Publication The Stage suggest tour delay for Coronation Street’s Street of Dreams musical which has been met with a lukewarm reception from Manchester audiences.
The reason for the postponed forthcoming tour dates has been put down to producers of the production revealing they are unhappy with the artistic aspect of the product.
The much-hyped version of ITV’s longest running serial failed to sell-out in Manchester where it debuted on May 9th and reviews were mixed.
“I must admit I felt that many scenes just didn’t have any relevance to corrie, numerous sound problems. Venue was way too big and lost the atmosphere of Corrie. All in all a very ambitious production but when you pay over £40 it would have been nice to have been able to see the characters.” Rob told ATV Today.
Chris told us, “My partner and I went to see this show last night as avid Corrie Fans…..What a disappointment!!! We just didn’t get it, whilst the set was impressive, all that seemed to happen was that they opened up a “set front” pulled out a table and chairs and sang a song which had no relevance to the video playing above!!! Julie Goodyear came out for about 5 seconds blew lots of air kisses, tried to sing part of a song (out of time) and went back stage again…….The best bit was the end when Russell Watson sang…..Overall when you compare that we normally pay upwards of £60 for a Kylie ticket , and this was around that , it wasn’t very good value for money either..”
“My husband and I drove over from the Midlands for this show last night, having paid for good seats in the first place so £135 for two tickets. We’d decided to attend only two days earlier, simply because we’d heard that Russell Watson would be performing.” Said Marion, continuing, “I can say it was worth it only for novelty value and Russell Watson’s performance, although I thought that Russell Watson was a pains not to steal the show, and of course was he performing an unknown number. We were surprised at how few celebrities supported the event given that it was a “World Premiere”.
Stuart told ATV Today, “I too was very fortunate to see the show on its Word Premier Opening night. Although some of the reviews praise the show there were a few “issues “which did dampen the evening. One of my main criticisms was the number of microphone faults (either complete failure of the microphone, or feedback / catching clothes etc.). Another issue I was disappointed with was the lack of camera work with the Arena – for example at no time did the camera focus on Brian Capron’s singing on stage and considering a large number of the audience were over 50 squinting wouldn’t have made any difference.
“I am hopeful that the show will improve over the coming days, but like one of the other reviewers feel that the venue location was bad decision and that using somewhere smaller (Manchester’s Palace Theatre etc.) would have offered a better choice all round, if it does not change to smaller locations I do not see this show running for a very long time – which is a shame
3 stars out of 5 (and 1 of those stars was just for Russell Watson!)”
Corrie Fan added, “It was a mixed bag! Jodie Prenger stole the show for me and worst bit Sean tully butterfly act. What was the point of the really big lady swaying side to side in the butterfly !! I groaned! Kym marsh wasn’t suited to do Elsie.long night!!
“Thought the show was a mixed bag really . I took my mum and we had great seats 4 rows from the front . Julie Good year got the biggest cheer of the night , yet she was on for all of 2 mins ! Thought some of the original cast members would play a bigger part . Really disappointed William Roache wasn’t in it except for on screen . Thought Kym Marsh and Jodie Prenger were fantastic . The butterfly performance by ‘Sean’ was odd and Angel of the North Katy Kavanagh Made me feel at times I was watching a pantomime ! 5 out of 10 for me.” Helen added.
A main point of criticism was the ‘Sean Tully’ segment.
Chris Radford told us “A particular low point for me was the Sean Tully song and dance. I could not relate the song or the routine to any particularly memorable story-line and I quite quickly became bored by it. I felt that his flight above the audience was an apologetic gimmick designed to compensate for the weakness of that part of the show. The singer himself, though, was not actually bad.”
“The song “Butterfly “sung by the character playing Shaun was a little stereotypical of gay culture (drag queens, over the top costumes. Men prancing in pink t-shirts etc.) It was disappointing and unnecessary.” Stuart added.
Duncan told us, “The main issue for me was I was not at any point, actually sure what the plot was all about.
“Why was Paul O’Grady visiting people from the Corrie past? What was the actual point of it? Given that he was apparently travelling through time with an angel, why did he suddenly decide that he wanted to drive a tram (and get Sean Tully to sew him an outfit). It was, of course, so they could include the tram crash and various seemingly random bits of Corrie history, but plots should be easy to follow, and not horrendously clunky. What was the bit with Julie Goodyear all about, it was awful!”
“We went last night and was hugely disappointed. The whole show was very badly cobbled together and the Arena is completely the wrong venue. The great stage set just looked lost in the vastness of the arena. Poor sound and no real linking of the stories made for a confusing evening. The website advertises Bill Roache as starring in it when he has just pre-recorded a small piece about a minute long shown on the screen…what a con! As a Corrie fan I was so looking forward to it but just feel hugely disappointed and ripped off. The Sean scene was embarrassingly bad. It could have been so much better…perhaps they should have concentrated on one character like Elsie. Shame.” Said David HD
Alec told ATV Today, “I travelled up from London (for the 2nd time) to see the show. The first time was in March when the show was postponed and as I had already paid for transport and hotel in advance could not cancel. So this has turned out to be the most expensive show in history!
“Some of the dance routines were also a bit messy and “am-dram”
William Roache as a video link? Why was he featured heavily in the programme and publicity if he wasn’t performing? Musicals in Arenas can work. I went to Les Mis 25th Anniversary at the O2 which was absolutely spectacular but I think the cobbled streets of Weatherfield would have been better suited at The Opera House.”
Steve A told us, “I thought the show was on the whole dreadful. The Arena was far too big, it lacked atmosphere. The clips of the old scenes were good but too often the singing was going on and the cameras did not pan to who was singing. I was too far back to see properly so needed the screens for help!! The sound was often awful, Paul O’ Grady though he tried his best was not particularly funny, the length of the interval was diabolical. I left just after 10 (no idea how long was left and didn’t care!!) and to be honest could have left at half time. The best performance of the night was Brian Capron…apart from that a mish mash of nothingness…i left feeling as empty as my fleeced wallet! Would not recommend at all!”
The musical is presented by Paul O’Grady who travels through time to reflect upon some of Corrie’s finest soap moments. The show after its Manchester launch was due to go on tour with dates in Newcastle, Belfast and Dublin.
The Stage claim in a leaked email this has now changed, they report:
“In an email… that was sent to cast and crew involved in the production, the show’s co-producer John Ward, from Reckless Entertainment, said he was postponing the dates planned for later this month because he and his production team, which includes ITV Studios’ Kieran Roberts, “are far from happy with the show artistically and we are not prepared to take it out again in its present form”.
Making it clear the entire musical wasn’t being entirely cancelled he added:
“We will be re-working the show for dates later in the year.” And also noted that while there had been some positive comments, changes needed to be made. The show has, as one audience member noted to their expense, had already been postponed once with the debut rescheduled from March to May.
The production company behind Street of Dreams have made no official comment on the story as yet. A source at the arena told us, “If they can’t sell a full-house to their own backyard, how can they expect other places to sell out.” They also noted that Michelle Collins, who plays much-mocked Stella Price in the TV version of Coronation Street left before the second half started and also told us “some audience left after the first half, others left before the end.” on the premiere night, with the same happening in the remaining shows of the week.
[Written by Mike Watkins, Images courtesy of ITV Pictures/Reckless Entertainment]