Posts Tagged ‘Anthony Calf’

Review – Private Lives, Gielgud Theatre

Wednesday 3 July 2013

privatelives-gielgudIt seems no time at all since the last West End production of Noël Coward‘s Private Lives. Turns out it’s just over 3 years. If it hadn’t been for that production (starring Kim Cattrall) the Whingers would probably never have seen Love Never Dies – well not in preview at least – and look what that led to. It’s a long story, you should ask us about it one day… Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Review – Death and the Maiden, Harold Pinter Theatre

Wednesday 19 October 2011

It feels strange yet curiously inevitable to be typing “the Harold Pinter Theatre“.

This is the playhouse formerly known as the Comedy which has lost a name with a dainty spring in its step and been lumbered instead with something distinctly flat-footed. Why couldn’t it have followed the Novello or Gielgud and just taken Mr Pinter’s surname?

We seem to be going down the New York route where full monikers are the norm; great clunking names which keep the neon sign manufacturers’ businesses going: on The Broadway one can partake of entertainment at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre,the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre and Samuel J. Friedman Theatres to name but nine.

Ah well, at least we don’t have anything like the American Airlines or Foxwoods Theatres (the latter named after a casino) but it is surely only a matter of time. The Dorfman Theatre cometh (nothing to do with the author of the play we will be speaking of).

As a name the Pinter Theatre has a ring, or at least a slight tinkle, though the Whingers haven’t decided how they’ll reference it yet. The Harold Comedy (after Tom Stoppard’s supposed witty jibe)? Or perhaps just the Harry or ‘arry? Maybe the H.P. offers a saucier tone?

The Whingers were unable to resist being part of one of the smaller footnotes in theatrical history by patronising the renamed theatre’s inaugural show: Death and the Maiden which is played straight through in 100 minutes. Now, much as the Whingers embrace plays which run without interval it seems strangely inappropriate to open the Harold Pinter with a show that doesn’t stop midway to take a long pause. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The White Guard, National Theatre

Wednesday 17 March 2010

To be perfectly honest the Whingers really weren’t looking forward to Mikhail Bulgakov‘s The White Guard which doesn’t really support our claim to approach every theatrical sortie with an open mind. Actually, “blank” mind is probably closer to the truth.

So why did we book tickets for it then, you might ask? To which our response would be: “mind your beeswax” or, if  we were in a better mood, “because if we only went to see things we knew we’d like we’d hardly go at all”.

We go to the theatre because we want to be surprised and the bigger the surprise the better. We want to enter a 3 hours plus (with two intervals) play with heavy hearts and come out raving about Jerusalem. And we want to drag our feet into the Lyttelton for yet another adaptation of an old Russian play and come out saying, “The National Theatre has come up trumps again! Hoorah for the National Theatre!”

Of course, these things don’t usually happen. Such occasions are rarer than hen’s teeth. But sometimes… Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Gethsemane by David Hare, National Theatre

Tuesday 11 November 2008

One of the many questions that Whingers get asked is: why do you go to see things that you’re so clearly not going to enjoy?

That and: “What do you think you’re doing with my wine?”

The answer to the former is that the Whingers are constantly hoping to better themselves. While this may seem to you to display a distinct paucity of ambition, the Whingers are committed to exposing themselves to as wide a range of cultural input as possible. It is their hope that theatre can expand their horizons, challenge their thinking and create new dreams for them to live. Very like Mr Barack Obama in this respect, the Whingers dare to hope for change we need.

Playwright David Hare is a case in point. Not known for his musicals, whodunnits nor lately for amusingly written parts for Dames of the British Empire (Amy’s View being the most recent we can think of) he seems, on the surface of it, to have little on his stall that might attract the attention of a passing Whinger.

Yet Gethsemane could so easily have gone either way; Andrew had been much moved by The Permanent Way, Hare’s verbatim theatrical piece on the privatisation of the railways; Phil had some good words to say about Stuff Happens (although Andrew fell asleep 15 minutes in and bailed out at the interval). Read the rest of this entry »