Posts Tagged ‘review’

Review – The Inheritance, Young Vic

Thursday 19 April 2018

What can we say about The Inheritance that you might not have already heard?

That the publicity on the tin calls it a “hilarious and profound heartbreaker”.  We are unable to disagree with that even if the contents are in two parts and spread over 7 hours. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review – Bat Out of Hell – Dominion Theatre

Saturday 14 April 2018

This was the week that probably had you wondering what Olivier Awards host Catherine Tate had done to wrong her stylist that they’d wrought such a terrible revenge. And why the shouty and seemingly underprepared host banged on about Time’s Up and then introduced Ronan Keating in a manner that had it been a man introducing a woman would have seen him booed off the stage. How very dare she. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Fanny & Alexander, Old Vic

Friday 9 March 2018

A front of curtain prologue, performed by a precocious whippersnapper warning us that we are about to see “the longest play ever” was never going to be music to our ears.

But we had been warned. Fanny & Alexander was running close to 4 hours at early previews. Max Webster‘s production is now a tighter Fanny at a relatively sprightly 3 and a half hours. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Scottish Play, National Theatre

Wednesday 28 February 2018

Phil’s only seen seen The Scottish Play once before. And that was some 30 years ago.

To put that into some kind of a context his tally of other shows runs roughly thus: 42nd Street (5 times), Into the Woods (5), La Cage Aux Folles (5), Follies (8), and Sweeney Todd (8). Shows where his priorities lie. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Hamilton Experience, Victoria Palace

Monday 15 January 2018

So what’s Hamilton about?

It’s about finger-wagging bossiness and treating audiences as a slight inconvenience. The theatrical equivalent of restaurants which are happy to profit from big group bookings but can’t cope unless you choose from the menu in advance.

It’s about telling their audience to get to the theatre an hour before the performance and telling them not to try and enter the theatre until their full party has arrived. WTF? We hadn’t been this irritated since we heard our last “See it. Say it. Sorted” tube announcement (let’s not even start on those voiced by children).

It’s about telling us to bring “photographic ID” (according to Ticketmaster’s missives) or “government issued photo ID” (according to the Hamilton website) – so which is it to be? Phil, who confused the government with TFL was only allowed to enter by one of the Victoria Palace wardens as he “looked honest” (note to ticket touts, model yourselves on Phil). Andrew was taking no chances; fearing he might be mistaken for a tout and not allowed to finger the ticket he forked out for a year ago (despite Phil having dealt with the traumas of booking) he promised to turn up with his passport, a utility bill and a letter signed by two Justices of the Peace. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Dick Whittington, London Palladium

Thursday 21 December 2017

If we say Andrew can’t get enough Dick (he’s off for more Dick with The Krankies in Manchester this weekend) you get a measure of the entendre to expect in this year’s Palladium panto.

You’d expect Dick Whittington starring Julian Clary as The Spirit of the Bells to have more dick gags than you can shake an, obviously very large, stick at. What we didn’t expect were so many references to musical theatre; FolliesElaine Paige‘s radio show and her back catalogue of most famous show tunes, Half A Sixpence (Charlie Stemp and Emma Williams from that show play Dick and Alice Fitzwarren respectively), Hello Dolly! (Stemp is heading to Broadway shortly to appear in it) and even the mega-hyped Hamilton are all referencedYou may wonder exactly who the show is aimed at. Not kiddies at all, but musical people of a certain age. Not that we complain. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Pinocchio, National Theatre

Thursday 14 December 2017

You can’t say the National’s not hell-bent on success with Pinocchio.

Disney have offered up the stage rights of the Oscar-winning score from their 1940 classic animation and promised they won’t interfere. The songs are arranged by Tony/Grammy/Olivier Award-winning musical director Martin Lowe. The book’s by Tony and Olivier Award-winner Dennis (Matilda) Kelly and it’s directed by Tony Award-winner John (Once and the Harry Potter plays) Tiffany. The design team of Bob Crowley (set/costume/puppet co-designer) and Paule Constable (lighting) have 4 Oliviers and 9 Tony Awards between them. Goodness.

