Yes, it’s very quiet here, isn’t it? To be honest, there’s quite a lot of sulking going on. To discover that the Whingers don’t make it onto the Stage 100 List of the most powerful people in theatre was, frankly, a bit of a blow.
But then it was very controversial. Michael Billington spluttered, “Does John Barrowman really have more power than Nick Kent who runs the Tricycle Theatre?” which is certainly true on our case because – as far as we know – John Barrowman has never barred us from anything whereas the Tricycle has.
And then came the New Year Honours list. We’re not bitter. We’re glad that Margaret Tyzack is now a CBE (although it seems a bit of a wasted opportunity for a new theatrical DBE). And it’s now Sir Patrick Stewart and Dame Nicholas Hytner or something.
Speaking of Dames, the Whingers were rather amused by the bit in Victoria Wood’s Mid-Life Christmas in which áctress Bo Beaumont dismissed Diana Rigg’s damehood as being “for her charity work”.
Anyway, other disappointments already this year include not being invited to the Baddeley Cake celebration at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on twelfth night. As the Arthur Lloyd theatre history site explains:
It is named after Robert Baddeley who was a popular actor at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane for many years until he died in 1794 during the run of his most celebrated part, Moses in ‘School for Scandal.’
Baddeley left instructions that on the death of his wife ‘certain monies’ were ‘to go to the society established for the relief of indigent persons belonging to Drury Lane Theatre.’ And amongst other requests he also left provision that the interest from £100 be used on the Twelfth Night of every year for the purchase of a cake, with wine and punch, for the Drury Lane Company in residence to partake of in the Green Room of the Theatre so that they might remember him.
Remarkably this tradition has survived and Baddeley is indeed celebrated and remembered each year on the 6th of January to this day.