Archive for the 'shakespeare' Category

Review – Hamlet with David Tennant, RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon

Thursday 28 August 2008

Yes, yes, we know it’s not the West End and that it’s Shakespeare, but it had to be done.

Done by Andrew, anyway. Phil refused to be dragged away from his metropolitan “lifestyle” (Let us hope that involved him doing something about the state of his fridge for there is surely something rotten in it) for a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon.

Even now Phil insists that it is necessary to change trains to get there and refuses to listen to Andrew’s account of the contemporary transport arrangements. He utterly refutes Andrew’s report that there are no longer such things as third class carriages. Andrew has held his tongue.

Oh well, every dog has his day and so, it was that Sue K (Clarification: Andrew is the dog in this analogy, not Sue) stepped into Phil’s fill-in mode. And the first thing to report is that an evening at the theatre apparently does not necessarily involve bickering. This was something of revelation to Andrew who found the entire outing both intellectually stimulating and emotionally restful. Read the rest of this entry »

Reasons not to use ebay while under the influence of alcohol #452

Friday 25 January 2008

In a vain attempt to salvage his increasingly inadequate pension provision Andrew has been looking at diversifying his investments into “a broader basket of funds”.

This principally seems to mean getting drunk at home and buying things willy-nilly on ebay late at night.

The latest fad portfolio urns out to be vintage travel posters and when Andrew discovered one which dovetailed perfectly with his love of the performing arts theatre-going habit, it seemed the perfect match.

The only fly in the ointment is that it is truly hideous. Read the rest of this entry »

Guest review – Much Ado About Nothing, National Theatre

Tuesday 18 December 2007

Due to our general aversion to Shakespeare, we delegated this one to Channel 4 News presenter Samira Ahmed. Thanks, Sam. Read the rest of this entry »

Eight reasons why the West End Whingers don’t really do Shakespeare

Tuesday 18 December 2007

There were a few raised eyebrows and no small amount of eye-rolling at our recent revelation that the Whingers’ outing to watch Mr Ejiofor and Mr McGregor perform in Othello at the Donmar Warehouse was, in fact, the West End Whingers’ very first joint experience of a play by Mr Shakespeare.

We have been asked to justify why we’ve all but barred the Bard from our repertoire. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Othello, Donmar Warehouse. With Ewan McGregor

Tuesday 4 December 2007

WEW - OthelloWell, it’s all go at the Donmar. Signs outside the door saying that bags will be searched (they weren’t) and people with headsets busying around the auditorium telling you to switch off your mobile phones (not everyone did).

Yesterday saw the last preview of Othello at the Donmar Warehouse and the Whingers – being “friends” of the Donmar Warehouse – were rewarded for their friendship by being seated once again in the side rows while luminaries such as former Home Secretary Kenneth Baker (Baron Baker of Dorking), Michael Billington, Mark Lawson and the Whingers’ über stalker Baz Bamigboye were in the seats which faced the action, so presumably they got to see Othello’s big speech and death (sorry – should have said earlier: plot spoilers in here). Read the rest of this entry »

The Whingers apologise to The Independent

Thursday 9 August 2007

Independent 6th Aug coverThe West End Whingers may have been a bit hasty in their coverage of The Independent newspaper’s Shakespeare poster giveaways this week.

They extend their thanks to vigilant Would-be Whinger Mark for drawing their attention to the fact that a Valerie Passmore of London N16 actually read the poster and in a letter to the paper she points out that it contains the following marvellously iconoclastic sentence:

[Shakespeare’s] contributions to the world of theatre and to language cannot be underestimated.

That’s a bit harsh, even by our standards. Respect.

It is – are you?

Monday 6 August 2007

Independent 6th Aug coverThe Independent newspaper has been conducting a vibrant campaign to shame retailers into eliminating unwanted, unnecessary and environmentally wasteful packaging applied to everything from parsley to vitamin pills.

It is also very fond of giving away unwanted, unnecessary and environmentally wasteful posters and booklets on everything from birds to bridge playing that nobody reads.

This week, it seems to have plumped for a Shakespearean theme in conjunction with Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Hound of the Baskervilles, Duchess Theatre

Wednesday 18 April 2007

Hound of the Baskervilles WEW maskThe West End Whingers don’t normally do first nights.

They deplore the hoards of screaming devotees who clutch at them as they dismount their carriage, desperately hoping for a miracle.

And then there are the paparazzi who – desperate for exclusive pictures which will guarantee a bidding war from the redtops – flash in their faces.

Worst of all are the assorted hacks from the dailies who persist in peering over the Whingers’ shoulders to crib from their notes. That de Jongh’s the worst.

It all makes for a very trying experience. Read the rest of this entry »

Dr Who does Shakespeare

Sunday 1 April 2007

Scene from The Shakespeare Code, Dr WhoOne of the few rebukes never hurled at the Whingers is that they should get out more. In fact one of Andrew’s New Year resolutions was to stay in more, so last night he settled down for a rare hour in front of the new-fangled television device which magically pipes crap into your home. Read the rest of this entry »

Billie Piper debut postponed / Evita to close

Thursday 1 March 2007

Neither piece of news comes as a surprise to the whingers.

Apart from Billie Piper’s performance, if Treats is to survive then it needs serious work. The line being given is that the opening of Treats would clash with the press night of The Tempest with Patrick Stewart. Of course openings are carefully arranged weeks or months in advance. Now if the Whingers were cynics they might think Treats has been delayed eight nights for other reasons. We couldn’t possibly comment. Read the rest of this entry »

Merry Wives – A Merry Christmas?

Tuesday 7 November 2006


You can’t hold a good Dame down.

Andrew and Phil had to look twice at the small print advertising Stratford (that’s upon-Avon not East)’s Christmas show. A new musical Merry Wives, based on Shakespeare’s ..well, we won’t insult you, we’ll leave that to what we waste good wine time watching on stage.

Among the starry cast including Haydn Gwynne and Alistair McGowan, that really is Dame Judi tucked away under the egalitarian words “company includes” just after her brother Jeffrey Dench.Why so modest RSC ? You’ve theatrical gold in your cast. And let’s hope her Mistress Quickly is more suitably attired than in her recent outing Hay Fever.

Titus Andronicus – more gore than bore

Tuesday 15 August 2006

Be warned. For a play with a reputation for over-the-top gore, Titus Andronicus at the South Bank’s Shakespeare’s Globe has an awful lot of words in it too.

Andrew thinks it may have been the verbiage rather than the fake blood that resulted in so many groundlings to be escorted from the theatre by concerned-looking ushers. In fact, he was tempted to feign faintness himself more than once in the first half. Read the rest of this entry »