Posts Tagged ‘Jill Halfpenny’

Review – Abigail’s Party, Menier Chocolate Factory

Tuesday 6 March 2012

Andrew loves olives. Phil can’t stand them.

So 50% of the Whingers like olives then.

Which of course will mean squiddly dit if you’ve never seen Abigail’s Party. Extraordinarily one of the Whingers’ party at this preview at the Menier Chocolate Factory had never seen it before. Well, we say party, there were five of us and not strictly speaking there together, but by chance. But five people and a party? Friends of Abigail will understand where we’re going with this…

Tricky one. The 1977 TV recording of Mike Leigh‘s comedy of social manners is so well-remembered by many of us that anyone putting on a new production must also feel they’re putting on a straight-jacket and taking a leap into the known. In Whinger circles it is probably the most frequently quoted modern play (well, any play then; we are not know for intentionally lapsing into swathes of Shakespeare). It is so ingrained in the Whingers’ psyches that Andrew still insists on offering Phil olives just so he can lapse into Bevspeak.

Tamper with it and you’ll incur the wrath of its fans, remain too faithful and it might pale by comparison. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review – Legally Blonde – The Musical!, Savoy Theatre

Tuesday 15 December 2009

OMIGOD! The Whingers’ biggest ever outing!

OMIGOD! 20 of them. 20 different opinions including one who famously “doesn’t do musicals”. How could one show possibly please this disparate bunch?

OMIGOD! Over the last few months Phil had been bombarded with pink envelopes with that irritating expression embossed in silver upon them as the publicity for Legally Blonde went into hyperdrive. The envelopes each contained a CD featuring (presumably the best) four songs from the show. Phil played a CD once and only once and passed onto Andrew with the words OHDEAR!

As the Whingers and their crew started the long trek down the stairs into the beautiful Art Deco Savoy Theatre they spotted signs telling them that the performance was being recorded and that if they didn’t want their images filmed they should have a word with the management. Would the Whingers’ cover be finally blown? Would they have to adopt their signature poses for the entire evening? How could they possibly find and tell the management in time?

Well they probably could have as the packed house (capacity 1,158) took some seating. Despite urgent entreaties that the performance would start in one minute the curtain went up 10 minutes late. Even worse, programmes were an absurd £6.50* and the show features Phil’s theatrical pet hate park benches – yes two of them! – it was going to take an awful lot of theatrical magic to turn the evening round for the Whingers. Read the rest of this entry »