In which the Whingers return from Africa…

Thursday 18 September 2008

Please pretend you’ve missed us.

Andrew and Phil returned safely on Sunday from their Awfully Big Adventure in Namibia .

To the West End’s disappointment they were not consumed by lions, crushed in an elephant stampede, attacked by black mambas or stung by deadly scorpions.

Phil did try to find a scorpion to slip into Andrew’s boots in the morning knowing that Andrew was too busy worrying about taking his malaria tablet to remember to shake his footwear, but failed. The one that Andrew slipped into Phil’s footwear died almost immediately for some reason.

But despite being deprived of theatrical experiences they’ve had plenty to whinge about nonetheless.

Missing their connection in Frankfurt they ended up having two nights in the city without a change of clothing.

As Phil has oft complained about Andrew’s standards of hygiene, you can only imagine what that was like. Let’s just say the 400,000 strong seal community on Namibia’s Skeleton Coast (left) had nothing on the honk emanating from Andrew’s safari suit.

But once the check-in clerk in Frankfurt realised he had such Very Important Persons as the Whingers at his desk they were of course swiftly offered an upgrade. If felt very much like buying seats in the gallery and ending up in the stalls but with much more legroom and no distracting theatre to disturb their slumbers.

To cap it all, the extremely helpful Lufthansa staff member who arranged their hotel for their first night in Frankfurt gave them something to smile about when they noticed his name badge (and this is true –  we have witnesses): “F. Orf”.

So what exactly did the Whingers do in Namibia?

After passing their course at the Osbourne/Mayall school of quad-biking with flying colours they tore off into the sand dunes in their ATVs.

Indeed, they almost succeeded in keeping up with the girls and pensioners in the group.

So they were quietly quite pleased with themselves.

Actually it was quite alarming as they seemed to attain speeds that particles in the Large Hadron Collider could only dream of reaching.

Sadly though, the trip ended up making quite a dent in Phil’s finances as he was instantly drawn to the Clashing Colours shop where he stocked up on many, many items for his wardrobe.

But it wasn’t a complete escape from the media attention they so desperately eschew.

The Whingers were – as usual – snapped by excited paparazzi (below) outside The National Theatre of Namibia which is situated slap bang in the centre of town on Windhoek’s majestic Robert Mugabe Avenue.

To the right is a still from that theatre’s acclaimed production of Waterhole – pretty impressive wigs, we’re sure you’ll agree.

But sadly we didn’t actually get to see anything as we were paying diligent attention to the specialist’s stern instructions regarding the need to take a complete break from all things theatrical.

Windhoek also, incidentally, has it’s very own Warehouse Theatre.

Anyway, we’re back. Sorry.

9 Responses to “In which the Whingers return from Africa…”

  1. bobzyeruncle Says:

    One of you (or at least your shadow) is looking awfully excited to be in that top photo.

  2. Mark I Says:

    I noticed that too, bobzy, but I felt it kindest not to say anything.

    Welcome back whingers!

  3. Simone Says:

    At last! Welcome back you guys and hoped you had enjoyed your well deserved break! What are you looking forwad to see in the West End?

  4. Lurker Says:

    Welcome back! So glad you are back, its been boring without you. Please don’t ever go away again!

  5. Ben Ellis Says:

    I thought I smelled a little extra seal or safari suit in the air the other day. My heart gladdens!

  6. Thank you all for your kind words.

    @ bob: what you can see in the photograph is almost certainly Phil’s giant can of Deet spray. I can certainly think of no other plausible explanation for the bulge.

    @ Simone: what are we looking forward to seeing? None of it, of course. We have two appointments at the National Theatre next week, let’s just leave it at that.

  7. Ted Kraus Says:

    I did miss your wonderful takes on theatre and the world.
    Can’t wait flr your sharp views on London theatre.

  8. Rev Stan Says:

    Don’t leave again. Ever. Promise?

  9. Simone Says:

    @ Andrew: LOL at your reply to my question.

    I am so looking forward to our Pinter evening, I am sure I am going to have fun even before the play begins!

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