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Crazycrone's Corner

Complaining, Crabbing,Caterwauling...

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I carried on feeling crank, but figured a bit of froth might actually help. Uh-uh. I always find DIE FLEDERMAUS a bit of a chore to sit through. Love the music, but can't be arsed with all the feeble jokes and forced cavorting. I didn't realise just how excruciating it could be. Even making allowances for people not singing out, two principals miming, etc. due to the universal lurgy, it is possibly the worst production of anything I've seen at ENO in recent years.helenraven reckoned it was even worse than last season's assassination of JULIUS CAESAR, but thinking about it, I'm not quite sure. That one was so dire that we actually had to leave, whereas we endured FEDERMAUS to the fizzled-out end.
I felt very sorry for the cast, which included ENO regulars Tom Randle, Andrew Shore and Julia Sporsen, who are usually excellent, but in this case, appeared unsurprisingly agonised, especially poor Tom Randle as Eisenstein. Jennifer Holloway sounded lovely, and I think in happier circumstances, she'd be a superb Orlofsky.
Frosch the 'comic' gaoler, is always terrible. I've seen the likes of Frankie Howerd, Udo Samel and Nigel Planer come to embarrassing grief taking it on. Jahn Pohl was required to deliver his clunkingly unfunny lines while evidently imitating Dirk Bogarde in THE NIGHT PORTER, and occasionally feigning seizures. Poor man. It's unplayable at the best of times, but this was flabbergasting.
I was surprised that the guilty producer was Christopher Alden. Even if I don't really care for what he's done with a show, his work is usually very interesting,at least.
The German-speaking couple in the box with us were appalled, and the lady commented that you have to see a proper Viennese staging to appreciate FLEDERMAUS. Perhaps she's right.
One really good thing was the work of the orchestra, under Eun Sun Kim, in her first ENO gig.They sounded terrific.
Probably best avoided, though


I even found myself talking with strangers during a long wait at the bus stop, about what a stinker it was. motodraconis reports a similar experience, so the production may have its purpose in inspiring audiences to unusual feats of interreaction.

For the cherry on top, there was a rather horrid drunken brawl on Whitehall. One guy looked like he might have been proper hurt. Luckily for me, I was on the bus by then, not trying to hobble through the fray.

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I agree there's lots of room for debate about which production was worse, but I'm not sure that the walking out is the clincher. We could safely walk out of Julius Caesar because we knew it was going to continue to be awful in the same style (and there was the interval provided), but with Die Fledermaus there was a certain curiosity about how much worse it was going to get and in what style, and there was no interval during the worst section.

I was surprised that the guilty producer was Christopher Alden.
Yes, what happened there?!? His "Midsummer Night's Dream" was one of the best things I've ever seen. I'm wondering if he actually hates Die Fledermaus, and wanted to bring out the worst in it.

I didn't mind the vulgarity, but then I love Fledermaus for it's very banality. It was wrong footed though, with the whole Frosch thing, and the singing seemed weedy which pissed me off as I could barely hear some of my favourite songs. I'll write a full review when they release their photos.

Hur hur! One of the other lecturers, who also goes to the rehearsals just came up to me and ranted about how dreadful the production was! Reviews are going to be interesting!

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