Posts Tagged ‘Donmar Warehouse’

The Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards 2009

Thursday 28 January 2010

Well, the fire door had been carelessly left open so like model citizens we went in and pulled it firmly shut behind us and then it turned out we were in the Price of Wales Theatre and there was free drink and Rachel Weisz and Jude Law were and so we thought, what the hell, and stayed for The Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards 2009.

Of course, it’s pretty much the definition of “yesterday’s news”* (well, you try filing a blog post when they’ve been topping up your wine glass not stop for for three hours and to be fair Andrew was tweeting it live) and so you know that Weisz and Law were among the winners. We sort of guessed that when we saw them there. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Red, Donmar Theatre

Tuesday 8 December 2009

“Can you tell what it is yet?”

That iconic phrase always flashes through Phil’s mind when he stares at a painting by Mark Rothko. But never more so than last night as the Whingers watched Rothko and his studio assistant Ken attack a blank canvas with a pot of red paint. It’s a bit of a coup de théâtre, brilliantly choreographed as you would expect from director Michael Grandage – but the Whingers couldn’t help thinking of Rolf Harris. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – A Streetcar Named Desire, Donmar Warehouse

Tuesday 28 July 2009

SCNDThe happiness of the Whingers depends on a lot of things when they visit a theatre: good sightlines, brevity, amusement and a competitively priced bar. But unlike Blanche Dubois they do not seek or expect kindness from strangers (or friends for that matter). Indeed, it is a word that rarely features in their limited vocabularies.

Brevity may also have been in somewhat short supply at the Donmar Warehouse on Monday when we dropped in to see Rob Ashford‘s production of Tennessee Williams‘s Pulitzer Prize winning classic A Streetcar Named Desire: it lumbers in at at a massive three hours. But for once the Whingers had struck lucky in the advance booking ticket lottery that the Donmar organises for its “friends” and for the first time in yonks we weren’t sitting to the side of the thrust stage but at the front, where the critics get to sit (in fact Mark Lawson or his Doppelgänger was in front of us). And boy what a difference it made! Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Hamlet with Jude Law, Donmar at the Wyndham’s Theatre

Thursday 4 June 2009

jude law hamletWho could have envisaged that Phil would get to direct Mr Jude Law in Mr Shakespeare‘s Hamlet in the auspicious Donmar West End season?

For in an implausible and rather Shakespearean case of mistaken identity that’s how it seemed on Tuesday night.* During the interval Phil bumped into someone he’d met on a work trip a couple of years ago who turned to her companion and introduced Phil with the words “This is Michael Grandage, the director”.

How Phil wished he had carried on the conceit but Andrew was laughing at the idea too much. The woman was quite insistent “But you look just like him.”

Ah well, put it down to it being the hottest night of the year or perhaps the fact that Phil had walked head first into a plate glass window in Spain a few days earlier and radically altered his facial features (considerably for the better, clearly). 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 »

Review – Dimetos, Donmar Warehouse

Tuesday 24 March 2009

dimetos

So it’s 7pm on Monday evening and the Whingers are sitting in their customary pre-Donmar watering hole for some Dutch courage (well,  technically it was South African in honour of Athol Fugard).

Andrew was reading an excerpt from a piece he had spotted in that day’s Times – an interview with the actor Mister Jonathan Pryce whom they were about to see in Dimetos (pronounced DimmerToss, it turns out).

He was reading it aloud to Phil who had forgotten his reading glasses.

Pryce was sent the script by the Donmar […] and thought the writing extraordinary but the play baffling.  Friends who read it agreed that it was well written but had no idea what it was about. But then came a meeting with [director Douglas] Hodge, who communicated his passion for the play: ‘I decided to do it because I wanted to understand it fully myself – and I’m finding it the most difficult thing I’ve done in years.’*

Just up the Whingers’ cul de sac then. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Be Near Me, Donmar Warehouse

Sunday 25 January 2009

be-near-meDear Phil

I hope you are having a nice time at your mother’s.

