West End Whingers Review of the Year 2006

Friday 29 December 2006

WEW are nearly at the end of their first year online and it’s time to look back over some of the horrors that they’ve had the misfortune to witness and – on the rare occasions on which praise is due – to hand out a few Whingies.

So here, we go, in no particular order…

Resurrection BluesMost disagreeable overall production:
Resurrection Blues (Old Vic). Bad set, bad acting, bad direction, bad play. We sat through the second act solely in order to exercise our right to boo at the end.

Worst actor:
It’s a tie! Everyone in Resurrection Blues (Old Vic)

Worst director:
Robert Altman for inflicting Resurrection Blues (old Vic) on the Whingers. WEW are proud to present their first posthumous award. Even death cannot protect you from the wrath of the Whingers.

Least sensible career move by an actress:
Jane Adams for consenting to appear in Resurrection Blues.

Most sensible career move by an actress:
Jane Adams for dropping out of Resurrection Blues even before it closed early.

Worst set design:
Resurrection Blues (Old Vic). Overblown and highly impractical set and we just had to get another dig in.

Neve Campbell in Love Song

Worst actress:
Neve Campbell. Bad luck Neve, you appeared in Resurrection Blues and whined your way through the otherwise highly enjoyable Love Song. To be fair, we thought you were really watchable in Scream, Scream 2 and Scream 3 though.

Daddy CoolWorst musical:
Daddy Cool (Shaftesbury Theatre). We hear there is to be a European tour and hereby call on the British Council to intervene. This was a very closely contested category, with Wicked coming a very close second.

WickedWorst value programme:
The Wicked “souvenir programme” There is no non-souvenir programme. A wicked £6. And this is one theatrical experience you really don’t want to be reminded of anyway.

Worst sight-lines for a top price seat:
Wicked (Apollo Victoria)

Sniffiest attitude from a box office:
The London Palladium: “I hope you’re not just booking for The Sound of Music because of the TV programme”

Kathleen TurnerLeast worst actress:
Kathleen Turner (Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?)

Least disagreeable overall production:
Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (Apollo Theatre)

Most entertaining cover of a dry:
Neve Campbell issues an expletive in Love Song.

Sheridan Smith and Paul Keating in Little Shop of HorrorsMost intertextual experience:
The Little Shop of Horrors morphs into Singing in the Rain when illness forces Paul Keating to mime to his backstage cover’s singing.

Least unpromising newcomer:
Katie Kerr, Little Shop of Horrors (Menier Chocolate Factory). Katie played Chiffon – one of the three chorus girls – and was apparently within a whisker of playing Tracy Turnblad in the apparently-now-postponed London version of Hairspray the musical.

Sunday in the Park with GeorgeLeast worst musical:
Sunday In The Park With George (Menier Chocolate Factory)

Least Worst Set Design:
Sunday In The Park With George (Menier Chocolate Factory)

Best bar:
Menier Chocolate Factory.

Drunk Enough To say I Love YouWorst play with good reviews:
Drunk Enough To Say I Love You? (Royal Court) WEW were sober enough to recognise merde on a grand scale.

Shortest production posing as a full length play:
Drunk Enough To say I Love You? (Royal Court) – but even 40 minutes was enough to say we hated it.

Least misguided critic:
Worryingly, the Daily Mail’s Quentin Letts whose insight revealed itself with “Caryl Churchill’s new play is perhaps the most laughably bad thing I have seen since accepting the theatre beat”. But full marks to the perceptiveness of Charles “I like everything” Spencer whose limits were finally tested by the same play, dubbing it “almost insultingly dreadful”.

Least rip-off programme:
A tie: The Canterbury Tales (Gielgud Theatre) – large, glossy and reasonably priced; Spamalot for its excellent programme-within-a-programme featuring the little-known Finnish musical Dik Od Triaanenen Fol.

Frank Langella

Least worst actor:
Frank Langella (right) for Frost/Nixon at the Donmar Warehouse. A truly hypnotic performance.

Least worst new play:
Frost/Nixon
(Donmar). A good evening and very welcome.

Worst costume design:
Hay Fever (Haymarket). Did we really need to see Dame Judi’s bingo wings?

Caroline or changeBest wigs
Caroline, or Change (National Theatre). And now that the show is closing, make sure you give those wigs to the chorus in the Menier’s Little Shop of Horrors revival.

Overall least-worst value theatre
The National Theatre. At £10 a pop, it doesn’t matter if the play sucks. But when are they going to put proper production photographs into the programmes instead of those dumb rehearsal shots? And when are they going to start letting you take drinks in?

Special award for outstanding contribution to West End theatre:
West End Whingers. For daring to speak the truth. For their unimpeachable aesthetic taste. For going to the theatre so you don’t have to. So many reasons.

4 Responses to “West End Whingers Review of the Year 2006”

  1. Paul Says:

    Great awards guys… Although I didn’t mind Neve in Love Song which I finally caught last night…

    And it is a shame that Caroline isn’t hanging around for longer!

  2. Mark Says:

    Very good.

    Will there be an awards party soon?


  3. Thanks for the feedback Paul and Mark.

    Yes, in actual fact, we WILL be holding an awards ceremony cum party as soon as we can get our acts together. We obviously won’t have room to invite everyone who got an award, but we will let Kathleen Turner come if she wants to.

  4. westendwhinger Says:

    And please don’t let Liliane Montevecchi know the address of the venue, she’s desperate for a ticket and to to be photographed with the whingers again. It’s very sad.


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