Posts Tagged ‘Es Devlin’

Review – The Lehman Trilogy, National Theatre

Wednesday 11 July 2018

A three and a half hour three-hander where the each of the three hands is a white male? At the National? No doubt apologies will be demanded and made.

A surprising lack of box-ticking here then, but there is an awful lot of box-lifting and box-shifting. But we will return to that in due course. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review – Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, National Theatre

Thursday 23 April 2015

Light_Shining_in_Buckinghamshire_poster_notitle_1We should have known better.

Andrew was keen to see Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, not for its obvious significance – that it heralds Rufus Norris’ takeover at the National Theatre – but because a) it’s about the English Civil War, b) features one of his favourite actresses, Amanda Lawrence and c) he thought it only fair to give playwright Caryl Churchill a second chance.

The thing is, he had completely forgotten he’d already given Ms Churchill a second chance. He could only remember “the one with the floating sofas” as he succinctly encapsulated Drunk Enough To Say I Love You?  Andrew had clearly expunged The Union’s Cloud Nine from his memory bank with no inconsiderable success. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Nether, Duke of York’s Theatre

Friday 6 March 2015

4962-1417514145-netherdecsq-1There are some terrible things out there on the internet. Well, you’ve come to this site so you presumably already knew that.

American playwright Jennifer Haley‘s The Nether is dystopian, but we will not hold that against her, as it is also a disturbing thriller with a grim warning about the technological future.  Set between two worlds, a dreary room where suspected paedophiles are being interviewed and The Hideaway, a murky virtual realm where visitors can interact with and touch, hurt, rape and repeatedly murder children with an axe. So no tap dancing then. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – I Can’t Sing! The X Factor Musical in 3 Acts, London Palladium

Friday 21 March 2014

icantsingPreamble

Something of surprise that the well-received The Full Monty (you know the one; men lose their jobs and take their clothes off as a result. Critic Mark Shenton’s life back to front if you think about it) has posted closing notices so soon. We may not have been especially impressed with Monty yet it still looked like a sure-fire hen party hit to us. Clothes were shed but more than than shirts have been lost.

So, even if it does match Hello, Dolly! for the amount of punctuation employed in a musical’s title, what hope then for the Harry Hill/Steve Brown show I Can’t Sing! The X Factor Musical ? Read the rest of this entry »

The 2013 Whingie Awards – the very worst and the not so bad

Monday 6 January 2014

whingieawardA bit late getting around to this. But since it’s probably your first day back at work, let’s face it you’re not really intending to do any real work are you? Isn’t that why you’re here?

Anyhoo, a year ago we speculated that 2013 might be an unlucky year for some.

The unfortunate roof collapse at the Apollo Theatre proved this both true and untrue. Unlucky for anyone involved, but lucky in the sense that it could easily have been so much worse.

When Phil discussed the incident with his sister they realised they’d been to the Apollo together only once, ironically to the musical Up On the Roof.

But, as Phil watched events unfold on BBC News that night, there was a rather flattering moment for London Theatre audiences. Returning to the studio, after watching people describe what they’d seen inside the Apollo, the news anchor remarked that he’d never heard such articulate eyewitness reports before.

Unlucky for theatre critics too as they were picked off one by one. Who wasn’t reminded of the Vincent Price film Theatre of Blood? It seemed newspapers either didn’t want arts critics any more, or didn’t want the one they already had. And in one case, apparently found the spurious excuse of pants-dropping for dropping their scribe.

But it seems the critics are finding other outlets. The Telegraph’s Tim Walker is expanding on his appearance in Top Hat to play God in Spamalot. How long before we get to see Libby Purves’ Grizabella the glamour theatreCat, Mark Shenton disrobing in Hair or theatregoers saying “Hello” to Tim Walker’s Dolly! ?

It was also the year Andrew decided he didn’t want to write for the Whingers anymore. For the record, he went of his own accord, quashing the scurrilous rumours that Phil staged a coup after finding a rather inappropriate image of Andrew in his jim jams on the internet.

So without further ado, here are Phil’s choices for the year, just so he can use the word ‘actress’ again and not group everyone together as ‘actors’… Read the rest of this entry »

Review – American Psycho : A new musical thriller, Almeida Theatre

Thursday 12 December 2013

MainProductionImage_260x356Accident or design?

The words “ABANDON HOPE ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE” are projected across the three sides of Es Devlin’s stylish box set for American Psycho with the words “ABANDON WHO” appearing alone together on one of the sections.

Phil assumed it was a subtle joke referencing Matt Smith leaving behind his Doctor Who persona and returning to theatre. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Chimerica, AlmeidaTheatre

Tuesday 2 July 2013

NEW_Chimerica_MainPhil once stood in Tiananmen Square, not facing a tank obvs, but facing the body of Chairman Mao (or what’s said to be his body) in the Mao Mausoleum. He also played frisbee there (in the square that is, not the mausoleum, although it was certainly vast enough in to have flicked a bit of plastic around in front of the waxy-looking ‘body’).

7 years later the tanks that rolled in were stopped by an unknown man standing in front of them. He was captured on film in what was to become one of the most iconic images of the last century.

The gushing raves for Lucy Kirkwood‘s Chimerica (a co-production with Headlong) have ensured a sell-out at the Almeida (where it’s now in its last week), hardly surprising canny Sonia Friedman snapped it up for the West End where it’ll be at the Harold Pinter Theatre from August 6th.

Could this be the same Kirkwood who delivered the Whinger-unapproved Tinderbox 5 years ago when apparently she was already a year into writing this play? Read the rest of this entry »