They call her Natasha

Pretty self-explanatory
johnfoyle
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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:29 pm

I haven't read the reviews in full because I prefer to see theatre without any preconceived thoughts. The headlines are indicative enough as how it is being received. In case the reviews from Liverpool may be putting people off seeing this show it may be worth considering a few things. These write-ups are by reviewers more used to conventional theatre or , perhaps, musicals of the Mamma Mia type. What Lou 'n co. are doing would appear to be rather different to that. Further to that & considering that some of us are going to see it in London after the Liverpool run it could be that the production gets better and more fine tuned the more it gets done.

Roll on March 26th!

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Top balcony
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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby Top balcony » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:35 pm

Well I went tonight and enjoyed myself!

I'd seen Lou/Elsie/Natasha before, when she simply played the songs in costume and so I knew what to expect, and wasn't disappointed.

Don't forget the heart of the show is (are?) the songs, which we all love. Yes it's not as good as hearing EC sing them, but hey you can't have everything.

It's fair to say the plot didn't get in the way too much, so if you are looking for Checkov I'd try something else.

However to compensate for the absence of plot there was a quiz. Everyone entering the show got a piece of paper advising that:

" hidden amongst the set are 20 or more references to Costello songs, Some are obvious, some for anoraks and train spotters only! Of course EC posters and albums don't count"

The answers are provided. I would expect that the gang on March 26 will score the full 20 each, but some are obscure so I'd advise you to start revising now, or you'll embarrass yourself (like I did)

Think there are still a few seats left for the rest of the Liverpool run so get your scates on you Scousers.

There was a commonly made mistake in the first few sentences of the narrative,for 10 points - no conferring - what was it? NB this question is also open to readers unable to attend the performance.

Best wishes

Bamber Top Balcony

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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby sheeptotheslaughter » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:32 am

verbal gymnastics wrote:Man out of time, johnfoyle and myself are booked for Saturday 26th.

The England v Wales football is on at 3pm so it'll be a good day!

Anyone else coming?



Because I commute to London Monday to Friday. I was thinking of going on the Friday rather than commute again on the Saturday.


review from top balconey sounded quite good

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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby verbal gymnastics » Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:32 pm

Fair enough. But this is a golden opportunity to hang out with the cool kids. And me :wink:
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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby DeathWearsABigHat » Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:33 am

Went along last night not really knowing what to expect. I really enjoyed it.
Lou Dalgleish is an excellent singer and the guy on piano was also really good. It's clear that the play has been put together with a great deal of care and affection for EC's music. Loads of well-performed EC songs and it definitely wasn't what I feared it might be, one of those musicals where they crowbar a load of songs into the narrative any way they can. Like the Madness musical, where they have a car onstage for no other reason than they can go driving in it! To the House of Fun. With their Uncle Sam. In the Sun and the Rain. Wearing Baggy Trousers.
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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby verbal gymnastics » Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:28 am

So will Elsie travel wearing a Green Shirt with Oliver's Army and The Delivery Man to seek an Imperial Bedroom?

Or have I spoilt the story? :lol:
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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby the_platypus » Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:38 am

What songs are performed?

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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby Top balcony » Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:43 pm

the_platypus wrote:What songs are performed?


A set list would spoil it for those lucky people who have their trip to London on 26th March, I'll send you a PM over the next couple of days with the ones I remember, there should be 18. Perhaps you could guess at 18 songs and I'll see how near you get?


Oh and I agree with DeathWearsaBigHat the pianist was excellent.

Best wishes

Colin Top Balcony

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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby Man out of Time » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:56 am

This is the flyer for the London dates. Lou is still using a quote from the Beyond Belief article I wrote.

Image Image

Someone at the Leicester Square theatre may like Elvis...


Image

See you on the 26th.

MOOT

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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby Man out of Time » Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:53 pm

Some photos of the Liverpool show are available here:

http://amsi.smugmug.com/Theater/They-Call-Her-Natasha/15955333_UG54m#1196815812_UQqcn

I am not sure this hat entirely suits Lou....

Image

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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby Man out of Time » Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:27 pm

Liverpool Echo review by Catherine Jones published on 24 February 2011:

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/in-the-mix/2011/02/24/review-they-call-her-natasha-at-the-liverpool-everyman-100252-28225091/#ixzz1G46jOgj6

Anyone due to see the show in London later this month, may want to postpone reading this until after that show.

"Elvis Costello hasn’t seen They Call Her Natasha, apparently saying ‘it would be far too weird to see myself portrayed as a woman’.

And the former SFX schoolboy would, I suspect, certainly be struck by the all-too-familiar rawness, passion and anger with which Lou Dalgleish, aka Elsie Costello, delivers his lyrics.

