Up for Grabs

Up for Grabs

Venue: Wyndham's Theatre
Where: West End
Date Reviewed:

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Reader Reviews

starAmazingly Madonna was not the worst thing about this production, the shear puerile futility of the writing upstaged her limited expressions and vocal attributes. However she did look great. - USER: Whatsonstage.com12 Jul 02
starstarstarstarI saw the show Friday, and was very impressed with it.Being one of Madonna's biggest fans, even I was suprised at how good her acting was, especially as she's on stage practically the whole time and plays such a difficult role. The play was quite rude at times, but all in the comedy sense-therefore it wasn't rude just for the sake of it.I particularly liked the way in which Madonna involved the audience on scenes, and also I thought the stage effects were very clever and worked well.People have criticised Madonna in this play, but even my mother who came with me and isn't a Madonna fan said she was very impressed with the level of Madonna's acting.I thought beforehand I wouldn't be able to concentrate on the play with Madonna being infront of me, but I was able to with ease, although I must admit on the opening scene when that screen goes up and she's standing there, it is a surreal moment indeed! An enjoyable, funny, and above all, fantastic experience which should be praised rather than criticised simply because the lead actress has had one or two film flops in the past-which actress hasn't? - USER: Whatsonstage.com30 Jun 02
starstarstarstarLike everybody else, I bought my ticket for the thrill of seeing Maddy live and that's what I got. I also got a few genuine laughs and some excellent acting from the rest of the cast. What's to whinge about ? We know that Maddy ain't the greatest actress in the world but she's the Most Famous Woman There Is so who cares ? It was a great evening. - USER: Whatsonstage.com24 Jun 02
star The play is pretentious nonsense. Madonna cannot act and, if she wants to act, she should go to drama school. Bouncers should not have been allowed in the theatre. An utter waste of an evening. - USER: Whatsonstage.com23 Jun 02
starstarstarstarThe night I saw the play must have been full of theatrical fans rather than Madonna fans because there was no hysterical cheering when she appeared. On the whole the content of the play was slightly disappointing, the supporting cast were very strong indeed - especially the wonderful Sian Thomas. The set was very good but felt very cold (unlike the auditorium!) but then there was no love among the characters so I suppose the set fitted the play and emotions. What can I say about Madonna - adequate. Very brave of her she certainly doesn't need to do the play - it is obviously a challenge to her and she copes remarkably well being on stage virtually the whole time. OK she won't win an Olivier Award but I dare anyone not to take a sharp intake of breath when the screen lifts and there large as life is one of the World's true superstars! Of course we cheered at the end and felt very priviliged to be in her presence for 2 hours! Thanks Madonna! - USER: Whatsonstage.com17 Jun 02
starstarstarstarI was actually pleasantly surprised at how entertaining the whole thing was. Having read many of the comments about Madonna's performance, I can only assume she has improved over time as I found her acting very good. Somewhat outclassed by the other actors perhaps, but far from embarrassing. Certainly, there was no problem with her voice projection and diction - I was able to hear every word from my seat in the Dress Circle. I was sorry that the role of 'Loren' didn't give Madonna more to get her teeth into. From the synopsis of the plot, I had imagined her character to be a manipulative bitch, whereas in fact, she was honest to a fault, simply carried along by the scheming of the rival bidders, not manipulating them at all. It was good to see that the audience reation was enthusiastic without being hysterical. Perhaps all the die-hard Madonna fans had tickets for earlier performances in the run. A standing ovation was nevertheless inevitable, but I felt that it was deserved by everyone involved for providing a very entertaining show. - USER: Whatsonstage.com06 Jun 02
starstarSaw it last night. For me Madonna was quite bad. The play was ok, but I was there, like everyone, to see her. She just can't act and should stick to the music business. Exposing herself like that in a medium she's not familiar with is not going to do her any good. - USER: Whatsonstage.com06 Jun 02
starstarstarstarstarThis is a once in a life time experience. Damn the play, Madonna shines! Boswell's Production is first rate. - USER: Whatsonstage.com04 Jun 02
starstarstarThe play itself is cliche-ridden with no particular savour. The set and lighting however are ingenious. Madonna looks great on stage but it is her gifted cast that save the show. Her adoring fan won't be disappointed nevertheless to catch glimpses of her for two hours. Don't expect to get her autographs afterwards as she leaves the building right after the curtain call! - USER: Whatsonstage.com21 May 02
