Yes we know. We are getting more insufferably grand by the day. And that grandness is tugging at the already fraying hems of the very fabric of the Whingers’ existence. That fabric being, of course, a fine Gentleman’s Harris Tweed and very old Bri-Nylon* in Phil’s and Andrew’s cases respectively.
But when Producer Sonia Friedman absolutely insisted that it just wouldn’t be a proper opening gala without the Whingers lending their presence at Legally Blonde, refusing might appear petty and churlish and make them appear even grander than they already believed themselves to be. What indeed were the boys expected to do?
Then Ms Friedman went even further, could the Whingers possibly find the wherewithal to attend the party after the show? The Whingers thought unusually long and hard. Their pink suits were still at the dry cleaners and then Phil’s mother made the outrageous suggestion that they might only have been invited as adverse weather conditions were preventing the A list from turning up. Were the producers working their way down a very long list and resorting to the Ws? And how many Xs, Ys and Zs can there be?
On the other hand it might be a chance to meet and make their apologies to wig supremo Richard Mawbey** who the Whingers had so scandalously overlooked in their earlier review.
Yes, the Whingers had already voiced their opinions on Legally Blonde at an earlier performance in the long preview period leading up to the week of press nights. But who knew that this decidedly feel-good show would make them feel so bad the next morning?
Ah, the folly of offering the Whingers (and everyone else) free champagne before during and after the show. Fortunately Andrew had his camera to hand otherwise we would be able to tell you very little about what went on.
The Whingers were already spilling their Veuve Du Vernay before the show had even started, neither having ever experienced drinking bubbly from a bottle through a straw before. But it gave Phil the chance to break the ice with a passing Maria Friedman by advising her, “Don’t suck from the bottom or it’ll spurt out of the top”. We have no idea what Maria thought Phil was talking about but we do approve of her saucy sense of humour. And we met her mother and her sisters later too.
So yes, it turned out that the after-show party was at the Waldorf. It was quite starry too: Sir Bob Geldof, Stephen Mangan from Green Wing, Stacey someone from X Factor, two Doctor Whos, Angela Rippon, Graham Norton, Anthony Cotton from Coronation Street, Sian Phillips, Britt Ekland and her dog and an awful lot of other celebrities***. After the first six glasses of champagne things started to get a bit hazy. There have been reports that the Whingers were seen dancing at one point but we deny it. Still, it is undoubtedly true that our natural dignity and reserve were being subtly eroded under the influence of alcohol and suddenly there didn’t seem any good reason not to go and chat to anyone famous at all.
Phil was suddenly approached by a completely sober Duncan James who came up and kissed him, much to Andrew’s disbelief and chagrin. And the Whingers were granted a private audience with the producer Sonia Friedman (sister of Maria; daughter of the wonderful Clair who we chatted to for hours) who is clearly as patient as she is glamorous (i.e. very). We tried very hard to persuade her to bring Xanadu over, with Sheridan Smith to star of course (or failing that a Minogue would be good) but she wasn’t having any of it. Still, there’s always next time.
This morning was a fug and the memory of our brief brush with the glitterati seems like a fading dream. But luckily a picture paints a thousand glasses of Veuve Du Vernay so here are just some of the celebrities who insisted on getting their photos taken with the Whingers.
* Yes, how come this never comes up at the NFT? Andrew is desperate to see it.
** Sadly we didn’t get to meet Richard Mawbey – we don’t even know if he was there.
*** Yes, this post is just an excuse to crow.