Posts Tagged ‘Anton Chekhov’

Review – Longing, Hampstead Theatre

Wednesday 6 March 2013

2499-fitandcrop-495x330Choosing a title for your play must be a bit like negotiating a minefield. It’s a wonder Princess Diana never got involved.

Unless you’re Ernie Wise or Alan Ayckbourn you’ve probably spent months, possibly years, crafting, polishing and honing it. And surely then dithering over a name by which it will be known for perpetuity.

A very good play with an iffy title may, possibly, not matter too much. But a bad play with the wrong moniker can give critics a field day. 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 – The Cherry Orchard, National Theatre

Friday 20 May 2011

“You’ll get in a right mess listening to words” says the all-knowing elderly butler Firs in Andrew Upton‘s version of The Cherry Orchard. And he’s quite right, Chekhov produced an awful lot of them and then adaptor Andrew Upton threw in a few of his own.

But unlike the critics who have gotten themselves into a real old tizzy about it the Whingers were in an unusually forgiving disposition.

It is true that “bozo” and a few other anachronisms occasionally jarred, as did “crap” and “bollocks”. But Andrew was quite happy when Upton pushed the anachronisms as far as taking a swipe at Phil’s favourite TV show with the line, “There’s nothing more repulsive than Loose Women.”

But it was when landowner Ranyevskaya drawled “Don’t waste your time watching plays – I bet it wasn’t funny at all,” that the Whingers realised that Upton was inviting them into bed with him. Let’s hope his wife Cate Blanchett rolls over and is happy to spoon. 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 – Ivanov, Donmar West End (Wyndham’s Theatre), with Kenneth Branagh

Friday 7 November 2008

ivanov1

While the rest of the world was holding its breath to find out if McCain had had his chips and the moose huntin’ maverick was back at Walmart, the West End Whingers were bating their collective, slightly wheezy breath with a far more pressing concern: would Ivanov be yet another success in their consecutive list of theatrical junkets?

Would it be assigned a place on The Bagnold Barometer or be put on their list of theatrical abasement: The Fram Scale?

Phil’s now enjoyed an unprecedented eight trips to the theatre, the only thorn in his proverbial side being An Ideal Husband (but since that was in the provinces it doesn’t seem fair to include it and spoil his extraordinary run).

Are the Whingers losing their modus operandi, their raison d’être? Will they have to start searching for a new soubriquet ? Why have they stopped writing in English? Read the rest of this entry »