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BWW Review: GREAME OF THRONES Brings Winter to the Overture Center

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After spending far more hours than I would like to admit binge watching Game of Thrones (I came late to this particular "Game" by about 6 seasons) I was excited for a chance to see GREAME OF THRONES, the parody of the show brought to the Overture. The premise simple. A producer named Greame is selling this show to investors. The show, "Game of Thrones" a Lannister Production, live and in the round with a cast of hundreds complete with animatronic dragons! There were a couple of snags in this plan. They had a cast of three, no animatronic anything, and they were not in the round. Still the show must go on.

The show opens with the backstage whisper chant of "Winter is coming...winter is coming", setting the mood. The opening credits were done with as much style and grace as a theater company might muster with a zero-dollar budget. This was a hilarious start to the show. The crowd was warming as the laughs welled up. The show began with the death of King Robert Baratheon then the grisly murder of Ned Stark. The audience participation began when poor Bran Stark was pushed from the tower, the audience cheerfully tilted their collective heads in One Direction to allow for the "Amazing Special effects" the troupe had. Overall, the first 15-20 minutes were genuinely funny and novel.

Then the novelty wore off. The troupe went on to rely heavily on sight gags. There was a particularly disturbing performance art piece dealing with ham that I can't un-see. The audience participation was at times the only thing holding the show together, from misting the front rows with water, to handing audience members props, the troupe did a good job of maintaining audience engagement and focus. At one point pulling an audience member on stage to play the part of "The Mountain" during a famous (with in the realms of those "Game of Thrones" watchers) fight that took place.

Finally, halfway into the hour and a half production the proverbial wheels feel off. The show plummeted from novel to lampoonish and landed somewhere around sophomoric. The sight gags now include a nude suit with a beard placed between the legs and an actor chasing another while wearing an enormous phallus. Finally, the end in which it appeared that the writer simply got sick of writing and possibly needing to meet a deadline just quit. The show just ended without resolution.

The audience applauded politely. What began with so much potential, ended flat land left the audience un-fulfilled.

Madison, Wis. - Overture Center is pleased to announced casting for comedic parody Graeme of Thrones, making its Capitol Theater debut on Friday, March 3 at 8 p.m. with a second performance on Saturday, March 4 at 8 p.m.

Created by the UK's top comedy writers including Jon Brittain, AnDrew Doyle ("Britain's hottest young comedian" - GQ Magazine), and Dan Evans ("Original and inventive" - The Times). Graeme of Thrones is an original and un-authorized parody on the international phenomenon that is HBO's Game of Thrones.

Original UK cast members Ali Brice (Graeme) and Libby Northedge (Bryony) are joined by Canadian-born, Michael Condron (Paul), who appeared in Seasons 5 and 6 of Game of Thrones as Bowen Marsh.

Show description

In this critically-acclaimed theatrical journey through the Seven Kingdoms, direct from sold out shows in London's West End, avid 'Thrones' fan Graeme wants to recreate his favorite fantasy saga on stage - aided and abetted by his best friend Paul and the girl he used to fancy at school - Bryony.

He doesn't quite have the same budget as the TV show, or as many cast members, or the performance skill required, but he's sure George R.R. Martin would approve - and that's what matters. But when news reaches them that an influential theatrical producer is in the building, Graeme decides that this could be his big break - as long as nothing goes wrong...

Cast

Ali Brice (Graeme) is a character comedian and actor. Performing since 2009, Brice creates vividly coloured worlds, full of very silly and larger-than-life characters. In 2014 Brice took Eric Meat Wants to Go Shopping to the Edinburgh Fringe to critical acclaim. He is a member of the London-based alternative comedy collective, Weirdos. Ali was in the originalGRAEME OF THRONES cast in London's West End and has since gone on to tour the UK and Australia with the show.

Libby Northedge (Bryony) has worked as both a performer and director with notable companies including Punchdrunk, NIE, BBC, Sky Arts. Libby is one half of clown and character sketch duo, Twisted Loaf. In 2013 they won the prestigious Funny Women Award and have since had two smash hit Edinburgh Festival shows, that have both transferred to the West End. They wrote and starred in their own short film for Sky and are currently in development for a TV series. Libby is a regular improviser, having spent the summer of 2012 performing with IO and Second City in Chicago. Libby was in the original cast of GRAEME OF THRONES in London's West End and has toured with the show across the UK and Australia.

Michael Condron (Paul) performs regularly at Belfast Lyric Theatre and his credits include: 39 Steps, Smiley, Here Comes the Night, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, John Bull's Other Island, The Miser by Molière adapted by David Johnston. Michael performed with the Boat Factory, off Broadway, Kings Head Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe Festival with other local and regional tours. He has worked with many other venues and touring companies in the UK and Ireland, including Mirandolina(Manchester Royal Exchange), Mojo Mickybo (Lyric Hammersmith),Borderland (7:84 Theatre Co), Lally the Scut (Theatre Co), Oh What a Lovely War, Threepenny Opera, Blue Remembered Hills, The Government Inspector (Bruiser Theatre Co).

Tickets start at $35 and are on sale now:

·In person at the Overture Center Ticket Office (201 State Street)

·Online overture.org

·By phone at 608.258.4141

·Groups of ten or more eligible for discounts, emailgroups@overture.org or call 608.258.4159

Graeme of Thrones is presented by Overture Center as part of the Theatrical Series.

Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, Wisconsin features seven state-of-the-art performance spaces and five galleries where national and international touring artists, ten resident companies, and hundreds of local artists engage nearly half a million people in educational and artistic experiences each year. Overture.org

Starvox Entertainment, founded in 2003 by Corey Ross, was ranked on Profit Magazine's list of Canada's top growth companies in 2013, 2014 and 2015-the only live entertainment company ever to be graded. In 2013, Mr. Ross was a producer on the Canadian production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's CATS and in 2014 remounted Evil Dead - The Musical to record-breaking sales in Canada and the United States. Starvox has toured the west-end hit show Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience since 2012 which continues to break records in Canada and the U.S. Starvox recently produced Trey Parker's Cannibal! The Musical and Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience in Toronto.


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