Posts Tagged ‘Lionel Bart’

Review – Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be, Union Theatre

Tuesday 31 May 2011

It is no secret that Betty and Bitter* are deeply entrenched in their funny little ways and forthright about their resistance to innovation.
But changes can be subtle, creeping up with a stealth that is sometimes only gradually discernible.

Phil took a while to notice, but now happily admits, that he’s getting more like his mother with each passing year. Even Andrew, who has never met her, observes this maternal Invasion of the Body Snatchers with an unhealthily forensic interest.

Accepting changes can be wearisome. Phil has been forced to accommodate so many over his manifold years: the farthing going out of circulation, William Hartnell stepping down as Doctor Who, the Look at Life features disappearing from the pictures, Valerie Singleton leaving Blue Peter, the end of the Cadbury’s Aztec bar, Fab lollies dropping the jelly filling, the decline of loose-leaf tea and putting up with a generation who never learnt to warm the pot.

So it was almost impossible for the Whingers not to join in with Lionel Bart’s catchy titular ditty Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be as it could have been written with them in mind. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Oliver!, Drury Lane

Wednesday 24 December 2008

oliverPossibly their last show of 2008 so the Whingers play it safe: a known, loved, trusted musical with hummable tunes; in the West End; with reserved seating.

Yes, last Monday* the Whingers eagerly took their numbered seats at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane to enjoy their favourite British musical. This show has more catchy, hummable songs than any other this sceptred isle has ever produced.

What sensible person would not grin from ear to ear on hearing the jolly refrain:

If you don’t mind having to deal with Fagin, It’s a fine life! It’s a fine life!
Though diseased rats threaten to bring the plague in, It’s a fine life! It’s a fine life!

Andrew Lloyd Webber: eat your heart out. And all your other vital organs while you’re at it. Oliver! is proof that Lionel Bart was the closest thing to musical theatre genius that this country has seen. What could possibly go wrong? Read the rest of this entry »