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Author Topic: Local Hero - musical  (Read 124950 times)

Offlinegoon525

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Re: Local Hero - musical
« Reply #525 on: March 25, 2019, 09:20:40 am »
And here is The Times review, by their chief theatre reviewer. It's another 4 star which is almost entirely positive, and rather suggests that with a bit of tightening would be 5 star. (Actually, I suspect Ann T is a bit of a Dire Straits fan.) Anyway, all these positive reviews must suggest there's not much doubt about the Old Vic transfer.

Review: Local Hero, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
This musical is built on atmosphere and wonder, laced with a magical blend of Celtic folk and blues

Ann Treneman
March 25 2019, 12:01am,
The Times
Music
Theatre

★★★★☆
This is the musical based on the 1983 film Local Hero, a tale that follows Mac, a negotiator from a Houston oil company, as he tries to buy a remote Scottish beach and put an oil refinery on it. The film, with its haunting music by the rock star Mark Knopfler, was a hit, virtually defining a part of Scotland for a time, and remains adored.

It’s taken a mere 36 years (things move slowly on remote Scottish beaches) but the stage musical has arrived. The script is by Bill Forsyth (who wrote the film) along with the Lyceum’s artistic director David Greig. In what can only be called a musical coup, Knopfler has written 19 new songs for it plus, of course, the brilliant Going Home from the film.

“I didn’t want to write a musical-y musical,” says Knopfler. Well consider it done. Forget razzle-dazzle. Don’t even try to sit down if you’re rocking the boat. And if you think no one is going to rain on your parade then you’ve never been to Scotland. This musical is built on atmosphere and wonder and it is laced through with a magical blend of Celtic folk and blues, not to mention a bit of cabaret, fun and riotous rock. (There is even a disco ball.)

It is director John Crowley’s job to make us feel as if we, too, are locals in the fishing village of Ferness. There are uneven moments, and it could be tightened, but it isn’t long before we are there, with the locals, in the pub, on the beach and trying to use the village’s red phone box. The set, by Scott Pask, helps: the sky is a semi-circle of constant beauty, be it the stars or the northern lights. There is also a beguiling performance by Julian Forsyth as the beachcomber Ben.

The story is familiar, but it has been smoothed out and, I think, improved. Damian Humbley is brilliant as Mac, the Houston wheeler-dealer. He arrives, cock of the walk, with his electric briefcase and a beeping watch (“It’s digital,” he notes proudly). The villagers embrace the idea of a refinery and exult in the hilarious song Filthy Dirty Rich, but they forget to consult the most important person who turns out to be beachcomber Ben.


The music is the landscape here (bravo seven-piece band) and the voices are as clear as the stars overhead, particularly Humbley as Mac and Matthew Pidgeon and Katrina Bryan as the pub-owners Gordon and Stella.

One of the best songs is called: Houston, We Have a Problem. Well, let Houston worry about that. This gentle bittersweet musical is just fine. And the phone box is a star.


Offlinegoon525

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Re: Local Hero - musical
« Reply #526 on: March 25, 2019, 09:21:32 am »
I don't find it that curious. I won't be indulging in illegal taping either.

Offlinesuperval99

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Re: Local Hero - musical
« Reply #527 on: March 25, 2019, 09:31:23 am »
I don't find it that curious. I won't be indulging in illegal taping either.

I don't either.   I certainly wouldn't try recording in such a small theatre, if there was even the remotest chance of being spotted and told to leave!  I'm attending to enjoy the whole experience without any worries!    ;)
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Offlinejbaent

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Re: Local Hero - musical
« Reply #528 on: March 25, 2019, 09:38:13 am »
I don't find it that curious. I won't be indulging in illegal taping either.

I don't either.   I certainly wouldn't try recording in such a small theatre, if there was even the remotest chance of being spotted and told to leave!  I'm attending to enjoy the whole experience without any worries!    ;)

Well, I'm not recording in video either, but I will try to do an audio recording just to make sure that fans that can't attend could, at least, listen to the songs.
You might get lucky, now and then

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Offlinesuperval99

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Re: Local Hero - musical
« Reply #529 on: March 25, 2019, 09:39:52 am »
Thank you for The Times review, goon525.   Almost all of the reviews have had 4 stars, with the exception of The Telegraph which gave 3 stars and it's headline describes it as "a beloved Scottish film ends up a lacklustre musical" - I don't subscribe to The Telegraph, so cannot give any more information.  All in all good reviews!    :)
Goin' into Tow Law....

Offlineskydiver

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Re: Local Hero - musical
« Reply #530 on: March 25, 2019, 09:43:26 am »
I don't find it that curious. I won't be indulging in illegal taping either.

