The Whingers have oft complained that there’s not enough theatre out there that really amuses them.
Andrew’s sartorial choices often elicit huge guffaws from Phil, but he doesn’t need to sit through a couple of hours of dross to derive such pleasure. It’s often the high point of an otherwise turgid theatre evening.
So, a few years back, the Whingers (over a bottle or two of oh-be-joyful of course) threw down the gauntlet (Hello Kitty glove in Andrew’s case) to each other and decided that they could write something better.
But could they? After three years of hard graft, and cloaked in secrecy from even their nearest and dearests, they have finally completed their masterwork. A dramatic discourse on the state of the nation? No of course not, what eventually emerged (and now it can be revealed) is their fabulous (in their humble opinions) musical with the working title The 53rd Annual Vauxhall Quilting Bee.
For the past few years Phil and Andrew have been banging out their rhythms on an old washboard and twanging the overstretched elastic from Andrew’s old undergarments (yes, there will probably be the misguided few who will think it’s pants) Phil envisages the Whingers as a rising Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Andrew feels they’ve successfully ploughed a more tuneful Rodgers and Hammerstein furrow.
And the subject matter of this masterwork? Well there is a small hint in the title. Write about what you know was the thing that stuck in their heads after attending months of Musical Masterclasses.
As Andrew and Phil spend another happy evening appliquéing, they reminisce about the stories behind different squares on their quilt. One by one the squares of their delicate craftwork come to life. In scenes which are often hilarious and occasionally poignant, like the patchwork they’re creating, the story of how the Whingers came into being gradually pieces together.
In a variety of musical styles including country, hip hop, acapella and jazz this promises to be an extraordinary evening of drama, comedy, music and contemporary dance.
After months of rejection (Andrew being so more used to this than Phil) from such august institutions as The Royal National Theatre, The RSC, The Almeida, The Bush, (to name but a few) the wise people at the beleaguered Drill Hall saw their nascent talent which had been festering unrecognised for so long.
Imagine their surprise and joy when they found a letter of acceptance laying amongst the mound of pizza and Thai food flyers, imagine the smiles on their faces (on second thoughts don’t) when they knew that finally their years of creativity, argument and copius editing (a pacey 89 minutes with no interval is what they’re aiming for) had paid off.
Now imagine their disappointment when they found out that the Arts council were cutting funding from The Drill Hall and the proposed 2009 production cancelled in the cruelest cut of all.
But don’t despair that this fabulous new show might never see the light of day. The Whingers have an ace or two up their frayed sleeves. At this year’s 2nd annual West End Whingers party Phil and Andrew will be performing a lengthy medley of songs from the The 53rd Annual Vauxhall Quilting Bee for those lucky enough to attend. This promises to be a rare treat indeed.
So if you’re interested in being an angel, or in producing what promises to be an amazing show, contact us ASAP and we’ll be happy to send you an invite to this auspicious world première occasion. Yes, Mr Producer, we’re talking to you sir !