I don’t think I like musicals. I’m not quite sure what it is about it, I just can’t quite get into it. I found the songs lame usually, it involves some sort of dancing I’m not into and just why the hell are they always singing?
But I want to be open-minded so when I saw that they were doing a musical with only Bob Dylan songs – I am quite partial to a bit of Bobby D – I thought: “that’s it, that’s how I get into musicals”.
So for about £14, I bought a seat – it was actually a portion of a bench – to see Girl From The North Country. What I learnt this Wednesday is that with the right people, you can make even Bob Dylan songs sound cheesy and boring.
On that night, I heard the lamest cover of I Want You. The actor was singing it with that “musicals” voice, you know halfway between opera and pop, which did not work there. The songs – on top of being turned into cheesy folks-y pop – came at the most random moments – seriously Mrs. Nielsen, why are you singing about the gipsy woman in the bar right now?
The whole cast was going for some sort of American accent and I don’t think that was a good idea; not that they didn’t sound American, but one of them – I want to say Nick – just forgot to articulate, with the accent as well, I understood about a third of what he said.
I suppose the biggest problem with the whole thing was the ridiculous and multiple storylines. So many different stories! They are so numerous, you cannot actually feel connected to the characters. And despite all the freaking stories, it was still super boring.
The jokes we were supposed to laugh at were cheap – like a knockoff Friends episode. I did laugh at some point though: a character has just died – but you don’t care because there are so many spare ones – when all of a sudden, from the right-hand corner of the stage – lucky it was this side, as it is the only one I saw from my cheap seat (bench) – he comes all dressed in white and bathed in light and sings us a sweet tune – surprisingly not Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door. It was more than I could take.
And finally, to answer the question: what do we see from the cheap seat – bench – at the Noel Coward Theatre? The answer is not very much at all. That was the cheapest seat – bench – and let me tell you they truly have no shame to sell that for over a tenner. I was seating right behind a spotlight and I could see about a quarter of the right side of the stage. Oh and it is hella steep. I am not afraid of heights usually, but I was unable to go down the stairs to get to my seat – bench – without holding onto the railing and looking away.
I will not be seeing it twice and I think you should not be seeing it once – trust me some things cannot be unheard.