But whether he’d recognise himself in the straggle-haired, shapeless-clothed, ball of intensity which is the lead character Elsie is another matter.

The flimsiest of plots involves a fantasist called Natasha (Dalgleish) whose corrosive obsession with Elvis Costello leads her to take on the persona of Elsie Costello (as in the line from (I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea – ‘she’s called Natasha but she looks like Elsie’), aping the musician’s clothes, manner and delivery of his songs which she claims for her own.

Of course, the story, mostly delivered in brief snatches of narration by Michael Weston King’s Napoleon Dynamite, is really just a pretext to perform a string of greater and lesser-known hits from the extensive Costello catalogue, played out against a backdrop of an old bar in one corner, and a storyteller’s armchair in the other.

And it’s that marvellous music that inspires the tale and carries the evening along, from the opening bars of Green Shirt to the closing strains of It’s Time, with its telling lines “the party's over, your time is up....did you get what you wanted?”

Dalgleish gives a luminous vocal performance as Elsie, spitting out numbers like Accidents Will Happen, for example, with latent fury, while later she captures the real poignancy of his Falklands-era hitShipbuilding.

Southport-raised Weston King slips in and out of the narrator’s chair to sing and play the guitar, while pianist Gladstone Wilson, in academic gown and mortar board, sparkles behind the upright piano.

Unfortunately, the pair of them playing together manage to drown out Dalgleish’s vocals on Peace, Love and Understanding.

But elsewhere the balance is just right, Dalgleish delivering heartfelt versions of Alison, Just a Memory, and Kid About It, and a bluesy, yearning Oliver’s Army.

Yet, talented as the trio are, and memorable as Costello’s music is, in the end the whole of ‘Natasha’ remains somehow less than the sum of its parts."


MOOT

Neil.
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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby Neil. » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:07 am

Hi guys,

I went to see the show last night - I won't give any spoilers for those who're going on Saturday, but it was a great.

I made a bit of a tit of myself afterwards I think, blithering on to Lou and her fellow musicians, but that's what you get when there's a bar in the theatre!

Nx

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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:59 am

Thanks Neil!

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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby verbal gymnastics » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:39 am

Neil. wrote:I made a bit of a tit of myself afterwards I think, blithering on to Lou and her fellow musicians, but that's what you get when there's a bar in the theatre!

Nx


I'd like to say I'm surprised but... :lol:
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Harry Worth
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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby Harry Worth » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:13 am

I went (to a 2/3 full Everyman) in Liverpool last month and enjoyed it. Reviews from Top Balcony et al above are on the mark. The set list is good and Lou has a great voice backed by a great pianist and male narrator (who also sings some of the songs).

The piece itself is without doubt contrived. It has a feel of an expanded drama school project at times. However, I guess if you are on this forum you must be a Costellophile, so anyone going should enjoy the show!

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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby Neil. » Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:21 pm

LOL, Verbal! Cheeky young whippersnapper!

Have a great time on Saturday!

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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby Man out of Time » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:07 am

Harry Worth wrote:The set list is good and Lou has a great voice backed by a great pianist and male narrator (who also sings some of the songs).


The male narrator is Lou's husband, Michael Weston King, who is a performer in his own right:

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Weston_King
* http://www.michaelwestonking.com/

Another review of the Liverpool show here:

http://www.liverpoolstudentmedia.com/they-call-her-natasha-theatre-review-everyman-theatre-liverpool-february-23rd-2011

The reviewer liked it: " Lou Dalgleish’s vocal performance was nothing short of stunning ."

MOOT

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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby verbal gymnastics » Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:52 pm

I really enjoyed the show and it's an excuse to play some great songs.

Just a memory and, particularly, Sleep of the Just were excellent.

I had to leave straight after the show (sick child and all that) but bumped into Michael Weston-King on the way out and had a bit of a chat with him.

It was amazing that there were only 22 people at tonight's show and gather the other three nights were not particularly well attended. The room held about 75 people at most.

Yet Michael was telling me the other shows had between 200 and 400 people.

Also at other shows, and I suppose this was because of the numbers, the audience clapped after each song yet tonight there was reluctance in the first set. A bit of prompting sorted that out for the second set.

I really enjoyed the show and there will be further dates this year with a tour in October.
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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby Man out of Time » Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:15 am

Thanks to Verbal and John Foyle for helping me to fill the front row at the show last night. It was a very intimate venue, and the better for it I think, not least because it meant we got a really good look at all the Elvis memorabilia that formed part of the stage set. I have a full set list which I can share with anyone who wants to PM me, but I think that to post it here would be too much of a spoiler for anyone who is going to see the show themselves. Suffice to say that the set list of 21 songs was a mix of "hits" and less well known songs (such as Just a Memory), which combined to make a surprisingly coherent narrative, without resort to characters called Oliver or Veronica. The show is somewhere between musical theatre and straight performance.

