Archive for the 'Rob Howell' Category

Review – Living Together (The Norman Conquests) at the Old Vic

Saturday 20 September 2008

Well, let’s look on the bright side (see what a holiday can do for one?).

This was the Whingers’ first theatrical sortie since their expedition to the bush. That’s the African bush if you’re not up to speed (and if not, why not?) not the lauded fringe theatre over a pub half-way to Swindon.

The Old Vic’s new production of Alan Ayckbourn’s Living Together – part of his 70s trilogy of The Norman Conquests – has been directed by the charming and ├╝ber-prolific Matthew Warchus (who, you may recall, inadvertently gave the Whingers their very first interview).

But the big news is that The Old Vic’s auditorium has been reconfigured and named “The CQS Space”. Apparently that has nothing to do with a TV shopping channel but is connected with something entirely beyond the Whingers’ comprehension: hedge funds and the Hintze Family Charitable Foundation.

So at least the Old Vic’s notorious creaking seats have gone and more bar space has been made available by chucking out some of those useless seats at the back of the stalls. Other theatre owners please take note.

Sounds promising doesn’t it? Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Review – Her Naked Skin, National Theatre

Wednesday 30 July 2008

There really are some rather spooky coincidences connecting the Whingers to the National’s new lesbian prison drama set against the backdrop of the fight for votes for women in Edwardian England.

Phil – who is very emancipated – feels a particular affinity with the movement: his grandmother was a suffragette; his uncle was governor of Strangeways Prison where suffragette Derby Day martyr Emily Wilding Davison was detained; Phil himself was hooked on the seventies suffragette TV drama Shoulder to Shoulder; and in the days when he cycled (before Dave and Boris made it unfashionable) he used to chain his bike to railings.

And Andrew is a Lesbian. Well, he isn’t actually one at the moment, but he hopes one day to become part of the Lesbian community once he has saved up enough to buy the little Greek hideaway he’s always hankered after. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Speed-the-Plow with Jeff Goldblum and Kevin Spacey, Old Vic, London

Wednesday 6 February 2008

To mark Shrove Tuesday Andrew turned up at the Old Vic wearing his pancake concealer; Phil, as always, was the tosser.

There was a real buzz in the packed auditorium last night and for once not because Andrew’s hearing-aid was on the blink. In fact the buzz was so loud that the Whingers couldn’t hear the Old Vic seats creaking and for a moment they thought that Mr Spacey had finally made time to go round with the can of 2-in-1 oil that the Whingers sent him for Christmas (or meant to send him; we’re not sure now).

Anyway, yes, buzz. Or in the Whingers’ case, mild fretting. The director of Speed-the-Plow is none other than Mr Matthew Warchus and – this being a preview – the Whingers were slightly worried that they might again get told off for writing.

Buzz and fretting gave way to “mild peril” (as the movie posters have it these days) when the house manager appeared onto the stage to announce that the already tardy curtain would be even tardier. Had one of the Hollywood stars – Jeff Goldblum or Kevin Spacey – thrown a hissy fit backstage? Read the rest of this entry »