The Resource For Musicals



Oliver! Forum


Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
How evil should Bill be? 
Author Message
Fresh Face
Fresh Face

Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:53 pm
Posts: 1
Post How evil should Bill be?
I'm going to be trying out for Bill Sykes this weekend, and I'm wondering just how evil/over-the-top/sinister anyone might have seen or played Bill. I've never actually seen a stage production yet - other than clips on the YouTubes - and Oliver Reed's depiction in the movie was, it seems to me, a bit... understated, to put it nicely.

Thoughts?


Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:58 pm
Profile
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:09 am
Posts: 2924
Post 
He should start off quite sinister and calm... then become evil... as in absolutely horribly evil.

_________________
Image


Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:55 pm
Profile
Tony Winner
Tony Winner

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:50 am
Posts: 465
Post 
I agree with wicked. I much prefer understated Bill to ranting and raving Bill. People who are insecure or are trying to be a bully rant and rave. Bill doesn't need that. He is already the baddest on the block. Everybody knows his reputation. He doesn't have to assert it everytime he comes into the THree Cripples. A snarl, a menacing stare, should do it to start. If you start out beating everyone in the bar during your song, you slapping Nancy loses some of it's potency.

It's only when your plans start to fall apart that you lose it. A little bit during the fine life reprise. Then you can go completely beserk at the end, when you know the jig is up.

My opinion, of course. I've seen it played both ways.

Good luck with your audition.

--Scott


Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:35 pm
Profile
Chorus Member
Chorus Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 12:17 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Texas
Post 
at first, he should be just plain mean and in the end after he kills Nancy he goes nuts.

_________________
"My words fly up, my thoughts remain below.
Words without thoughts never to heaven go." -William Shakespeare


Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:52 am
Profile
Tony Winner
Tony Winner

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:12 am
Posts: 313
Location: US
Post 
I'd much prefer a subtle/understated portrayal. It's kind of a shite part, though. I mean, who really sings about being a hard ass and expects it to be taken seriously? Way cheesy, as is a lot of his dialogue. I tend to favor Fagin as much more of a villain because Bill, for all the "terror" he evokes, is bollocks.


Wed May 06, 2009 8:48 am
Profile
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:05 pm
Posts: 1616
Location: Eastern U.S.
Post 
Vichysois wrote:
I tend to favor Fagin as much more of a villain because Bill, for all the "terror" he evokes, is bollocks.


While Fagin's actions are villainous, I like to think that he cares somewhat about his wards.

_________________
Brian aka Apples2for10

"...Apples is probably the one who's posted the most relevant musical stuff long term in the past few months."- UniquePerspective


Wed May 06, 2009 11:36 am
Profile
Tony Winner
Tony Winner

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:12 am
Posts: 313
Location: US
Post 
Apples2for10 wrote:
While Fagin's actions are villainous, I like to think that he cares somewhat about his wards.


There's that ambiguous element making him more complex - he's a great character.

To a larger extent, one could make the argument that the true villain of Oliver! (much like in Sweeney Todd) is society/ the social hierarchy which facilitates the events of the play. For example, Nancy is certainly a victim of Oliver!, but it is inadequate to say that she is merely a victim of Sykes.

While we're on the broad topic, in the play, Oliver himself isn't much of a protagonist. He hasn't a lot of agency - he just gets caught up in stuff. He's also a victim.

But yes, Fagin is complex.


Wed May 06, 2009 1:16 pm
Profile
Tony Winner
Tony Winner
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 7:32 am
Posts: 478
Location: USA
Post 
In the production of Oliver! I was in, our Bill Sykes came in as this sinister madman. He played it up as though he was overconfident, but he could be cocky because he was the most evil of the bunch. It was actually a lot better than it sounds. During "My Name", he walked menacingly around the tables, singing somewhat quietly, playing with the group's mind before he would hit a line and scream it out while pounding on a table or shoving somebody. It was basically a dangerous mindgame throughout the whole number. One wrong move, and you would be dead. He didn't actually kill anyone, but he was brandishing his weapon throughout it and making eye contact with the actors, and then the audience.

