Whither the Whingers?

Thursday 17 January 2008

Yes, a bit quiet on here lately. Why?

1. For a start, theatre blogging is so 2007. Haven’t you heard? Dr Eldridge Fin Kennedy and Ben Ellis have all expressed an intention not to bother so much in 2008 so we can’t really be bothered either.

2. In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a writers’ strike on.

3. But contrary to rumour, the West End Whingers have NOT been victims of the Arts Council of England funding débacle*.

4. Like Michael Billington, we have determined to be more open to experiment this year. We realised, for instance, that we had quite a bit of film-going to catch up on and started by finally getting around to see Margaret Lockwood in The Wicked Lady at the NFT the other week. Very good.

5. There was a bit of a falling out when Andrew blurted out to Phil that he wanted to go and see something at the London Mime Festival. Phil responded by packing his bags and going to Rome. Andrew nonetheless went to see Jos Houben: The Art of Laughter and enjoyed it very much indeed.

Luckily for Phil, Andrew was able to demonstrate some of Mr Houben’s principles after a trip to see the new Coen Brothers film No Country for Old Men (very good, apart from the ending); while putting his coat on after the subsequent meal Andrew managed to accidentally knock some bottles off a shelf onto the adjoining table and then dislodge more bottles in the process of trying to prevent them falling. Priceless.

Anyway, things are getting back to normal a bit.


* For those of you who haven’t heard about it, this boils down to the fact that a lot of arts organisations lost their funding recently although the only one that anyone seems to care much about is The Bush Theatre; there has been much less of a furore about the threat to the Norwich Puppet Theatre and some audible sighs of relief over potentially losing The Drill Hall.

8 Responses to “Whither the Whingers?”

  1. Sean Says:

    Mmm, The Drill Hall has been patchy of late! Mind you, some organisations are having their funding increased….

    Go to the cinema once a week I say, it’ll keep you ‘in touch’ with the plebs. And yes, blogging is too much effort really (especially if you spell check).

  2. mark I Says:

    Lovely to have the Whingers back!

    However, it’s all very worrying – if the Whingers don’t post as much, and Scrabble succeeds in getting Scrabulous removed from Facebook I might be reduced to actually working when at work – shudder!

  3. Stephen Says:

    I think you’re being unfair to the Drill Hall as they have a bold programme of work, with some real experimental and performance art pieces.

    For every miss there’s also excellence with Signs Of A Diva and Smilin’ Through highlights of my year.

    By its very nature, experimental risk taking productions will create a higher percentage of failures.

  4. Oh no you’re not being unfair to the Drill Hall… Their Christmas “show” Bitched Slapped by God was justification alone of losing their grant – grade 0 show all round… They were good in their day, but they haven’t had a good day for some time…

  5. National Student Drama Festival, anyone? queerupnorth? The Orange Tree? Derby Playhouse? The Northcott? Eastern Angles? London Disability Arts Forum? Lipservice? The London Bubble? Watermans?…

  6. Ian – You’re a smart man – what’s the first person plural of Mea Culpa? It’s true that there has been a huge furore about the NSDF. The rest – less so.

  7. That would be “nostra culpa”. (There’s a gag about Latin sexual terms and “declining” lurking somewhere in the vicinity…) I think Derby and the Orange Tree are also fairly high-profile examples – Derby went as far as to hold the opening night of its Treasure Island without a licence from the city council, which looks a bit lame in print but is far from it in the actual event.

  8. Ben Says:

    After knocking off the wine bottles again, did Andrew do a double-take look around to see if anybody saw it? And importantly, did he manage to time it on the off-beat? If so, then he truly learnt from Jos. I suspect though, that a bottle of wine may have the consequences…

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