out the Marigolds - it's Acorn Antiques! But our critic Mark
Shenton is non-plussed by this musical version of the TV spoof,
not least by the high prices being charged...
next? Will it be Little Britain's Fat Fighters - the Musical?
dangers of translating a well-loved TV spoof into another medium
are obvious. Not only are you relying on an affection and memory
that in the case of Acorn Antiques goes back 20 years to
its first sighting as part of Victoria Wood's As Seen on TV
trying to be a cross between Crossroads and The Producers,
it doesn't become about the making of bad theatre but a piece
of bad theatre itself..."
also what was, in essence, a one-joke idea - revolving around the
wobbly sets and forgotten lines that the panicked actors of a deliberately
terrible TV soap had to contend with.
however warmly you remember it - and I'm one that most certainly
does - Acorn Antiques is desperately over-extended here into
a musical that hits the three-hour mark.
musical? Oh yes. Now, not only does it spoof TV soaps, it also spoofs
in trying to be a backstage cross between Crossroads and
The Producers, it unfortunately doesn't become about the
making of bad theatre but a piece of bad theatre itself.
out with weak pastiches of musicals from Les Mis and Company
to A Chorus Line, it follows a musical version of the TV
soap in rehearsal and then into production.
the TV soap of the title has long been unceremoniously axed, unable
to compete with Celebrity Breast Implants Gone Wrong, the
principals - led by the inimitable Julie Walters and also including
Celia Imrie and Duncan Preston from the original sketch show - have
been reunited here to turn it into a musical at the Enoch Powell
Arts Centre in Sutton Coldfield.
Walters in Acorn Antiques
on, as Julie Walters arrives for rehearsals to play Mrs Overall,
unopened and unread script in her handbag, she declares, "I'm
going to need scissors."
only this show's director, Trevor Nunn, had brought some shears
to rehearsals, too.
are some compensating pleasures in the performances, though.
the sight of Julie Walters shuffling onto the stage as the perpetually
stooped and crumpled Mrs Overall - tea tray in hand with macaroons
at the ready - is enough to induce guffaws of recognition, not to
mention worries about her osteopath's bill.
in order to help pay for that bill, audiences are being expected
to cough up the highest prices ever for a West End show (£65
for the best weekend tickets, which is more expensive than Broadway;
even restricted view seats go at £37.50).
be far better off with the omnibus DVD that's just been released
and collects all the Acorn editions into one place for just £15.99.
12 March at the Haymarket Theatre Royal. Box office: 020 7930 8800
Theatre Royal Haymarket
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or disagree with our review? Add your thoughts below:
Very strange how the Musical was a sell out, tickets were being sold for £300 on open markets. Itwas a great Achievement to have been able to gather Julie, Victoria Celia, Josie Duncan, in one show, as they ae all talented & well in demand, & wonderful to eep the concept & deserved iconic status of Acorn Antiques after so many years. The Audience were in hysterics, the atmostphere was hilarious, but you have to have been an avid fan to know the concept had been taken onwards. Sure go watch the dvd of the originals, buy the show dvd now also, but really to say when every seat is sold out, you couldnt ask more in theatre in London. If it was bad people would not have gone...some several times!
The only bad aspect of the review, was the patronising perception of the author, who feels he resresents any view that any of will be remotely interested in, or ake any notice of. He's obviuosly well out touch with Public Opinion, & indeed this Classic British Comedy success, with a cult following.
I have brought the DVD and think that although the musical isn't the greatest, it is enjoyable and provides a good evenings entertainment. A way to improve it? change the script COMPLETELY, or delete act 1... a waste of time, and I thought about taking the DVD back.
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