Posts Tagged ‘Sam Mendes’

Review – The Ferryman, Royal Court

Monday 1 May 2017

Having barely recovered from the 11.45pm curtain of Angels in America Part 2, Phil arrived at The Ferryman to discover a running time of 3 hours 20 minutes.

Playwrights seem to have an awful lot to say for themselves.

This is Jez Butterworth‘s latest epic. The fastest-selling play in Royal Court Theatre history apparently. A June transfer to The Gielgud was announced well ahead of any previews. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Friday 21 June 2013

charlie2013With so much riding on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory it’s a wonder it doesn’t buckle under the weight of expectation and disappear through the Drury Lane stage. No wonder the little Oompa-Loompas have such tiny bent legs. Perhaps it’s them carrying the show?

With Roald Dahl‘s Matilda doing well on both sides of the Atlantic, another children’s classic from the same man takes to the stage in musical form. And this is a story that most people know from the famous film adaptations, plus music and lyrics from Hairspray collaborators Scott Whitman and Marc Shaiman and all under the directorship of Sam Mendes who must be glowing still from the success of making the Bond franchise watchable again.

We must cut to the chase. This was a preview but only a couple of nights away from the press being allowed in over five rather bizarrely non-consecutive performances. We had heard reports from early previews that there were problems with Act 1 but now it seems there is now only one problem with Act 1 – Act 1. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Cherry Orchard, Old Vic

Monday 1 June 2009

the bridge projectThe Bridge Project. What’s that all about then?* It’s an unprecedented three-year, transatlantic partnership uniting The Old Vic with Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Neal Street Productions which turns out not to be where Andrew buys his cheese, as he thought, but director Sam Mendes‘ production company (Shrek the Musical etc).

What it really means is we get to see cheese and chalk Simon Russell Beale and Ethan Hawke on stage together Tom Stoppard‘s new adaptation of Ibsen’s The Cherry Orchard (they’re also doing The Winter’s Tale but one unprecedented transatlantic production is enough for the Whingers). 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 »