Friday, 12 December 2008

'Oliver' Opening Night Postponed

Chris has just mentioned that 'Oliver' is due to open tonight and of course Chris you're absolutely right. However, rather bizarrely the opening has been delayed until tomorrow night (see BBC article below).

Whether this is some sort of poetic justice, I couldn't possibly say, but what I can say is that this delay will cost Cameron and co. a huge amount both financially and image-wise.

I must stress that the postponement is absolutely nothing to do with Jodie herself and we want to wish her all the very best for opening night tomorrow.


The first two planned performances of the new West End production of Oliver!, starring I'd Do Anything winner Jodie Prenger, have been cancelled.

Scheduled shows at the Theatre Royal on the night of Friday 12 December and a matinee the day after have been axed.

The first performance will now take place on the evening of 13 December.

Producer Cameron Mackintosh said extra time was needed to rehearse three teams of 50 child actors. Ticketholders can exchange tickets or apply for refunds.

Cameron Mackintosh said:

The planned previews were cancelled because of the "complexity of the production and the need to safely rehearse 150 children with the adult company of 35 actors on a moving set".

There were three separate teams of 50 child actors because of licensing regulations, Mackintosh said.

"Each scene has to be rehearsed three times and, as the set is very large and complicated, it is imperative that they are rehearsed in complete safety," he said.

Theatregoers with tickets for the two cancelled performances should contact the original point of sale to arrange a refund or to exchange tickets for a later performance.

Prenger won the role of Nancy in Oliver! after winning the BBC talent show I'd Do Anything.


ChrisH said...

Oh wow! Poor Jodie....

Feels ironic saying it but the more time has gone on the more happy I am that Rachel didn't win IDA! :)

Anonymous said...

ooo thats going to make a lot of people mad

people going tomorrow must be really happy though lol

Good Luck Jodie!!!!

Claire Benson said...

I was one of those people that went to see the opening of oliver yesterday, and was absolutley gutted when they said it was cancelled, but i suppose it would have been worse for Cameron McKintosh and other people if they let the show go ahead and one of the children were to fall and injure themselves. If anyone who works for Drury Lane theatre, i would like to thank them for giving us tickets to see 'Sound of Music'And dealing with everything so well, because i bet you got alot of trouble with telling people the bad news

David said...

Totally agree Chris, as does another of the WWRY die-hards on the forum: ''Rachel is past her honeymoon period now so no more allowances really, but she needs none anyway for Meat – I am really pleased for her that she didn’t get the Nancy gig.''

Danielle said...

Oh for goodness sake- a child is not going to fall and hurt themselves based on whether they are allocated another 12 hours to rehearse. I was one of the people who managed to get tickets for opening night, and needless to say was extremely disappointed. Not only did I lose money on the ticket, as I had paid considerably more than face value, I lost money on my train ticket, as I had travelled from Edinburgh for the occasion, as well as the cost of the hotel in central London I had booked in advance. I was only contacted by the theatre late on Friday afternoon, after I had arrived in London. When I spoke to the manager of the theatre, he was far from apologetic, replying flippantly to my comment concerning financial loss on a train ticket and hotel booking, 'If you had bought a dress for the event, would you also expect the theatre to compensate you?"- the whole affair was handled very unprofessionally. I have been allocated replacement tickets, but not until March, which is the next available date- needless to say, a key reason for my wanting to see it, was to see Rowan Atkinson as Fagan, who is only appearing for 12 weeks. Had there been a genuine mishap, technical malfunction or an illness in the cast, it would have been completely acceptable, however postponement due to ill preparation is utterly UNacceptable, especially in a professional situation.

David said...

I definitely have to agree with Danielle here -- shameful behaviour on the part of the theatre concerned. Let's not kid ourselves -- these people make a LOT of money from these big productions. They have also had most of this year to prepare for 'Oliver' -- remember IDA began way back in March. Given this last-minute cancellation of the two opening shows, ticket holders should have been offered either double the face value of their ticket or the chance to attend an extra show which should have been scheduled specially. I'm sure some small print allows them to get away with the type of 'market trader' behaviour that Danielle has described, but for the sake of the image of the theatre, the production and the director, it would be highly advisable, particularly in this cash strapped times, to set an example of decency and contrition. Sorry folks your public relations suck.

rogt said...

Danielle and David - the advice in the first five or so posts here may be useful. Are you sure Rowan's only there for 12 weeks? I thought he was on holiday around then, not leaving.

rogt said...

Sorry - forgot the link and can't edit: