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Scrooge -Manchester Palace Theatre

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songanddanceman2
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Scrooge -Manchester Palace Theatre#1
Posted: 12/17/07 at 9:41am
Ive never been a fan of the many leg slapping cockney talking musicals (they all get a bit repetitive to me) so i was not enthused by seeing Scrooge....but wow, what a show

Dont get me wrong, its not the best show ive ever soon (not even in the top 20) but as far as a fun and festive night goes you cant really get any better.

The set for the show is very impressive with some beautiful lighting that sets the tone perfectly and even some last act snow thrown in for good measure.The costume is also fantastic and very detailed (Marley's costume was a particular stand out)

The show is playing to packed houses here in Manchester for 6 weeks and audiences are loving it (not a bah humbug in site).

The biggest surprise though is the leading man mr Shane Ritchie who looks like he was born to play this part.Hes almost unrecognizingly under the make up which ages him 20 years but the shane Ritchie spark is still there.

I had seen him earlier this year in One Flew Over The Cuckoos nest and was not impressed, he was not really bad as much as miscast and with the shadow of Christian Slater looming over the part he was never going to measure up, but in Scrooge he has found his perfect part.

Hes in good voice and good spirits throughout and his performance never lets up, he comes across as a performer who really enjoys his job and its that energy and passion that brings so much depth to the part of Scrooge (previously played by Tommy Steele)
The rest of the cast are also great and it has a genuinely strong ensemble.Even the kids who are cast from local theatre school Stagecoach are flawless.

And what about them effects...well for the most part they are great (the first ghost appearing in the chair was well done) but sometimes you wish they had gone a bit further with the magic of the show, after all in a show dealing with a bunch of ghosts the audience would appreciate a bit more spooky goings on...but thats just a small thing.

One of the big standout moments is Thankyou Very Much (spookily reminds me of the show stoppers from Oliver and Half a Sixpence)the song has audiences clapping along whilst the energetic cast (complete with coffin lol) deliver the number with gusto by the truck load.The other stand out was Begin Again (a far better song than it has any right to be)

So if pantos drive you mad but you want your festive fill then get to the Palace...but be quick as seats are selling fast.

4/5
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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WickedBoy2
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re: Scrooge -Manchester Palace Theatre#2
Posted: 12/17/07 at 10:08am
It looks as tho they have found the perfect 'Scrooge' in Shane Ritchie 35 years after it was written. The first stage production at the Dominion back in the 80s was lost in such a barn of a place despite the larger than life Anthony Newley as Scrooge. It played a Christmas season there to pretty good houses. Recently Tommy Steele on tour and the London Palladium managed luke warm reviews for his portrayal- many saying he was too 'song and dancy!'. Not a lot was said about last years production with Michael Barrymore tho i did hear some good reports. Mr Richie has gathered some great reviews on the last 2 stops the show played. The movie version of the musical with Albert Finny still looks pretty good too.
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
Updated On: 12/17/07 at 10:08 AM
NS
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re: Scrooge -Manchester Palace Theatre#2
Posted: 12/17/07 at 10:41am
I saw it in Southampton the other week. I was pleasently surprised, the set filled the stage, the effects were good, and although im no Shane Ritchie fan at all, he was very good, if maybe a bit too comical for my liking. As a musical I think its a bit forgettable musically, but for a festive fun night out its perfect.

Shame we didnt get it down here for xmas instead of the awfully bland Wizard of Oz
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re: Scrooge -Manchester Palace Theatre#3
Posted: 12/17/07 at 10:51am
So what's doing with the wizard down south? i thought it was a very strange choice for the Mayflower. They normally present one of the biggest pantos in the UK or go towards a big new musical. I know that it isnt selling like the panto's down there do.
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
NS
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re: Scrooge -Manchester Palace Theatre#4
Posted: 12/17/07 at 11:01am
not sure where you got that info, its selling better than pantos have done in recent years (but yeah not as well as the golden age of the pantos of the 90s). Pantos have been dwindling hence why they moved away from them, especially after the disaster that was Aladdin with Jim davidson. Its Doing pretty well, outselling White Xmas (very good show). In theory Wizard should have been brilliant coming from Michael rose, but the chance for an opulent show has been missed big time.

Cheap costumes, minimal sets that dont fill the stage, dodgy effects (completely missed chance for any magic) the wicked witchs entrance is very basic panto style from the side of the stage. Matthew Kelly is very miscast as the witch, not scary at all, and he is way too tall. It was just bland and a little boring.

The opening in 'black and white' is well done, as is the tornado, but otherwise its a huge disappointment and a wasted opportunity.
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re: Scrooge -Manchester Palace Theatre#5
Posted: 12/17/07 at 11:11am
This is the production that was at Leicester last year if my info is correct. The show isnt selling very well after the Christmas weeks as most pantos do. Maybe it will pick up nearer the dates. We have a client in the show.
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
Updated On: 12/17/07 at 11:11 AM
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re: Scrooge -Manchester Palace Theatre#6
Posted: 12/17/07 at 11:21am
I hate pantos so LOVE the fact that we never have them at the Palace

Shame about the Wizard of Oz
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
DeNada
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re: Scrooge -Manchester Palace Theatre#7
Posted: 12/17/07 at 5:35pm
The last time I saw Shane Richie in Scrooge (on tour) he sleepwalked through the show, spent most of the Fezziwig number visibly talking to the other cast members (whilst they attempted to carry on with the scene) and yawning. Not exactly the best performance I've ever seen, that one.

It was a midweek matinee, sure, but that's not really an excuse.
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re: Scrooge -Manchester Palace Theatre#8
Posted: 12/18/07 at 1:38am
There's a free family ticket up for grabs for Scrooge at the Palace Theatre at Whatsonstage.com/manchester. The winner will be picked this Friday.

Scrooge Competition link
Updated On: 12/18/07 at 01:38 AM
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