starstarstarJust got back from seeing Madonna in "Up for Grabs". The play is only okay - it is a comedy that is not that funny with elements of drama that are not that dramatic. The two elements don't blend together in this play - they curdle into an unsightly mess. I must admit that it was a complete thrill to see Madonna from so close up - row D of the Stalls - like Nicole Kidman she is one of those women I could stare at for hours.. Madonna made a great choice of the play since she can basically be Madonna for two hours - it is very much an extension of her stage persona - she gets to swear, kiss a woman and wave a huge Dildo at a man - that type of thing.. After a shaky first speach she turned in a reasonable performance (was it wise to get the audience riled up again after they had just settled down with comments about being a "materialistic girl" in the opening scene !!). Basically Madonna plays a woman who has to secure 20 million dolloars for a Jackson Pollack painting - or she will owe the deficit between the price gained and the figure promised. The plot involes her dissolving marriage and playing off several wealthy clients against each other - occasionally having to perform certain acts to gain bids... The supporting cast are more accomplished actors that Madonna but in the end I guess she holds her own. I would like to see her on stage again but I wouldn't fancy giving the play another viewing since it shouted average from the get go - the playwright lucked out in finding a superstar to open it in the west end so that it sold out (and the money existed for a stunning design of video screens showing the action from the stage mounted cameras and moving platforms). If it wasn't for Madonna it would be destined for TKTS in a week and if they opted for an open run it would be closing in a couple of months in my opinion. It has derivate elements with part of the plot straight from "The lost Language of Cranes" - USER: Whatsonstage.com18 May 02
starstarstarI'm sorry to intrude but i have tickets for 'up for grabs' in july and am going to be taking a young fan with me but I am concerned about the subject content mainly how much bad language there is. Please could anyone who has seen the play e mail me on Jifxlegs11x@hotmail.com with further info. What rating would you say it should be if it were a film? i cannot get any of these details from the theatre and am desperately searching for it. Thanks. - USER: Whatsonstage.com17 May 02
starstarstarI actually thought that the play was interesting. It's Madonna the one who makes the play look bad simply because she can't act. They should have given the part to Daniella Nardini, like they thought originally. She would have been wonderful in that part, but then the play wouldn't have been sold out so much in advance. - USER: Whatsonstage.com17 May 02
starstarstar saw the play last night and actually thought Madonna and the cast were great,Shame they dont have beter material to work with. But I can understand why maddona wanted to do it as much of it is to dow ith her fave subjects SEX and Swearing. It all got so boring to me all the constant mobile calls ,just to bump up the price of a painting by Lauren doing sexual favours for the bidders,lke i said all the cast are great Sian thomas especially as Dawn Gray who got the moist laughs from the way she pronounced her name each on a moblie, each time slowly getting more and more pissed. Up for Grabs No,I will call this play Moblie Phone Hell! - USER: Whatsonstage.com16 May 02
starstarI saw the play last night. She was truly awful, first and second half. The truth is she can't act and shouldn't be doing this because it won't benefit her career. I know her fan base won't mind her being so bad, they would pay to see her even if she sits in the middle of the stage and reads a fairy tale to Rocco and they will still cheer and scream. But based in what I saw last night I can only say that she can't be taken seriously as an actress. - USER: Whatsonstage.com15 May 02
starstarstarSaw the play today. Interesting play, far from brilliant but it has its clever moments especially in the second part. Madonna was IMO pretty bad. I am a fan and I've seen many of her live concerts but I don't think she's a good actress, in fact in some moments, she was so bad that it was painful to watch. It didn't make any difference to a mainly quite young audience who cheered and screamed like crazy as soon as she turned up on stage while she was strugling to deliver her opening lines. They reacted most of the time as if they were in a pop concert. It was difficult to understand what Madge was saying during most of the first half, she was nervous, strugled to find her pitch and forgot her lines a couple of times. There's not chemistry between her and any other cast member and one might think that she was feeling as uncomfortable with them as they were with her. I suppose they knew that most of the audience weren't regular theatregoers but Madge's fans and that didn't help either. The second half was better. The cast members looked much more confident and Madge's voice sounded clearer and easier to understand although her acting was as bad as in the first half. The actress who plays Dawn was especially funny and stole basically every scene she was in. At the end Madge got of course a standing ovation. At curtain call she took a bow from the back of the stage and never came to the edge while 2 of her security gorillas were in the front row making sure that nobody got too near to the stage. Up For Grabs is of course the event of the year, but not for play itself but because Madonna is on it. I was wondering what the play would be like with the right actress (Kim Catrall comes to mind), maybe then I would have concentrated more in the play, but, like everyone else, I was paying more attention to Madge than anything else. I guess that's the problem that has to be faced when you have a megastar and pop diva in a West End play. Now we have to wait and see what the critics say. - USER: Whatsonstage.com14 May 02

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