Yes, we know what you’re thinking.
What are you two doing hob-nobbing like this? Are the Whingers selling out? But before you click onto other sites let us modestly remind you that we were the ones who hailed Jerusalem and Mark Rylance’s performance before the “legit” critics jumped onto the Whingers’ rickety old band wagon (it is well known that they slavishly follow the Whingers’ opinions and have no capacity for independent thought apart from Michael Billington who thinks Jerusalem and Really Old Like Forty Five are both four star experiences which just goes to show the perils of independent thought).
Anyway, we went.
The venue: Well because we’re both very, very busy people unfortunately we couldn’t make it for the 7pm curtain for the actual play at the Apollo Theatre but were given special dispensation to attend the after-show party at the glamorous Café de Paris.
We ate: Tiny little canapés, vol-au-vents that were posing as pizzas and mini bags of chips. Once Andrew managed to clear the VIPs out of their roped off area he worked his way through their untouched silver salver of mini bags polishing off the lot. Celebrities obviously don’t eat.
We drank: Uncharacteristically, those bottles of beer with a slice of lime perched on the top. It was a sponsorship thing.
We watched: Morris Men performing on the dance floor jangling their bells energetically. Andrew commented that they’d presumably been individually selected for their eccentric looks.
We drank: Red wine once we discovered the downstairs bar. Where was the real ale?
We played: Tombola. Andrew won and mumbled something about finding the prize in his pocket the next morning and wondering what it was. The guess the weight of the hamster competition had a sign permanently attached to the scales saying “Back in 10 minutes”.
We drank: Having hoovered up celebrity chips in the VIP area, Phil had to restrain Andrew from polishing off the dregs of their drinks.
We met: Naomi Paxton, a lovely actress who hangs around on Twitter, she’s just returned from touring in The Vagina Monologues. Andrew mused, “I hate that word. ‘Monologue'” (which is a gag he stole from Victoria Wood but passes off as his own). Sonia Friedman who just wouldn’t leave us alone and teased us for being sober (this was quite early, obviously). Jerusalem playwright Jez Butterworth, Phil (who was born and grew up in Wiltshire – the play’s setting) insisted that he do a rewrite for the mooted Broadway transfer to include a mention of his home town Westbury. Phil insists he heard Jez agree. And Mark Rylance, who the Whingers had been far to timid to approach at the Critic’s Circle Theatre Awards. Rylance turned out to be a sweetheart and all round good egg, not only insisting on being photographed with the Whingers but adopting their signature pose himself. Andrew rather unkindly returned the favour by trying to unpick the appliqué on Rylance’s jacket (see picture). Rylance said he never reads the reviews so Phil helpfully told him they were terrible.
We drank: Being obedient little soldiers, we followed Dame Sonia’s instructions and glugged a little bit more.
We didn’t meet: Mackenzie Crook.
We shall have to go and see Jerusalem again somehow. If you haven’t seen it, you must. And say the Whingers sent you; if lots of people go we might get invited to more parties.