It was really, really incredible. I wish it had been filmed. The change between "My Name" and "Oom Pah Pah" was absolute mood whiplash.

_________________
Currently:
The Corporal`s Widow in The Government Inspector

Upcoming:
none

Past:
Twin #2 in Peter Pan, Milkmaid/Chorus in Oliver, Belinda in A Christmas Carol


Sat May 09, 2009 6:34 am
Profile
Chorus Member
Chorus Member

Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 8:59 pm
Posts: 92
Location: Somewhere in New Jersey
Post 
On a slight tangent...does anyone here think that the movie's approach of having Bill be the only non-singer really works? I enjoy the song "My Name," but I actually think it's a nice touch not to have him sing. It makes him stand out that much more. Fagin may be a villain with comic overtones, but Bill ain't playin' with you.

(However, in the movie, listen closely most times that Bill comes onscreen and you'll hear "My Name" as underscoring.)

_________________
For out of what we live and we believe...
Our lives become the stories that we weave.
-- "Once On This Island"


Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:31 pm
Profile WWW
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:07 pm
Posts: 11297
Main Role: Performer
Post 
Jennifer Lynn wrote:
On a slight tangent...does anyone here think that the movie's approach of having Bill be the only non-singer really works? I enjoy the song "My Name," but I actually think it's a nice touch not to have him sing. It makes him stand out that much more. Fagin may be a villain with comic overtones, but Bill ain't playin' with you.

(However, in the movie, listen closely most times that Bill comes onscreen and you'll hear "My Name" as underscoring.)


the sowerberrys song is also cut in the film they dont sing. and even in the origiginal Brownlow doesnt have any musical material. so in the film Bill,Brownlow and the sowerberrys are the 4 principals that do not sing.

_________________
Image[/quote]


Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:52 am
Profile WWW
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:07 pm
Posts: 11297
Main Role: Performer
Post 
Nettik wrote:
In the production of Oliver! I was in, our Bill Sykes came in as this sinister madman. He played it up as though he was overconfident, but he could be cocky because he was the most evil of the bunch. It was actually a lot better than it sounds. During "My Name", he walked menacingly around the tables, singing somewhat quietly, playing with the group's mind before he would hit a line and scream it out while pounding on a table or shoving somebody. It was basically a dangerous mindgame throughout the whole number. One wrong move, and you would be dead. He didn't actually kill anyone, but he was brandishing his weapon throughout it and making eye contact with the actors, and then the audience.

It was really, really incredible. I wish it had been filmed. The change between "My Name" and "Oom Pah Pah" was absolute mood whiplash.


that soundsl ike every other bland staging of the song ive seen except the Sam Mendes production in london which was the only time it worked.

_________________
Image[/quote]


Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:53 am
Profile WWW
Tony Winner
Tony Winner
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 7:32 am
Posts: 478
Location: USA
Post 
Salome wrote:
Nettik wrote:
In the production of Oliver! I was in, our Bill Sykes came in as this sinister madman. He played it up as though he was overconfident, but he could be cocky because he was the most evil of the bunch. It was actually a lot better than it sounds. During "My Name", he walked menacingly around the tables, singing somewhat quietly, playing with the group's mind before he would hit a line and scream it out while pounding on a table or shoving somebody. It was basically a dangerous mindgame throughout the whole number. One wrong move, and you would be dead. He didn't actually kill anyone, but he was brandishing his weapon throughout it and making eye contact with the actors, and then the audience.

It was really, really incredible. I wish it had been filmed. The change between "My Name" and "Oom Pah Pah" was absolute mood whiplash.


that soundsl ike every other bland staging of the song ive seen except the Sam Mendes production in london which was the only time it worked.


I've seen a lot of productions of it on YouTube that were bland and boring. This was not, it kept the audience's attention. I saw a version at a high school recently that was boring. Bill ended up standing on a bar table for the majority of it. I'm pretty sure the actor thought he was playing Mark in Rent with some of his dancing.

_________________
Currently:
The Corporal`s Widow in The Government Inspector

Upcoming:
none

Past:
Twin #2 in Peter Pan, Milkmaid/Chorus in Oliver, Belinda in A Christmas Carol


Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:06 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 15 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.