Posts Tagged ‘Anthony Ward’

Review – Gypsy, Savoy Theatre

Saturday 18 April 2015
  • gypsyimeldaWe’ve been waiting so long for this production, indeed any production of Gypsy (The title: a bit old school, a bit UKIP. We of course call it Traveller), we feared it couldn’t possibly live up to our expectations. Would it light our lights and hit our heights?
  • We needn’t have worried. We’re still giddy and breathless and talking with random thoughts in bullet points, plus it saves time as we’re prone to indolence.
  • Although there have been 4 Broadway revivals, it was first and last seen in London in 1973 with Dame Angela. Now we have it practically on our doorstep (unless you live in the Savoy Hotel where it is on your doorstep) with Dame (it can only be a matter of time) Imelda Staunton. Read the rest of this entry »
Advertisements

Review – Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, The Musical

Saturday 17 January 2015

women-on-the-vergeLast week Phil was due to see Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown but it seemed the show itself was having a breakdown of its own.

He’s already reported about turning up at the Playhouse theatre a week last Monday to find it cancelled as three, yes, three of the leads were off sick. A friend who had been the Saturday before reported that apparently the director had come on stage before the performance to apologise for the cast feeling ‘tired and under the weather’. Surely not a wise move. If you’ve forked out for a ticket you don’t really want to know this. What were they hoping for a sympathy vote?

All were present on Tuesday, though they’d had the official opening and an after-show party the night before yet no one appeared tired. With the frenetic goings on in this musical adaptation of Pedro Almodóvar‘s farcical 1988 film tiredness would not sit too happily with the madness they have to contend with. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Review – The Captain of Köpenick, National Theatre

Tuesday 5 February 2013

The_Captain_of_K_p_2441817kThere are very occasional trips to the theatre which create a real frisson of excitement, when you can feel your adrenalin flowing, your heart pounding and your moist palms gripping the edges of the seat as you lean forward with such tension that it’s almost impossible to breathe.

In truth, probably the last time that happened for the Whingers was when Neve Campbell fluffed her lines so spectacularly in Love Song. In those days we were ungentlemanly enough to mention it. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The King’s Speech, Wyndham’s Theatre

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Last year’s musical Betty Blue Eyes was based around celebrations for the 1947 Royal Wedding and was fortuitously provided with another one. But sadly even with this marketing fillip it failed to fly (or convince us that pigs can).

And now in this Jubilee year comes another royal-themed offering The King’s Speech which in its film incarnation went on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards though Phil maintains that the even more enjoyable and superior The Social Network was robbed.

And later in the year the Olympics-themed Chariots of Fire (another Best Film Oscar-winner) will grace the Hampstead Theatre. This is unlikely to be the last Olympic themes adaptation and the Whingers are holding their breaths in the hope that a musical adaptation of Marathon Man might be on the cards. Well, Little Shop of Horrors managed a number about dentistry, so why not?

Anyway, this The King’s Speech is the David Seidler “play that started it all”. Seidler went on to win the Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards just as Colin Firth famously nabbed the Best Actor door-stop. No pressure for Charles Edwards then, who takes on the role of the stammering prince Bertie forced into the position of becoming a King (George VI) when his brother opts for the lap of Mrs Simpson rather than a seat on the throne.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Adelphi Theatre

Tuesday 20 March 2012

The last time we went to the Adelphi Theatre was to see Love Never Dies. Nice to see it again, this time for a check-up of the transferred Sweeney Todd which we saw in Chichester when a transfer seemed inevitable and well-deserved.

And pretty much everything is in place just as it should be although sadly there was no sign of Andrew Lloyd Webber in the little boy’s room on this occasion. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Last of the Duchess, Hampstead Theatre

Monday 24 October 2011

If you are disposed to think about the Duchess of Windsor, you might think about the abdication, those years in exile in France and the Queen Mum’s froideur towards her.

Then again you might be of a mind to muse on her supposed oral dexterity and question those allegations given her propensity for sporting pearl necklaces.

But then doubting different versions of events is key to the tale presented by playwright Nicholas Wright. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Chichester Festival Theatre

Thursday 13 October 2011

Notes for Andrew who is due to see this within a few weeks.

