Posts Tagged ‘Harry Hadden-Paton’

Review – She Stoops to Conquer, National Theatre

Tuesday 31 January 2012

Another Whingers’ first; one which left Andrew to reflect on genetic instruction.

You may recall that Phil’s sister Elizabeth was once reduced to contributing to this site, penning a review of the 8 hour Oberammergau Passion Play so that we need never trouble ourselves with it.

Anyway, the poor woman undertook her inaugural Whingers’ trip last night, forced to accompany the Whingers because she’d read She Stoops to Conquer at school, really liked it and so was – relatively speaking – an expert.

Not only an expert, but one who could sit still for eight hours. Andrew tried to imagine Phil sitting still that long, or reading a text or liking anything and concluded that they could not possibly share the same DNA.

On the other hand there was clearly a bond at work for both Liz and Phil were equally thrilled that Katherine Kelly was making her National Theatre début. Who? As they impatiently explained to Andrew, Ms Kelly was until only last week the hugely popular Becky McDonald in the “serial drama” Coronation Street. Apparently one of the best characters of recent years, she left the cobbles, not looking over her shoulder in the back of a Street Cars cab, but whisked off to Barbados by a new love, conveniently freeing her up just in time for to begin Stooping at the National.

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 – Flare Path, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Wednesday 23 March 2011

It’s an perfectly understandable but misheld conception that the Whingers are difficult to please. Actually it’s deceptively untroublesome.

It’s the little things really: alighting at a theatre and ascertaining the show is 90 minutes with no hiatus; finding enough wine in the bottle for another couple of glasses when we thought we’d drained it; hearing on the wireless that another actress has been glorified as a Dame Commander of the British Empire.

But there’s nothing quite like discovering a new salutation with which to raise one’s pre and post show libations. And believe us, we’ve been practising diligently after inspecting this revival of Terrence Rattigan‘s Flare Path.

“Tinkerty tonk!”

Try it. It trips off the tongue in the most profoundly satisfying manner. No other shibboleth is nearly as agreeable.

So even if there had been little else to fancy in Sir Trev of Nunn‘s first production of his season at the Theatre Royal Haymarket we would have still emerged deeply obliged, our lives enriched. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Rivals, Southwark

Friday 22 January 2010

A curse upon unreserved seating! A pox upon thine playhouse! The rivalry for seats bits of bench at the otherwise wonderful Southwark Playhouse‘s production of The Rivals last night proved more intense than anything the Whingers will ever see on a stage.

Were there a lot of Germans in the audience on Tuesday night? Ersatz beach towels in the form of scarves and coats were draped across swathes of seating. “I’m reserving five seats!” explained one woman, channelling Mrs Malaprop’s hauteur, but presumably she had lived here long enough to lose her accent and therefore break the habit.

The auditorium filled to capacity and then some more people arrived. The staff implored us: “Could you squeeze up a bit?” Er, no, we couldn’t actually. Even with Andrew’s newly gym-honed carcass and Phil’s buttocks clenched as tight as a fringe theatre’s budget there really wasn’t room for another. A gentleman was pushed onto the end of our row nonetheless and quite how he perched on one buttock for the not-far-short-of three hours we shall never know. I suppose we could have asked. Read the rest of this entry »