I don't either.   I certainly wouldn't try recording in such a small theatre, if there was even the remotest chance of being spotted and told to leave!  I'm attending to enjoy the whole experience without any worries!    ;)

Well, I'm not recording in video either, but I will try to do an audio recording just to make sure that fans that can't attend could, at least, listen to the songs.

Thanks jbaent for your effort.
I think it will be well over a year from now before an official release (The run at the Old Vic starts in June 2020, and Guy has to record it during that time)
And maybe they will change or leave out one of the songs when transfering to London, so it's good to have a least some souvenir of it.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2019, 10:10:04 am by skydiver »

Offlinesuperval99

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Re: Local Hero - musical
« Reply #531 on: March 25, 2019, 09:56:54 am »
I don't find it that curious. I won't be indulging in illegal taping either.

I don't either.   I certainly wouldn't try recording in such a small theatre, if there was even the remotest chance of being spotted and told to leave!  I'm attending to enjoy the whole experience without any worries!    ;)

Well, I'm not recording in video either, but I will try to do an audio recording just to make sure that fans that can't attend could, at least, listen to the songs.

Audio recordings are more discreet, of course, so I wish you all the best!    In the meantime, maybe something will leak out officially.  :)
Goin' into Tow Law....

Offlinesuperval99

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Re: Local Hero - musical
« Reply #532 on: March 25, 2019, 10:17:23 am »
SCOTSGAYARTS

Local Hero,

***** 5 Stars

“ The beating heart of Scottish Theatrical Creativity”

Bill Forsyth’s 1983 Bafta award winning motion picture “Local Hero” transformed Scottish cinema, for the first time Hollywood viewed Scotland as something more than tartan Tammie hats and shortbread and finally broke the mis held beliefs of films such as Brigadoon.

Now 35 years later, Forsyth has collaborated with Lyceum Artistic director David Grieg to write the book with acclaimed Musician Mark Knopfler (who created the original films album) delivering music and lyrics, Furness is back in a brand-new musical adaptation the is clearly the beating heart of Scottish theatrical creativity.

Local Hero tells the story of “Mac” an inspiring and finely nuanced performance from Damian Humbly an 1980’s Oil magnet executive working for Knox Oil of Houston Texas, he is sent to Furness in Scotland by his king pin boss “Happer” (the legendary Burt Lancaster in the film) played with consummate skill and talent by Simon Rouse. His mission is to buy Furness in order to set up an Oil Refinery and cash in on the 80’s Oil boom from Scottish Waters. Happer is also keen on getting his name on an asteroid comet and the clear skies of northern Scotland offer the best chance of that happening, Mac must keep in touch with Happer whilst buying the village from the locals. At its Heart Local Hero is tale of community, belonging to the environment around us and asks us what do we leave behind for future generations and is that worth selling out.

This musical adaptation is loving tribute to the film original and is engrossing from the off especially with Knopfler’s new songs managing to completely recapture the essence and style of the 1980’s whilst always tying in and furthering the story.

Both Humbly and Rouse form part of a 15 strong company of actors who are universally excellent bringing the villagers to life with ease, and the inherent comedy has the audience laughing form the off. Special mention must go to Katerina Bryan as “Stella” her voice is peerless  and to hear her sing vibrates around the lyceum is a moment of joy.

Director John Crowley has totally delivered us back into the 1980’s taking us back before the advent of mobile phones, the internet and where the art of communication is by GPO telephone box. He has done this by being joined in the production team by the very best from the creative industries. Tony award winning Scenic and costume designer Scott Pask has delivered a triumphant stage set that uses a massive cyclorama to great effect combined with Tony and Olivier award winning lighting designers Paule Constable’s work is a thing of rare beauty. Pask has also brought a detailed and accurate 80’s costume design to the show that’s flawless. The closing of Act 1 as the Northern Lights appear above Furness is a moment that sears into the memory and takes the breath away and reminds you just how good theatre can be when the boundaries are pushed beyond their limits.

Paul Arditti’s sound design is oft understated but peaks in the right moments with helicopters swooping over head and motorbikes screaming across the stage without the audience ever seeing either items its brilliantly done. Arditti’s work also ensures we hear the excellent 7-piece live band under the Direction of Phil Bateman. The band deliver Knopfler’s score with precision and its clear they enjoy every moment of being seen on stage especially during the wonderful ceilidh scene.

Local Hero deserves every one of its 5 stars and much like the film before it, this musical will transcend the art form of musical theatre, with witty script, uniformly excellent performances from the entire cast and a production element that can outdo many a west end show, this is a show that will live long in the memory.

As the curtain fell to the strains of Knopfler’s “Going Home” the audience rose to their feet in a standing ovation for just how brilliant a production they had just witnessed. The Lyceum doesn’t do musicals often but when they do, they change the landscape and showcase just why theatre matters. They tell the stories that engross and entertain and “Local Hero” can already take its place amongst the classics.

