Posts Tagged ‘Timothy Sheader’

Review – Jesus Christ Superstar, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Tuesday 9 August 2016

18842_show_portrait_largeSome things you may not know about Jesus Christ Superstar:

It was the first show Phil saw in the West End. He came up from Wiltshire with friends to see the original London cast at the Palace Theatre. A theatre he is now unlikely to ever see the interior of again.

He recorded the original JCS album on his reel-to-reel tape recorder. A microphone placed between the speakers of his friend’s stereo. A household forced into silence for an hour and a half.

He typed out the entire lyrics using his sister’s Brother typewriter, bound the sheets with Sellotape and created a cover reproducing the album artwork using felt tip pens. Quite an achievement for a 25 year-old.

He went to see this revival at Regent’s Park on the night the show was cancelled. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Review – The Magistrate, National Theatre

Wednesday 21 November 2012

The National’s Christmas show this year sees the The Magistrate coming off the subs bench to fill in for the cancelled The Count of Monte Cristo. And how fortuitous this proves to be as the Whingers have learned – among other things – that The Krankies’ genius draws inspiration from no less a talent than Arthur Wing Pinero.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Crazy For You, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Monday 5 September 2011

It seemed like the least demanding way to ease the Whingers back into the reality of London Theatre (In the rum world of the Whingers the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre‘s annual summer musical comedy counts as “reality”).

And it’s usually a dead cert (Hello, Dolly!, Gigi etc.), one of the Whingers’ annual highlights.

And Crazy For You has been showered with five star reviews, the reliable Timothy Sheader directs, it boasts a Gershwin score and – most importantly to the Whingers – it offered a welcome return to the dignity of reserved seating following weeks of queuing (usually in the rain) for shows in the frenzy that constitutes the Edinburgh Fringe.

But having been overindulged by shows mostly lasting no more than an hour, how would the Whingers cope with an interval? Would they depart thinking it was all over? Would their attention spans, unsteady at best, be able to cope or would they be off seeking a late night cabaret to round off their evening before persuading themselves to have “one” for the road in the Gilded Balloon’s Loft bar until 6am (it’s an Edinburgh thing)? Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Into the Woods, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Wednesday 18 August 2010

There are some marriages made in heaven. Not that of the Whingers, of course. Their uneasy, warped version of wedlock is one parboiled over the flames of hell, yet still half-baked.

But whoever came up with the idea of staging Into the Woods in the gloriously seemly setting that is the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre should be appropriately ennobled. The biggest question is: why has it taken them so long?

With memories of previous years’ Hello Dolly! and Gigi still transforming the Whingers’ usual grimacing countenances into beaming smiles (despite the downpours of rain encountered on both occasions) expectations were raised to an unreasonably imprudent level. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Enron, Royal Court

Friday 16 October 2009

enron10Like Andrew on a weekend break, Enron comes with an absurd amount of baggage: it picked up suitcases full of rave reviews at The Chichester Festival Theatre and hat-boxes full of predictions that it will scoop Best Play in the awards season.

Its West End transfer was announced before the sold-out Royal Court season even opened. Everyone’s talking about it.

But sadly for the Whingers that pesky old Black Watch effect is back. How can anything possibly be as good as all those critics said it was? It just can’t. And so it proved to be with Enron, the story of the energy company that fooled everyone into thinking it was better than it was. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Hello, Dolly! at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Tuesday 11 August 2009

Hello Dolly Regents Park Open Air Theatre posterWith the predicted barbecue summer on and off faster than a Hemingway musical it looked as if the Whingers’ 2009 visit to Regent’s Park might end up as a reprise of last year’s somewhat waterlogged outing.

But with the sudden return of good weather over the weekend the Whingers had been optimistically talking again of sizzling their sausages. It seemed that the plastic ponchos which stood them in such good stead at last year’s delightful Gigi might remain packed away and that they would be able to appreciate Jerry Herman‘s Hello, Dolly! by putting on their sunny day clothes.

But Andrew – thrilled by the meticulous punctuation of the title – had been impatiently tapping his barometer and keeping a beady eye on the forecast and in his practised Cassandra voice was warning that  things weren’t looking too good for Dolly‘s press night (Yes, press night! How grand is that? See what you can achieve when one of you dons a prosthetic Ian Shuttleworth suit and the other simply claims to be new boy Henry Hitchings? The people at the press desk didn’t suspect a thing).

But we digress. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Imagine This The Musical! New London Theatre

Thursday 13 November 2008

Imagine This

Whatever next? Abu Ghraib the Musical!? Guantánamo the Musical!?

Any new musical is a tremendous risk but to stage one set in 1942 about the occupants of the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw staging a show about Masada (where a siege by troops of the Roman Empire in AD 73 led to the mass suicide of Jewish rebels who preferred death to surrender) seems like, well, suicide.

Choose the same venue that housed the mega-flop Gone With the Wind – The Musical! and you might as well be go round backstage shouting “Macbeth” at every Tom, Dick and Manny.

Then there is the misfortune of staging it at a time when “the R word” is tightening belts.

And finally you have to take into account that this is, after all, Whingertown and the Whingers are curiously resistant to new musicals (all the good musicals having already been written in our humble opinion). Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Gigi, Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park

Thursday 14 August 2008

There are some things in the theatre that hack the Whingers off even more than everything else: the lack of a DBE, the absence of a proscenium arch, anything in the round, square or traverse staging.

But to be fair there are some things over which producers and directors have no control: the weather.

Well, we assume they have no control although the Whingers are convinced that Nicholas Hytner or Kevin Spacey might have some sway and they are entirely certain that Dame Judi Dench could help them forget it, whatever it was.

All of which is, of course, a pointless preamble to the fact that for many weeks the Whingers have – through their weatherproof wallets – been clutching tickets for Gigi at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre (or, as the publicity insists on having it: Lerner and Loewe’s Gigi). Read the rest of this entry »