Posts Tagged ‘William Shakespeare’

Review – Hamlet with Rory Kinnear, National Theatre

Monday 4 October 2010

There may be something rotten looking at the state of Phil’s fridge but – housekeeping aside – let it be never said that the Whingers were anything but fastidious, especially when it comes to self-improvement.

Well have you ever been to a performance of Hamlet with someone who had a degree in Shakespearean dramaturgy? Well, we did. On Saturday night. We acquired the services of someone called @kerrypolka off Twitter who patiently explained things to us, sometimes several times, over a glass of wine after the preview performance.

We think she was rather pleased with our progress and produced from her handbag some sample GCSE papers for us. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Hamlet with Jude Law, Donmar at the Wyndham’s Theatre

Thursday 4 June 2009

jude law hamletWho could have envisaged that Phil would get to direct Mr Jude Law in Mr Shakespeare‘s Hamlet in the auspicious Donmar West End season?

For in an implausible and rather Shakespearean case of mistaken identity that’s how it seemed on Tuesday night.* During the interval Phil bumped into someone he’d met on a work trip a couple of years ago who turned to her companion and introduced Phil with the words “This is Michael Grandage, the director”.

How Phil wished he had carried on the conceit but Andrew was laughing at the idea too much. The woman was quite insistent “But you look just like him.”

Ah well, put it down to it being the hottest night of the year or perhaps the fact that Phil had walked head first into a plate glass window in Spain a few days earlier and radically altered his facial features (considerably for the better, clearly). Read the rest of this entry »

Review – King Lear with Pete Postlethwaite, Young Vic

Tuesday 3 March 2009

pete-postlethwaite-as-king-lear

Phil was having one of his cross days:

“Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drench’d our steeples, drown’d the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Smite flat the thick rotundity o’ the world!
Crack nature’s moulds, an germens spill at once,
That make ingrateful man,” said Phil.

“Look, it’s just a drop of rain; it’s hardly spitting,” protested Andrew.

“And besides I’ve got a brolly.

“Do you want to go and see King Lear at the Young Vic or not,” asked Andrew, his patience wearing somewhat thin.

The answer was clearly going to be “not” and so it was that Phil passed up on the opportunity to witness what promised to be one of the most innovative productions of a William Shakespeare play since the Pie Crust Players had a stab at Hamlet under the direction of Julie Walters in the classic Victoria Wood sketch (sadly and strangely not on YouTube). Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Twelfth Night, Donmar West End

Thursday 11 December 2008

twelfth_nightOk, sit down. Take a deep breath, take a Valium and take the day off. The Whingers are about to start chucking a few superlatives around.

You may well think you’ve come to the wrong place (indeed you almost certainly have) as it’s well documented that the Whingers don’t really do Shakespeare, especially the comedies as they’re usually even less comic than My Family.

But director Michael Grandage (named Best Director at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards for Othello / The Chalk Garden / Ivanov) can do little wrong at the moment in the Whingers’ eyes.

And last night he caused the Whingers actually to laugh. Not once, but over and over again. Out loud. At a Shakespeare play. Read the rest of this entry »

The West End Whingers Guide to Stratford-upon-Avon

Thursday 28 August 2008

The West End Whingers are proud to present to you their very own heritage walk of Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of the famous playwright William Shakespeare.

Strangely, you won’t find these landmarks in any guidebook but the Whingers have studiously researched them from first principles – by trudging the length and breadth of Stratford-upon-Avon and using their eyes and their minds. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Hamlet with David Tennant, RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon

Thursday 28 August 2008

Yes, yes, we know it’s not the West End and that it’s Shakespeare, but it had to be done.

Done by Andrew, anyway. Phil refused to be dragged away from his metropolitan “lifestyle” (Let us hope that involved him doing something about the state of his fridge for there is surely something rotten in it) for a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon.

Even now Phil insists that it is necessary to change trains to get there and refuses to listen to Andrew’s account of the contemporary transport arrangements. He utterly refutes Andrew’s report that there are no longer such things as third class carriages. Andrew has held his tongue.

Oh well, every dog has his day and so, it was that Sue K (Clarification: Andrew is the dog in this analogy, not Sue) stepped into Phil’s fill-in mode. And the first thing to report is that an evening at the theatre apparently does not necessarily involve bickering. This was something of revelation to Andrew who found the entire outing both intellectually stimulating and emotionally restful. Read the rest of this entry »