Do what you must to snap up a ticket and head for the Lyceum and be transported to Furness of the 1980’s it’s an experience you will never forget!

Goin' into Tow Law....

Offlinejbaent

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Re: Local Hero - musical
« Reply #533 on: March 25, 2019, 10:43:10 am »
Furness...  :smack
You might get lucky, now and then

My book about Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Jbaent

Offlinesuperval99

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Re: Local Hero - musical
« Reply #534 on: March 25, 2019, 10:49:59 am »
Goin' into Tow Law....

Offlinegoon525

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Re: Local Hero - musical
« Reply #535 on: March 25, 2019, 06:18:29 pm »
Having reprinted positive reviews, here's the negative one from the Telegraph Val referred to above (but kindly protected us from!). Please don't shoot the messenger! (Unless you want me to be sending postcards from Paraguay...) Incidentally, I used to read the Telegraph, and don't remember Mark Brown's name.



Local Hero, Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, review: a beloved Scottish film ends up as a lacklustre musical



Mark Brown
24 MARCH 2019 • 12:02PM
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There was excited anticipation – and some controversy – ahead of this world premiere of the stage musical based on Bill Forsyth’s iconic 1983 film Local Hero, in which a Texas oilman arrives in the fictional coastal village of Ferness, in the north-west of Scotland, intent on turning it into an oil refinery. The feelgood gloss took a decided knock when Forsyth (who is credited as co-author, with David Greig, of the book for the show) announced that he would not be attending the opening night. 

The veteran filmmaker had, he said, been sidelined from the creative process and reduced to the role of a mere “editor”. We will probably never know whether his co-producers, the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh and London’s Old Vic, were guilty of gross disrespect, or Forsyth was at fault for having too thin a skin for such a collaborative process.

In any case, the proof of the proverbial pudding is that, had he been in attendance at last night’s opening, the filmmaker would have had entirely different reasons to express disappointment. Although director John Crowley succeeds in evoking much of the warm humour of the original film, Mark Knopfler’s songs are depressingly unmemorable.




What is strange is that the former Dire Straits frontman had two very distinct starting points for his score; namely, his much-loved theme tune for the 1983 film, and Scottish traditional music. Both feature, but neither stamps its authority on a set of songs that is characterised, both musically and lyrically, by an insipid sentimentality.

It’s a pity, as the production is blessed with some fine performances, not least from Matthew Pidgeon as hotel proprietor-cum-financial advisor Gordon. The early number in which (having just learned of the proposed oil deal) he celebrates his coming wealth is more memorable for Pidgeon’s hilariously exuberant performance than for anything happening on the musical front.

 Local Hero runs at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh until April 20, then transfers to London
Local Hero runs at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh until April 20, then transfers to London CREDIT: STEPHEN CUMMISKEY
Damian Humbley, too, is nicely cast in the role of MacIntyre, the lonely Houston oil executive, which he plays with the perfect combination of go-getting arrogance, human frailty and self-effacing humour.

The book (from which Forsyth has distanced himself) winks at many of the film’s best-loved jokes, from a well-aged whisky being “old enough to be out on its own” to the unknown parentage of the village baby. The script takes some wrong turns, such as the irritatingly incongruous scene (complete with terrible song) in which the women of the village try to persuade the eccentric beach-dweller Ben to sell up and move into a retirement home.

Scott Pask’s understated set relies heavily upon Luke Halls’s impressive projections for its sense of spectacle, which it achieves most notably in the moments when it evokes the night skies over the Highlands. Ultimately, however, weighed down by Knopfler’s lacklustre score, the production seems perpetually stuck in second gear.


Offlinesuperval99

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Re: Local Hero - musical
« Reply #536 on: March 25, 2019, 06:36:58 pm »
Thanks for the review, goon525!   I suppose he isn't a Knopfler fan then!   ::)
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Offlinesuperval99

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Re: Local Hero - musical
« Reply #537 on: March 25, 2019, 07:18:22 pm »
A review from The Herald:

 Local Hero

Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

Neil Cooper

Five stars

There was always a beautiful sleight of hand about Local Hero, Bill Forsyth’s big screen hymn to the transformative power of Scotland’s rural landscape. On the one hand, Forsyth’s iconic tale of an American oil company’s attempt to buy up the fictional village of Ferness is a charmingly romantic study of the power of the little guy in the face of being made an offer they can’t refuse. On the other, with free-market economics in full swing when the film was released in 1983, its take on community spirit defeating corporate capitalism was the gentlest of protests.

