Posts Tagged ‘Olivier Theatre’

Review – Amadeus, National Theatre

Wednesday 9 November 2016

798954Well, we went in humming Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus” and we were still humming it on the way out.

This despite the 20 pieces of the Southbank Sinfonia who bang out Mozart’s music throughout the three long hours of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus, interact with the actors, occasionally having a stab at acting themselves, ripple like waves on the stairs of what constitutes a set and donning party hats to become part of the action.

If you don’t have a ticket you’re unlikely to get one for its current booking period now. It was practically sold out before the fairly spectacular reviews were delivered. But don’t despair, you need some good news this morning, it didn’t quite work its magic on us. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review – wonder.land, National Theatre

Friday 4 December 2015

Wonder.landIf you’re having turkey for Christmas this year remember not to over-stuff it.

This offering at the National may serve as a timely reminder.

wonder.land is Lewis Carroll‘s Alice for the internet age but it overdoes things by cramming too much in and desperately trying to tick too many PC boxes. What comes across is overcrowded and by attempting to be au courant ends up feeling slightly dated.

Aly (Lois Chimimba) is a mixed-race teenager from a broken home, bullied at school and on social media and insecure about her physical appearance until she discovers an online world where she can create a new life for herself as an avatar, Alice (Carly Bawden). Imagine The Matrix with a touch of The Nether burdened with a dressing of unremarkable music and songs.

As a member of the audience you may find yourself wishing to create your own avatar and disappear into another world entirely. We certainly did. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Treasure Island, National Theatre

Wednesday 10 December 2014

treasureisland_200x300There’s a wonderful moment – a maritime take on Hitchcock’s Rear Window – in Treasure Island where a cross section of the Hispaniola rises up through the stage revealing various rooms and cabins of the ship. It’s a wonder the audience didn’t applaud.

Money has been splurged on this year’s Christmas show at the National. Lizzie Clachan’s deliciously complicated designs require full use of the Olivier’s drum revolve and there’s an clever take on Long John Silver’s leg, plus an impressive animatronic parrot. But that’s pretty much all the good news from Phil. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Behind the Beautiful Forevers / John, National Theatre

Saturday 22 November 2014

GE DIGITAL CAMERAMisery time at the National.

Just think, you could go and see a matinee of Behind the Beautiful Forevers and John in the evening and come out feeling thoroughly depressed. For that would be the better way round; the latter is shorter than the former’s Act 1. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Emil and the Detectives, National Theatre

Monday 2 December 2013

emilIf you feel like watching the detectives you’d better find your inner child and take it along with you.

Or better yet, if you accidentally happen to possess some of your own, or nephews or nieces, or perhaps even a godchild of a certain age then take them. For this is the way forward to really enjoy Emil and the Detectives.

Be warned, there are an awful lot of children in this Christmas show at the National. It’s not at all Christmassy thankfully, but if you’ve ever entered a seemingly empty tube carriage only to find a huge school party suddenly jump aboard to disturb your peaceful meditations this is how you may feel.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Amen Corner, National Theatre

Tuesday 18 June 2013

3941-amencornersqNo sign of Simon Cowell around but anyway it wasn’t the eggs broken on stage at the National Theatre that stole the show. These eggs (Three. Phil counted), unlike those in Children of the Sun, were at least cracked into a bowl and whisked.

Nor was it the convincingly realised period carton from which the eggs were produced that most impressed, although the attention to detail was most agreeable (along with the C & H sugar packet in the kitchen cupboard – check it out if you’re sitting near the front), but it was a almost a photo-finish. 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 – 13, National Theatre

Tuesday 25 October 2011

It’s a brave man who calls his play 13.

The opportunities for easy gags (who us?) are almost irresistible.

But then this is the Mike Bartlett who bravely presented his Cock at the Royal Court two years ago which led to much unseemly schoolboy giggling from the back of the Whingers’ unruly class.

Imagine if he ever writes a play called Inch. We can only imagine the programme compilers having great fun debating the order of his writing credits.

So, inspired to defy superstition, the Whingers will present 13 reasons why you may (or may not) wish to fondle a rabbit’s foot in your pocket and visit the National Theatre. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Danton’s Life / Danton’s Death, National Theatre

Thursday 5 August 2010

For reasons even less interesting than the average WEW blog post the Whingers were forced to sell their preview tickets for Danton’s Death (by Georg Büchner in a new version by Howard Brenton directed by Michael Grandage at the National Theatre)

The show opened,  the critics gave it four stars and everyone else gave it two. Reading between the lines of the critics (and the actual lines of everyone else), Danton’s Death was dull, dull, dull…

…except for a quite audacious, unmissable, coup de theatre at the very end of the play [SPOILER ALERT]. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Oedipus with Ralph Fiennes, National Theatre

Tuesday 14 October 2008

The Whingers love their mothers of course, just not in that way.

But how could they resist the opportunity to take in Ralph Fiennes as that titular and original mother-f**** Oedipus at the National Theatre?

Oedipal themes then; whatever made director Jonathan Kent* think of Fiennes for this? Was he having a larf? Not of course that we’re implying anything Oedipal in Fiennes relationship with Francesca Annis but they were famously coupled after starring together when she played Gertrude to Fiennes’ Hamlet. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Her Naked Skin, National Theatre

Wednesday 30 July 2008

There really are some rather spooky coincidences connecting the Whingers to the National’s new lesbian prison drama set against the backdrop of the fight for votes for women in Edwardian England.

Phil – who is very emancipated – feels a particular affinity with the movement: his grandmother was a suffragette; his uncle was governor of Strangeways Prison where suffragette Derby Day martyr Emily Wilding Davison was detained; Phil himself was hooked on the seventies suffragette TV drama Shoulder to Shoulder; and in the days when he cycled (before Dave and Boris made it unfashionable) he used to chain his bike to railings.

And Andrew is a Lesbian. Well, he isn’t actually one at the moment, but he hopes one day to become part of the Lesbian community once he has saved up enough to buy the little Greek hideaway he’s always hankered after. Read the rest of this entry »