Strange that you should have to go and see her on the very weekend that I had tickets for  Be Near Me at the Donmar Warehouse. Sometimes I think  you don’t really like the theatre at all.

Or had someone perhaps tipped you off as to the fact that nothing happens in the entire first act (almost) of this two and a half hour play adapted by Ian McDiarmid from the novel by Andrew O’Hagan. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: The Family Reunion at the Donmar Warehouse

Tuesday 25 November 2008

the-family-reunionOne of the many differences between the Whingers is that Andrew doesn’t really “do” parties whereas Phil will seize on any event as an excuse to hold a party – a general election, the Eurovision Song Contest, the arrival of his water bill and so on.

But with one voice they can agree that the birthday party around which T.S. Eliot pegs The Family Reunion is one they would find any excuse to miss. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Creditors by Strindberg, Donmar Warehouse

Tuesday 30 September 2008

Take two Whingers. Take two Strindberg virgins.

Of course they’re one and the same. Or two and the same.

Incredible isn’t it that the Whingers had never ever seen a play by August Strindberg considering he’s one of those playwrights like Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov and err… Pinter where the Christian name is utterly redundant.

Particularly incredible since Andrew and Strindberg have something in common, both being named after a month of the year. Andrew was originally given the name”June”, but dropped that notable moniker a few years ago as it didn’t suit him.

Anyway, off the Whingers trudged to Creditors at the Donmar Warehouse with their usual open minds but not sure quite what to expect.

And clearly they weren’t the only ones who felt a bit out of their depth because – unusually for a Monday night – the Donmar Warehouse wasn’t packed to the rafters. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Piaf with Elena Roger at the Donmar Warehouse

Sunday 10 August 2008

The Whingers waited for what seemed like eons for a mesmerising diva from the Americas to come along only to find themselves treated to two in the same week. And, no, we didn’t make Elaine Stritch this time round.

Who would have thought the Whingers would be swept up by a second stunning star performance within just a few days and – on this occasion – moved to ovate? Read the rest of this entry »

How to Upgrade to Wigs

Thursday 10 July 2008

Yet another fussing letter the other day from from Michael Grandage and Kate Mitchell at the Donmar Warehouse.

It is one of the benefits of friendship.

Regular readers may recall that the Donmar’s friendship programme comes in levels of friendship: Props, Lights, Costumes and Scenery and that the West End Whingers have hitherto always opted for the lowest level of friendship (much as they do in real life).

Anyway, the letter announces that although the price of the Props membership level will remain at a minimum donation of £30 a year, these friends will now only be able to purchase up to two tickets per production as opposed to the four.

But in a masterstroke of marketing aimed squarely at the West End Whingers a new membership level has been introduced which offers four tickets per production. It is called “Wigs”.

The cost of this new friendship would be £50.

We have to say that we’re almost tempted…

Review – The Chalk Garden, Donmar Warehouse

Tuesday 10 June 2008

Now, let us think a minute… When was the last time the Whingers left a play yearning to get their hands on a copy of the “text”? Oh yes, we remember now… That’s right – never.

Until last night when the Whingers tripped happily out of the revival of Enid Bagnold’s The Chalk Garden at the Donmar Warehouse. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Small Change at the Donmar Warehouse

Tuesday 15 April 2008

Small Change at Donmar WarehouseTo be fair, Small Change at the Donmar Warehouse was never going to be the Whingers’ cup of cabernet.

We are easily enough confused as it is and Andrew’s memory plays enough tricks on him as it is without the added complication of plays getting in on the game.

It also didn’t help that – thanks to the swathes of poetic, descriptive monologues – Andrew spent most of Act 1 vacillating between oblivion and semi-wakefulness (but mostly the former). During his dozing, he had very strange dreams which on waking he believed momentarily to have been part of the play. In a strange way, writer/director Peter Gill might rather have approved. Read the rest of this entry »