Review – Pantoland at the Palladium
A West End Whinger
by Phil (a west end whinger)
2y ago
This time last year it didn’t seem possible there wouldn’t be panto this year. Until a few months ago, it didn’t seem possible there would be any panto this year. And now we have this situation, people working tirelessly to salvage something from the theatrical wreckage of 2020 only to have a Tier 3 lid clamped firmly on it. By chance we were lucky enough to have booked for the last of what turned out to be only a handful of performances. And what a night it was too. For the record, such great care has gone into it, it all felt perfectly safe. Titfers off to Andrew Lloyd Webber (yes ..read more
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Review – The Prince of Egypt, Dominion Theatre
A West End Whinger
by Phil (a west end whinger)
2y ago
We hadn’t planned on seeing The Prince of Egypt at all. The pointer was barely above zero on the interest scale. But then an opportunity arose (way too complicated to explain) to see a preview and in the wake of this week’s floods and with a deadly plague lurking in the wings, all things biblical seemed strangely apposite. Based on the 1998 Dreamworks animation which is based on the book of Exodus (cue mass exodus gags if it’s crap) and featuring the Academy Award-winning number “When You Believe” (Whitney and Mariah apparently – no, us neither), somehow it had passed us by without even touch ..read more
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Review – The Visit, National Theatre
A West End Whinger
by Phil (a west end whinger)
2y ago
You wait a lifetime for a play that features a character limp, blind people, prosthetic limbs and some funny business on a step ladder and you get two in a row. Endgame managed to squeeze all those elements into 85 minutes. This one has them too but takes things a little more leisurely. Four hours. Four flipping hours!! That’s what the National’s website was promising last week when Phil payed a visit to, err, The Visit. Was it to prepare us for the relief of seeing a sign in the theatre that it was now running at a relatively nippy 3 hours 40 minutes? Phil checked at the box office as he pic ..read more
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Review – Endgame / Rough For Theatre ll, Old Vic
A West End Whinger
by Phil (a west end whinger)
2y ago
If Waiting For Godot is known for being the Samuel Beckett play where nothing happens, Endgame is identified as the one with old couple in the dustbins. But first we must dispose of the amuse-bouche Rough For Theatre ll, which precedes the dustbin play. No, we’d never heard of it either. But we can tell you it’s a play where a man called ‘C’ stands on a windowsill seemingly about to commit suicide. Impressed We never see his face, but Jackson Milner, in a mini coup de théâtre, stands on that sill like a statue for the whole 25 minutes of the play’s running time. Milner is so convincing t ..read more
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Review – Magic Goes Wrong, Vaudeville Theatre
A West End Whinger
by Phil (a west end whinger)
2y ago
Phil thinks he knows a thing or two about magic. After all it was he who was selected by Paul Daniels to perform alongside him and the lovely Debbie McGee in their Edinburgh show a few years back, taking part in a few tricks and ultimately facing the guillotine. When you’re kneeling with your head trapped in a lunette and staring into a head-catching basket stage nerves are replaced by a certain fear of what happens if something should go wrong. So Phil has not inconsiderable respect for the sheer technical wizardry involved in Mischief Theatre‘s latest venture Magic Goes Wrong (the second pr ..read more
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Review – Goldilocks and the Three Bears, London Palladium
A West End Whinger
by Phil (a west end whinger)
2y ago
Peter Pan and Snow White are not proper pantomimes according to that doyenne of panto dames Clive Rowe in Time Out. Couldn’t agree more. The latter was last year’s Palladium pantomime. Goodness knows what Mr Rowe will make of this year’s offering, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Yet to Phil, this rarely performed story will always be a pantomime. It was the second one he ever saw, his first was, ahem, Little Miss Muffet. This was, naturally, a few years ago and at the Theatre Royal Bath with Sandy (Can you hear me, mother?) Powell as the dame. How he gasped as the bears’ woodland cottage unfo ..read more
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Review – The Boy Friend, Menier Chocolate Factory
A West End Whinger
by Phil (a west end whinger)
2y ago
If you’re looking for a joyously silly, consciously dated piece of fluff of a musical with instantly hummable tunes with a plot flimsier than an election promise then this might just be the show you’ve been looking for. The Boy Friend is about as far from Dear Evan Hansen as you can possibly get (chorus boys’ DEH striped T shirts aside). Sandy Wilson produced the music, lyrics and book for this 1953 show, a pastiche of 1920’s musicals apparently, although as the show is in its seventh decade now it’s easy to miss that it was a spoof. It is so gloriously un-PC that even the colour blind castin ..read more
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Review – Dear Evan Hansen, Noel Coward Theatre
A West End Whinger
by Phil (a west end whinger)
2y ago
You might ask what we were doing there. This is a show where the main characters are teenagers, who have only known a life where their umbilical is a mobile phone, whose visual focal point is a computer screen and the only social they attend is media. They and their friends – in the unlikely chance they have any – have never not known the internet.  And yes, we get the irony of what we’re using right now. This is the show that left a like-minded, regular theater going friend across the Atlantic underwhelmed. And a show that saw a couple of friends (who saw this London production last wee ..read more
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Review – Lungs, Old Vic
A West End Whinger
by Phil (a west end whinger)
2y ago
    ..read more
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Review – Groan Ups, Vaudeville Theatre
A West End Whinger
by Phil (a west end whinger)
2y ago
In the week where a new theatrical comedy, The Man in the White Suit, was met with general critical grumpiness you’d need nerves of steel to be opening another. And let’s face it you’d be hard pressed to come up with something more hilarious than Coleen Rooney being dubbed Wagatha Christie. But then this is Mischief Theatre led by the writers/performers Henry Lewis, Henry Shields and Jonathan Sayer AKA the Goes Wrong team who are already greedily hogging two West End Theatres, a playhouse off Broadway, various ones across USA with the tour of The Play That Goes Wrong, are soon to open Peter P ..read more
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