Strange things are going on in the world.
Unforeseen, uncontrollable events are happening all around us. The last two weeks have seen tumultuous developments that even the most cynical pundit could never have anticipated.
Yes, the Whingers have been going to the theatre and actually enjoying themselves.
Phil has experienced an unprecedented run of six shows (De Profundis, Creditors, Waste, Now or Later, No Man’s Land and Six Characters in Search of an Author) which despite the odd cavil about staging (Creditors) and a degree of ambivalence at the interval (Waste, Six Characters) he would thoroughly recommend.
Andrew has been almost as lucky. His run of satisfying theatre has been broken only by No Man’s Land, but as it’s Pinter that was completely expected and so doesn’t really count. But even he appreciated the acting of Michael Gambon and David Bradley.
And Andrew has delivered another enthusiastic report on Finn Kennedy’s How To Disappear Completely And Never Be Found which was in a fringe theatre for heaven’s sake!!!
In fact, since they’ve returned from their Great German African Adventure only two shows have tainted their theatre going experiences: one third of The Norman Conquests (glowing reviews, including 5 stars from The Sunday Times but which left The Whingers with faces as frozen as an Icelandic bank account) and The Walworth Farce. Were they bitten in the bush by some strange airborne insect that has rendered them peculiarly magnanimous or did the malaria tablets addle their brains?
What is going on?
Yes, London theatre’s looking rather healthy, despite a spate of articles moaning about the lack of straight drama and plethora of musicals. True, some of this theatre is in off-West End playhouses which would normally stage plays anyway, but Ruperts Goold’s (the Pinter and the Pirandello) productions are both in the West End and the Whingers haven’t even squeezed in Ivanov (the first in a season of Donmar in the West End) yet. Sonia Friedman is even bravely (or foolishly) promising to produce more Pinter much to Andrew’s chagrin.
The Whingers are off to the National tonight to dip their toes into Sophocles’ Oedipus (don’t tell their mothers. Or their fathers, come to that). Andrew’s already adopting a Panglossian view, having heard that it was 1 hour 40 minutes at the first preview he enthused uncharacteristically, “I like it already”. It also features two of The Whingers favourite actors: Clare Higgins and Jasper Britton. What could possibly go wrong?
Watch this space.