The creative table is positively groaning with talent and awards, so how come the National are serving up turkey again this Christmas? Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Twilight Zone, Almeida Theatre

Friday 8 December 2017

You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension of not only bad sightlines and the sound of coughing and rustling sweet wrappers but of the mindless thoughts of Phil’s ramblings. It is the middle ground between success and failure, the dimension of the very first preview and the first time Phil has entered the shadowy world of theatre with only Andrew in tow for quite some time. You have crossed over into an area we call The Twilight Zone. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Apollo Theatre

Thursday 30 November 2017

Everybody has been talking about Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and dusting it with the glitter of 4 and 5 star reviews as though glitter were about to be banned.

Trouble is we’ve seen this sort of brouhaha before. And you don’t have to go back too far to look at the West End’s ever-expanding graveyard of British Musicals that were garlanded with superlatives at the time but were either near misses (Bend it Like Beckham) or totally lame misfires (cf. Mrs Henderson Presents, The Girls, Made in Dagenham). Critics are all too ready to big up the latest crock. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Young Frankenstein, Garrick Theatre

Thursday 23 November 2017

In which Phil acts as advisor to Mel Brooks.

Phil’s having a half-arsed catch up of shows he missed during his confinement. Or you could say a catch up on the seventies since this is his third in a row that steals from classic movies from that decade (Network, The Exorcist). Though this is less of a catch up than a revisiting. Of sorts. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Exorcist, Phoenix Theatre

Friday 17 November 2017

“This production contains material which may shock and offend” boasts The Exorcist. Here’s 10 reasons why you may be shocked or offended but perhaps not in the way that’s intended: Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Network, National Theatre

Thursday 9 November 2017

Questioner:  Network was a brilliant seventies satire about American television. It won a slew of Academy Awards, including one for Beatrice Straight who had the shortest screen time of any acting winner and Peter Finch won the first ever posthumous acting Oscar. It also proved incredibly prophetic about a lot of things including the medium of TV. What did you think you could possibly add by putting it onto a stage?

Ivo Van Hove:  I thought I could add a restaurant. It’s called Foodwork, geddit? I also thought I could add a real bar and a vorking kitchen, all on the stage before your very eyes. You can vatch ordinary members of the public having the Portland crabs vhilst vatching the show. Read the rest of this entry »

Some mopping up – Hot Tin/ Slaves of Solitude / Young Marx

Monday 6 November 2017

For those kind folk (that should probably read as singular rather than plural) who have been interested enough to ask where Phil’s been, here lies the answer. Hip replacement don’t you know, beating Patti LuPone to the crutches by a matter of weeks. He feels Patti’s pain. And he’s just beginning to dip the toe on the end of his newly bionic leg back into the world of theatre that doesn’t come with a surgeon and anaesthetist. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Follies, National Theatre

Friday 1 September 2017

Earlier in the year we were invited to join the Follies production syndicate.

“Your support is crucial to ensure the play is successfully brought to the stage. We would love you to make this happen. As a thank you we will keep you up to date with the production as it progresses

How inordinately generous of them. If we were to fumble around in our pockets we’d expect a meet and greet with Stephen Sondheim or a glass of fizz with Imelda Staunton to say the least. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Loot, Park Theatre

Wednesday 30 August 2017

We’ve been scratching our heads recently, not just each others, but our own.

When Andrew booked for this production of Joe Orton’s Loot (1965) it was because someone – we know not who –  promised that we needed to book early because it would sell out when an an all-star cast was announced.

So, we waited, and waited, and waited for names we knew and possibly loved to be announced. Nada. Names trickled out and not one we recognised, that was until Phil somehow remembered sitting next to Sinéad Matthews on the tube last year as she studied her Hedda Gabler script. Both Phil and Andrew are convinced they had read the announcement, yet we have no proof. We’ve trawled our emails but can find nothing. Did we both share the same dream one night? Spooky. Heck, our own entourage was more starry than this lot. Read the rest of this entry »