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Paul at the Globe
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Mikoto



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 567

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's about the size of the palm of my hand. And flat. I made sure to take a smaller one that had essentially fallen out so I wouldn't feel like I was 'disturbing' anything. So nooo problem taking it to be signed. Very Happy Considering my friend said apparently Paul didn't quite believe it, I do think tangible proof is in order!
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scribble



Joined: 22 Apr 2009
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Location: walking the quiet lanes of Pleasureville

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Mark Ronan's Theatre Reviews:
http://markronan.wordpress.com/2009/08/04/helen-globe-theatre-august-2009/

Helen, Globe Theatre, August 2009
By markronan

This Euripides play was given in a new translation by Frank McGuinness, and I liked it, but fear it may sound odd in a few years’ time with expressions like done and dusted. However it worked well here, directed by Deborah Bruce, with designs by Gideon Davy, in a production that took the story lightly. That story, about the real Helen going to Egypt and remaining faithful to her husband Menelaus, while a fake went to Troy as the wife of Priam, became popular in Greece as it let Helen off the hook for the deaths of so many men in a ten-year war. The story was taken up by Hugo von Hofmannsthal as a libretto for Richard Strauss’s opera The Egyptian Helen (Die Ägyptische Helena, which I saw in February in Berlin). The opera is a more elaborate affair, and for this reason doesn’t work well on stage. But this play does work, and at ninety minutes with no interval is far shorter than the opera.

I thought Penny Downie did well as Helen, with Paul McGann giving an excellent portrayal of Menelaus. Rawiri Paratene was Theoclymenes, the Egyptian king who wants to marry Helen, and his all-seeing sister Theonoe was well performed by Diveen Henry. The appearance of Helen’s heavenly brothers Castor and Pollux at the end, as gardeners and odd-job men with angelic wings was pure nonsense, but fun. They were there before the play started, painting the stage, showing that none of this stuff should be taken too seriously, and the whole production was meant to be comic, with Helen expressing an oh-my-god-is-it-really-you attitude, and Theoclymenes hamming it up as a pompous but easily deceived king.

This entry was posted on 4 August, 2009 at 22:37
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Visitor



Joined: 24 May 2006
Posts: 333

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just posted my review and pics on the site.

Hope you like the review, I KNOW you'll all like the pics Wink
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Tegan



Joined: 08 May 2009
Posts: 334

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michelle wrote:
Just posted my review and pics on the site.

Hope you like the review, I KNOW you'll all like the pics Wink


pfft You think we just like perving all the time doncha Wink
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emay
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Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 1240
Location: Nashville, TN

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michelle wrote:
Just posted my review and pics on the site.

Hope you like the review, I KNOW you'll all like the pics Wink


Yep, I like both lots and lots!

Maybe the NYT reviewer thought Paul was boring, because he wasn't being theatrical and chewing up the scenery.

Estelle
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Mikoto



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 567

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cat9 wrote:
pfft You think we just like perving all the time doncha


And this is wrong because ...? Wink

But yes ... loved the review and pics! Thanks, Michelle!
_________________
TVM Drinking Game (updated!):

One for:
~ 'Two hearts'
~ 'Thirteen lives'
~ A clock
~ 90s-grade CG
~ Reference to Puccini/Madame Butterfly

Two for:
~ Gratuitous Doctor Who continuity
~ Overtly Messianic imagery
~ Beryllium/atomic clock
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scribble



Joined: 22 Apr 2009
Posts: 578
Location: walking the quiet lanes of Pleasureville

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love the review, Michelle! It's great that Paul's performance has received lots of well-deserved, favorable reviews. And I'm glad you thought that Paul seems to be enjoying himself in this play. I also hope he takes on more theater work in the near future, possibly even a production in the US. (It could happen!) Very Happy

The photos are fantastic! Paul looks amazing and his arms alone deserve a *sigh* and a *thud*! Wink And have you all noticed how intensely blue his eyes appear in some of the photos?...Stunning! I also love the shots of Menelaus wearing the breastplate (I do love a costume change!) with the angles shot almost at ‘groundling’ level, they capture the different audience reactions and the atmosphere in the Globe. Almost like being there! Thanks again, Michelle! Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Variety.com:
http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117940789.html?categoryid=33&cs=1

Helen
(Shakespeare's Globe Theater; 1500 seats; £33 ($55) top)
By KAREN FRICKER


Euripides al fresco may not exactly sound like a summertime treat, but this infrequently performed late romance, in Frank McGuinness' playful new version, turns out to be quite the crowdpleaser -- sometimes to a fault. Helmer Deborah Bruce takes the original's irreverent spin on its source tale -- the story of the Trojan war -- as a cue to present the material at a heightened, ironic remove. Visual excesses aside, the evening overall is a eye-opening success due to Penny Downie's bravura performance in the title role and the startling contemporaneity of the material as retold here.

