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Bernadette - The People's Musical

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Petula Clark
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Bernadette - The People's Musical#1
Posted: 1/9/11 at 12:04pm
Hi! I am intrigued by the musical phenomenon that was 'Bernadette'! Perhaps one of the most notorious London flops - the concept album is quite fun, especially 'Watch Me Begin'. Did anyone see the show? I understand Meredith Braun was in the original cast. Did she play Bernadette? Wish I'd seen this one - it sounds a hoot!

PS: - I've tried to change my user id (obviously not really Petula Clark, just a fan and especially 'Someone Like you'!!!!)
Updated On: 1/9/11 at 12:04 PM
Spotlight61
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Bernadette - The People's Musical#2
Posted: 1/9/11 at 12:16pm
If my memory serves me well Martine McCutcheon was also in the cast.

I recall the priest from the pulpit in our catholic church urging people to support this musical because of its message and because it had been written by devout catholics.

I'm unsure how much of a successful marketing campaign this was because it struggled from day 1!!
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MamasDoin'Fine
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joined:9/28/08
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Bernadette - The People's Musical#2
Posted: 1/9/11 at 12:56pm
What a fun night this was.
The sets were amazing and are probably doing the panto rounds as we speak!!!!
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bob8rich
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Bernadette - The People's Musical#3
Posted: 1/9/11 at 12:56pm
I think it was a Lourdes of rubbish. lol
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
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MamasDoin'Fine
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Bernadette - The People's Musical#4
Posted: 1/9/11 at 1:04pm
Barely running a month, it actually sold out every performance it played. Such was the incredible word of mouth , people just flocked to it!
The album makes you wonder how they even got that far!

It was pure car crash musical theatre!
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alterego
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Bernadette - The People's Musical#5
Posted: 1/9/11 at 6:49pm
Was it a limited season? If not why did it close if it was selling out?
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philitalia
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Bernadette - The People's Musical#6
Posted: 1/10/11 at 9:18am
It became a limited engagement quite naturally ... or by divine intervention, ... not sure
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MamasDoin'Fine
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Bernadette - The People's Musical#7
Posted: 1/10/11 at 1:15pm
It got its notices, it got its notice, it got its audience purely as people wanted to see the disaster that the press were going mad over.
The entire thing was a laughing stock and Rank wanted it asap.
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Bernadette - The People's Musical#8
Posted: 1/10/11 at 6:34pm
I was there on opening night. I remember Sheridan Morley the next day on television giving his review: "It was like watching a plate of liver."

Actually, it was wonderfully, spectacularly awful. I still tell stories about it. At one point the woman sitting next to me, beautiful dress and a string of pearls, was crammed on the floor and so breathless with laughter that she started saying, "I'm going to pee! I'm going to pee!"

In the earlier previews, there was the most naive and stunning exchange between the policeman and Bernadette as he tromped around the grotto:

Policeman: Where is this lady? I don't see her!
Bernadette: Please, monsieur! You're standing on the Holy Mother's bush!"

I've never heard a shriek of laughter like that from an audience ever. EVER.
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Sean2
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Bernadette - The People's Musical#9
Posted: 1/10/11 at 6:38pm
Also, Bernadette was played by Natalie Wright. I still have the original programme!
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alterego
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Bernadette - The People's Musical#10
Posted: 1/11/11 at 12:53am
Sort of like the SPIDERMAN of its time.
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Bernadette - The People's Musical#11
Posted: 1/11/11 at 4:58am
Though Bernadette did at least get through previews without hospitalising any of its cast... Bernadette - The People's Musical

I've got the concept album (or is it a demo?) and it's ploddingly dull - at least it sounds like some of the staging and the book added entertainment!

"Murder is a very British thing, isn't it? I mean, it's almost like a hobby over there."
"Why do you insist you must hear the words? When you know I cannot give you words. Not the ones you need..."

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twinbelters
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Bernadette - The People's Musical#12
Posted: 1/11/11 at 9:11am
Scan the programme!
With Irma you gotta do something!
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Mister Matt
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Bernadette - The People's Musical#13
Posted: 1/11/11 at 1:04pm
The only other West End musical that I've heard was as unintentionally funny as Bernadette was Behind the Iron Mask. But the most comments I heard about Bernadette had to do with the set. Particularly, the giant pile of feces that descended from the sky.

Sort of like the SPIDERMAN of its time.

I'd compare Spider-Man to Moby Dick or Metropolis rather than Bernadette. Spider-Man's visuals can at least compensate for the muddy book and bewildering second act. And the music is nowhere near as banal as Bernadette.
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