Skip to main content

Review of Iconic The Show at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

Settling down to write this review and knowing what it is to contain makes it clear to me that the majority of those at Royal & Derngate last night are not going to agree with me. Howeever, I went to Iconic The Show based on good reviews so I think the record needs setting the other way a little to protect the few.

Iconic The Show is an evening "celebrating the most iconic movie tracks of all time", and it tries to do this it really does, but sometimes try as you might, Iconic ends up being the result.

The first enormous showbreaking problem is how just one technical decision can pretty much destroy a production. For whatever reason, Iconic's sound engineers choose to drive the volume of the show up beyond sensible levels. So you have a vastly uncomfortable volume, which while I am sure many people loved, is clearly destroying the sound quality with the distortion is creates. The singers themselves are I am pretty sure excellent and the quieter numbers appear to suggest this, however quiet this show does rarely and we are never far from a high-octane number which rattles the building and leaves the speakers with no give to create quality audio. The level is so high that even some of the speech is broken.

I left at the interval from my seat in the stalls with a headache (which however you look at isn't clever) and returned from it having sneaked up to a back seat in the circle. It was much quieter here and therefore more comfortable, but it did tend to highlight even more the clarity that was being lost in the audio as lyrics were often left unheard.

So if this show is all about noise, so be it. It gets it right and the audience appeared to be lapping it up, However, then we have the structure of the show itself. It is built around a flimsy and pretty pointless tale of a future where cinemas are non-existant and this is a secret den to see films of old come to life. Creating this story are the kind of comedy sketches and material that any reputable end of pier show would discard into the sea. This is really a poor effort, with dialogue created via the sledgehammering of film titles and classic quotes into it. It is poor and no matter how many times you say to the audience that "it don't get any better than this" after each groan is going to make the situation better.

Another weird decision is for a show which has the opportunity to mine decades of classic films songs, it then chooses to spend its first forty minutes just on James Bond themes. A totally lazy decision, which as it developed truly made me wonder if I had come to the wrong show. Then there is the family show theory, a joke early on suggests that Steve struggles to understand this and yes I can see that. Moments don't fit into a family friendly show and to be honest most of the songs origins don't either, with many coming from 18 certificate films, and even if is comically done, the reenactment of the ear removal scene from Reservoir Dogs doesn't make it good wholesome entertainment. Then there is the fact that it is more than a tad misogynistic, with an early scene depicting two ladies ripping the clothes of another down to her underwear and then spending most of the show gyrating in various forms of limited clothing make it generally not one for little Johnny to attend.

Then there is the fact that I don't need to hear a fellow performer state that the creator of this show is a "genius" at the finale as I can't help but think this is either scripted (by the genius), sycophantically simpering on the part of the performer, or just really sickenly egocentric. I also don't need that star to go outside the theme of a show he has created and perform a song simply because he is famous for performing it. Is he that shallow that he thinks it can't work without it?

Steve said in (a likely) scripted aside to the audience early on during one of those "comedy" scenes that "for anyone who hasn't seen me before they are going to think this is s**t. However they'll get it later". Well sorry, Steve I didn't and whether 600 or whatever are raving about this and dancing out their seats, you can't disguise the fact that at a standard ticket price of £26, this is pretty poorly constructed and cheap entertainment. However for those that are Steinman fans, and there appear to be plenty, I am sure you loved it. For me, I think this is extremely poorly produced material and let that be a warning to you.

«½


Performance reviewed: Saturday 3rd June 2017 at the Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton.

Iconic The Show was at the Royal & Derngate Saturday 3rd June 2017 only 
and continues its tour throughout 2017 and with dates in 2018. Details of dates and locations can be found at http://www.iconictheshow.com/

For further details visit the Royal & Derngate website at http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Rules For Living at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

It is possibly a rule in life for a few in the audience for the opening night of Sam Holcroft's domestic comedy Rules For Living not to mention Christmas until December. Therefore anyone of such a persuasion might have been a little perturbed to be presented on the 13th September with, an undeniably brilliantly dressed, homely Christmas scene.

Opening up in glorious dollhouse style and on a gorgeous little hinge, this little home of living room and kitchen sets the scene for a typical family Christmas. Mother Edith (Jane Booker) welcomes her sons, Matthew (Jolyon Coy) and Adam (Ed Hughes) and their respective partners, Carrie (Carlyss Peer) and Nicole (Laura Rogers) And with a final dramatic arrival of father Francis (Paul Shelley), the scene is very much set for comic antics of the highest calibre.

The first thing you get from Rules For Living in the first few minutes is the arrival of one of the most brilliant, yet simple concepts I have seen for a while in the play. These are …

Review of Make Way For Lucia by John Van Druten at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

There have been a couple of television versions of the Mapp & Lucia novels by E. F. Benson over the years and irrespective of which generation version you might have seen, the roles of Miss Mapp and Mrs. Lucas were filled with some heavyweight performers. So taking on these roles could, in theory, be a challenge too much to live up to. However, that would be if the characters themselves were less the sum of the performer. These are great characters on paper as well as on stage and therefore Gena McCrystal (Miss Mapp) and Juliet O'Connor (Lucia) make them very much their own in the stage adaption by John Van Druten.

Lucia has arrived and breezed both into the town of Tilling and the musical chair roundabout of house rental that is want to occur here. Her rented property is Miss Mapp's and for some reason, Mapp fails to follow the routine of keeping away, constantly "popping in", so the battle lines are drawn.
Make Way for Lucia is the typical battle of supremacy i…

Review of Once Upon A Grimm Tale by The Royal & Derngate Actors Company (Early) at Judge's Lodgings, Northampton

Once upon a time, there was a brave theatrical reviewer. He lived in a market town in deepest darkest Englaland, where many great and remarkable things of stage did occur. At the centre of this wondrous world of performing spectacles was a place referred to by many as the Royal Derngatus, a place of people pretending to be other people and telling tales of mystery, intrigue and frolics.

Within the fortressed walls of Royal Derngatus, there were a group of fearless players who entertained local folk for no reward, other than the thrill of seeing the joy in the faces of others. Those group of artists went by the name of Actors Companus, which many pronounced carefully when they did say it out loud. This group of merry men and women did have two forms, an early and a late, and but two days before this adventurous evening of forthcoming storytelling, the late group did perform for a third and final time a most amazing feat of theatre, going by the name of Great Expectations.


Our hero of thi…