Posts Tagged ‘Joanna Riding’

Review – The Girls, Phoenix Theatre

Wednesday 17 May 2017

Saggy, baggy, in need of trimming and tightening up and decidedly over-exposed.

No we’re not talking about the women d’ un certain age disrobing on stage. As if we would be so unkind. We’re talking about the show.

Having been underwhelmed by Tim Firth‘s Calendar Girls both on film (2003) and even more so on stage (2008), Phil had given his latest musical version, rebranded (rather clumsily) as The Girls, a very wide berth indeed.

Then out trotted the five-star reviews from newspapers (about 8 of them) which suggested he was missing something. In fact one threw down the bold gauntlet of promise that it would make him “cry with laughter”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review – Stephen Ward, Aldwych Theatre

Tuesday 17 December 2013

00713940 - 250x346When Phil asked Andrew if he fancied trailing along with him to the new “PG advised” Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “play with songs”, Stephen Ward, he replied, “I hope I’m not too Stephen”.

Phil, unusually, understood Andrew instantly. New cockney rhyming slang for ennui. It will no doubt form a regular part of our lexicon.

Hard to believe it’s getting on for 4 years since the Whingers visited the composer’s last show and inadvertently caused something akin to a minor rumpus.

But this in not the behemoth of Love Never Dies. This take on the Profumo Affair – following Stephen Ward’s part in the scandal and the common consent that the establishment used him a scapegoat – is a decidedly small scale offering by comparison. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Lend Me A Tenor – The Musical, Gielgud Theatre

Monday 13 June 2011

Cast your minds back. Did we not suffer last year when we visited Ken Ludwig‘s original play on which Lend Me A Tenor – The Musical is based? The Whingers are nothing if not slow learners.

But in our defence it was simply too intriguing:  what could the addition of songs contribute – apart from making it longer and even more draining? Can one really make a musical out of a farce? Wouldn’t those ditties slow down and undermine the whole door-slamming raison d’être of the genre?

And coming hot on the heels of the early demises of Hair and the lamented (by us, and almost us alone) loss of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg another failure could the Gielgud Theatre be seeking to snatch the Shaftesbury (Home of the Flops until Hairspray came along) Theatre’s crown?

But the Gods of Optimism had been working overtime, casting two Whinger’s favourite folk: Matthew Kelly and Joanna Riding (Ms Riding presumably was presumably not even required to move out of the dressing room she occupied when appearing in Umbrellas) and the trap sprang shut.

Would hilarity ensue when the world’s greatest tenor Tito Merelli (Michael Matus) came to 1934’s Cleveland to save the ailing Grand Opera Company by giving his Otello,  suddenly becoming  indisposed requiring the director’s geeky assistant Max (Damian Humbley) to step in? Or would it be about as much fun as the Go Compare ads? Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Gielgud Theatre

Tuesday 15 March 2011

For reasons quite unfathomable to Andrew, Phil is rather proud of the fact that he’s un peu francais.

Despite having a soupçon of French in him (on his father’s side) he displays no natural propensity for that tongue or any other come to that (indeed he frequently grapples with la langue maternelle).

Yes even he, with his Huguenot heritage, finds a little French schtick goes an awful long way.

A couple of excerpts from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg performed at the What’s On Stage Awards were enough to persuade the Whingers to give the Gielgud Theatre une très large couchette indeed. It just looked as if it might be too flippin’ French. Or, less insensitively, too flippin’ faux French – like being forced into a beret and tricolour culottes for a meal of horse meat in snail sauce while watching a Jerry Lewis movie.

And to be honest, it looked a bit, well, merde. And then we read this.

So unlike Baz Bamigboye (who according to the adverts is “dying to see it”) the Whingers had found themselves bearing a certain froideur vis-à-vis The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

But tickets presented themselves and never being ones to look un cadeau cheval dans la bouche we thought, “Qui ne risque rien n’a rien”… Read the rest of this entry »