I remain impressed by the piano playing of Gladstone Wilson and the singing of Lou Dalgleish. She is a fine interpreter of Elvis' songs. That is not to forget the contribution of Michael Weston King, who narrated the show and sang two songs beginning with A - Almost Blue and All Grown Up, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. In true Elvis style, he also managed to break a string on the final song of the evening where he duetted with Lou.

For those many of you (it seems) who missed the London show or caught the Liverpool show, the good news is that Lou will be playing the Lowry in Salford on 14 July, a date at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter (to be announced), the Edinburgh Festival and the Latitude Festival (in Suffolk) later this year. There will then be another national tour in October. Details will appear on the Facebook page for "They Call Her Natasha". Links for all these are below.

The other good news is that Lou has recorded the songs from the live show for release on CD. The CD should be on sale at future shows, and probably online too. I will post details when I have them.

Salford Lowry: https://www.quaytickets.com/Online/default.asp?doWork::WScontent::loadArticle=Load&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::article_id=D249A859-D167-4549-8404-0D173E26B60A

Exeter Northcott: http://www.exeternorthcott.co.uk/

Facebook page: http://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/Elsie-Costello-They-Call-Her-Natasha/198014113551830

In the continuing absence of any UK dates for Elvis this year, this may be your best chance to hear Elvis' songs sung live on stage in the UK in 2011.

MOOT
Last edited by Man out of Time on Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

Neil.
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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby Neil. » Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:37 am

Hi - glad you enjoyed the show, guys. Verbal, we have the same taste! I too felt that Just A Memory and Sleep of the Just were the highlights. Wonderful performances - but they all were.

Lou's hubby was excellent, too - it's fab to hear someone else doing All Grown Up - and Gladstone, the pianist, was nothing short of astounding! One of the treats was hearing I Want You with a piano backing. Pills and Soap also excellent, and I've always loved Too Soon To Know, so it was great to hear that.

My only criticism was the choice of mainly slow songs - it might have been better for non-fans to have a few more up-tempo numbers scattered through the middle. But I still loved it.

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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby Man out of Time » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:31 am

Neil,

For what it is worth, if you ever see Lou play a set of Costello songs outside of the "They Call Her Natasha" theatrical peformance, there are one or two more fast numbers. When I saw her play with Gladstone Winston in Birmingham last year this was the set list:

1. Indoor Fireworks
2. Accidents will happen
3. Just a memory
4. Pills and soap
5. Kid about it
6. Oliver's Army
7. So like Candy
8. Shipbuilding
9. Good year for the roses
10. New Amsterdam
11. Shot with his own gun
12. Still too soon to know
13. Alison
14. I want you
15. Pump it up
16. PLU
17. It's time

I think the slow songs suit Lou better.

Apparently two of the Brodsky quartet (Paul and Jacqueline) were at the performance of "They Call Her Natasha" on Friday night, and had the pleasure of seeing themselves on the screen that forms part of the show.

MOOT

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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby johnfoyle » Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:45 pm

After a hectic day of travel and a family occasion I'm going to take the lazy way out and say , merely, 'ditto' to all Nick/MOOT wrote. It was a heartfelt, entertainly show with huge potential. Michael 'n Lou were delightful company after the show.

Here are a few photos, taken as the helicoptors for the nearby march hovered above us - deafening stuff!

Image

Image


Image

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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby verbal gymnastics » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:54 pm

Neil. - at the risk of people wondering if we are one and the same person I thought the piano version of I Want You and Michael's All Grown Up were also extremely good.

And Gladstone Wilson as Professor Joe Porterhouse was superb.

The more I think about the show, the better it was. My only consolation for my last post about the show was that I wrote it on the train home.
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Top balcony
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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby Top balcony » Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:23 pm

Glad you all enjoyed the show, pity about the empty seats.

Anyway :

(i)how did you do with the quiz?
(ii) towards the end of the Everyman show there was mention of a certain bespectacled musician sitting alongside a well known fan. In Liverpool, local lad, "Alan Bleasedale" got name checked. In London did they do the same or substitute another name?

Colin Top Balcony [who certainly didn't get top marks re (i)]

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Re: They call her Natasha

Postby verbal gymnastics » Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:11 pm

I was way too cool to participate (and being sat next to John what chance would I have :lol: ) so I just gave a little smile of recognition at the Temptation of each Opportunity :wink:

Without wishing to sound sexist, Lou is far more attractive in person than the photos give her credit for.
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