Posts Tagged ‘Hildegard Bechtler’

Review – Passion Play, Duke of York’s Theatre

Wednesday 29 May 2013

11401_fullA Saturday matinee.

Both upper levels of the Duke of York’s appeared to be closed, the theatre barely a third full. No wonder some of the cast couldn’t resist sneaking furtive glances into the auditorium (not furtive enough – we caught you!). The pain and angst apparent on the actors’ faces in Peter Nichols’ 1981 adultery tragi-comedy Passion Play probably didn’t require quite as much acting at this performance.

Music teacher Eleanor (Zoë Wanamaker) has been married to James (Owen Teale) for 25 years – apparently monogamously – but their much younger friend Kate (Annabel Scholey), borrowing the Catherine Zeta Jones’ look from Chicago (which would be the Louise Brooks’ look if you’re of a Whingers’ age), has a history of making herself readily available to pleasure older men. Can James resist her minxy advances? What are the chances? Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Trelawny of the Wells, Donmar

Monday 8 April 2013

Trelawny_Of_The_Wells-1-200-200-100-cropBit late in the day with this one and frankly we weren’t going to bother writing it up as it closes on Saturday. But we’ll forget that we saw it otherwise. That’s not to say it’s forgettable. It’s just us.

Andrew was a Trelawny of the Wells virgin. Phil saw the starry Helena Bonham Carter version at the then Comedy Theatre 20-odd years ago; rather unfortunately the National also staged it around the same time. Oops. Phil remembered that it featured Michael Hordern, Jason Connery and Margaret Courtenay but had completely forgotten that cosmonaut-in-waiting Sarah Brightman also starred. How could he forget that? It seemed necessary to record our visit, if only for ourselves. You should feel no obligation to read any further. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Old Times, Harold Pinter Theatre

Tuesday 29 January 2013

OldTimes“A matinee, a Pinter play” as Sondheim’s “Ladies Who Lunch” lyric goes.

And that’s just what it was. A matinee of a Pinter play and at the Harold Pinter Theatre to boot. Does that make the Whingers ladies who lunch?

Well, one Whinger might be getting in touch with his feminine side over a salad nicoise. Andrew was far too busy, emergency ironing or something, anything seemed preferable to him; there was no Pinteresque pause before Andrew replied to Phil’s suggestion that they go and see Old Times. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Scenes from an Execution, National Theatre

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Scene: Sixteenth-century Venice. A glowing white cube descends from a vertiginous height containing a narrator type chappie (Gerrard McArthur) pretentiously called The Sketchbook (no, us neither). Or should white cube be White Cube? Scenes from an Execution is about art. Ah! Penny just dropped!

Obscene?: Artist Galactia (Fiona Shaw on fine form) is semi-naked sketching her naked younger lover and duplicitously compromising fellow-artist Carpeta (Jamie Ballard - also good). She’s a supremely talented artist (he’s not) and sensualist with a bit of a gobby mouth (Battleaxe Galactia?). They thrash about on a rock together. We’re later told she’s pretty nifty with her tongue. Carpeta seems to confirm this.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Sunshine Boys, Savoy Theatre

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Two grumpy old gits with failing memories harbour massive grudges and snipe at each other. One of them prefers to spend as much time as possible lolling around in his jim-jams.  Both attempt to flog tired old gags in a double act that’s way past it’s sell by date.

The Sunshine Boys has a most pungent, room-clearing whiff of someone having a laugh at the Whingers’ expense. Would it prove a bit too close to home (a retirement one of course) for them?

Prolific Neil Simon‘s 1972 play arrives at the Savoy Theatre with an eagerly-anticipated USP: Danny DeVito making his West End stage debut as an old vaudevillian Willie Clark.

Cast opposite him the altogether less diminutive Richard Griffiths as his former stage partner Al Lewis (didn’t he play Grandpa in The Munsters?) and you might believe you’re almost Twins-set for a perfect match. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Top Hat, Aldwych Theatre

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Andrew recently passed a big and significant landmark which, to put it delicately, did not involve sitting aboard the 52 bus and whizzing past the Royal Albert Hall.

No, it was one of those occasions where everyone was coming up with ideas for unusual things he could do on the actual day. Phil suggested he stayed in and blew the dust off that anthology of Harold Pinter he gave him several birthdays ago. Some hope. (In case you’re interested, he ended up spending it with Nancy Lam)

But if Andrew ever feels despondent about his advancing years he can always instantly feel 20 years younger for the price of a theatre ticket – at least for as long as Top Hat runs.

The Whingers were feeling almost nubile amongst the Aldwych crowd. When Phil stood up before the show started to see how many were in the orchestra pit (15 for the record) a shrinking mittel-European lady behind him tapped him on the shoulder and anxiously enquired, “I hope you’re not going to keep standing up during ze show”. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Cause Célèbre, Old Vic

Monday 28 March 2011

Tuesday 22nd March 2011: Stephen Sondheim’s 81st birthday (and by an ironic coincidence also Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 63rd).

What a relief. We can relax again knowing we no longer need to assist Mr Sondheim in celebrating his 8oth. It has been a too, too exhausting year.

But now Mr Rattigan is making similar demands on us from beyond the grave in commemoration of what would be his 100th.

We had already tooted into our party blowers for his Flare Path a few days earlier. Now we were required to quaff bubbly again at the Old Vic for his last play (originally for radio), written in 1977, Cause Célèbre. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – After the Dance, National Theatre

Tuesday 8 June 2010

It’s hard to believe that the Whingers have never seen a Terence Rattigan play before. Well, not as Whingers anyway, nor even when they were going to the theatre together as dull-and-plain-old Phil and Andrew before they re-branded as the dull-and-plain-but-with-airs West End Whingers.

Of course, each had seen a Rattigan before they first met that fateful day when they both reached for the same artichoke in marketplace of Capri. But clearly the Whingers’ appreciation of a well-constructed play, a proscenium arch, French windows, hats and servants declaring “luncheon is served” meant that a Rattigan sortie was well overdue.

All that was missing was a Dame of the British Empire, but you can’t have it all can you? Surely the Whingers would be in seventh heaven? Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Now Or Later, Royal Court

Sunday 5 October 2008

Quick! Wheel out the Bagnold Barometer!

To be honest it’s in need of a bit of attention. We didn’t dream that we would be needing it again so soon hence it has been sitting neglected in Andrew’s attic between the exercise bike and the vegetable steamer and just in front of his last five (still wrapped) Christmas presents from Phil.

But now it’s needed. Read the rest of this entry »

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