Boring travel details first: We put ourselves in an upbeat mood by eating pies (inappropriately cold) as we travelled to Chichester before being thrown unceremoniously off the train at Barnham. Jolly mood quickly dissipated. Allow plenty of time to get there.

No direct trains back to London. Swathes of grumpy Sondheim aficionados cluttering the platform. Return journey: 3 and a half hours.

Do the dream team of Messrs Ball and Staunton appreciate the lengths we go to?

Director Jonathan Kent has updated Sweeney Todd‘s melodrama to 1930s. Why? It’s a piece of Victorian Grand Guignol (Music and lyrics Stephen Sondheim, book Hugh Wheeler). Updating adds nothing. Fortunately it doesn’t detract too much. Doesn’t Kent realise “You Gotta Get a Gimmick” is from a different Sondheim show? Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Rocket to the Moon, National Theatre

Tuesday 29 March 2011

It’s astonishing what you can pick up at the theatre. For instance: Phil, who sleeps on his face (insert your own gag here), had no idea it was bad for him.

Along with sucking pacifiers (insert second own gag here) it is apparently one of the “enemies of a beautiful mouth”. It’s far too late for the Whingers which could explain why they cover their faces for photo opportunities.

But if any of you younger people  turn up at Dr Stark’s (Joseph Millson) 1930s New York dental practice you should heed these and other warnings on the marvellous posters which adorn the walls of the waiting room.

Mind you, it’s unlikely that you will because it’s a play. And also because Dr Stark has very few patients: just one in the nigh-on-three-hours the Whingers spent there.

Yet Stark is always staying late “working”. What could he be doing? If you were his wife you might think he was having an affair. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Twelfth Night, Cottesloe Theatre

Monday 17 January 2011

NT: Peter Hall, you’re 80th birthday is coming up and we wondered if you had any thoughts about a gift?
PH: I’d like to give you another Twelfth Night.
NT: We-ell, it’s traditional for the birthday boy to be the recipient really. Go on. We’ve had a whip-round. What would you like?
PH: Yes, Twelfth Night I think.
NT: How about a nice foot spa?
PH: My daughter can be Viola.
NT: *Sigh*. Oh, all right  then.
PH: A nice, slow version I think.
NT: Both of our big auditoriums appear to be booked up. I’m afraid it will have to be the Cottesloe.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Enron, Royal Court

Friday 16 October 2009

enron10Like Andrew on a weekend break, Enron comes with an absurd amount of baggage: it picked up suitcases full of rave reviews at The Chichester Festival Theatre and hat-boxes full of predictions that it will scoop Best Play in the awards season.

Its West End transfer was announced before the sold-out Royal Court season even opened. Everyone’s talking about it.

But sadly for the Whingers that pesky old Black Watch effect is back. How can anything possibly be as good as all those critics said it was? It just can’t. And so it proved to be with Enron, the story of the energy company that fooled everyone into thinking it was better than it was. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Cherry Orchard, Old Vic

Monday 1 June 2009

the bridge projectThe Bridge Project. What’s that all about then?* It’s an unprecedented three-year, transatlantic partnership uniting The Old Vic with Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Neal Street Productions which turns out not to be where Andrew buys his cheese, as he thought, but director Sam Mendes‘ production company (Shrek the Musical etc).

What it really means is we get to see cheese and chalk Simon Russell Beale and Ethan Hawke on stage together Tom Stoppard‘s new adaptation of Ibsen’s The Cherry Orchard (they’re also doing The Winter’s Tale but one unprecedented transatlantic production is enough for the Whingers). Read the rest of this entry »

Review – A Doll’s House starring Gillian Anderson, Donmar Warehouse

Wednesday 20 May 2009

A Dolls House Donmar WarehouseWhat is it about the X-factor?

Put the X-Men in a production of Waiting for Godot at the Haymarket and it’s impossible to get a ticket. Put Scully from The X Files in A Doll’s House at the Donmar and up go the “queue here for returns” signs*. Perhaps a clever producer should put lippy X-Factor judge Simon Cowell in, well, lippie for La Cage Aux Folles and wait for a stampede to the box office**.

Anyway, Zinnie Harris has written a new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen‘s timeless tale about a woman who leaves her husband and children, slamming the door behind her. Read the rest of this entry »