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Tintin stage plays: has anyone seen a Tintin play?

#1 · Posted: 12 Apr 2005 19:39
Just curious, since there was a musical of 'Prisoners of the Sun' a few years ago, and I've glimpsed horrendous parodies of the cast on stage in the papers (mostly in France).

So... have you? Were they any good?
#2 · Posted: 12 Apr 2005 19:52
No I haven't, but there is going to be a new one in London near Christmas that i'll definitely be at

UK Correspondent
#3 · Posted: 12 Apr 2005 20:00 · Edited by: Richard
I've seen taped performances of the musical in both Dutch and French, and I found them to be a fascinating interpretation of the work of Hergé. Admittedly the actors don't look exactly like their literary counterparts - but then, the casting directors were limited by people they could use that can sing and resemble their characters. I thought Tom Van Landuyt, the person who played Tintin (Kuifje) in Dutch was superb. And hats off to La Castafiore !

The special effects were incredible considering the limitations of the medium. The seven explorers descend into the tomb of Rascar Capac down a cliff, a train arrives at Marlinspike station, Tintin and Haddock set off to Peru in the flying boat, the condor attacks carries off Snowy and then Tintin, Tintin crosses the waterfall, a total eclipse - all of these were produced on stage, and it looks spectacular ! A lot of the staging was rather ingenious too - Mme Clairmont being seated in the actual audience with her daughter, and Ragdalam and Yamilah talking to her like a real show. Likewise, the scenes showing Tintin, Haddock and Zorrino trekking to the Temple were very cleverly done, with Castafiore stood to one side of the stage, singing, whilst the others continue their journey in the background.

The pacing of the performance was flawless, with countless scene changes carried out with apparent ease, and the story flowed perfectly without any jarring moments, the possible exception of the song "Le Soleil", which whilst not feeling out of place lacks explanation as to why it's there - after Tintin leaves the hosptial where the explorers are being cared for. I'm not complaining, of course - it's a great song !

A few changes were introduced to make the story work better on the stage, and a few things were cut - no runaway carriage, but the addition of La Castafiore coming to stay at Marlinspike, the introduction of Mme. Clairmont's daughter, Fleur, resulting in a beautiful ballad in the hospital asking Tintin to help her father. The Thompsons' quest to find Calculus is changed a bit, with them in Native American dress in Callao, but I suppose that's forgiveable. They end up on the sacrifical pyre too.

The music, needless to say, is superb, and evokes the spirit of Hergé's work and the characters who perform the pieces. Everyone who worked on the show had an incredible amount of talent and it clearly shows.

I just wish I'd been there in person to see a performance, and will definitely be at the new Christmas show in London !
Moderator Emeritus
#4 · Posted: 13 Apr 2005 21:31 · Edited by: tintinuk
I have to second what Richard said about the musicals - they're absolutely brilliant pieces of work ! Some things I feel I should add regarding the fantastic special effects are, first of all, the incredibly done sleeping sequence, in which the scientists are actually seated inside rotating crystal balls that gradually fill with green smoke one by one, choking the scientists. Bob De Moor's son, as the head Inca, stands in the centre, with the crystal balls rotating around him.

I was amazed by the speed with which one scene would change into another - it seemed as if one would just disappear and be replaced straight away. Incredible.

The music, as Richard said, is fantastic, my favourite song being Le Soleil and even though there's almost an excuse for it to be there (Tintin, for no explanation, is sitting in a tree, and just starts singing it !), but's it's a great song, and the instrumental version, included in the Dutch single of the song, is fantastic as well.

Rather nicely, there was an British person involved in the French musical, and there's actually a piece of writing by her in the French cast recording of the musical, now sadly out of print.

Although the tapes are better than nothing and capture the essence of the performance and the spirit of the books, I imagine it would have been so much better to actually be there, as Richard said.

I'll also be at the Christmas show - can't wait for it ! :o)
Harrock n roll
#5 · Posted: 14 Apr 2005 11:40 · Edited by: Harrock n roll
I'll chime in with the chorus having had the rare privilege of seeing the video performance. The guys have summed it up well; it really was a brilliant adaptation - humorous and very sentimental (without being corny). Although you wouldn't expect Dutch to be a musical language I thought that version was the best - it scanned better and was less... nasal. But it was conceived in Dutch and had a Dutch/Flemish cast I think. Very difficult not to gush too much about it - it's excellent!

And I didn't realise that it was Bob de Moor's son playing the Inca!
UK Correspondent
#6 · Posted: 14 Apr 2005 16:31
One little detail I liked from the French version concerned Professor Bergamotte. Since he was one of the original Dutch cast and moved to the French, his accent was explained by Calculus introducing him as a Flemish Professor !
Harrock n roll
#7 · Posted: 14 Apr 2005 18:27
I thought I should “do a moderator” at this point and mention that we have a thread on Tintin musicals.

We also have one on the forthcoming production at the Barbican here and two on various stage plays; The Mystery of the Blue Diamond, and Mr Boullock's disappearance here and The Black Island here.


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