Posts Tagged ‘Hamlet’

Review – Hamlet with Rory Kinnear, National Theatre

Monday 4 October 2010

There may be something rotten looking at the state of Phil’s fridge but – housekeeping aside – let it be never said that the Whingers were anything but fastidious, especially when it comes to self-improvement.

Well have you ever been to a performance of Hamlet with someone who had a degree in Shakespearean dramaturgy? Well, we did. On Saturday night. We acquired the services of someone called @kerrypolka off Twitter who patiently explained things to us, sometimes several times, over a glass of wine after the preview performance.

We think she was rather pleased with our progress and produced from her handbag some sample GCSE papers for us. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Whingers Awards 2009 – the very worst and the not so bad

Tuesday 29 December 2009

With another year rapidly drawing to a close it is time for the Whingers to reflect and indulge themselves in a little more navel gazing – not our own navels, as that would be even duller than usual for you – but the innies and outies of the sometimes fluffy navels of London’s artistic directors, producers, players and theatres and award The Whingies to the most outstanding ones.

But first our own navels: 2009 has been a year of heady excitement for the Whingers. It was a year that saw them inadvertently whip up controversy and heated debate again and again and again.

It was also a year in which artistic differences reared their ugly heads threatening the very fabric of the West End Whingers, a tear in the polyester bed-sheet of their existence so delicate that a clumsily clipped toenail might have been all it took to rent it from headboard to toe straight down the middle.

The Whingers were courted by the British Broadcasting Company, libelled as “muckrakers” in the National Press, lampooned in song and Phil had his pithiest aphorism to date quoted (yet mainly without attribution) by national critics. There was an evening of confusion in which Phil was mistaken for Michael Grandage and the Whingers finally received an award for their artistic endeavours.

And we finally got the opportunity to choose between the Merlot and the Marlowe.

So, without further do, here are the results of the Kentish Town and Vauxhall juries: 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 »

In which the Whingers plan their legacy to the arts world

Saturday 6 December 2008

andre-tchaikowsky

The story so far: pianist Andre Tchaikowsky bequeathed his skull to the RSC with the wish that it be used in a future production of Hamlet. It was eventually used by David Tennant at Stratford although it probably won’t be when the show transfers to London.

Mr Tchaikowsky died at the tender age of 46 in 1982 but until Tennant picked it up this year it has only been used in rehearsals although it did get an airing – literally on the roof of the RSC for the first two years.

This extraordinary story has, of course, got the Whingers thinking about their own mortality and – always thinking of others – they are anxiously fretting over to whom they should leave their own body parts. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Hamlet with David Tennant, RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon

Thursday 28 August 2008

Yes, yes, we know it’s not the West End and that it’s Shakespeare, but it had to be done.

Done by Andrew, anyway. Phil refused to be dragged away from his metropolitan “lifestyle” (Let us hope that involved him doing something about the state of his fridge for there is surely something rotten in it) for a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon.

Even now Phil insists that it is necessary to change trains to get there and refuses to listen to Andrew’s account of the contemporary transport arrangements. He utterly refutes Andrew’s report that there are no longer such things as third class carriages. Andrew has held his tongue.

Oh well, every dog has his day and so, it was that Sue K (Clarification: Andrew is the dog in this analogy, not Sue) stepped into Phil’s fill-in mode. And the first thing to report is that an evening at the theatre apparently does not necessarily involve bickering. This was something of revelation to Andrew who found the entire outing both intellectually stimulating and emotionally restful. Read the rest of this entry »