Posts Tagged ‘Lyttelton Theatre’

Review – Behind the Beautiful Forevers / John, National Theatre

Saturday 22 November 2014

GE DIGITAL CAMERAMisery time at the National.

Just think, you could go and see a matinee of Behind the Beautiful Forevers and John in the evening and come out feeling thoroughly depressed. For that would be the better way round; the latter is shorter than the former’s Act 1. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Ballyturk, National Theatre

Tuesday 16 September 2014

488363953_640It was only yesterday that Phil was reminiscing about theatrical mishaps and already he has another to add to his list.

In Enda Walsh‘s strange and possibly existential (if Phil really understood the word) Ballyturk (also directed by Walsh) Cillian Murphy* has a scene where he energetically smashes vinyl singles by hurling them against the back wall of the set (brilliantly choreographed to the tune of each record). One hit at such a perfect angle that instead of shattering it ricocheted and flew like a sharp-edged Frisbee the depth of the Lyttelton stage and out into the auditorium over the ducking heads of patrons in about six rows of the stalls. Since Health and Safety no longer allow sweets to be thrown to kiddies at a panto these days we feel they must be informed immediately.

As they took their seats in the stalls, Phil’s companion for the evening muttered “I have no idea what this play is about”. Ninety minutes later neither he nor Phil were much wiser.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Strange Interlude, National Theatre

Monday 3 June 2013

imageWhat are the chances?

You wait an eternity for an infidelity tragi-comedy in which the audience are party to the characters’ innermost thoughts and then you are afforded two in a row.

Just days after visiting Passion Play, where actors play the two main characters’ alter egos, comes Eugene O’Neill‘s 1928 Pulitzer Prize-winner Strange Interlude in which every character makes asides to the audience revealing what they’re really thinking. It’s the Shakespearean device by way of TV’s Peep Show.

Andrew had chickened out of this one on the grounds of life being too short but Phil gamely picked up the cudgel or something and as he occasionally has thoughts in his heads too, has been inspired to go with the zeitgeist and opening up the peculiar workings of his own psyche. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Doctor’s Dilemma, National Theatre

Friday 20 July 2012

The Whingers have to make big decisions too you know.

Phil was so incandescent when he heard incandescent light bulbs were being phased out that he stocked up forgetting that most of his home was already lit by halogen down lighters anyway, with just one lamp (which he rarely switches on) using the old bulbs.

He never learns (he was the same when gas lighting was phased out). There’s no chance he’ll get through all of them in his lifetime. What should he do with his box of 50 bulbs?

In George Bernard Shaw’s what-it-says-on-the-tin play The Doctor’s Dilemma bachelor and newly-knighted Sir Colenso Ridgeon (Aden Gillett) is also in a quandary. He treats typhoid, the plague and has developed a new treatment for tuberculosis. If only he could find a cure for the highly contagious modern malady Superfluous Like Syndrome which afflicts the younger (and some not so young) generation of today; introducing several unnecessary ‘like’s into every sentence they utter.* Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Last of the Haussmans, National Theatre

Tuesday 19 June 2012

You wait an age for a play about free-spirited people who behaved selfishly in the sixties and how their behaviour made lost souls of their offspring desperate to get their hands on property…

Well, you know the rest.

The Quink from the Whingers’ quills had barely dried from their uncharacteristically and almost unbridled rave about Mike Bartlett’s Love, Love, Love at the Royal Court and here they were again ploughing territory with spookily similar themes.

Expectations had already been running unreasonably high with Julie Walters, Rory Kinnear, Helen McCrory and Matthew Marsh in the cast. Imagine being the playwright Stephen Beresford and finding that lot in your first play The Last of the Haussmans – and on a proper National Theatre stage and not even tucked away in the Cottesloe. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Misterman, National Theatre

Monday 23 April 2012

Mr Andrew has booked this and although Mr Phil is never really sure what he’s going to see he felt like Mr Grumpy, Mr Silly and Mr Dyslexic rolled into one amorphous Day-glo shape when he realised that Mr Enda Walsh‘s play was a gritty monologue and nothing at all to do with Roger Hargreaves’ popular doodles.

Now the Whingers have given Aunt Enda a fairly wide berth since The Walworth Fiasco Farce almost four years ago but the lure of the very talented Mr Cillian Murphy was sufficiently strong to persuade the Whingers to rather graciously give the Irish playwright another go and really we do wonder if we weren’t paying attention last time because his 1999 play Misterman  is practially a compendium of WEW theatrical must-haves: 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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