Farewell to Geraldine McEwan

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Today Lyn Gardner delivered one of her blistering one-star pans for Hello/Goodbye at Hampstead Theatre, seek which has newly transferred this week to the mainhouse after its earlier premiere downstairs in 2013.

hello-goodbyeDubbing it an “inoffensive but entirely pointless two-hour romcom”, she went on to say that Shaun Evans and Miranda Raison “have all the allure of two slightly defrosted chicken nuggets.” And she concluded, “In tough funding times, theatres will inevitably have an eye on the box office, but selling lots of tickets is only a short-term reward if it damages long-term reputation.”

In the Evening Standard, Fiona Mountford was two stars, but similarly unimpressed: “Raison and Evans, impressive actors individually, have zero chemistry in Tamara Harvey’s production and we find ourselves longing for the pair to leave each other — and us — in peace.”

Last week, Fiona gave her own one-star review to contact.com at the Park Theatre; but the same production got a four star rave from Patrick Marmion in the Daily Mail. Who to believe?
Today Lyn Gardner delivered one of her blistering one-star pans for Hello/Goodbye at Hampstead Theatre, seek which has newly transferred this week to the mainhouse after its earlier premiere downstairs in 2013.

hello-goodbyeDubbing it an “inoffensive but entirely pointless two-hour romcom”, she went on to say that Shaun Evans and Miranda Raison “have all the allure of two slightly defrosted chicken nuggets.” And she concluded, “In tough funding times, theatres will inevitably have an eye on the box office, but selling lots of tickets is only a short-term reward if it damages long-term reputation.”

In the Evening Standard, Fiona Mountford was two stars, but similarly unimpressed: “Raison and Evans, impressive actors individually, have zero chemistry in Tamara Harvey’s production and we find ourselves longing for the pair to leave each other — and us — in peace.”

Last week, Fiona gave her own one-star review to contact.com at the Park Theatre; but the same production got a four star rave from Patrick Marmion in the Daily Mail. Who to believe?
Today also came the news that Henrietta Götz, order executive director of English National Opera, capsule has followed the exit of chairman Martyn Rose, after less than a year in the role. On Sunday, I reported here that it had been suggested that Götz and artistic director John Berry were not talking to each other. This story looks set to run and run….
Today Lyn Gardner delivered one of her blistering one-star pans for Hello/Goodbye at Hampstead Theatre, seek which has newly transferred this week to the mainhouse after its earlier premiere downstairs in 2013.

hello-goodbyeDubbing it an “inoffensive but entirely pointless two-hour romcom”, she went on to say that Shaun Evans and Miranda Raison “have all the allure of two slightly defrosted chicken nuggets.” And she concluded, “In tough funding times, theatres will inevitably have an eye on the box office, but selling lots of tickets is only a short-term reward if it damages long-term reputation.”

In the Evening Standard, Fiona Mountford was two stars, but similarly unimpressed: “Raison and Evans, impressive actors individually, have zero chemistry in Tamara Harvey’s production and we find ourselves longing for the pair to leave each other — and us — in peace.”

Last week, Fiona gave her own one-star review to contact.com at the Park Theatre; but the same production got a four star rave from Patrick Marmion in the Daily Mail. Who to believe?
Today also came the news that Henrietta Götz, order executive director of English National Opera, capsule has followed the exit of chairman Martyn Rose, after less than a year in the role. On Sunday, I reported here that it had been suggested that Götz and artistic director John Berry were not talking to each other. This story looks set to run and run….
Today also came the news that Henrietta Götz, mind executive director of English National Opera, order has followed the exit of chairman Martyn Rose, after less than a year in the role. On Sunday, I reported here that it had been suggested that Götz and artistic director John Berry were not talking to each other. This story looks set to run and run….
john-berrySo now we know the real reason for the recent departure of English National Opera’s chairman Martyn Rose. In a (previously private) letter that he sent to ENO’s President and whose contents have now been revealed by the Sunday Times today, pilule   Rose expressed strong doubts about artistic director John Berry’s leadership of the company.

“For the very survival of the ENO, clinic Berry must leave, more about preferably soon,” he wrote. “Let me be clear — John is in my mind the problem not the solution and no meaningful change will ever take place whilst he remains. Time is of the essence. We cannot wait any longer.”

According to the report, Berry and his executive director Henriette Götz, the latter of whom joined last April, fell out almost immediately. “Sources say they no longer talk and describe Berry as charming but ruthless with opponents. The board is split in support for Berry and Götz.” In his letter to the chairman, Rose wrote, “I know now you share with me the truly appalling state that exists . . . I have no hesitation in blaming John Berry for operating a very skilful campaign to render our executive director unable to carry out her duties.”

Yikes — there’s more backstabbing backstage at the opera than drama onstage.
geraldine-mcewanSad news tonight of the passing of Geraldine McEwan, viagra 60mg aged 82.  A veteran of Olivier’s National at the Old Vic — for whom she was once announced to star as Miss Adelaide in a production of Guys and Dolls that never happened — I first saw her as part of Peter Hall’s National in the 1980s, starring in a double-bill of Rattigan’s The Browning Version and Harlequinade, with Alec McCowen and Nicky Henson, both of whom we’ve also now lost.

Into the 90s, she was stunning in Ionesco’s The Chairs at the Royal Court, opposite the late Richard Briers, and from where they transferred to reprise it on Broadway. That was a project she’d initiated herself, telling Playbill’s Harry Haun when it transferred to New York in 1998: “I was reading plays, as one does, and I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll have a look at Ionesco, but I should think it’s old hat.’ I had no idea [The Chairs] had so much in it for an audience. I thought it would be a play of its time — the fifties — but when I read it, I was immediately intrigued by it.”

As she went on to tell Haun, “The germ started with me, then Simon responded, and he took it from there. Still, it’s satisfying to actually initiate something yourself instead of waiting for people to ask you to do things that you either want to do or don’t want to do. It’s a lovely feeling.”