The West End Whingers interview with Jessica Lange…

Thursday 26 April 2007

The West End Whingers are always looking for opportunities to extend the usefulness of their website and they put a lot of thought into how they can contribute to the debate around the key arts issues of the day, many of which are sadly overlooked.

Having greatly enjoyed Jessica Phyllis Lange’s performance in The Glass Menagerie, they felt that the various interviews in organs such as The Independent and Broadway.com shied away from the really important questions and squandered the opportunity to get to understand the woman behind the star, and to identify the subtle differences between Broadway and the West End.

So it was that the Whingers launched their two-pronged attack to secure an interview with Phyllis (as they feel she would want to be called).

The first prong consisted of blitzing Mr Kenwright’s marketing team with emails requesting an interview. Clearly their email system is out of order as no response was forthcoming.
The second prong (or “tine” as Andrew insists on calling it) consisted of poking slips of paper through Phyllis’s dressing room window, an initiative that resulted in nothing apart from a Court Order preventing Phil from going within 400 yards of Phyllis in perpetuity.

So, the Whingers drew a big blank really. But that doesn’t prevent us from introducing this issues into the blogosphere to stimulate debate.

So here are the brave questions we had made a note to ask. There were only nine of them so we can’t understand why Phyllis didn’t make time for us.

  1. Have you got a pen? (we knew we would forget to bring one).
  2. How do you pronounce your name? Is it Lang or Lonzge?
  3. How many times a day do you visit West End Whingers?
  4. We gave you a very good review. Not many people get one of those. How thrilled were you?
  5. Were you nervous knowing that we were in the house? How did it affect your performance?
  6. Let’s talk more generally about theatre. When you go to see a show on Broadway, the programmes (you call them “Playbills”) are free. How appalled were you to find that in London they cost up to £4?
  7. Our prime minister has set up a thing on his website where anyone can set up an on-line petition. We’re not sure how it works but we’re going to try and set one up demanding legislation to ensure that no play last longer than two-and-a-half hours and has no more than one interval. Will you sign it?
  8. Let’s talk about The Glass Menagerie. When we went to see you in it the Apollo bar tried to charge us £7 for a glass of full-bodied red wine. Are the drinks as shockingly expensive in Broadway theatres as they are here?
  9. Other people have mentioned in their reviews that Tennessee Williams’ writing is very poetic. We didn’t notice any of the lines in The Glass Menagerie rhyming. How do you explain that?

4 Responses to “The West End Whingers interview with Jessica Lange…”


  1. Pure brilliance!

    Of course, I can tell you that while theatre ticket prices are about the same in London as they are on Broadway (even after taking into account the exchange rate where £1 is now worth $2 US), the drinks run half as much on this side of the pond. That (knowing how much you enjoy imbibing) coupled with not having to pay for a programme over here, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money!

  2. sanderling Says:

    Wondering whether I had time to enjoy a pre-performance coffee (about £2, I think) in the bar, I asked the barstaff how long it was till curtain up and was told, helpfully, that they could put it it a polystyrofoam cup for me to take into the auditorium so’s to drink it during the show.

    Fancy neglecting to ask Miss Lange how the aroma from rows of people sipping their lattes impinges on her ability to express the nuances of a faded Southern matriarch’s dreams for her children’s futures whilst nostalgically clinging to her own lost past. Tut.

    Anyway, more importantly, given that the FOH staff at the Apollo seem relaxed about refreshments during performances, it might be prudent expense-wise to BYOB next time – but to remove the cork first for the sake of other patrons’ enjoyment of the play.

  3. Gil Says:

    They let you bring the cup to drink in the auditorium? What’s up with that?
    And why is it that during the second act of any show in London, I can’t hear any of the actors over the sounds of hundreds of Brits scraping away at their tiny little Ben & Jerry’s ice creams?

  4. Paul Says:

    Ben and Jerry’s should be banned in the theatre. When I saw Porgy and Bess I couldn’t hear the second act for all the noise… Some people treat the theatre like their living room…


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