Posts Tagged ‘Robert Jones’

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 »

Review – The Motherf**ker with the Hat, National Theatre

Tuesday 16 June 2015

B9od3chIAAAe9gq“Why are you going to see that?” asked a nonplussed Andrew when Phil mentioned he was off to see The Motherf**ker with the Hat.

“I’d heard of it. They did it on the Broadway with somebody famous” was Phil’s rather lame response.

Anyhoo, Phil did a little research, found out the star name he couldn’t remember was Chris Rock and then discovered that the National’s version featured Ricardo Chavira who was Carlos Solis in Desperate Housewives (Mr Eva Longoria in the show, for the uninitiated) and someone from Broadway recreating their Tony-nominated performance.

With Phil’s interest sufficiently piqued he then found himself on the horns of a dilemma. Would he throw caution to the wind and do The Full Shenton, putting the title in without the asterisks or go down the TFL advertising route and blank out the offending word entirely. Rather cowardly he opted for he National’s poster/programme/cast list version. He has Andrew to consider don’t ya know. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Vote, Donmar Warehouse

Saturday 25 April 2015

Goodness. We were there.Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 09.18.21

No, we hadn’t expected to be either.

Phil won tickets for an “unprecedented experiment and a major innovation in theatre and television”, The Vote in (appropriately enough) a ballot.

We say “won”, he was aware he had to pay for them of course. Yet it still felt like one of those “competitions” where you think you’ve won a free holiday then find you have to pay for your flights and accommodation at absurdly inflated rates after making a long premium rate phone call. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Full Monty, Noel Coward Theatre

Saturday 1 March 2014

There’s a branch of Blockbusters that’s still open and it’s called the West End.

We’ve already got (or recently had), to name but a few, Dirty Dancing, The Lion King, Strangers on a Train, The Bodyguard, Billy Elliot, Once, From Here to Eternity, and The Commitments and with Fatal Attraction, Back to the Future, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Let the Right One In, yet to come. Adaptations of popular films seem to be the only way to secure an audience.

We were at the opening night of The Full Monty so you’d expect the audience to be wildly enthusiastic, the cast and people behind the show have their chums in after all. But one woman in a stage side box got up and danced along, not just at the obligatory standing ovation curtain call, but during the show. Perhaps she was trying to attract the eye of one of the many celebrities present. But which one? Richard Wilson? Sir Derek Jacobi? Mark Almond? Biggins? Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Filumena, Almeida theatre

Thursday 22 March 2012

“Tell me why we’re seeing this?” Andrew had grilled Phil with such alarming regularity that if he’d been looking into a mirror The Candyman would probably have appeared.

“Because Samantha Spiro is in it and I saw it years ago and really enjoyed it” Phil repeated with increasing impatience.

Of course Phil’s ‘years ago’ wasn’t Judi Dench’s Filumena, which was a mere 14 years ago, but the Franco Zeffirelli production from so long ago that Patricia Hayes was playing the maid and Joan Plowright’s youthful sons included Trevor Eve and Larry Lamb.

Those were the days when Phil would sit in the gallery of the Theatre Royal Brighton and see everything and – more peculiarly – enjoy almost everything. How times have changed. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Wizard of Oz, London Palladium

Friday 25 February 2011

Featuring TV’s Danielle Hope as Dorothy and Bill Kenwright as the Harbinger of Doom.

We were astonished to read that co-producer Mister Bill Kenwright had been treading the Palladium boards as warm-up man for Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s new production of The Wizard of Oz. Frankly, it seemed unlikely.

But it is true.

It was true on Tuesday evening, anyway. There he was, reminiscing about Sunday Night at the London Palladium, talking up the quality of the orchestra, the beauty of the sets and the “zillions” (which must mean TWOO has now outstripped Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark as the most expensive musical of all time) spent on the double stage revolve.

Stopping just short of slapping a thigh he encouraged the crowd to sing along, clap, cheer, scream and boo the wicked witch before casually dropping in the fact that Michael Crawford wouldn’t actually be giving his wonderful Wizard or his Professor Marvel. Or his Emerald City doorman, come to that. It’s times like this make you wish for the simple white slip poking out of your programme.

The cause? Not mere laryngitis but “blood on his nodules”, apparently – a medical detail that perhaps unsurprisingly failed to whip the crowd much further into the desired state of frenzy but which did cause the Whingers to kick themselves for not packing the WEW Patent Rectal Thermometer.

An economically monickered understudy called “Zeph” (usually “Munchkin Mayor/Ensemble”) would be stepping into Mister Crawford’s beret. Read the rest of this entry »