Posts Tagged ‘Clive Rowe’

Review – Blues in the Night, Kiln Theatre

Thursday 1 August 2019

Slightly off putting to visit The Kiln in a heatwave but that’s what we did. Yes, that was last week. We’re hardly quick out of the traps here.

This was our first visit since the the theatre’s new look and peculiar re-branding. We had something of a chequered history with it in its Tricycle days, forever banging on about its unreserved seating policy. Now you can reserve a specific seat, though when we booked they still hadn’t worked out a seating plan so the theatre took it upon themselves to select our seats for us at a later stage. A very queer way to operate if you ask us. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Sweet Charity, Donmar Warehouse

Wednesday 10 April 2019

Hurrah. At last. A proper musical.

Some of us are old enough to remember that 1966 was not only the year of a particular World Cup but also when Sweet Charity emerged. Those were the days, when people really knew what a hummable tune was.

Can you imagine Come From Away or especially Fun Home winning Olivier Awards and Tony Awards five decades ago? No, we can’t either. And Dear Evan Hansen may be fabulously tune-filled but at the prices it’s charging we will probably never know. Don’t be fooled that the “Dear” of the title is just a form of address. We’d welcome a little less ambiguity and suggest they call it Expensive Evan Hansen.

But we digress. This is a show which positively aches with catchy numbers in Cy Coleman‘s music (enhanced by and Dorothy Fields‘ lyrics) – “Big Spender”, “If My Friends Could See Me Now”, “There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This”, “I’m A Brass Band” and “I Love To Cry At Weddings”. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Light Princess, National Theatre

Monday 7 October 2013

light-princess” I don’t fly, I float” says Althea, The Light Princess of Tori Amos‘ new musical.

And indeed she does. Constantly.

You can’t say that Rosalie Craig‘s princess is barely off the stage as she’s barely on it. Wafting about all over the place, upright, horizontally, upside down and all points inbetween. And singing in those positions too. Impressive. She’s trussed and extremely trusting. Craig’s tightly harnessed up up to achieve these effects and must also have huge faith in those who ‘operate’ her. One also hopes there’s a good physio waiting backstage. The flying floating is brilliantly done, in all sorts of imaginative ways, but since it has been so cloaked in secrecy it would be churlish to reveal more.

And Rae Smith’s design, a happy clash of Moominland and silhouette illustrations is sumptuously pretty too. All stops have been pulled out here. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Hothouse, Trafalgar Studios / This House, National Theatre

Thursday 16 May 2013

hothouseWe are of course far too indolent to check, but this is possibly our first conjoined review.

It’s a time thing really. We’re all behind, but in our defence there are parallels between these plays: both are “house”-titled, have on-stage, set-specific audience seating and are boisterously over-the-top comedic satires set in institutions run by dangerously potty people.

The Hothouse features John Simm, Simon Russell Beale, Indira Varma, John Heffernan, Clive Rowe and Christopher Timothy and the aforementioned chance to be up there with them. You’d be forgiven for assuming Andrew would have been there wouldn’t you? Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Ladykillers, Gielgud Theatre

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Best to sidestep this intro if you find it too distressing to discover (or have no interest in and why would you?) what goes on in a Whinger’s mystifying unconscious.

People who insist on relating their dreams are about as enthralling as those who share their travel nightmares. But occasionally a Whinger will seek to inflict a condensed version of a previous night’s fancies on the other in the interests of seeking insight, analysis or at least a dribble of interest.

The last one Phil bestowed on Andrew went thus: “I was re-recording my album in a hotel room and Sir Bob Geldof asked if he could come and watch. I couldn’t sing, I couldn’t remember the words and the reel-to-reel tape recorder got tangled up and was spewing out tape all over the room. Bob was very nice about it.” Mmmm.

An article in the programme for The Ladykillers reveals the QI origins of the classic 1955 Ealing comedy. William Rose came up with the idea “five criminals were living in a little house with a charming little old lady” in a dream, woke up, told the entire plot and concept to his wife and promptly fell back to sleep. His wife was so struck by the idea that she stayed awake all night and asked him if he could remember it in the morning. He remembered nothing but went on to write the original screenplay from her retelling. How easily The Ladykillers might never have existed.

The next time Andrew nods off in a theatre Phil intends to interrogate him post-slumber to see if he has come up with such a brilliant conceit. What are the chances? 

The Ladykillers now comes to the Gielgud Theatre with what can only be described by us as a dream cast in a version by Father Ted and The IT Crowd writer Graham Lineham. Expectations were absurdly high. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – No Naughty Bits, Hampstead Theatre

Monday 12 September 2011

In which one of the Whingers boasts of a personal involvement in editing one of the Python’s work. But we’ll come back to that in due course.*

Steve Thompson‘s (Doctor Who, Sherlock) play No Naughty Bits has an intriguing premise: for the first US national broadcast of Monty Python’s Flying Circus in 1975 the network edited out the ruder elements for the American market. Michael Palin was coaxed into flying to New York with Terry Gilliam to persuade ABC to reinstate the cuts. When negotiations failed they ended up making their case to a Federal Court judge. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Fantasticks, Duchess Theatre

Wednesday 26 May 2010

There was a horrible inevitability that the Whingers would eventually make their West End stage debuts.

We are not counting our curtain call at Hair where we elbowed less able-bodied patrons out of the way to be first on the stage.

No, this was a more considered performance involving preparation: warm ups, vocal exercises and the necessity to eschew alcohol. Almost. Actually we did neck a pre-show glass of wine (strictly for Dutch Courage you understand) but you are not allowed take your drinks with you if you elect to purchase an on-stage seat at the Duchess Theatre.

No wine! Being a performer in the heady world of the West End doesn’t seem so glamorous now does it? How committed must we have been? Read the rest of this entry »