The West End Whingers have been inundated with a comment from Steve On Broadway wondering if we were, in fact, dead.
The short answer is “No, Phil always looks like that” but we do feel that Steve‘s question deserves a fuller response.
What he’s alluding to is that instead of publishing our usual measured, insightful reviews, the West End Whingers have for several weeks broadcast measured, insightful comment and analysis. Or – as Andrew’s second best friend Mark insists on calling them – puff pieces.
Have we forsesaken the theatre? Can Messrs Hytner, Spacey et al finally breathe a sigh of relief?
Our self-imposed cultural fast can be attributed to a number of factors:
1. That August thing – the fact that everyone who matters except us either has a show on at Edinburgh or is watching shows at Edinburgh or is busy blogging about what other people thought of the shows they watched in Edinburgh or talking about Edinburgh as though they were there.
And we’re sulking because we don’t have anything to say on the matter except for the fact that we are very proud that Helen Smith and Andrew Field had shows in Edinburgh (and that because we know them we must have made some contribution to their achievements; to know us is to owe us).
2. The fact that there’s nothing new on in the West End that’s even remotely interesting. Who in their right minds would go and see Grease and Joseph for goodness sake?
4. And then the problem was compounded by the fact that Andrew decided to eschew alcohol for August and Phil couldn’t think of anything to say to him.
5. And then, ever since we granted The Londonist an exclusive interview (purely in order to stop them doorstepping us), Andrew has become rather grand and reclusive, sporting a large pair of sunglasses and a headscarf in what he imagines to be the manner of Greta Garbo during her later New York days.
Anyway, Steve On Broadway will be thrilled to learn that the Whingers will be resuming normal service this week when they and a group of 8 WEW stalwarts including City Slicker, Helen Smith, man-eater Shaz and several of Andrew’s second-best friends will be descending on the Old Vic to debate the shortcomings of All About My Mother (the first preview of which was cancelled and there have also been some last minute shenanigans to rearrange people’s seats in order to accommodate some unanticipated sight-line problems. All sounds very promising.)
On the topic of which, check out this interview with Diana Rigg in The Times which is truly fabulous. The woman smokes and drinks in Kevin Spacey’s office. The interviewer is clearly terrified of her. We love her.