Posts Tagged ‘Sheridan Smith’

Review – Funny Girl, Menier Chocolate Factory

Tuesday 8 December 2015

funny-girl200aYes, we were the luckiest people in the world. We got tickets!

This was the Menier‘s fastest-selling production (entire run sold out in a few hours) and an announcement of a transfer to the West End well before Funny Girl – the story of Broadway star Fanny Brice – had even started previews. People who need tickets needn’t panic.

Andrew was fastest finger first and nabbed some for the last preview (yes, we are a bit behind). So expectations were absurdly high. Would we be drooling over Sheridan Smith‘s Fanny? Read the rest of this entry »

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Review – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Noël Coward Theatre

Friday 13 September 2013

3496-amidsummernightsdreamticketsIn which David Walliams offers us his Bottom and his ass.

The penultimate play in the Michael Grandage season, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, comes in niftily, at this early preview, at just over 2 and a quarter hours (including interval). Impressive really since Walliams’ deliberately overdone play-within-a-play death scene seemed to take up almost half of Act 2. Milking it was not the word. The milk was turning to cheese with thick slices of Frankie Howard ham on the side and, depending on your take on Walliams, also very funny. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Hedda Gabler, Old Vic

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Mark Shenton must been wearing a turban and fingering his crystal ball when he wrote in his Stage blog on Monday “I always say there is no true objectivity in reviewing; we inevitably bring who we are to what we write and it is sometimes (though we try to make adjustments for personal circumstances) dictated by just how we are feeling that day. You’re not always in the mood for Chekhovian or Ibsenite misery.” Indeed.

Poor Mr Ibsen didn’t really stand much of a chance coming the night after the Whingers had been so overly-entertained at the Hackney Empire’s Golden Years of Variety.

As Andrew had mused “If only all theatre could be like this; I’d be there every night”.

What was not to like? Roy Hudd, Melvyn Hayes, Tony Hatch on the old joanna with his ‘Downtown’ and ‘Messing About on the River’ by way of his Crossroads/Neighbours/Emmerdale themes, Barry Cryer, Sharon D Clarke, Paul Zerdin’s brilliant vent act, Clive Rowe and a stage crammed with pantomime Dames, Rick Wakeman playing nursery rhymes in the style of classical composers (and Les Dawson), the hilarious – it’s a live thing, trust us on this – Joe Pasquale, 89 year-old bird song impersonating legend Ronnie Ronalde and plate-spinners Andy Van Buren and Allyson to name but a few. Yes, plate-spinning! Now that’s what we call entertainment. Read the rest of this entry »

The 2011 Whingie Awards – the very worst and the not so bad

Friday 30 December 2011

Yes, the Whingers’ much coveted trophies are lined up to be divvied out again.

Artistic excellence? Possibly. Realistically most of of our glittering awards would go north of the border after our uncharacteristically enthusiastic response to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, an unusual period where we packed in so much entertainment we feared we were turning into Mark Shenton.

But after momentary deliberation and decidedly tepid debate we have eventually settled on some worthy winners. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Flare Path, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Wednesday 23 March 2011

It’s an perfectly understandable but misheld conception that the Whingers are difficult to please. Actually it’s deceptively untroublesome.

It’s the little things really: alighting at a theatre and ascertaining the show is 90 minutes with no hiatus; finding enough wine in the bottle for another couple of glasses when we thought we’d drained it; hearing on the wireless that another actress has been glorified as a Dame Commander of the British Empire.

But there’s nothing quite like discovering a new salutation with which to raise one’s pre and post show libations. And believe us, we’ve been practising diligently after inspecting this revival of Terrence Rattigan‘s Flare Path.

“Tinkerty tonk!”

Try it. It trips off the tongue in the most profoundly satisfying manner. No other shibboleth is nearly as agreeable.

So even if there had been little else to fancy in Sir Trev of Nunn‘s first production of his season at the Theatre Royal Haymarket we would have still emerged deeply obliged, our lives enriched. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Legally Blonde – The Musical!, Savoy Theatre

Tuesday 15 December 2009

OMIGOD! The Whingers’ biggest ever outing!

OMIGOD! 20 of them. 20 different opinions including one who famously “doesn’t do musicals”. How could one show possibly please this disparate bunch?

OMIGOD! Over the last few months Phil had been bombarded with pink envelopes with that irritating expression embossed in silver upon them as the publicity for Legally Blonde went into hyperdrive. The envelopes each contained a CD featuring (presumably the best) four songs from the show. Phil played a CD once and only once and passed onto Andrew with the words OHDEAR!

As the Whingers and their crew started the long trek down the stairs into the beautiful Art Deco Savoy Theatre they spotted signs telling them that the performance was being recorded and that if they didn’t want their images filmed they should have a word with the management. Would the Whingers’ cover be finally blown? Would they have to adopt their signature poses for the entire evening? How could they possibly find and tell the management in time?

Well they probably could have as the packed house (capacity 1,158) took some seating. Despite urgent entreaties that the performance would start in one minute the curtain went up 10 minutes late. Even worse, programmes were an absurd £6.50* and the show features Phil’s theatrical pet hate park benches – yes two of them! – it was going to take an awful lot of theatrical magic to turn the evening round for the Whingers. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Tinderbox, Bush Theatre

Wednesday 7 May 2008

Why, oh why, oh why don’t people just ask us before they go around putting on plays willy nilly?

It would save an awful lot of strife, time, expense, trouble and suffering in the long run. Read the rest of this entry »