The cheekiness of both play and production is established in the first moments, as Downie struts onstage alone and announces (with just the right pause for effect), "My name is Helen -- Helen ... of Egypt." Euripides' brash conceit is that the Trojan War was fought on a false premise; the real face that launched a thousand ships was sent by the goddess Hera for safekeeping to the banks of the Nile, and it was a ghost version of Helen about whom all the fuss was made. Thus, as one character baldly puts it, "we fought the Trojan War over nothing" -- a point with contemporary resonances (Helen as the original WMD) that the creative team, in a rare moment of subtlety, allow audiences to make and absorb for themselves.

Meanwhile, 17 years have elapsed as the real Helen hopes against hope that her beloved husband, Menelaus, will come and find her -- thus making sense of the casting of Downie, who, in her slithery white gown and flame-red hair, is appropriately gorgeous but unmistakably over 40 (she recently played Gertrude to David Tennant's Hamlet at the Royal Shakespeare Company).

The story that ensues is enjoyably straightforward: Meneleus (the agreeably gruff and buffed Paul McGann, "Withnail and I") turns up, we get a lovely recognition scene, and the rest of the play is spent springing Helen from the grasping clutches of the Egyptian king Theoclymenes (an amusingly dense Rawiri Paratene).

Downie and McGann's confidence and chemistry -- and the speakability and humor of McGuinness' text -- anchor the production. In a space this large and potentially unruly, playing to the gallery is a virtue, and there is a strong complicity built up between auds and lead performers.

Other design and production choices are more difficult to credit, however, starting with Gideon Davey's inexcusably hideous set: a white-and-bright-yellow playing area on which Helen's name is being erected in huge cutout Greek lettering, a lumpy black graveyard and a tacky silver curtain from behind which a countertenor (James Purefoy) sometimes emerges to serenade the action.

In a work that is otherwise refreshingly feminist -- Helen, the universal symbol of hussydom, is here recuperated as a loyal wife; Theoclymenes' sister Theonoe (Diveen Henry) helps save the day; and even the trash-talking gatekeeper is played by a woman (Penny Layden) -- it's disappointing that the chorus is played almost exclusively by men in bedraggled drag. While this was probably dictated by the casting needs of the Globe's whole summer season, an opportunity to employ more female actors was missed here, and it's not clear whether any particular commentary is intended by having dirty and very masculine-looking men imitating female behavior.

Despite the production's sometimes thrown-together quality, the evening overall proves uplifting and thought-provoking, and packs quite a few quality laughs; it's an unexpected treat.
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Mikoto



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 567

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
gruff and buffed


Hee hee ...
_________________
TVM Drinking Game (updated!):

One for:
~ 'Two hearts'
~ 'Thirteen lives'
~ A clock
~ 90s-grade CG
~ Reference to Puccini/Madame Butterfly

Two for:
~ Gratuitous Doctor Who continuity
~ Overtly Messianic imagery
~ Beryllium/atomic clock
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Tegan



Joined: 08 May 2009
Posts: 334

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mikoto wrote:
Quote:
gruff and buffed


Hee hee ...


I just choked on my breakfast reading that Very Happy
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scribble



Joined: 22 Apr 2009
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Location: walking the quiet lanes of Pleasureville

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cat9 wrote:
Mikoto wrote:
Quote:
gruff and buffed


Hee hee ...


I just choked on my breakfast reading that Very Happy


Heck yeaahhh...!! Wink
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msandusky



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 335

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gruff and buffed...I got all warm and tingly reading that.
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Sam



Joined: 25 May 2006
Posts: 81
Location: Preston, Lancashire

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michelle wrote:
I reckon he probably thought i'd grow out of it but hey!


Well we are still here 23 years on so I doubt we'll ever grow out of it! Wink
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Visitor



Joined: 24 May 2006
Posts: 333

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got to see Paul again in 'Helen' the day before I went on holiday - managed to persuade my family that it was worth a detour to London and they all went to the British Museum.

Paul excelled himself - I thought his first performance was good but he blew me away this time, absolutely awesome.

He was confident and happy, and there was a fancy bit of footwork at the end when they took their bow that I was pretty impressed by - the boy can dance Very Happy
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scribble



Joined: 22 Apr 2009
Posts: 578
Location: walking the quiet lanes of Pleasureville

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You got to see Helen twice! Michelle you lucky, lucky girl Smile

If you can, would you please share more details about Paul's Menelaus? In what aspect of his performance did you see improvement/difference? What scenes or lines did you find most memorable? Did he ad lib any lines? Did he interact with the 'groundlings' at all? (sorry, so many questions!)

And last but not least...and this question has kept me awake at night (not really, I'm just always awake)...What kind of dance did he do at curtain call? Laughing Laughing
Was it a little jig? tap dance? the 'running man'? a bit of a twirl and dip with Downie? Curious minds (or is it just me?) want to know! Laughing
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