Posts Tagged ‘Helen Mirren’

The 2013 Whingie Awards – the very worst and the not so bad

Monday 6 January 2014

whingieawardA bit late getting around to this. But since it’s probably your first day back at work, let’s face it you’re not really intending to do any real work are you? Isn’t that why you’re here?

Anyhoo, a year ago we speculated that 2013 might be an unlucky year for some.

The unfortunate roof collapse at the Apollo Theatre proved this both true and untrue. Unlucky for anyone involved, but lucky in the sense that it could easily have been so much worse.

When Phil discussed the incident with his sister they realised they’d been to the Apollo together only once, ironically to the musical Up On the Roof.

But, as Phil watched events unfold on BBC News that night, there was a rather flattering moment for London Theatre audiences. Returning to the studio, after watching people describe what they’d seen inside the Apollo, the news anchor remarked that he’d never heard such articulate eyewitness reports before.

Unlucky for theatre critics too as they were picked off one by one. Who wasn’t reminded of the Vincent Price film Theatre of Blood? It seemed newspapers either didn’t want arts critics any more, or didn’t want the one they already had. And in one case, apparently found the spurious excuse of pants-dropping for dropping their scribe.

But it seems the critics are finding other outlets. The Telegraph’s Tim Walker is expanding on his appearance in Top Hat to play God in Spamalot. How long before we get to see Libby Purves’ Grizabella the glamour theatreCat, Mark Shenton disrobing in Hair or theatregoers saying “Hello” to Tim Walker’s Dolly! ?

It was also the year Andrew decided he didn’t want to write for the Whingers anymore. For the record, he went of his own accord, quashing the scurrilous rumours that Phil staged a coup after finding a rather inappropriate image of Andrew in his jim jams on the internet.

So without further ado, here are Phil’s choices for the year, just so he can use the word ‘actress’ again and not group everyone together as ‘actors’… Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Audience, Gielgud Theatre

Friday 22 February 2013

posterWe should probably put SPOILER ALERT in here and have done with it, but judging by the papers in the last week it seems the press were in at its first preview; the spoiling has already been done.

This is not just a play, it’s a news item; so eagerly anticipated that disappointment might almost seem inevitable.

If it initially seemed surprising that Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Helen Mirren would revisit playing HMQ (the part she famously won an Oscar for in The Queen by Peter Morgan of Frost/Nixon etc fame) the reasons soon become evident.

The Audience comes from the pen of that film’s writer with Stephen Daldry returning to directing for the stage after 4 films (“together received 19 Academy Award nominations and 2 wins” according to the programme) and a slew of well-known theatre names portraying British Prime Ministers over the last 61 years on board too. It’s enough to bring back the ticket tout. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Phèdre (or Phedre) with Helen Mirren, National Theatre

Tuesday 9 June 2009

Phedre_1490GadyLPhedre or Phèdre? The National Theatre’s website can’t seem to decide whether to opt for the grave accent or not.

And while we’re talking about the vacillations of the NT, when did The Royal National Theatre revert to being just a plain old National Theatre again? Nobody told us. Has Her Maj stopped popping over to the South Bank to get her fill of the classics or does she feel that with Helen Mirren DBE in residence no one will miss her?

Well it may not be Royal any more but the Whingers were feeling utterly regal and like proverbial pigs in a Caryl Churchill play last night when they arrived to see Ted Hughes’ version of  Jean Racine‘s Greek tragedy. For they found themselves with the prospect of an evening spent in the company of two theatrical Dames of the British Empire and a proscenium arch.

Yes two Dames! One either side of the proscenium! They were in Dame heaven. Read the rest of this entry »

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