About Webcowgirl

Some people make model trains sets for fun. Some people create software. Some people knit. I write this blog. This is my hobby – or, rather, the record of my hobby, which is going to the theater.

I’m a theater crazed American ex-pat living in London. I try to catch a show a week. I also like to see art, dance, good movies, and cultural events of all sorts. I don’t own a TV – there’s too much other stuff going on to watch it. I tend to not see the big movies, either – just bizarre ones at the BFI. And I like to go into a show not knowing anything about it (if possible) – I want it to be a surprise and to have no preconceptions. I try to write my reviews to not give away spoilers, or to warn if I’m going to, so you can enjoy your own surprise at the theater. I also don’t give shows star ratings.

This blog include reviews of all sorts of things – theater, dance, art, movies, exhibits – depending on what I feel like writing about and how much time I have to write. I also put in information about good deals on shows I think are worth catching. I feel the cost of theater is what keeps a lot of people from going and I want everyone and anyone to feel like they can afford to attend, even if doesn’t mean watching from the stalls.

Unfortunately time is always a bit of a limitation on my writing – once I get at around a thousand words I usually run out of steam, and sometimes write even less because I just don’t have an hour to spend cooking up a comprehensive review. Still, I get excited when I see my work mentioned online, such as in Time Out.

I get an average of 1800 hits a week on my blog (around 7000 a month for the last year) so people who love theater (and affordability) are coming to my site. If this is you, welcome! I hope you find my advice useful. I have no ads and do this strictly as a labor of love. If you, however, are representing a theater, feel free to contact me (by responding to this post) about seeing your show. I usually need a month’s advance notice to get something into my schedule. Just be warned that I’m as likely to post negative things as positive about your production, and if you give me comps, you understand this is not a “you scratch my back, I scratch yours” proposition. If I accept your invitation, I will come to your show, stay until the end, and write a review. Of course, if I buy my own ticket, I’ll leave if I want to, print whatever I want whenever I want to, or just ignore it.

By the way, rude comments, whether aimed at me or other people who have commented on this blog, simply won’t get published. Please stick to the tone you would use in dealing with someone who is standing in front of your face and is likely to show up at a dinner party you’ll be at next week. Disagreement is fine but name calling and being rude is just unacceptable. And if you post using an email that doesn’t work, I am likely to not post your comment. You should be able to stand up to what you’ve said, just like I do.

55 Responses to “About Webcowgirl”

  1. Ron Stang Says:

    I’m a Canadian who likes all of the things you do. And will be in London March 4 – 10. Would be interested in meeting up with you to take in live theatre, art, etc. If you’re not interested, perhaps you might know of someone with whom I could connect. Thanks!

  2. webcowgirl Says:

    I don’t really know people who will go see theater with total strangers unless they’ve been introduced by someone else. Sorry!

  3. David Gerard Says:

    In London is theatre, not theater! *cough*

  4. Ballet Dude Says:

    I think you must have seen a different Ballet Black show to the rest of us?! Maybe you should award commentary based on the current progression of the company and not perhaps on one where everyone might be principal dancer from the cream of Russian Talent.

    Ballet Black are after all a company of young and inspired dancers who are extremely well led by their artistic director, Cassa Pancho. And if you have watched them over the years it is clear that this progression is strong and positive. I look foward to the years ahead where they will indeed get to a level worthy of such comparisons.

    REVIEW: Ballet Black
    Walk Through a Storm, Breach, Somente, Indigo Children
    UK, London, Linbury Studio Theatre
    by Judith Mackrell
    ‘..this small, determined company no longer requires special marketing for its repertory. On the contrary the latest programme features some of the most original new ballets to be shown this season.’
    The Guardian

  5. Will S Says:

    Hello!

    First off, well done on the blog! It’s both splendid and excellent!

    Just a thought – I’m stage managing a show in about a week called ‘Swimming Naked’ – It’s on at the Baron’s Court Theatre from March 31st to April 4th, and we’d all be absolutely over the moon if you’d give it a look! It’s a Bernie Madoff inspired Credit Crunch Farce, and it’s going to be pretty exciting…

    Drop me an email at williamseaward@btinternet.com if you’d like to know anything else, or to arrange a comp (or comps!)…

    Thanks!

