Posts Tagged ‘theatre’

Review – The Elephant Man with Bradley Cooper, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Thursday 28 May 2015

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One of the world’s most desirable film stars playing an undesirable? No wonder the seats prices range up to an undesirably eye-watering £108.

Still, fame is relative. When Phil told his sister he was seeing Bradley Cooper as The Elephant Man she said she’d never heard of him.

Mr Cooper is called upon to impersonate the hugely deformed “half man”, “half elephant” John Merrick (which should be Joseph Merrick apparently) with the added hurdle of making us forget John Hurt’s memorable performance in the 1980 David Lynch film. This he manages rather successfully by instead reminding Phil of David Walliams. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Beaux’ Stratagem, National Theatre

Tuesday 26 May 2015

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When the Whingers went to see  Dion Boucicault‘s London Assurance Andrew had done a little swatting up on how to pronounce Boucicault and had great fun intoning the playwright’s name ‘Boo-see-co’ ad nauseam. Similarly Phil discovered endless pleasure in rolling ‘Farquhar’ around his tongue.

For this was George Farquhar‘s “fabulous carnal comedy” The Beaux’ Stratagem with not inconsiderable help (we suspect) from dramaturgs Simon Godwin (who also directs) and Patrick Marber. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Communicating Doors, Menier Chocolate Factory

Tuesday 12 May 2015

2970C3D50-0BFD-4B3C-3F5D1318A483AFB8In which Sir Alan Ayckbourn finds a Tardis in a hotel room where the tea-making facilities should be.

Strange one this. Communicating Doors is a “comic thriller” set in a hotel suite with a cutaway to the bathroom. It’s not often you see what the back of a bidet looks like, let alone find a broom cupboard that revolves and also turns out to be a time portal. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Carrie The Musical , Southwark Playhouse

Friday 8 May 2015

CarrieHow could we resist?

One of the most famous musical flops of all time is getting its London premiere 27 years after it first aired at the RSC’s Stratford home. Yes, Carrie The Musical. The one that moved on to Broadway, was swiftly felled and and also went down in another way; in theatrical history.

Phil saw it, so he won’t write about that experience in detail as he’s already recorded it here. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Everyman, National Theatre

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Everyman_title-333x500Phil conducted an experiment last night.

He was wired up to a blood pressure monitor for 12 hours yesterday. It’s something they do when you get old. This meant he was wearing it throughout the full 1 hour and 40 minutes of Everyman last night.

He hadn’t realised the machine would make a slight noise. So he piled up coats over the cumbersome device to muffle the sound, which made a low whirring sound every half hour as it kicked into action. Phil’s companion for the evening said he didn’t hear it at all. Of course, despite a lot of noise on stage, it only seemed to go off during the quietest moments.

Not really recommended. Worrying about it probably raised Phil’s BP even higher.

But does going to the theatre raise or lower your blood pressure? The results aren’t in yet but Phil has speculated on how the play may have affected his results:
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 – Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, National Theatre

Thursday 23 April 2015

Light_Shining_in_Buckinghamshire_poster_notitle_1We should have known better.

Andrew was keen to see Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, not for its obvious significance – that it heralds Rufus Norris’ takeover at the National Theatre – but because a) it’s about the English Civil War, b) features one of his favourite actresses, Amanda Lawrence and c) he thought it only fair to give playwright Caryl Churchill a second chance.

The thing is, he had completely forgotten he’d already given Ms Churchill a second chance. He could only remember “the one with the floating sofas” as he succinctly encapsulated Drunk Enough To Say I Love You?  Andrew had clearly expunged The Union’s Cloud Nine from his memory bank with no inconsiderable success. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – UNWRAPPED: May Contain Strallens & Musical Nuts, Leicester Square Theatre

Wednesday 22 April 2015

359544941We must declare an interest.

UNWRAPPED: May Contain Strallens & Musical Nuts came to us not just with Strallens and nuts but contained the Whingers’ patented “Strallometer” (see below) which we created to grade any show containing one of the ubiquitous Strallen clan. It was used with our full permission and cleverly animated using technology way beyond our technical wherewithal.

