Posts Tagged ‘Imelda Staunton’

Review – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Harold Pinter Theatre

Friday 3 March 2017

mobile-header4Give Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? an award now (correct envelope please). Audiences have been banned from eating in the auditorium. The West End might be coming to its senses at last. Hurrah!

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 »

Review – Gypsy, Savoy Theatre

Saturday 18 April 2015
  • gypsyimeldaWe’ve been waiting so long for this production, indeed any production of Gypsy (The title: a bit old school, a bit UKIP. We of course call it Traveller), we feared it couldn’t possibly live up to our expectations. Would it light our lights and hit our heights?
  • We needn’t have worried. We’re still giddy and breathless and talking with random thoughts in bullet points, plus it saves time as we’re prone to indolence.
  • Although there have been 4 Broadway revivals, it was first and last seen in London in 1973 with Dame Angela. Now we have it practically on our doorstep (unless you live in the Savoy Hotel where it is on your doorstep) with Dame (it can only be a matter of time) Imelda Staunton. Read the rest of this entry »

A Big Bird Told Us…

Wednesday 1 April 2015
raw-turkey-small.
As you will no doubt know we’re not normally ones for idle chit chat and speculation. But we’ve been told, on very good authority, about a new musical which may be coming to London’s glittering West End erelong.
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We were originally sworn to secrecy, then informed in a deliciously conspiratorial tone, “Oh, ok then, you can repeat this, but just don’t say who it was who told you”. So see this as something of a Whinger scoop. Baz Bamigboye will be frothing.

Read the rest of this entry »

The 2012 Whingie Awards – the very worst and the not so bad

Monday 31 December 2012

whingieawardInappropriately, since it was the Olympic year, we’re a bit late off the starting blocks with our highly-anticipated annual Whingie Awards.

Frankly we believed we might not need to bother. The world was going to end. Andrew had packed his onesie and headed off to Bugarach. Phil was left sitting around in his meggins self-medicating in preparation musing which shows would be the theatrical cockroaches that might survive the impending apocalypse.

The Mousetrap obviously, Phantom and The Woman in Black no doubt, though perhaps Viva Forever! should hunker in a bunker and pray.

Of course it wasn’t the end after all. The world continues and we must carry on going to the theatre. It’s a bit of a let down. But as we toast the new and possibly unlucky New Year of 2013 we’ve had our hands down the back of the theatrical sofa digging for the occasional treasure, copious amounts of fluff and the occasional best-forgotten unmentionable. Read the rest of this entry »

More Bleedin’ Hot Pies!

Sunday 1 April 2012

Some might call it poor taste. Some might call it an act of expedience before the latest VAT comes in.

We’d call it a deliciously canny and waggish merchandising ploy.

The Whingers love to fill a few minutes taking in the finest in the shops at theatres. Themed products always amuse us. Singin’ in the Rain is offering a range of branded umbrellas, Phantom of the Opera markets a magic mug which when filled with a hot drink sees the Phantom’s white mask magically appear and most musicals have the usual CDs, T-shirts and key rings you’d expect, though at least in Sweeney Todd a key is crucial to the plot.

Occasionally this is taken just that little bit further. The Menier’s Abigail’s Party is serving pre-show 70s meals including chicken Kiev and fondue (as different courses we presume). And of course the Whingers were seduced into parting with their cash last year when at Frankenstein a smoking green cocktail called The Experiment went on sale in the National’s bar.

But the Sweeney Todd people have probably come up with the best one yet. In keeping with show’s grisly cannabalistic plot the bars at the Adelphi theatre are selling “Mrs Lovett’s Bleedin’ Hot Pies”. And they do indeed bleed. Quite literally. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Adelphi Theatre

Tuesday 20 March 2012

The last time we went to the Adelphi Theatre was to see Love Never Dies. Nice to see it again, this time for a check-up of the transferred Sweeney Todd which we saw in Chichester when a transfer seemed inevitable and well-deserved.

And pretty much everything is in place just as it should be although sadly there was no sign of Andrew Lloyd Webber in the little boy’s room on this occasion. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Chichester Festival Theatre

Thursday 13 October 2011

Notes for Andrew who is due to see this within a few weeks.

Boring travel details first: We put ourselves in an upbeat mood by eating pies (inappropriately cold) as we travelled to Chichester before being thrown unceremoniously off the train at Barnham. Jolly mood quickly dissipated. Allow plenty of time to get there.

No direct trains back to London. Swathes of grumpy Sondheim aficionados cluttering the platform. Return journey: 3 and a half hours.

Do the dream team of Messrs Ball and Staunton appreciate the lengths we go to?

Director Jonathan Kent has updated Sweeney Todd‘s melodrama to 1930s. Why? It’s a piece of Victorian Grand Guignol (Music and lyrics Stephen Sondheim, book Hugh Wheeler). Updating adds nothing. Fortunately it doesn’t detract too much. Doesn’t Kent realise “You Gotta Get a Gimmick” is from a different Sondheim show? Read the rest of this entry »

Review – A Delicate Balance, Almeida Theatre

Thursday 12 May 2011

Dear Mr Albee,

Dr Andrew and Dr Phil dropped in at the Almeida surgery recently. They administered detailed examinations to the troubled men and womenfolk of your 1966 play without even taking recourse to insert the Whingers’ Patented Rectal Thermometer. We’re afraid we have bad news for you, the prognoses are not at all promising. Here are our findings: Read the rest of this entry »

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 – Entertaining Mr Sloane, Trafalgar Studios

Wednesday 28 January 2009

entertaining-mr-sloaneAn awful lot was riding on this. Too much. It really wasn’t fair.

There was the disappointing (but now legendary) trip to see Joe Orton‘s Loot at the Tricycle Theatre in December which led the Whingers to wonder whether Orton’s work might have passed its perform-by date.

And then since the last strains of Auld Lang Syne died away the Whingers have endured a miserable January with too much talk of recession and a slew of largely quite terrible trips to the theatre .

So, yes. it was not only the rehabilitation of Orton’s reputation that was at stake: it was nothing less than the Whingers faith in West End theatre that was riding on the new production of Entertaining Mr Sloane at the Trafalgar Studios: their very raison d’être. Read the rest of this entry »