    Yours hopefully,

    Will

    • webcowgirl Says:

      Hi, Will, I’m really sorry but I’m going out of town on the 2nd and can’t make it … am already booked for the 1st and need the 31st to pack. Best of luck.

  6. Richard Says:

    I enjoyed meeting you at “Annie Get Your Gun” last night! All that shootin’ and not a person was hit by bullets. It was fun, darn tootin’.

  7. garethjames Says:

    Good to meet you on the tube on Wednesday and thanks for adding me to your blogroll. Your comprehensive reviews make mine seem like soundbites and clearly get read a lot more – I think you need to teach me about categories, tags and blogrolls! I look forward to reading your review of Money; I’m going tonight, Saturday, so will probably post mine Sunday. Next will be Mrs Klein in 10 days or so as I’m away most of this week. Look forward to bumping into you again! Gareth

  8. Tam Dean Burn Says:

    Hey…I just came across your review of my show Venus As A Boy from Autumn 2007….Google not so alert! Normally I wouldn’t comment but you got what I was trying to do with the show so on the button that I just wanted to say thank you for bringing a wee glow back for a show that means a lot to me..and I too wish there was more sex-positive theatre around…Tam

  9. zinta Says:

    I just stumbled upon you blog, This Monday Morning. I love reviews and love theatre!

  10. Richard Says:

    I’d like to receive your reviews by email if possible please.

    Many thanks,

    R

  11. Dickie and Butch Says:

    Hi Webcowgirl

    We have recently set up a new theatre and music blog and have just added your excellent site to our blogroll. We are two young and passionate theatregoers and we would love it if you could take a look at our blog and add us to your own blogroll. Please feel free to leave us any feedback or advice as we are always looking on ways to improve the site.

    http://dickieandbutch.wordpress.com/

    Many Thanks

    Dickie and Butch

  12. Moira Fitzgerald Says:

    Really enjoyed your review on the Kabuki, which I am booking as a consequence. One of the last few seats in the house. Can you put me on your blog roll. Thanks. I look forward to reading more and some in the archives.!

    • webcowgirl Says:

      Thanks for that, I hope you have a great time! I don’t know how to add people to the blog roll, unforrunately.

      • Tubz Says:

        Hay Ho Web cowgirl.

        TubZ is new to the Ballet & to blogging. Really nice to read your blogs & replies. I was wondering if you post recommendations for the beginner to the theatre. Ballet Nacional De Cuba production of Swan Lake was my first trip to Coliseum, I loved it. I have been told that I may have been spoiled with excellence by the Cubans. I have since been to the Royal Oprah House to see Cinderella, BRILLENT. Royal Albert Hall Swan Lake with 60 swans on show, I don’t think the venue worked that well for the cheap seats. Just too far away to see the details. My return to the Coliseum for Swan Lake I managed to get hold of a synopsis which helped my follow the story. It takes me around ten minutes before I’m fully captivated by the brilliance of movement. I feel as though I become hypnotized.

        I come from a B-Boy back ground. Old skool, loads of attitude & rebelling, fat laces caps turned to the side & boom box with bass. Today it’s done by children who call it street dance. No attitude, they even have classes which teach it. It’s nice to watch, but it’s for the children now. I am in shock that the ballet has brought such a thrill in my life, I didn’t see it coming. And with living & working in London all my life I feel I should be taking advantage of the theatre scene.
        Problem is that the people you come across in the cues are a little stuffy so word of mouth seems out of the question. Your blog is the most down to earth informative thing i have come across in this arena. Can you list some sure things for me? Dos & Don’ts. Tricks of the Trade for the thrifty person. And must sees.
        I look forward to reading your replies.

