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SWEENEY TODD "in Concert" in Cambridge 
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Post SWEENEY TODD "in Concert" in Cambridge
From the Random Facts Thread:

Felix Felicis wrote:
A university production of Sweeney Todd is billed as having 'Cambridge's finest actor-singers'. This annoys me greatly.

Nudelkopf wrote:
Why's that?

Felix Felicis wrote:
Because the director has cast all his friends from the choir, ie a production full of people with lovely voices and the acting ability of a cocker spaniel. He's prioritising and promoting the singing to the detriment of the rest of the show - he's already cut swathes of dialogue as 'unnecessary'. It's basically gonna be "Sweeney in Concert".

Nudelkopf wrote:
Yeah, I see the problem :evil:

Someone sounds a bit bitter to me. :-" However, if it really annoys you so much, why don't you do something about it? If they are adding in all these cuts, then at the very least they are probably in violation of their rights agreement and you could report them for their tort.

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Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:32 pm
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Post Re: SWEENEY TODD "in Concert" in Cambridge
RainbowJude wrote:
Someone sounds a bit bitter to me. :-" However, if it really annoys you so much, why don't you do something about it? If they are adding in all these cuts, then at the very least they are probably in violation of their rights agreement and you could report them for their tort.

Yes I'm achingly bitter about not being in a show I didn't audition for. I was offered a role and turned it down, if you must know.
I don't know enough about what kind of rights or license are available/have been bought to wade in and tell them what they can and can't do.
What's more it's not officially called ST in Concert, that's just my impression.
All I'm saying is that Sweeney Todd is not an opera and should not be cast like one. IF THAT MAKES ME BITTER, THEN SO BE IT! *flounces*

Also (without wishing to be rude) was this really worth its own thread? It's just a student production of an often-produced show.

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Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:54 am
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Post Re: SWEENEY TODD "in Concert" in Cambridge
Just in case you are still interested RJ:
I've made some inquiries and yes, the cuts are being made contrary to the license agreement. Which puts one in rather a difficult position.

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Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:57 am
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Post SWEENEY TODD "in Concert" in Cambridge
Felix Felicis wrote:
I've made some inquiries and yes, the cuts are being made contrary to the license agreement. Which puts one in rather a difficult position.

Does it really put you in such a difficult position? Taking you at your word, that you're not operating from a position of bitterness which would mean a place of vengeance, it seems to me that your stance is ethically against the violation of their license agreement. It's unlikely that the production will get shut down if the company hasn't made any similar violations in the past; all that will happen is that they will be ordered to restore all the cuts, which is in line with what they agreed to in the first place.

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Post Re: SWEENEY TODD "in Concert" in Cambridge
RainbowJude wrote:
Felix Felicis wrote:
I've made some inquiries and yes, the cuts are being made contrary to the license agreement. Which puts one in rather a difficult position.

Does it really put you in such a difficult position? Taking you at your word, that you're not operating from a position of bitterness which would mean a place of vengeance, it seems to me that your stance is ethically against the violation of their license agreement. It's unlikely that the production will get shut down if the company hasn't made any similar violations in the past; all that will happen is that they will be ordered to restore all the cuts, which is in line with what they agreed to in the first place.


But what makes it difficult is my friendship with many of those involved in the production. There is just not time for them to restore the cuts - it wasn't a matter of learning the show, seeing what 'didn't work' and excising it. Before anything began, the director went through the script and made edits of his own; the cast will never have seen the cut material.

If the violation is reported and they're ordered to put the material back in, I don't know if they'll be able to make the show work. The heavy academic commitments here make it hard enough to get normal rehearsals done without getting the cast to learn new scenes and verses during the day and perform at night. If the actors have to read lines from a script or perform unblocked scenes, the entire production will disintegrate and I don't know if I want to be responsible for that.

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Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:09 am
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Post SWEENEY TODD "in Concert" in Cambridge
The thing is you won't be. The director will be. It was his choice to cut the material and violate the terms of the agreement. However, I do understand that you don't want to feel like you're sabotaging your friends. What you do is up to you in the end.

Anyway, in the light of what happened with that university production of RENT earlier this year, I think that directors fiddling about with texts at this level of musical theatre productions is a touchy subject at this point in time - particularly for licensing agents - and once again reminds us of one of the most important parts of the process: choosing the right text for the context in which you are producing the production at the outset. If you can't do a show as written, do something that you can do. Unless of course the thing is that you don't want to do the show as written... which is another story completely and then you take the risk of being caught and held responsible for your transgressions.

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Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:21 am
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Post Re: SWEENEY TODD "in Concert" in Cambridge
The production opened last night. Here's a review for anyone still interested:
http://cambridgetab.co.uk/culture/sweeney-todd

EDIT: I'm off to see the show tonight. As recommended in the review, we are drinking before we go.

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Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:40 pm
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Post SWEENEY TODD "in Concert" in Cambridge
Did it go ahead with all of the cuts? The review makes it sound awful.

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Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:37 am
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Post Re: SWEENEY TODD "in Concert" in Cambridge
I don't know how the licensor found out, but apparently the director received a strongly worded letter and all the cuts were put back in. For that reason, parts of the show were performed without blocking and with the actors singing from the score because there had been no time to rehearse.

It was dreadful, really shocking, but one of the funnest experiences I've had in a theatre. It was incredibly rude of us, but my friend and I (and most of the audience) were laughing pretty much the whole way through the show. Vocally, the cast was predictably wonderful, but everything else was appalling. Probably the worst directing I've ever seen, non-existent acting, bizarre costumes and ludicrous props (the meat grinder appeared to be made of papier mache).

I hope someone recorded it because I'd kill to see it again. The review was pretty much spot on - it was horrible but brilliant.

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Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:30 am
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Post Re: SWEENEY TODD "in Concert" in Cambridge
It sounds like they got what they deserved!

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