It seems like yesterday, although it is 11 years, since we saw Edward Albee‘s 1962 Tony Award-winning play (Best play, actor and actress) on the Shaftesbury Avenue with Kathleen Turner being both brilliantly hilarious and pathetic as the vitriol-and-booze-fueled, husband-baiting Martha. It’s one of the most perfect pieces of casting Phil’s ever witnessed. Read the rest of this entry »
Posts Tagged ‘Harold Pinter Theatre’
Just like buses. Two Trevor Nunns in a row.
Not intentional. Just the way it happened. But if Fatal Attraction is his (probably) doomed bendy bus of directorial offerings, Relative Values (which has been knocking around since kicking off the Theatre Royal Bath’s summer season last year) is his Routemaster; vintage and offering a far more agreeable ride.
Hard to say too much about Noël Coward‘s 1951 whimsy without giving too much of the endearingly implausible plot away. Phil isn’t sure if he’s seen it on stage before though he saw the 2000 film starring Julie Andrews, yet can remember little of it except that it concerns – particularly in this production – the unlikeliest pair of siblings since De Vito and Schwarzenegger in Twins.
Phil’s first trip to the theatre since his return from what he likes to call the Orient.
Always one to worry about the potential hazards of exotic travel, he hadn’t researched things enough to discover there would be dangerous centipedes or bees, let alone that his chief destination would be positioned perilously on on the Ring of Fire. It was here he experienced his first earthquake, which arrived with a star rating of 6.6 apparently, though some critics downgraded it to 6.3, but it was still enough to discombobulate him slightly, though not as much as the giant inflatable duck which, as a result, exploded in Taiwan’s Kaohsiung harbour.
But theatre gave Phil an excuse to catch up with Andrew and bore him with his experiences of the wobbles, both from his vertigo at the top of some of the world’s tallest buildings and seismic. “Did you see any theatre?” asked Andrew. When Phil explained that Phantom of the Opera was playing in Shanghai (his last stop on the trip) there seemed to be no need to expand on the conversation. Read the rest of this entry »
“A matinee, a Pinter play” as Sondheim’s “Ladies Who Lunch” lyric goes.
And that’s just what it was. A matinee of a Pinter play and at the Harold Pinter Theatre to boot. Does that make the Whingers ladies who lunch?
Well, one Whinger might be getting in touch with his feminine side over a salad nicoise. Andrew was far too busy, emergency ironing or something, anything seemed preferable to him; there was no Pinteresque pause before Andrew replied to Phil’s suggestion that they go and see Old Times. Read the rest of this entry »
Put us on the naughty step, confiscate our refreshments and spank our bottoms with the collected works of Caryl Churchill, why don’t you?
We’ve been a little wayward: we dropped in on the first preview of this revival of Alan Ayckbourn‘s A Chorus of Disapproval. Of course if we like it no one will give two hoots. No-one complained when we raved about One Man, Two Guvnors after the first preview.
Phil has happy memories – the fact he has any memory is something akin to achievement itself – of the National production with the appealing combo platter of Gambon and Staunton (with Bob Peck and a side order of Gemma Craven), but that was many moons ago.
Times change and we haven’t exactly warmed to the proliferation of Ayckbourns of late. But a lack of coinciding diary windows and interesting casting influenced our risk assessment and fortunately neither Whinger has seen Michael Winner’s allegedly dreadful 1988 film version. Read the rest of this entry »
One Man’s Two Guvnors may be another man’s poison but we urge you to take the risk and nip down to The Harold Comedy Theatre and take in the really rather pleasing and old-fashioned (in a good way) double-bill you will find there.
With all its transfers into town the Chichester Festival Theatre must find it more difficult than a Boris Bike to find somewhere to park in the West End but we should all be grateful that this already acclaimed production has metaphorically managed to chain its crossbar to the railings in Panton Street. Read the rest of this entry »
It feels strange yet curiously inevitable to be typing “the Harold Pinter Theatre“.
This is the playhouse formerly known as the Comedy which has lost a name with a dainty spring in its step and been lumbered instead with something distinctly flat-footed. Why couldn’t it have followed the Novello or Gielgud and just taken Mr Pinter’s surname?
We seem to be going down the New York route where full monikers are the norm; great clunking names which keep the neon sign manufacturers’ businesses going: on The Broadway one can partake of entertainment at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre,the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre and Samuel J. Friedman Theatres to name but nine.
Ah well, at least we don’t have anything like the American Airlines or Foxwoods Theatres (the latter named after a casino) but it is surely only a matter of time. The Dorfman Theatre cometh (nothing to do with the author of the play we will be speaking of).
As a name the Pinter Theatre has a ring, or at least a slight tinkle, though the Whingers haven’t decided how they’ll reference it yet. The Harold Comedy (after Tom Stoppard’s supposed witty jibe)? Or perhaps just the Harry or ‘arry? Maybe the H.P. offers a saucier tone?
The Whingers were unable to resist being part of one of the smaller footnotes in theatrical history by patronising the renamed theatre’s inaugural show: Death and the Maiden which is played straight through in 100 minutes. Now, much as the Whingers embrace plays which run without interval it seems strangely inappropriate to open the Harold Pinter with a show that doesn’t stop midway to take a long pause. Read the rest of this entry »