Thirty-six years on, this feels like the case even more in this gorgeous new stage musical based on Forsyth’s original screenplay, and co-written by Forsyth and the Lyceum’s artistic director David Greig. Featuring nineteen new songs by the film’s original composer, Mark Knopfler, director John Crowley’s co-production between the Lyceum and the Old Vic is a loving and immaculately crafted take on the original story.


Damian Humbly’s oil man Mac is dispatched to Ferness to set in motion plans to build a refinery, moving from a big-suited life of shiny skyscrapers, electronic briefcases and digital watches to a place where everybody cuts three jobs to make ends meet. Mac has an epiphany inspired by Matthew Pidgeon’s dancing hotel manager accountant, Gordon, his sort-of wife Stella, played with understated steel by Katrina Bryan, and Ben, Julian Forsyth’s wise old man of the sea.

Set beneath Luke Halls’ exquisite video projections on Scott Pask’s minimal set, Crowley’s production remains faithful to the essence of its source, with the show’s full fifteen-strong acting ensemble rising to the occasion. Their performances are heightened even more by Lucy Hind’s movement direction and a live seven-piece band overseen by Dave Milligan, who lace Knopfler’s songs with a poignancy and warmth that makes them the heart of the show. Arriving onstage at a time when billionaire bullies are running the world’s natural resources into the ground, this is a joyful gaze at a sky-full of possibilities beyond.
Goin' into Tow Law....

Offlinesuperval99

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Re: Local Hero - musical
« Reply #538 on: March 25, 2019, 07:20:04 pm »
MusicalTheatre Review:


Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

To have the temerity and the courage to re-visit such a well-loved film as Local Hero, there needs to be a reason to make it resonate with the here and now and not keep it in the aspic of 1982 or so. Although this production was not exactly put together in a twinkling, it succeeds on every level. This is a Local Hero for those who love the film and those who have never even heard of it, let alone Ferness! It is also a show that speaks for and of the people now in 2019.

The Royal Lyceum and The Old Vic must be applauded in bringing together Bill Forsyth and Mark Knopfler once again to create the stage show – and musical – of Local Hero. Keeping the time in the early 80s is absolutely fine and true to the core of the story – why else would you have a phone box being the only means of reaching Houston, Texas from Ferness in the north of Scotland? And the essential filofax and phone alarms telling you something is happening right now, but not what the something is? Wise move indeed.

So here we are between techie Houston and parochial Ferness – Houston wanting property for an oil refinery and Ferness wanting to make as much money as possible from the American investors.

In steps Mac (MacIntyre – a corruption of his grandfather’s name when he arrived in the USA from Budapest) with a two-fold mission: to secure Ferness as the ideal spot for the refinery for Knox Oil and Gas, whilst picking out a comet to be named for his ultimate boss, Felix Happer.

Mac (Damian Humbley), Stella (Katrina Bryan) and Gordon (Matthew Pidgeon) are the core of the piece. Gordon not only runs the local hotel, he’s the accountant and business advisor (not to mention taxi driver) for the locals. Stella helps Gordon run the hotel and is his accomplished partner for the tango and who can tell what else…

The ensuing story is based on the original work with additional songs all by Knopfler and an altered book with David Greig joining Bill Forsyth in writing this tightly focused text.

The music is wonderful – Knopfler’s signature chord progressions and unmistakeable guitar riffs play in and out of the foreground. The seven-piece band, led by Phil Bateman, is as remarkable as the score. ‘Rocks and Water’ is an outstanding solo number and ‘The Big Mac’ is a marvellously surreal sequence, fronted by Iain (John McLarnon) and Viktor (Adam Pearce).

The village of Ferness is picked out as a row of cottages in miniature, fronted by the famous telephone box. Scott Pask’s set design is both minimal and detailed: the cyclorama offers the sky or the sea making the space specific to the tiny coastal village – like an ever-changing painting of light and colour.

John Crowley’s direction is as restrained as it can be to allow room for the characters to come to life. Paired with Lucy Hind’s movement, every turn of the plot is clear and the pace is perfect. The characters have a real community with each other, picking up cues from the music and each other with genuine pleasure.

The ensemble work is inventive, often hilarious – the ceilidh and its morning after scenes are particularly fabulous.

Joy lives in the heart of this show – it’s delightfully infectious creating that ‘feel-good’ atmosphere in every beat.  Some of Forsyth’s renowned running gags work brilliantly onstage from motorcycles to prams; and many snatches of dialogue work even better in a live setting.

This show lives up to its promise in every measure possible. The finale, ‘Going Home’, brings the audience to its feet, yelling pleasure and congratulation.

Heartfelt and perfect – this deserves to run and run. Hope there’s a cast recording in the works!


Goin' into Tow Law....

OnlineKris-b

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Re: Local Hero - musical
« Reply #539 on: March 25, 2019, 07:49:33 pm »
Thanks for sharing all those  reviews! Really getting excited now!

 

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