Promises, Promises returns to the London stage in 2017

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Martin Johnson
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Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:41 am

Re: Promises, Promises returns to the London stage in 2017

Postby Martin Johnson » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:16 am

On the assumption that PP is unlikely to be produced again in London in my lifetime, I saw this production for a second time and before a packed house that laughed in all the right places and responded appreciatively to the songs the cast noticeably raised their game and I left the theatre having had a much better time of it than on the opening night. However, I was also more alert this time to the liberties taken with a couple of the songs and as nowmedical has already pointed out the switching around of the verses of 'Whoever You Are I Love You' made no sense at all. Likewise neither did dividing the long chorus of 'Knowing When To Leave' into two short choruses. Talking to fellow audience members before the show and during the interval there's no doubt that it's Bacharach's name that's been the big draw and why this revival has played to mostly full houses.

Sara D
Posts: 227
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:32 am

Re: Promises, Promises returns to the London stage in 2017

Postby Sara D » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:49 am

According to Southwark Playhouse's box office, Martin, a lot of folk are returning to see the show a second time and I'm going again this Friday with my two daughters, Bacharach admirers both. It's interesting that Donna McKechnie, one of the cast members of the original production of 'Promises, Promises' in 1968, is currently playing just across town in the newly opened musical 'The Wild Party'. I wonder if she's managed to come along to see the revival of 'PP'?

pljms
Posts: 433
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 8:43 am

Re: Promises, Promises returns to the London stage in 2017

Postby pljms » Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:10 am

I returned to see the final show last night and it was brought home to me just how impressive this production was given the limited resources and the tiny stage. While Gabriel Vick and Alex Young confirmed their brilliance in the roles of Chuck and Marge, I found myself warming to Daisy Maywood as Fran and she was noticeably more assured in all her musical numbers. However, I still think it's very poor direction to have both 'Knowing When to Leave' and 'A House is Not a Home' interrupted just as they were building up to the big ending by suddenly and jarringly hurtling into the next scene merely for dramatic effect. Although the reviews were decidedly mixed the reaction of the paying public has apparently been overwhelmingly positive and let's hope we don't have to wait another twenty years before the next London revival. 
pljms

Sara D
Posts: 227
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:32 am

Re: Promises, Promises returns to the London stage in 2017

Postby Sara D » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:32 pm

Actors often talk about how much the response of an audience can vary from one night to the next and certainly last Friday it was a much livelier house than the first time I saw this show. Virtually every funny line was greeted with laughter so long and loud that the cast often had to pause before delivering the next line, never more so than during the hilarious bar room scene between Chuck and Marge.

I've always thought that 'Half as Big as Life' was a terrific show song and it was good to see it so well received on both the nights I went. In fact all the songs that serve the book and are not show stoppers, like 'Upstairs', 'You'll Think of Someone', 'It's Our Little Secret' and 'A Young Pretty Girl Like You' were all performed wonderfully well and I have to say that out of the three productions I've seen of 'PP' this had the strongest cast in terms of singing ability and comic timing and it's just a shame they didn't have the big stage of a West End production to display their talents and their obvious affinity with the material.

I found these two short videos featuring no less than eight members of the cast talking about the show:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=F8BDasVGC04
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=77mE_rH3WuQ

Martin Johnson
Posts: 302
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:41 am

Re: Promises, Promises returns to the London stage in 2017

Postby Martin Johnson » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:19 am

Sara D wrote:Actors often talk about how much the response of an audience can vary from one night to the next and certainly last Friday it was a much livelier house than the first time I saw this show. Virtually every funny line was greeted with laughter so long and loud that the cast often had to pause before delivering the next line, never more so than during the hilarious bar room scene between Chuck and Marge.

I've always thought that 'Half as Big as Life' was a terrific show song and it was good to see it so well received on both the nights I went. In fact all the songs that serve the book and are not show stoppers, like 'Upstairs', 'You'll Think of Someone', 'It's Our Little Secret' and 'A Young Pretty Girl Like You' were all performed wonderfully well and I have to say that out of the three productions I've seen of 'PP' this had the strongest cast in terms of singing ability and comic timing and it's just a shame they didn't have the big stage of a West End production to display their talents and their obvious affinity with the material.

I found these two short videos featuring no less than eight members of the cast talking about the show:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=F8BDasVGC04
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=77mE_rH3WuQ


Thanks for posting the videos, Sara. Yes, they were a terrific cast and it came as quite a shock to hear them speak in their British accents after having got used to hearing them sound like native New Yorkers in the show.


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