For this was a one-off Sunday evening cabaret produced by Strallen père, Sandy Strallen* to show off the not inconsiderable talents of 2 of his seed (Summer and Zizi), with the “Musical Nuts” coming in the form of the Casey sisters (Natalie and Anna-Jane). One might be tempted to call them “nut Caseys”. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Gypsy, Savoy Theatre

Saturday 18 April 2015
  • gypsyimeldaWe’ve been waiting so long for this production, indeed any production of Gypsy (The title: a bit old school, a bit UKIP. We of course call it Traveller), we feared it couldn’t possibly live up to our expectations. Would it light our lights and hit our heights?
  • We needn’t have worried. We’re still giddy and breathless and talking with random thoughts in bullet points, plus it saves time as we’re prone to indolence.
  • Although there have been 4 Broadway revivals, it was first and last seen in London in 1973 with Dame Angela. Now we have it practically on our doorstep (unless you live in the Savoy Hotel where it is on your doorstep) with Dame (it can only be a matter of time) Imelda Staunton. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Twits, Royal Court Theatre

Friday 10 April 2015

FormattedThe Royal Court showed great goodwill to us all by not offering up The Twits as their Christmas show. Indeed – and rather bizarrely – this partially seasonal entertainment started previews the day after Easter Monday.

And, yada, yada yada, it was the first preview that Phil indeed attended and of course he is perhaps a little mature (in the elderly sense) for the audience it is aimed at. So, he will bear these matters in mind. But only a tad.

For this is Roald Dahl “mischievously adapted” by Enda Walsh and what a strange and untimely beast it is.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Big Bird Told Us…

Wednesday 1 April 2015
raw-turkey-small.
As you will no doubt know we’re not normally ones for idle chit chat and speculation. But we’ve been told, on very good authority, about a new musical which may be coming to London’s glittering West End erelong.
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We were originally sworn to secrecy, then informed in a deliciously conspiratorial tone, “Oh, ok then, you can repeat this, but just don’t say who it was who told you”. So see this as something of a Whinger scoop. Baz Bamigboye will be frothing.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Sound of Music, New Wimbledon Theatre

Tuesday 31 March 2015

22695_fullIt must be a double-edged sword for actors landing the parts of Max Detweiler or Elsa Schraeder in The Sound of Music. On the one hand you’re no longer “resting”, on the other hand you’re saddled with the two songs that were cut when it became the classic 1965 film and you’re faced with an audience scratching their heads and muttering WTF?

Well, maybe that’s not quite true. The crowd at The New Wimbledon Theatre last night probably don’t know that expression. This elderly audience made Phil feel he was a mere slip of a lad. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Calamity Jane, New Wimbledon Theatre

Thursday 19 March 2015

nm-2BgRsWell, of course Andrew came to this one. Why wouldn’t he? It’s based on one of his favourite film musicals, which, as it happens, he muddles up with another of his favourite musicals (unless it’s at the Young Vic with Jane Horrocks), Annie Get Your Gun. But then they both feature rootin’-tootin’ cowgirls as a central character. Phil’s been know to confuse his suede-clad, fringe accessorised heroines too. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Buyer & Cellar, Menier Chocolate Factory

Monday 16 March 2015

buyer-and-cellar-at-the-menier-chocolate-factory-fa81fd7fbd0f45714127953e51189d31If, like us, you’re of a certain age and/or have a cultural consciousness that includes the likes of David Geffen, Cloris Leachman, Doris Roberts, Mildred Pierce, Irene Sharaff and a working knowledge of Barbra Streisand this may be the show for you.

Buyer & Cellar (incidentally yesterday’s Sunday Times crossword used the same play on the word ‘cellar’ in one of its answers. Heard publican’s role in basement bar (4, 6)* ) stars Ugly Betty‘s Michael Urie as a struggling actor, Alex More, who is sacked from Disneyland for threatening to do something unspeakable with a churro to a rude child and finds employment working in Ms Streisand’s basement shopping mall. In fact he’s the only employee there, serving frozen yoghurt and selling her own extensive collection of collectables back to her as she haggles with him over the price.

Will he form a bond with her when she comes down to ‘play’ and will he ever be invited upstairs to her Malibu mansion? Sounds bizarre and crazy? It is. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Nether, Duke of York’s Theatre

Friday 6 March 2015

4962-1417514145-netherdecsq-1There are some terrible things out there on the internet. Well, you’ve come to this site so you presumably already knew that.

American playwright Jennifer Haley‘s The Nether is dystopian, but we will not hold that against her, as it is also a disturbing thriller with a grim warning about the technological future.  Set between two worlds, a dreary room where suspected paedophiles are being interviewed and The Hideaway, a murky virtual realm where visitors can interact with and touch, hurt, rape and repeatedly murder children with an axe. So no tap dancing then. Read the rest of this entry »

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