibly rapid costume changes, and surprise entrances, so much so that the stage managers and their dressers deserve an award. Several are literally ‘unbelievable.’ Bertie Wooster has a lot of those too as he has to keep up with the change of scenes. I’m still trying to work out how they did them. The height is when MacFadyen as Jeeves has to play a man and a woman simultaneously, wearing two costumes split down the middle. I have seen this done before, but with “the woman” in a floor length dress. Here he does it in a calf length dress with a high-heeled shoe on one side, and does the switch from “all male” to one side male / one female in a few seconds without ever letting go of a door jamb so one hand is always in view of the audience as half of him is changed just out of sight.

The set? I’m avoiding plot spoilers as the way the set is gradually built as the play progresses is central to the concept, and extracted guffaws again and again. Starting with a bare stage, Jeeves adds a fireplace, then bit by bit, as needed, the set gets assembled. Pictures change. The fireplace changes. A laugh every time. We don’t see the revolving stage used till the second half, but when we do it’s apparently powered by Jeeves or Seppings leaping onto a tethered pushbike and pedalling away.

The whole is a triumph of play-within-play business and theatrical devices. A lot is pantomime-derived … but because it’s a play that’s not working (because it’s impossible), much funnier. An example is the drive down to the country in a hastily assembled car. Often done in pantomime, but never this well. I’m stopping myself explaining how because it would kill several very funny things, but we have Seppings with a table of sound effects standing by, adding them in.

The precision timing throughout must have required very long rehearsals, not least for sound and lights which have to match the action, and even in the first week, they’re absolutely tight on timing. It’s fabulous. It requires so much split second timing that they have no chance of an understudy if ever one of them can’t do a show. It must be exhausting for the cast, and to a degree is quite exhausting to watch as it is relentlessly hilarious. It got deserved massive applause. We felt it unfair that Mark Hadfield got lower billing in smaller type as all three work equally non-stop, but I guess it is “Jeeves and Wooster” so that justifies pulling out the two for publicity.

They worked so hard and were such a brilliant trio, that our lingering mean-spirited pricing resentment was dispelled. I wouldn’t have missed this one.
There are a lot of double takes as Jeeves or Seppings realize they now have to be in a different role and costume and hair. So we have actors playing Jeeves and Seppings, who in turn are acting other roles, in an Art of Coarse Acting style..
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Très critique

Message  Luce le Jeu 7 Nov 2013 - 23:30

Theatre Review: Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense (Duke of York's)(Blog : Boycotting Trends, 7 novembre 2013) Rolling Eyes 
But I'd say it's a poor show, chaps
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Re: La critique

Message  Luce le Jeu 7 Nov 2013 - 23:35

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Re: La critique

Message  Luce le Dim 10 Nov 2013 - 18:28

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Re: La critique

Message  Luce le Mer 13 Nov 2013 - 9:11

Jeeves & Wooster, Duke of York's, review (The Telegraph, 13 novembre 2013) Very Happy 
Perfect Nonsense would have made PG Wodehouse proud, says Charles Spencer
[...]
There are some unfortunates who can’t stick Wodehouse at any price, and fanatical admirers of the great man may feel that this show takes too many liberties with the master. But I suspect that Wodehouse himself would have loved this production, and there is no doubt that it captures the dotty, sunlit innocence of his work with panache.
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Re: La critique

Message  Luce le Mer 13 Nov 2013 - 9:40

Jeeves and Wooster: Perfect Nonsense, Duke of York's Theatre (The Arts Desk, 13 novembre 2013) Very Happy 
The adaptation rattles along very pleasingly and the set is brilliantly intricate, but the real star of the show is still Wodehouse's writing.[...]
In accordance with a centuries-old tradition more usually found at the Globe than on the West End, the play ends with a dance - a Charleston to be precise. Macfadyen manages to maintain a touch of Jeeves-like wryness throughout, while Mangan, resplendent in a red velvet smoking jacket, puts Bertie Wooster's heart and soul into every high kick. Who could ask for anything more?

Photo: Manuel Harlan

Spoiler:

P.G. Wodehouse's beloved characters hit the West End in a new, fast-paced comedy
by Caroline CramptonWednesday, 13 November 2013


In several of P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster stories, reference is made to something called "a knockabout cross-talk act". It's a two-handed sketch, usually performed at a village hall smoking concert or similar, in which the protagonists put on fake beards and terrible Irish accents to become "Pat" and "Mike". They then proceed to trade nonsensical insults and bust each other "over the bean" with umbrellas. This farce continues until they are removed from the stage, most often by one of Wooster's ever-ready phalanx of outraged aunts, to wild applause from the audience.

It might not be the most well-known element of the Jeeves canon, but this little scene has more in common with this new stage outing for the famous double act than you might expect. Perfect Nonsense is a brilliant farce, which takes Wodehouse's genius for getting his characters into the most improbable and complicated plot tangles and translates it into a well-oiled show bursting with physical comedy. There is indeed a bit of business with an umbrella, but also a vast array of laughs to be had from doors, windows, bicycles, lampshades, sheets and of course, a silver cream jug shaped like a cow.

