Posts Tagged ‘Bijan Sheibani’

Review – Emil and the Detectives, National Theatre

Monday 2 December 2013

emilIf you feel like watching the detectives you’d better find your inner child and take it along with you.

Or better yet, if you accidentally happen to possess some of your own, or nephews or nieces, or perhaps even a godchild of a certain age then take them. For this is the way forward to really enjoy Emil and the Detectives.

Be warned, there are an awful lot of children in this Christmas show at the National. It’s not at all Christmassy thankfully, but if you’ve ever entered a seemingly empty tube carriage only to find a huge school party suddenly jump aboard to disturb your peaceful meditations this is how you may feel.

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Review – The House of Bernarda Alba, Almeida Theatre

Tuesday 24 January 2012

“I wanted to rewind the first couple of minutes and see them again,” Andrew whined at the end of The House of Bernarda Alba. Not for the first time Phil wished Andrew would pay more attention to things.

But on this occasion, to be fair, THOBA does open with something of an unexpected coup de théâtre – a promising start indeed. Not only did it introduce the clever conceit that Bijan Sheibani‘s production has adopted but it grabbed the Whingers’ limited attentions instantly making them wonder if this brilliantly timed stunt was the work of theatrical illusionist Paul Kieve.

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Review – The Kitchen, National Theatre

Wednesday 7 September 2011

The Whingers have admit to a guilt-free pleasure: they enjoy the Final Destination franchise.

Only the night before their trip to The Kitchen the Whingers were eagerly lapping up the fifth and – in their opinion – best one yet, gasping, wincing, screaming and hooting with laughter at almost every moment; it’s quite literally eye-popping and not just because it is (of course) in 3D.

Naturally it’s the same story told yet again with different visual punchline payoffs in each inventively grisly death. But the fun is the set up for each demise, focusing on the threat of the mundane, a paper cup on top of a water-cooler, a screw coming loose or a an electric fan.

In the latest instalment the central character just happens to work in a busy restaurant kitchen. Imagine the potential for death and disfigurement among the deep-fat fryers, the ham slicers and the Sabatier knives. How we laughed. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Moonlight, Donmar

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Sorry. We’ve only just troubled you with some of the differences between the Whinger but here’s another one, as though you cared.

Some years back Andrew swore that he would never permit Harold Pinter to darken his theatregoing door again.

Phil, on the other hand, had been put off Pinter when he studied The Caretaker at school (Andrew expresses surprise at this, surely a more contemporary playwright for Phil would have been, say, Congreve?) but was understandably converted by seeing Dora Bryan in a NT production of The Birthday Party many, many moons ago.

Andrew should have known better. But even Phil really should have known to draw the line at the Donmar’s Moonlight, having yawned through the original, rather starry (Ian Holm, Anna Massey, Douglas Hodge, Michael Sheen, Claire Skinner, Edward de Souza) production at the Almeida in 1993.

But whether the result of a gluttony for punishment or optimism wrestling experience to the floor and sitting on its chest, the Whingers gamely trotted off to the Donmar to – it turns out – stick proverbial pins in their eyes yet again. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Greenland, National Theatre

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Scientists have warned yet again that in the future all new plays produced by the subsidised theatre will be crap.

One leading scientist said last night, “This trend has been evident for some time now. It was hitherto mostly confined to low population areas such as the Cottesloe where only a handful of people were affected but now it’s spreading to the Lyttelton.

“It looks like a hockey stick. I could show you on a big chart if you like although it wouldn’t be inherently dramatic – more like a lecture -and I might as well just beat you about the head with the hockey stick instead and achieve the same degree of subtlelty”. Read the rest of this entry »