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Is "The Boys In The Photograph" a good musical? 
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Post Is "The Boys In The Photograph" a good musical?
Has anyone here seen the revised version of "The Beautiful Game" entitled "The Boys In The Photograph"?

What changes have been made to the musical other than the title?

More importantly, are the changes for the better or for the worse?

Are the changes extensive enough that those who considered "The Beautiful Game" to be a bad musical might consider "Boys In The Photograph" to be a good musical?


Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:59 pm
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Tony Winner
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I haven't seen it but the fact they changed the ending is enough to put me off it - the courageously downbeat ending was one of the best bits of the original.

Better title, though.

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Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:40 pm
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Post Re: Is THE BOYS IN THE PHOTOGRAPH a good musical?
Jaded Mandarin wrote:
Has anyone here seen the revised version of The Beautiful Game entitled The Boys In The Photograph? More importantly, are the changes for the better or for the worse? Are the changes extensive enough that those who considered "The Beautiful Game" to be a bad musical might consider "Boys In The Photograph" to be a good musical?

I'm traveled to see The Boys in the Photograph the weekend before last and collected some of my thoughts about the show on my blog, where I have also posted a review roundup of the new show. In terms of the critical reaction to the show, there is less negative criticism, although none of the reviews really grapples with the quality of the show itself (as opposed to the production, which is very good). I felt that the changes, which I've discussed in a fair bit of detail in the sections on the book and the score in the post mentioned above, were for the better and that the show good, but not brilliant. To achieve that kind of greatness is not unthinkable, however, would only involve a great deal of work, in particular, from Ben Elton on his largely untouched lyrics and on further refining the book of the show, which really does hold the show together and is far more extensive than that of any other Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

jackrussell wrote:
I haven't seen it but the fact they changed the ending is enough to put me off it - the courageously downbeat ending was one of the best bits of the original.

I would hardly describe the ending of The Beautiful Game as downbeat. In fact, the scene with the son going off to start his round of "the game" is distinctly hopeful, given the context of the war in which the play is set. The new ending can't possibly be more "upbeat" in that regard: the war can't simply be wished away. Although the new ending is more unabashedly romantic, it does not harms the integrity of the show at all in terms of what it communicates thematically.

jackrussell wrote:
Better title, though.

On the contrary, the new title is wordy and sentimental, limp in comparison to the original moniker, which was far more resonant in relation to each of the themes in the play – politics, love, violence – as well as referring overtly to the central presence of football in the narrative. I can't say that I think it's a change for the better, though I understand the reason for the switch.

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Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:28 am
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Post Re: Is "The Boys In The Photograph" a good musical?
Thanks for that. I thought the ending was a good ending originally, and real yet also underlining the terribleness of it all. I think the show is good and brave, but I have only heard the original cast recording, and no one of the melodies, can't remember what, is sitting in Love Never Dies. It did get great reviews when it opened in London originally and it is a different style for ALW. I really love the song All the Love I have, which is a lovely melody but always reminds me of an older style musical theatre song.


Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:14 pm
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