Hello/goodbye to Hello/Goodbye?

Mark ShentonNews of the day1 Comment

hello-goodbye

It was announced today that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory broke the record for the highest weekly gross sales at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane at the end of December, clinic this web with box office receipts of more than £1.1m.

charlie-chocolate-factoryThe West End, of course, isn’t transparent about its weekly take as producers are on Broadway, except when they’ve got something to crow about like here, but this level of income puts the show on a serious par with takings for many shows on Broadway — but with (somewhat) lower ticket prices. Which makes it even more of an achievement.
It was announced today that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory broke the record for the highest weekly gross sales at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane at the end of December, this web with box office receipts of more than £1.1m.

charlie-chocolate-factoryThe West End, of course, isn’t transparent about its weekly take as producers are on Broadway, except when they’ve got something to crow about like here, but this level of income puts the show on a serious par with takings for many shows on Broadway — but with (somewhat) lower ticket prices. Which makes it even more of an achievement.
Today Lyn Gardner delivered one of her blistering one-star pans for Hello/Goodbye at Hampstead Theatre, order 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”, side effects she went on to say that Shaun Evans and Miranda Raison “have all the allure of two slightly defrosted chicken nuggets.” And she concluded, cure “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?

  • Caroline Byrne

    who to believe? The audience. Laughter all round, people gripped, leaning forward throughout the performance, great buzz at interval and no noticable dip in numbers after interval- very enthusiastic applause.
    It is a really funny play, but sadly romcom as a genre in theatre suffers from terrible snobbiness in critics who believe themselves to be above it all. (I dont think Lyn Gardner has much of a sense of humour) and yet comedy drama is the hardest to write! anyone can throw in FGM/child abuse to get the shock value going, but keeping an audience laughing is bloody hard. Kudos to the brilliant actors, director and obviously the playwright. Im sorry they got such undeserving, snarky, mean spirited reviews from jaded theatre critics.