Stephen Mangan and Matthew Macfadyen onstage as Wooster and JeevesThis is a play-within-a-play, since Bertie (Stephen Mangan, right, with Macfadyen) has hired out a theatre to tell the story of his hair-raising adventures dodging fiances and fascists while trying to pinch silverware at Totleigh Towers. His valet Jeeves (Matthew Macfadyen) and his aunt's butler Seppings (Mark Hadfield) are helping out, mostly by playing a dizzying array of relations, magistrates, policemen, dictators, newt-fanciers and young ladies as Wooster spins his yarn. Macfadyen, who proves himself to be an extremely accomplished and versatile comic actor, does a lot of the hard work, at one point even playing two characters simultaneously in a hybrid costume divided vertically down his body. Mangan, meanwhile, is just as Bertie Wooster ought to be:  an irresistibly endearing combination of privilege, stupidity and honour. Even his honking toff's laugh elicits giggles from the stalls.

Macfadyen manages to maintain a touch of Jeeves-like wryness throughout

The adaptation rattles along very pleasingly and the set is brilliantly intricate, but the real star of the show is still Wodehouse's writing. Roderick Spode, would-be dictator and leader of fascist movement the "Black Shorts", is described as having "an eye that could open an oyster at fifty paces" and eating asparagus in a way that "alters one's whole conception of man as nature's last word". Lifted straight out of The Code of the Woosters, the story on which this play is based, dialogue like this gets bigger laughs even than the sight of Macfadyen wearing a lampshade on his head to suggest femininity while impersonating Madeline Bassett.

In accordance with a centuries-old tradition more usually found at the Globe than on the West End, the play ends with a dance - a Charleston to be precise. Macfadyen manages to maintain a touch of Jeeves-like wryness throughout, while Mangan, resplendent in a red velvet smoking jacket, puts Bertie Wooster's heart and soul into every high kick. Who could ask for anything more?

   Perfect Nonsense is at the Duke of York's Theatre until 8 March
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Re: La critique

Message  Luce le Mer 13 Nov 2013 - 9:43

Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense (British Theatre Guide)

Review: Jeeves and Wooster – Perfect Nonsense (aka Jeeves and Wooster the play) at the Duke of York’s (blog, the otherbridgeproject, 9 novembre 2013)
This is all wrapped and polished by the talent of the actors. Stephen Mangan as Wooster finds himself as the straight man holding the whole thing together. Wide eyed and incessantly good natured, he also captures the knowledge and the terror of a man unable to survive by himself.

Matthew Macfadyen’s Jeeves steps up to fulfil any necessary function, behind the scenes or in the limelight. Butler, dresser, stagehand and man of many faces, he balances unflappability with a roller coaster ride of disparate characters tumbling into one another. His Gussie – all bottle glasses and jelly limbs – is particularly fine, as is his beguilingly confident Stiffy Byng. It’s a performance of masterful precision and seemingly bottomless energy.

Mark Hadfield handles the remaining characters. As Seppings, the butler who is roped in to help with Wooster’s production, he is resigned to fate and to lack of confidence. The moment he takes on another character, he is transformed to a comic genius. Anyone who has seen Hadfield’s previous work (his was the only funny gravedigger in the history of Hamlet productions) knows his subtly subversive energy, simultaneously unassuming and unexpectedly explosive.
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Re: La critique

Message  Luce le Mer 13 Nov 2013 - 12:43

Perfect Nonsense (The Stage, 13 novembre 2013)
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Re: La critique

Message  Marina le Mer 13 Nov 2013 - 17:31

Press views: Jeeves and Wooster (BBC News, 13 November 2013).
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Re: La critique

Message  Matthieu le Mer 13 Nov 2013 - 18:42

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Re: La critique

Message  Marina le Ven 15 Nov 2013 - 17:16

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Re: La critique

Message  Matthieu le Sam 16 Nov 2013 - 18:30

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Re: La critique

Message  Marina le Sam 16 Nov 2013 - 20:47

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Re: La critique

Message  Marina le Dim 17 Nov 2013 - 8:27

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Re: La critique

Message  Luce le Dim 17 Nov 2013 - 13:26

Perfect Nonsense, Duke of York's Theatre, review (The Telegraph, 17 novembre 2013)
Stephen Mangan triumphs again, alongside Matthew Macfadyen, in this super West End adaptation of P G Wodehouse’s Jeeves & Wooster
L'article confond Madeline et Stiffy visiblement... mais, au fond, est-ce si important ? Wink 
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Re: La critique

Message  Luce le Dim 17 Nov 2013 - 19:23

Mojo; King Lear; Jeeves and Wooster – review (The Guardian/The Observer, 17 novembre 2013)
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Re: La critique

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