“Fancy seeing some of the Big Five?” asked Phil.
Andrew naturally assumed Phil was referring to the Great Dames of British Theatre, Judi, Maggie, Eileen, Helen and Biggins, so of course replied in the affirmative.
It was a huge disappointment to Andrew when he found out Phil actually meant lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) by going on safari in Africa (Phil’s not big on what lives where).
There’s an awful lot of the continent for our intrepid explorers to visit, so to narrow it down Phil stuck a hat pin at random into his most up-to-date atlas.
Thus was born the Whingers’ expedition to Deutsch-Südwestafrika (motto: “Unity, Liberty, Justice”). Perfect -if the big game proved elusive, at least they could fill in time doing a Brangelina, and adopt.
And so it was that Phil found himself brushing up on his Oshiwambo and best Karen Blixen (via Meryl Streep) accent while Andrew tried on various outfits until he had found the exact look he’d been been seeking: Christopher Biggins in On Safari.
Now Andrew (being that much more environmentally aware than Phil) was deeply concerned about their carbon footprints, especially with Phil’s manly size 10s, so decided to complete his safari look with ballet shoes feeling that he would cause much less environmental damage if he conducted the trip en pointe.
And by complete coincidence there does happen to be a great theatrical dame filming in Deutsch-Südwestafrika (a remake of iconic sixties TV show The Prisoner by the way) during the Whingers’ Great Adventure: Dame Ian McKellen, no less.
So, as the West End theatres breathe a collective sigh of relief with the Whingers out in Africa it is rumoured that President Hifikepunye Pohamba and Prime Minister Nahas Angula will be contacting their cultural attaché and laying on a hand-picked selection of entertainments for the Windhoek Whingers’ (or Namibian Nigglers’) special degustation.
The West End Whingers are away.