Posts Tagged ‘Jamie Lloyd’

Review – Evita, Regent’s Park

Wednesday 14 August 2019

A jobbing actress who finds global fame and VIP status by marrying a person who holds a position of national significance?

A woman who has special interests in charitable deeds and spouting political thoughts but becomes something of a fashion icon in the process and also the target of accusations of hypocrisy?

If the opportunity had been around there’s no doubt Eva Perón would have opened an Instagram account. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review – Doctor Faustus, Duke of York’s Theatre

Friday 17 June 2016

Dr-Faustus-PosterPhil wasn’t going to bother with Doctor Faustus. He will probably suffer eternal damnation from fans as he only made it through one series of Game of Thrones. So seeing Kit Harington fannying around in his underpants was of no consequence to him and the reviews were what can only kindly be described as “mixed”. But then the offer of a trip to see it came up and, like Faustus, gave in to temptation.

And as Jamie Lloyd‘s throw-in-the-kitchen-sink (then some) drama comes to the end of its run next week he wasn’t going to bother writing about it either. But after witnessing it, that was another temptation he couldn’t quite resist either. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Maids, Trafalgar Studios

Friday 26 February 2016

5508-1455097891-themaidssqWarning: May contain petals

If there had been a “switch off your phones” announcement before The Maids Phil might have avoided leaning across Andrew to poke the man next to him who twice turned his on to check what time it was. Pretty annoying. But actually what this show really needed was a stern warning, “DON’T STEAL THE PETALS”.

Phil was investigating one of the thousands of petals that surrounded the stage after the play finished until he was barked at by an over-zealous usher. Of course Phil had no intention of indulging in a little petal-pilfery, he just wanted to know what they were made of. If you’re intending to see this don’t risk chastisement. They’re paper. Never say we don’t do the dirty work for you. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Assassins, Menier Chocolate Factory

Monday 1 December 2014

4917-1411552965-assassinssquareGoodness. It seems only yesterday that Phil first encountered Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s (book) Assassins at the Donmar.

That yesterday turns out to be 22 years ago. In between he saw it at the Union Theatre and had somehow forgotten that he’d also seen it at the Landor (Well, he thinks he saw it at the Union, it all sounded very familiar when he reread Andrew’s review, but apparently he wasn’t with Andrew).

But it’s not just Phil that forgets things. His younger companion (no, not Andrew) for the afternoon at the Menier thought she was seeing it for the first time, until she reached the “I am going to the Lordy” song which appears quite late in this 1 hour 45 minute piece.

This being the Menier’s Christmas show expectations are really rather high, especially with Jamie Lloyd directing, Soutra Gilmour designing, a cast that includes Catherine Tate, Andy Nyman, Phil’s favourite History Boy (Jamie Parker), Mike McShane, Whinger-approved Carly (Umbrellas of Cherbourg) Bawden, Aaron Tveit (a leading man from yer actual Broadway) and above all Richard Mawbey on the curling tongs. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Urinetown, St James Theatre

Friday 28 February 2014

e522d54d86cbbcd822cee9332597f35240b47b9aFrom the moment Phil first saw the St James Theatre’s urinals he has considered them the most stylish of any theatrical gentlemen’s powder rooms in London.

He is so impressed by the venue’s porcelain he once dragged a well known lady actor in with him for a peep, (after checking they were empty first of course). It’s a wonder that the theatre doesn’t take a tip from the show’s plot and charge for their use. Imagine the outrage and free publicity that would attract.

Urinetown is a “hilarious satirical comedy” Broadway musical (music by Mark Hollmann, lyrics by Hollmann and Greg Kotis, book by Kotis) set in a drought, which gets its British premiere after the wettest British winter since our last wettest British winter. The producers probably can’t believe their luck. Let’s hope they’re thanking the gay marriage bill. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Commitments, Palace Theatre

Tuesday 1 October 2013

COM_Final_Vert_new+colsIt was almost like a trip back in time.

But not because the film of The Commitments (based on Roddy Doyle‘s 1987 book – which this show is based on) was 22 years ago, but because the preview tickets were all sold at half price.

Who ever made that decision must be applauded. That’s how it used to be. That’s how it should be. And perhaps producers who knock a measly tenner off for previews might look to it as an example as they moan about pesky bloggers posting reviews before their show officially opens. Not that it’ll prevent them blogging anyway, but they might just be a tad more forgiving.

Previews have sold out. One assumes they’re hoping for good word of mouth from early audiences. It’s a smart move as it seems extremely likely this will be the case. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Pride, Trafalgar Studios

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Well, it’s been a quite a while.poster

The Whingers have been busying themselves doing other things. We’ve been enjoying the summer (once it finally arrived) with copious alfresco eating and drinking (obvs) and not really that keen to be sweating it out in the dark in search of amusement.

