The singer who won a best actress Oscar for her performance as Mary Poppins put in what’s been described as “a car crash” performance at
Dozens of the 10,000 audience members who gave Dame Julie Andrews a standing ovation as she took to the stage had walked out by the interval.
“I’ve seldom seen so many walkouts during the course of a show, and the pace only accelerated in the second act,” said Mark Shenton, who writes reviews for entertainment magazine The Stage. “Not since an arena production of Ben-Hur last year staged a series of intentional chariot crashes here have I witnessed such an unintentional pile-up of car-crash musical theatre.”
AEG, which operates The O2, said that all claims for refunds would be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. But AEG insisted that the marketing for the show made clear that Dame Julie’s solo singing would make up only a small element of the show.
Apparently the 74-year-old star of stage musicals including “My Fair Lady” and “Camelot” completed only a handful of numbers on her own, disappeared from the stage for large chunks of the show and ended the night by reading aloud from a children’s book she co-wrote with her daughter.
The Daily Telegraph claimed Andrews had hoped that the O2 show, which is estimated to have taken £1 million at the box office, would generate interest in an international tour.
The Surrey-born actress and singer is attempting to re-launch her live career after 15 years out of the limelight. She now lives in the U.S.
Video footage of the performance can be seen here: http://www.popeater.com/2010/05/10/julie-andrews-bad-reviews/