Posts Tagged ‘Simon Paisley Day’

Review – Urinetown, St James Theatre

Friday 28 February 2014

e522d54d86cbbcd822cee9332597f35240b47b9aFrom the moment Phil first saw the St James Theatre’s urinals he has considered them the most stylish of any theatrical gentlemen’s powder rooms in London.

He is so impressed by the venue’s porcelain he once dragged a well known lady actor in with him for a peep, (after checking they were empty first of course). It’s a wonder that the theatre doesn’t take a tip from the show’s plot and charge for their use. Imagine the outrage and free publicity that would attract.

Urinetown is a “hilarious satirical comedy” Broadway musical (music by Mark Hollmann, lyrics by Hollmann and Greg Kotis, book by Kotis) set in a drought, which gets its British premiere after the wettest British winter since our last wettest British winter. The producers probably can’t believe their luck. Let’s hope they’re thanking the gay marriage bill. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review – The Low Road, Royal Court

Tuesday 9 April 2013

The low Road.inddThe Whingers have been on something a journey with Bruce Norris plays at the Royal Court.

The Pain and the Itch and The Low Road top and tail Dominic Cooke‘s tenure at the Court. The former saw a rare Whingers’ schism, the latter an even bigger one as Andrew turned down the opportunity to attend.

The ‘taste the difference’ jam sandwiched between those aforesaid works was Norris’ hilarious Clybourne Park which saw us unanimous in fulsome admiration; Andrew was so enthralled he returned for a second viewing. High praise indeed.

Despite Phil dangling two of Andrew’s 5-a-day; the twin carrots of Norris’ 100% hit rate with Andrew and the WEW-endorsed Simon Paisley Day‘s inclusion in the cast he was having none of it. If only Phil had kept quiet schtum about the original advertised running time of 3 hours 20 minutes (now clipped to a mere 3 hours).

So, this piece is Norris’ ‘fable of free market economics and cut-throat capitalism’ performed as a swashbuckling pageant, mainly in 18th century New England, by way of prostitution, slavery, highway robberies and bees. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Twelfth Night, Cottesloe Theatre

Monday 17 January 2011

NT: Peter Hall, you’re 80th birthday is coming up and we wondered if you had any thoughts about a gift?
PH: I’d like to give you another Twelfth Night.
NT: We-ell, it’s traditional for the birthday boy to be the recipient really. Go on. We’ve had a whip-round. What would you like?
PH: Yes, Twelfth Night I think.
NT: How about a nice foot spa?
PH: My daughter can be Viola.
NT: *Sigh*. Oh, all right  then.
PH: A nice, slow version I think.
NT: Both of our big auditoriums appear to be booked up. I’m afraid it will have to be the Cottesloe.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Private Lives, Vaudeville theatre

Monday 8 March 2010

The Whingers were a bit slow off the mark with this Private LivesThey saw the excellent production at Hampstead last year and weren’t sure they had the puissance for yet another PL, this despite Phil being quite a fan of Kim Cattrall in Sex and the City* – the TV series of course, not the disappointing, past its sell-by date film.

Andrew of course knows nothing of such televisual things and only warms up his valves if there is the promise of a Time Lord, a Marple or a bonnet. And it wasn’t even the glowing 4 and 5 star reviews that really lured them in to the Vaudeville Theatre. Read the rest of this entry »

The Whingers Awards 2009 – the very worst and the not so bad

Tuesday 29 December 2009

With another year rapidly drawing to a close it is time for the Whingers to reflect and indulge themselves in a little more navel gazing – not our own navels, as that would be even duller than usual for you – but the innies and outies of the sometimes fluffy navels of London’s artistic directors, producers, players and theatres and award The Whingies to the most outstanding ones.

But first our own navels: 2009 has been a year of heady excitement for the Whingers. It was a year that saw them inadvertently whip up controversy and heated debate again and again and again.

It was also a year in which artistic differences reared their ugly heads threatening the very fabric of the West End Whingers, a tear in the polyester bed-sheet of their existence so delicate that a clumsily clipped toenail might have been all it took to rent it from headboard to toe straight down the middle.

The Whingers were courted by the British Broadcasting Company, libelled as “muckrakers” in the National Press, lampooned in song and Phil had his pithiest aphorism to date quoted (yet mainly without attribution) by national critics. There was an evening of confusion in which Phil was mistaken for Michael Grandage and the Whingers finally received an award for their artistic endeavours.

And we finally got the opportunity to choose between the Merlot and the Marlowe.

So, without further do, here are the results of the Kentish Town and Vauxhall juries: Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Entertaining Mr Sloane, Trafalgar Studios

Wednesday 28 January 2009

entertaining-mr-sloaneAn awful lot was riding on this. Too much. It really wasn’t fair.

There was the disappointing (but now legendary) trip to see Joe Orton‘s Loot at the Tricycle Theatre in December which led the Whingers to wonder whether Orton’s work might have passed its perform-by date.

And then since the last strains of Auld Lang Syne died away the Whingers have endured a miserable January with too much talk of recession and a slew of largely quite terrible trips to the theatre .

So, yes. it was not only the rehabilitation of Orton’s reputation that was at stake: it was nothing less than the Whingers faith in West End theatre that was riding on the new production of Entertaining Mr Sloane at the Trafalgar Studios: their very raison d’être. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Ugly One, Royal Court

Wednesday 18 June 2008

In spite of many unsolicited entreaties, the Whingers have never considered having facial surgery.

Andrew and Phil have convinced themselves that their copious lines attractively describe lives fully-lived and display character. The many grooves and crannies have been etched into their faces over many years of impatiently sitting in darkened auditoriums (though not this particular evening – see below) watching bad theatre, learning of National Theatre running times and, just occasionally, from laughter. Read the rest of this entry »