Farewell Leicester Square. Hello Peru.

Wednesday 26 September 2007

Apologies for the hiatus.

Despite the suspension of theatre-going for most of August, the specialist has ordered both Phil and Andrew to get a complete rest from the theatre in the interest of their nerves. So they have jetted off to darkest Peru for two weeks.

Why Peru? Well, a Google search for “Peru theatre” reveals practically no results (although, worryingly for Phil, a search for “Peru Simon Russell Beale” throws up 10 pages of them) so it seemed like a reasonably safe bet. To our certain knowledge, there is no touring production of Trevor Nunn’s Royal Hunt of the Sun.

But while the West End may be heaving a sigh of relief, it’s not quite that simple for the West End Whingers. For the only reason the WEW don’t have a companion site entitled “West End Worriers” is the sheer volume of material they would have to keep up with.

Peru-wise, there are only four issues so far:

Altitude sickness

The signs and symptoms include:-

* Severe headache that is not relieved by medication
* Nausea and vomiting, increasing weakness and fatigue
* Shortness of breath
* Decreased co-ordination.

As both Whingers exhibit these on a daily basis, diagnosis will be a challenge to the Peruvian medical profession.

Vampire bats

“17 deaths from rabies had been confirmed in people known to have been bitten by bats. In five more cases the deceased showed typical rabies symptoms but were buried without an autopsy.”

Phil has been very busy fashioning protective headgear out of cat food (he gets through six tins a day and no, he doesn’t have a cat) in the Ned Kelly style.


24 June: “A strong earthquake lasting more than a minute has hit southern Peru, killing at least 47 people and injuring hundreds.”


19 September: “Hundreds of people in Peru have needed treatment after an object from space – said to be a meteorite – plummeted to Earth in a remote area, officials say. They say the object left a deep crater after crashing down over the weekend near the town of Carancas in the Andes. People who visited the scene have been complaining of headaches, vomiting and nausea after inhaling gases.”

Still, it was nice of the former President Alberto Fujimori to fly in from Chile to greet us on the day we arrived. We had no idea he was a fan, but there he was at Lima airport when we arrived. Delightful man.

Anyway, normal service will be resumed as soon as possible so make the most of it.

8 Responses to “Farewell Leicester Square. Hello Peru.”

  1. When I was next door in Ecuador a few years ago, there WAS an English-language production of “Shopping And F**king” (I think it used the two-asterisk option) in Quito…

  2. So earthquakes and meteors couldn’t keep you away? How was Machu Picchu? Did you find any ancient theatre there?

  3. Sean Says:

    I’ve never been on holiday (since I was 16 at least) without attending the theatre or opera. Saying that I just went to a wedding in Tunisia, but huge Arab weddings are theatre (I did see some Roman theatres too).

    Have a nice holiday, can we expect a travelogue?

  4. Ben Says:

    Hope you’re having fun. If you make it, I’d go visit Kuelap near Chachapoyas and also to Leymebamba — you’re probably back in UK by now, but just in case you’re in need of more adventure and you’re reading this in an internet cafe in Peru somewhere… Hope all is well and you’re not causing any earthquakes.

  5. City Slicker Says:

    Thanks for your tickets to Parade. I loved it. You must try and get to the Donmar before the run is over. Hope you are having a great time. Can’t wait to hear all about it.


  6. Thank you all for your best wishes and itinerary suggestions.

    Nobody told us though that altitude sickness diminishes your appetite for alcohol. So it has been a very strange 10 days with the Whingers sitting next to each other on six hour coach journeys wondering who on earth the person next to them is and why they aren’t funny or interesting.

    We’re back in about four days and hope that these things shall pass. We’ll let you know.

  7. Phil (a west end whinger) Says:

    Well Phil’s back but Andrew is still miles away…or maybe he’s still suffering from altitude sickness. Very strange behaviour was displayed on this trip. No appetite for alcohol at all, no interest in even popping as cork, and even displayed very odd symptoms of cordiality to fellow travelers. Very disconcerting.

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