Andrew took the waters in Lourdes, Phil took to the waters in Spain and found entertainment elsewhere in the brilliant Breaking Bad (he’s just finished off season 4) and is now working on Andrew to check it out. Let’s hope Sonia Friedman finds the time to become addicted too (Andrew thinks she probably has people to watch it for her) and puts one of its cast (Bryan Cranston or Giancarlo Esposito or Aaron Paul?) on the London stage despite the rather bizarre situation of it not yet appearing on proper telly here.

The only theatrical sortie between us was when Phil returned to The Book of Mormon and he’s happy to report that the cast seemed as fresh as daises despite being 6 months into the run.

Yes, we’ve been otherwise engaged and now the thrilling news that we’ve 160 new Barbara Cartland novels to get through suggests our theatre going is likely to become even more intermittent. But before we curl up in a miasma of fluffy romance we found time to wonder why Lord Webber’s new musical has been given such a dull title. Did a team of people come up with Stephen Ward deliberately to avoid what happened last time? Of course we don’t want to suggest that it won’t be anything less than magnificent. But if it isn’t won’t some smart Alec christen it Terminal Ward or Leavin’ Bored?

And thanks for the flood of enquiries as to where we’ve been. All three of them. You know who you are. Thanks for thinking of us.

So it took Alexi Kaye Campbell‘s The Pride to lure us back, despite some dubbing it a ‘gay play’ and performed at the rather unprepossessing Trafalgar Studios. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Hothouse, Trafalgar Studios / This House, National Theatre

Thursday 16 May 2013

hothouseWe are of course far too indolent to check, but this is possibly our first conjoined review.

It’s a time thing really. We’re all behind, but in our defence there are parallels between these plays: both are “house”-titled, have on-stage, set-specific audience seating and are boisterously over-the-top comedic satires set in institutions run by dangerously potty people.

The Hothouse features John Simm, Simon Russell Beale, Indira Varma, John Heffernan, Clive Rowe and Christopher Timothy and the aforementioned chance to be up there with them. You’d be forgiven for assuming Andrew would have been there wouldn’t you? Read the rest of this entry »

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 – The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Donmar Warehouse

Monday 21 February 2011

Dear Mister Grandage

Please find enclosed a “Sorry You’re Leaving Card”.

We know that before you go there’s at least another Pinter, a Schiller and a Shakespeare to get through but in case we should somehow not get round to these we just wanted to say ‘sorry’ for missing the point of some of your European dramas and non-comedic musicals over the years.

We know you meant well by them and fully accept that the inadequacy is ours. We were, after all, the only people in the West End or on Broadway to be underwhelmed by Red.

Does that sound a bit negative? It’s not meant to. We really, really enjoyed many of the things you put on (Streetcar for instance) and are eternally in your debt for introducing us to the world of Enid Bagnold.

And now you have thrown us a delicious parting crumb in the form of a frothy American musical comedy, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Music & Lyrics by William Finn. Book by Rachel Sheinkin), which we saw in New York and thought would work well here. And it does. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Passion, Donmar Warehouse

Friday 17 September 2010

The scene: a luxurious apartment in BA (that’s Buenos Aries). Argentina’s foremost musical theatre actress Elena Roger is luxuriating on a chaise longue, probably eating a steak, humming a tango and idly toying with her boleadoras (That’s the sum of our knowledge about the Argentine, sorry. You’ll have to add your own colour to the picture). A telephone rings. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Polar Bears, Donmar Warehouse

Tuesday 6 April 2010

Who knew that at one stage of its decomposition a corpse smells like parmesan cheese?

It’s enough to put the Whingers off their penne arrabiata.

But the Donmar‘s latest production, Polar Bears, the first stage play by acclaimed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time author Mark Haddon, rather put them off something else altogether: going to the theatre. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Little Dog Laughed, Garrick Theatre

Wednesday 20 January 2010

What a queer year it’s already turning out to be. This is only the third theatrical sortie for the Whingers and it’s the third in which gay matters form a significant part of the plot. Homosexuality is going to be to 2010 what on-stage-vomiting was to 2008 and on-stage-limping was to 2009. With nudity running a close second.

It seems there’s no danger of the Whingers’ patented Gay-O-Meter rusting in one of Andrew’s neglected crannies. He’ll be swishing his Mr Muscle with gay abandon and rubbing like there’s no tomorrow to keep it in sparkling condition, which is a little gay in itself. Phil has entreated Andrew to get extra batteries to ensure uninterrupted running. Three out of the four characters in Douglas Carter Beane‘s Broadway comedy The Little Dog Laughed at the Garrick Theatre are gay, pinging the Gay-o-Meter needle to an impressive 75% on the dial. It was twitching as soon as the tickets tumbled through the letter box. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Piaf with Elena Roger at the Donmar Warehouse

Sunday 10 August 2008

The Whingers waited for what seemed like eons for a mesmerising diva from the Americas to come along only to find themselves treated to two in the same week. And, no, we didn’t make Elaine Stritch this time round.

Who would have thought the Whingers would be swept up by a second stunning star performance within just a few days and – on this occasion – moved to ovate? Read the rest of this entry »