Posts Tagged ‘Matthew White’

Review – Candide, Menier Chocolate Factory

Monday 2 December 2013

0da9365bfeecf4a1a9c714ecaf59227cPhil’s 4th Candide, and if he had a better memory he would make comparisons. So a swift read up of the Whingers’ last one (at the ENO) reminded him that, in that case, it was long (3¼ hours), gimmicky and sometimes inaudible.

But that’s what can happen if you let opera companies have their wicked way with it. Thankfully this one is shorter (2 hours 40 mins), the often brilliant lyrics entirely audible and the staging traditional.

Well, one might say traditional if one were not a Whinger. The Menier’s production is off-puttingly staged in the round. But, and swallowing hard, Phil was forced reluctantly to admit that it works. Yes, occasionally there is the discomfort of a little Linda Blair-ish head swivelling to see the performers as they cavort around the auditorium (choreography Adam Cooper), but on the plus side you’re close enough to get a hooped skirt in your face and if seated in the front row may even find yourself becoming part of the show wearing a natty red titfer. 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 – Company, Southwark Playhouse

Saturday 19 February 2011

What with the endless 8oth birthday celebrations for Stephen Sondheim, revivals of his shows now seem almost as common as gold stars for The King’s Speech with more to come (celebrations to mark Mr Sondheim’s 81st birthday commence on 22 March).

But the latest production of Company at the Southwark Playhouse is billed as “a major new revival”. So that’s different.

The Whingers quite like Company (with a big C, not each others’ company) because it’s sharp, witty and tuneful. But having seen the Union Theatre’s excellent, but presumably only minor, revival less than two years ago we weren’t sure we were quite ready for another.

But then if we didn’t go it would always be gnawing away at us: how was “The Ladies Who Lunch”?

Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Sweet Charity, Menier Chocolate Factory

Monday 23 November 2009

Regular readers of the Whingers’ comments sections may have noticed Sir Andrew Lloyds Credit Crunch complaint that “I pay you to WHINGE, not CRAWL.”

Perhaps this will at least, in part, justify the regular charitable direct debit paid into the Whingers’ joint bank account (Andrew to Phil – what bank account? Do we have a bank account?). But, Sir Andrew, before you withdraw your generous remunerations entirely, you should know that what follows is a perfectly balanced combination of both the W word and the C word. Read the rest of this entry »

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