Posts Tagged ‘Anna Carteret’

Review – Shakespeare in Love, Noel Coward Theatre

Thursday 10 July 2014

-31148What’s Shakespeare in Love about then?

Well, it’s about 3 hours.

We’ve probably used that ‘gag’ before, but since the West End is hooked on recycling movies and musical back catalogues we feel moved to join in with some gentle regurgitation too.

SIL, should you not know, was a popular and reasonably entertaining film that inexplicably went on to win 7 Academy Awards (you remember, Dame Judi won the Best Supporting Actress statuette for her 8 minutes of screen time as Queen E 1) and is delivered extravagantly to the Noel Coward in both production values and running time. The only brevity here comes in the form of a ceruse-faced Anna Carteret who drifts around oozing regality in the Dame J role in similarly and frustratingly brief appearances. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review – Uncle Vanya, Vaudeville Theatre

Monday 10 December 2012

2FD3906FA-A79B-C40C-94BEB5689D5F33BBOh dear, oh dear. We shouldn’t really be surprised but the Whingers seem to be of an age.

We had always taken Uncle Vanya to be a character for the almost-elderly –  one of the last big actorly stops before King Lear.

But Vanya is practically a child. In Lindsay Posner‘s new production (translation by Christopher Hampton) they have even aged him up six years (to edge a little closer to the actor Ken Stott‘s actual age). This is what you get for reading up on things. It was all a bit traumatic and without being too specific, let’s just say that it won’t be long before the Whingers are perceiving Lear as some kind of callow youth too. It’s all rather depressing. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Hedda Gabler, Richmond Theatre

Tuesday 16 March 2010

“She’s not very nice, is she?” was Andrew’s considered verdict on the titular anti-heroine of Henrik Ibsen‘s classic play Hedda Gabler as he slurped a further mouthful of free wine* at the interval.

Andrew may or may not have been giving Hedda a first crack. He couldn’t really remember. He claims to have read it and thought he may have seen it at Stratford (upon Avon, obviously) many moons ago; certainly he has a Hedda in his head. But whatever the back-story, the Whingers were drawn back to the gorgeous Richmond Theatre (the interior really does look as though it’s carved from ivory) for a second night running, this time to see Rosamund Pike playing the role often posited as the female equivalent of Hamlet, presumably because the heroine’s actions and motivations are all over the place rich in ambiguity, lending themselves to a range of interpretations. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Burnt By The Sun, National Theatre

Friday 27 February 2009

burnt-by-the-sun Obviously this was to represent a reassuring and long overdue return for the Whingers to somewhere more akin to their spiritual home and if not to the West End exactly, then at least to the bastion of generously funded proper theatre boasting safety curtains, scenery, proscenium arches  and all the other reliable trappings that make a theatre a proper place for theatre.

Yes, after 10 days wandering through the wilderness of the fringe, the prodigal Whingers returned on Shrove Tuesday to the National Theatre to see Burnt By The Sun, based on Nikita Mikhalkov‘s Oscar-winning 1994 film.

And how nice it was to be once again in a world of coat-checks, places to sit in the common areas and numbered seats with corresponding numbers on the tickets. And all in zone 1. We even smiled at the sight of the National’s airline-style signage designed to assess the suitability of one’s handbag for the auditorium.

And, indeed, Burnt By The Sun has almost everything you could want from a piece of theatre. Admittedly there was no Dame of the British Empire, but if you squinted (as Andrew does most of the time) at Anna Carteret you could make do.

But otherwise it was all there: the man hailed by the Whingers as one of London’s finest stage actors (Rory Kinnear), the woman who captivated the Whingers as Eliza at the Old Vic last year (Michelle Dockery), a revolving set (Vicki Mortimer), on-stage food consumption, a marching band, piano playing and tap-dancing, some history, a Channel 4 newsreader sitting behind us, a marvellously informative programme… And yet… and yet….

Read the rest of this entry »

Review: The Family Reunion at the Donmar Warehouse

Tuesday 25 November 2008

the-family-reunionOne of the many differences between the Whingers is that Andrew doesn’t really “do” parties whereas Phil will seize on any event as an excuse to hold a party – a general election, the Eurovision Song Contest, the arrival of his water bill and so on.

But with one voice they can agree that the birthday party around which T.S. Eliot pegs The Family Reunion is one they would find any excuse to miss. Read the rest of this entry »