[DWJ] Howl's Moving Castle at Southwark

Elizabeth Bentley ebentleysln at googlemail.com
Tue Dec 13 15:21:01 EST 2011

My daughter and I saw it on Saturday night.

Among our (or more accurately her) thoughts were these:

It lost the sense of it being Sophie's story. Without her development, she seems too perfect all the way through.

Music sometimes obscured the words.

Liked the portrayal of Old Sophie, Young Sophie rather too vivid.

Liked the touch of her magic making the castle come to life, as a substitute for the scarecrow.

The contract was too easily broken and in the wrong way.

Lots of tell, very little show. Does it really work as a stand-alone story? If you hadn't read the book, would the play make sense?


On 13 Dec 2011, at 20:00, slwones at gmail.com wrote:

> I saw it on Saturday and quite enjoyed it - although I did have to tell
> myself several times it was a different story than the book.  I thought the
> actor who played Howl and the actress that played Old Sophie were both
> quite good (esp. old Sophie) I was not crazy about Young Sophie/the WotW.
> I also felt the play banged the "moral" of the story over the audience's
> heads more than was necessary.  By Saturday the kinks were worked out so I
> thought the feel of the theater was very good, the set was fun and the
> projection pretty clever.  All in all I'm glad I went and I enjoyed myself
> but it won't be something I will be reliving in my mind for time
> immemorial.  Also, while it didn't occur to me when I saw it, I thought
> your comment about their making Howl into Dr. Who and the castle into the
> Tardis was spot on.
> Suzanne
> On Sun, Dec 11, 2011 at 8:36 AM, Victoria Herridge <victoriaherridge at mac.com
>> wrote:
>> Now that a whole bunch of you have been, I am keen to hear you
>> throughts... I saw it in the preview week, and thought it was quite bad (as
>> did my sisters, all of whom have read the book).
>> *spoiler-ish things below*
>> There were a few kinks with the tech, and the sound/music was
>> distracting... but I think these will all have been sorted out by now. That
>> wasn't my gripe - I felt they were so focussed in the technology/show
>> casing the various talents involved (the MacGuires/Fyfe Dangerfield/Stephen
>> Fry) that they lost sight of the story. And casting one of the macguires as
>> Sophie/WothW seemed massively self indulgent, as her acting was very poor.
>> My real gripe is that I felt the script failed to capture the essence and
>> 'feel' of the book. And that was a real disappointment. For instance, all
>> the magical extra rooms in the castle, and the flying through the air bits,
>> and the trip to Wales being a beautiful valley with a dragon.... this just
>> seems to have totally missed the point. And turned the thing into some poor
>> relation to Doctor Who, with Howl as the Doctor and the castle as the
>> Tardis...
>> However, it has since got really good reviews, so maybe much of my
>> critiques stems form comparing to the book. Rather than seeing it as a
>> stand alone piece of work..
>> Tori---
>> On 5 Dec 2011, at 22:31, Judith Ridge wrote:
>>> J
>>> On 6 December 2011 05:35, Farah Mendlesohn <farah.sf at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> A short report on the BBC:
>>>> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-15859505
>>>> --
>>>> There is no such thing as a right time or a wrong time. There is only
>> the
>>>> now. The future is made up of accumulated nows.
>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> --
>>> Judith Ridge
>>> Western Sydney Young People's Literature Officer
>>> Arts and Cultural Development
>>> Blacktown City Council
>>> PO Box 63
>>> (62 Flushcombe Road)
>>> Blacktown NSW 2148
>>> --
>>> My work blog: http://westword.wordpress.com/
>>> My personal blog: http://www.misrule.com.au/s9y/
>>> My personal website: http://www.misrule.com.au
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Elizabeth Bentley BA MCLIP
CILIP's School Libraries Group national committee
mailto:ebentleysln at googlemail.com

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