Martin Guerre - Last Night 28 February 1998

Well Martin Guerre has gone but what a way to go. I guess the list will hear from those who saw all the performances during the last week, I saw the last two.

The matinee was Ma Anne and Glyn, I found this more of an emotional performance than the evening , the evening felt more of a celebration of the work while the afternoon felt like goodbye, but more of the evening later.

The last time I saw this cast was the first week into their run and how they have moved on. The whole show was so slick and the energy the cast have is amazing. I liked Glyn's Arnaud very much, he was a very gentlemanly Arnaud and I especially liked the court scene where he reacts violently to Martin's return pushing him away as if to emphasise that he didn't know him. Ma-Anne is a very sweet Bertrande but for me wasn't emotional enough. The traditional joking was apparent on the matinee, I'm sure some will have seen more but those which I saw or was aware of:

The alter boys swinging there incense burning things with energetic enthusiasm and very nicely in time with the music, I'm surprised Father Dominic wasn't knocked over

Louison acquiring a beard courtesy of Glyn

During the slow section of Welcome home the girls completely revealing their underwear and the men doing a very 'ballet' like dance

Apart from contending with the sweet wrappers on the row in front this was an excellent performance and for me very emotional.

The evening show, well what can I say, never in any show I've seen have I seen so much energy. They gave it 200% as I said before a true celebration of the show. Jenna was a first class Bertrande, her interaction with Michael and Hal was excellent. She put so much extra into the character, the words said between the singing lines i.e. unscripted words and conversations which from the audience without hearing what they were saying you knew what they were saying i.e. at the end of act one as Bertrande and Arnaud are held on either side of the stage you saw her shout his name and say I love you remember that, remember that. For me these are the bits which make a performance more real. Her anguished cry after Arnaudís death, was heartbreaking. As Glyn's Arnaud was a gentleman Hal's was more of a lad. The interaction between him and Michael on the battlefield was great and you did feel as if they were great mates and knew each other so well. I do like Hal's Arnaud, I suppose a word would be unsophisticated but he and Jenna work so well. He does have a tendency to swing his arms about a bit dramatically but that is only a small criticism. Since last seeing Michael's Martin he was grown perfectly into the role, and as with Jenna he added additional bits which made it. His pleading with Pierre that he wasn't ready for marriage and especially the jail scene where he tried to make Bertrande understand that he wanted to try again. 'Did he tell you I wanted to try again'.

Now David Shannon, what a Guillaume and those leather trousers are particularly fetching : ) I have to say that I do prefer Davidís G to Jeromesí. Yes he isn't a nice piece of work but you can understand his frustration and anguish that the woman he loves is continually denied him. He was brilliant and the 'I will make you proud' was excellent.

Sebastian Torkia was still out of the show, I did see him in the audience. Andrew Norris played and he was very good, more in the vain on Michael Matus. the good old pilots cap was back : )

All the performances were excellent and the chorus and the principals just put so much in to it. The audience reaction in the evening was incredible and at times they had to wait for the applause and cheering to die down. At curtain calls flowers rained down on the cast and Claude Michel and Alain came on to take a bow aswell. As I said originally the last performance seemed so much a celebration of the show.

To top my evening I got to meet Cameron, Alain and Claude-Michel. Alain was holding one of the cards we sent to the cast and was showing it to Cameron. They seemed touched at the gesture of the list to the cast.

The Martin Guerre mailing list sent a card to the cast)

There is so much from the day that is still going around my head that I know there is still a lot of stuff I haven't said but I hope this gives those of you who weren't there and idea of the evening.

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