Really Old, Like Moira Stuart

Thursday 11 March 2010

Just what is the similarity between the Whingers and National Treasure in-the-making Moira Stuart? Tough one isn’t it?

Well, it’s been a funny old 24 hours what with one thing and another. The West End Whingers’ call centre in India has been working overtime to handle all the media enquiries that have been zinging their way to them from everywhere from Australia to Ireland (well, actually only from Australia and Ireland) thanks to (let’s be honest) merely having come up with a mildly amusing gag: “Paint Never Dries”.

Just three little words. Certainly these are the only “three little words” the Whingers are likely to hear at their time of life. So, as the epithet pinged around the world through Nova Scotia, Spain, Germany, Seattle from New York to LA, from New York to LA, from New York to La – OOOHH! –  the Whingers felt decidedly puffed up and almost wanted, although perhaps not by Lord Andrew of Webber.

Juggling the numerous offers and after lengthy consultation with Max Clifford the upshot of it all was that the Munchkin-like Whingers found themselves interviewed on the pavement outside the Adelphi Theatre by the extremely tall Matt Smith (sadly no, not that Matt Smith) of Sky News and then again by ITN for the ITV News At Ten.

Despite us patiently explaining who we were and why we were there ITN’s “journalist” and idiot Phil Reay-Smith went on to describe the Whingers as “die hard Phantom fans”. Lawyers have been advised as this is clearly defamation of the most serious kind.

The BBC, meanwhile, described the Whingers as “some snippety wag”, but since we rather like that we’ll stick with our ITN lawsuit for now.

Coincidentally the Whingers also received a casual approach over the phone on the same day from a lady at the BBC who was looking for some bright young theatre reviewers in the 16-34 demographic and thought we were just what she was looking for. There was a slightly embarrassed pause and some rapid thinking through of options before Andrew fessed up to reveal that neither Whinger will see 34 again except on the front of  a bus (and even that is highly unlikely given that the 34 goes from Barnet to Walthamstow).

So there you go. Too old for TV. Like Moira Stuart. Again, lawyers have been instructed – age discrimination and injury to feelings. Oh! The injury!


1. For cunning linguists out there: our plans for international expansion are thwarted somewhat by the fact that neither the “Paint Never Dries”/Love Never Dies gag nor the name “West End Whingers” seem to translate very readily:

En el blog especialista en teatro West End Whingers, rebautizaron la pieza como “Paint Never Dries” (“La pintura nunca se seca”). 

De West End Whinger’s Blog doopte de show al om tot Paint never dries. Lloyd Webber reageerde in The Guardian. ‘Try-outs tonen een werk in uitvoering. 
2. Don’t believe a word this man says about anything ever.

14 Responses to “Really Old, Like Moira Stuart”

  1. Helen Smith Says:

    Yet another very funny post. Love the title.

    I saw you on Sky News (an assured debut) and on ITV’s ‘and finally’ section on the News at Ten with Phil Reay-Smith’s amusingly inept reporting. Watching ITV reminded me why I try not to watch the news on TV. Whether it’s the ‘situation’ in Iraq, ‘Foxy’ Knox’s trial in Italy, a discussion of the right to anonymity or otherwise of ‘Little Jamie’ Bulger’s killers and the tormenting of his poor mother, or even a puff piece for Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s latest musical – you can’t trust a word these people say.

    Have you considered developing Really Old, Like Moira Stuart as a piece of verbatim theatre? If you incorporate projections of TV ‘news’ items from ITV and allow at least one character to address the audience from the stage, you might get someone to take it. If it’s to be a verbatim musical (has such a thing ever been attempted?) you might want to consider having at least one tune in it that’s been inspired by a successful Billy Wilder film. Didn’t he direct Sunset Boulevard?

    If you do get Really Old, Like Moira Stuart onto the London stage, I gather (from watching extensive interviews with ALW on ‘the news’) that you’ll need at least a month of previews to get it right. Even if it’s £65 per ticket in the stalls, now that you’re officially national treasures I don’t suppose anyone will mind if you charge full price.

    • I’m afraid it will be down to you to create Really Old, Like Moira Stuart on our behalf. If that’s a bit intimidating, perhaps you could take the David Hare approach and go round interviewing people in an attempt to “understand” the issues and when you fail to understand them you can write a play about how they are too complicated for you to understand and the National can put it on while Rupert Goold explains the issues in an entertaining way elsewhere.

  2. TooCloseToTheTable Says:

    This is the biggest publicity explosion to hit the West End since all that Dallimore nonsense kicked off.

  3. Sam London Says:

    You could try starting your interview next time saying what you are NOT. Even the stupidest reporter might realise then.
    Would never happen at C4 News of course.

  4. garethjames Says:

    This is turning into a surreal week for theatre-lovers. Paul Taylor in The Independent has missed so much theatre in the last year that he now officially loves everything, including LND. Michael Coveney had just fully morphed into Nicholas de Jongh when he realised ALW had bought his website so he’d better be nice for a change and give LND 5 stars. The Whingers are now more important than the Times’ own reviewer because they quote you more. I’m loving it! Presumably, the WEW party will have a wet paint theme?

  5. Paulinlondon Says:

    Paint never dries. And Whingers in bad ties… This week has had everything!

  6. Crandal Says:

    Bravo to the Whingers! And to think if Peter Thompson had comped you and given you a programme and interval drinks you’d be as enthusiastic as Coveney! What a different world for LND there would be… ah well! Bravo!

    • It wouldn’t have made a jot of difference to our opinion, it’s just that our opinion wouldn’t have been heard. On the other hand, if we’d written a biography of ALW and been to his house a lot it might be a very different story. Who knows?

  7. Crandal Says:

    what about TWO glasses of wine at the interval? and maybe some sandwiches? And perhaps a refridgerator magnet? Surely that’s good for a raise in the rating? Cheers guys!

  8. Bob Says:

    Saw the “Paint Never Dries” meme on my local news in Atlanta, GA, USA. No mention of the Whingers unfortunately. I suppose that’s down to no American being able to pronounce it properly.

  9. […] Really Old, Like Moira Stuart « West End Whingers Really Old, Like Moira Stuart […]

  10. […] attack from two quite different areas. First, Andrew Lloyd Webber has been extremely critical of certain bloggers passing judgment on his latest musical Love Never Dies, before it had officially opened. And […]

  11. For those of us who still are within spitting distance of 34, can you please give us the name of the nice lady at the BBC looking for theatre reviewers?

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