A revival of Matthew Todd’s 2006 gay sex comedy Blowing Whistles opened at the newly-launched Leicester Square Theatre last night (23 October 2008), where it runs until 29 November.

Starring Paul Keating (Whatsonstage.com Award nominated for Little Shop of Horrors), Daniel Finn and Stuart Laing, it tells of a late-thirties gay couple whose anniversary celebrations are thrown into disarray by the arrival of a young hunk they’ve procured through dating website Gaydar.

After a £600,000, three-month renovation, the new multi-purpose Leicester Square Theatre (formerly The Venue) now houses a 395-seat main stage and a permanent 90-seat studio, called The Basement, in addition to a digital screening facility, new seating and a selection of bars (including two, with 2am late licenses, in the main auditorium).

Blowing Whistles follows cult hit The Hurly Burly Show and comedy festival The Big Joke in the venue’s inaugural season, which was launched last month by Amercian comedienne Joan Rivers’ biographical show Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress by a Life in Progress (See News, 2 Sep 2008).

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF BLOWING WHISTLES' 1st NIGHT PHOTOS,
JUST CLICK ON THE "NEXT >" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME.
PHOTOS BY DAN WOOLLER FOR WHATSONSTAGE.COM.

For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand for the curtain call and post-show party at the Leicester Square Theatre, along with the company and guests including Nicholas Le Provost, Simon Fanshawe, Westlife’s Mark Feehily and Paul Keating’s fellow Little Shop of Horrors cast members Mike McShane and Sheridan Smith.


Also celebrating last night were the cast of Avenue Q, who marked the show’s 1000th performance in the West End with a special curtain call at the Noel Coward Theatre. The show, which recently posted closing notices for March 2009 (See News, 17 Oct 2008), began its life at Off-Broadway’s Vineyard Theatre before transferring in July 2003 to Broadway’s Golden Theatre, where it went on to win three 2004 Tony Awards including Best Musical. It opened in the West End 28 June 2006 (previews from 1 June), going on to announce numerous extensions due to audience demand.

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF AVENUE Q's 1,000TH PERFORMANCE PICTURES,
JUST CLICK ON THE "NEXT >" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME.
PHOTOS BY DAN WOOLLER FOR WHATSONSTAGE.COM.

A cast of seven – three of them playing humans, the rest manipulating multiple puppets that include a closet gay puppet called Rod, a porn-addicted puppet called Trekkie Monster, and a puppet looking for love called Kate Monster – tell the characters’ tales of love and hardship on the downtown street. The current West End cast is led by Any Dream Will Do’s Daniel Boys (See News, 6 Nov 2007).

Avenue Q has a score by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, and a book by Jeff Whitty, with puppets conceived and designed by Rick Lyon, musical supervision by Stephen Oremus, and choreography by Ken Roberson. Amongst the London show’s accolades, it won the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Award for Best Ensemble Performance.

- By Theo Bosanquet