Victoria Wood, Kathleen Turner and the chihuahua mystery

Thursday 13 March 2008

A night off theatre for the Whingers. But they are never off duty.

First a visit to see Kathleen Turner being interviewed in a platform at the National Theatre.

Ms Turner was interviewed Chris Campbell who explained he was from the National Theatre’s literary department but the Whingers had already figured this out from his red socks.

Ms Turner was predictably wonderful. She teaches a course at NYU which she refers to as “Practical Acting – Just Shut Up And Do It” – which won the Whingers over immediately.

She regaled the audience with anecdotes but also with moving stories about her battle with rheumatoid arthritis. When the doctors told her she would be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life she said: “I only know three parts written for wheelchairs and I don’t like any of them” so she battled on and here she is.

She also revealed that her decision to appear nude on stage at the age of 46 in The Graduate was inspired by a script she was sent in which a female character was described as “37, but still attractive”. Ms Turner thought “fuck you” (and indeed said the f word several times – apparently she checked backstage beforehand that it was OK).

Ms Turner was at the National to plug her new autobiography cum self-help book Send Yourself Roses: Thoughts on My Life, Love and Leading Roles (with Gloria Feldt) and was very entertaining. But don’t worry if you missed it as she told the same anecdotes on GMTV (see bottom of post).

There was an opportunity for the audience to ask questions but despite some frantic arm-waving from Andrew, he did not get the opportunity to ask Ms Turner for an explanation of how the misunderstanding about Nicholas Cage and the chihuahua came about.

Dinner at Los Iguanas again (they do cassava!) with David and Mark and a bottle of Merlot and then off to the BFI Southbank National Film Theatre to see Victoria Wood being interviewed.  What an evening!

Ms Wood was as entertaining as one imagined and her talk of being fat, isolated and addictive and having a deformed jaws brought gales of laughter. Andrew had a flashback when she mentioned the BBC Radio 2 soap opera Wagoner’s Walk which he had hitherto erased from his memory. She talked of how Trevor Nunn (“not known for his cutting”) was not the man to direct the original Acorn Antiques – The Musical and confessed that she is always anxious to get people in and out of the theatre as fast as possible. If the Whingers hadn’t always been fans of VW, they would have instantly become so.

Ms Wood cut the mustard in every respect. When the interviewer (whose name escapes us now but he had horrid shoes) said he hoped she didn’t mind if he referred to her last show as “your own Vagina Monologues” she quickly retorted: “I do mind! I hate that word – ‘monologue'”.

Phil – whose hand waving is much more vigorous than Andrew’s – got to ask a question which no-one (least of all Victoria Wood) can now remember.

Anyway, predictably Victoria caught up with the Whingers as they tried to get away and insisted on being photographed with them. Sad.

Victoria Wood tries to have her photograph taken with the West End Whingers


Here’s Kathleen on GMTV:

3 Responses to “Victoria Wood, Kathleen Turner and the chihuahua mystery”

  1. Chris Says:

    The socks were brand new and I wore them specially. Ms Turner remarked on them before we went on.
    Sorry not to call Andrew but his question would have been inadmissible in any case; we were legally required not to mention Mr C*ge.

  2. I am mystified by this reference to Mr C*ge on the gossip website. What is DUI? Is it something you do with a chihuaha? Or possibly an Iguana? Do only Americans do it? Is Katie Mitchell planning to turn it into a site-specific play?

  3. @ Chris: But surely you couldn’t contain your own curiosity backstage? You DID ask her, didn’t you? “Ms Turner, where the hell did you get that crazy idea about the chihuahua?” Please come to the West End Whingers party and spill the beans.

    We thought the socks were new; if not we were going to ask which “colours” detergent you use.

    @ John. Sadly DUI is merely drunk driving (driving under the influence) which actually is quite a good metaphor for Ms Mitchell’s “style”.

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