        I hope you keep them buck wild…

  13. webcowgirl Says:

    Hey, Tubz, you’re so kind! I try to use a “real” voice when talking about ballet – I’ve never had any formal dance education but I still go and love it (or sometimes hate it) and try to talk about it like a normal person and show how exciting it is. I like to read Clement Crisp’s reviews because he’s so well-spoken but he’s clearly way over the normal person’s head in terms of his technical knowledge (but it’s still nice to read his words even when I don’t understand half of them). Still, you read that stuff and you think that normal people can’t like ballet, when it’s not so, it’s totally cool. Thought believe it or not it’s Mr. Crisp who’s got me going to see the street dance these days so the energy goes both ways!

    Here’s my recommendations: try to see Birmingham Royal Ballet at Sadler’s Wells this fall – Sadler’s Wells has good prices and BRB is a really exciting company. I will be seeing both of their shows but Romeo and Juliet is a good one to catch. Royal Ballet is an awesome company, but there’s a lot of stuff in their rep I don’t like – but I think you can always get a good picture of what’s happening in dance with their triple bills, which show you a lot of choreography (so you can start learning who’s stuff you do and don’t like) and also a lot of different dancers. And I gotta say if you can get a seat for one of the Bolshoi shows you ought to try – I would personally recommend Coppelia which is one of a very short list of comic ballets and one of my favorites.

    The other ballet which I always love and can see over and over (it’s my favorite) is Giselle, which is so pretty and yet so creepy. The Mikhailovsky is doing it at ENO and they are offering day of seats for half-price at the TKTS office at Leicester Square – you should totally go!

  14. Tubz Says:

    Hi there WebCowGirl,

    Thanks for the advice. I’m really excited about your up & coming recommendations. I have been trying to get hold of the synopsis for these performances – Giselle, Coppelia, and Spartacus without any luck. Is there an archive you can direct me to? I’ve drawn a blank on the Bolshoi web site.

    And if you feel like something different.

    Sucker Punch.

    Really nice outside food market just a stones throw away from Sloane Square tube station. They sell oysters & shuck them ready for you to eat right there, the Caribbean stall has some real authentic Jamaican patties & punches. After you’re filled your belly & make your way to the show you might be lucky like I was, & be given a free ticket for the Saturday matinee if they haven’t filled all the seats. Not that the show’s not worth paying for. Lively, comical, political and most of all fun with a feel good factor. I hope you can catch it so I can read one of your reports.

    Tubz

    http://www.royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/sucker-punch

  15. Tubz Says:

    Hi Web CowGirl.

    I feel I must report the greatest show I have ever seen. Bolshoi Serenade / Giselle. Serenade was short & the best piece of ballet I’ve even seen. The last scene in Giselle was just as good. A must see. Unfortunately I don’t have the words to describe it. It was so good that the pain & stiff neck that you pick up seated in the slips was only apparent during the intervals. During the performance the pain went away. The slips are horrible though. But for £15 for 4 hours entertainment I robbed them.

    • webcowgirl Says:

      I was there last night! I’m so glad you went. This will be a standard by which you judge ballet for a long time! Glad your first Balanchine could be so perfect, too.

  16. Tubz Says:

    I dont think you watch much tv. there is a vw polo ad which im sure you would enjoy (below).

    are you aware of this type of dance show? im lovin the hip-hop & this type of dance. does it ring any bells? can you advise of how i can see something like this?

    hope your well and recovering from your fela/badgirl blogger review patch. lol.

    http://makethelogobigger.blogspot.com/2010/11/last-tango-in-compton.html

    http://www.tvadmusic.co.uk/2010/11/volkswagen-polo-last-tango-in-compton/

  17. tubz Says:

    Jekyll & Hyde. Churchill Theatre Bromley. Until 29th January. £19

    I’ve just returned home from this Musical. I really thought it is a great show. I would love to read one of your well written ‘blogs’.

    • webcowgirl Says:

      It would be cool but man it’s been a busy month!

      • tubz Says:

        Hi there Mrs WebCowgirl,
        Just wanted to ask if you know how to get cheap tickets for the ‘betty blue eyes’. It’s closing in september, some say it’s really good, but tickets overpriced. Can you help? Also any other recommendations. ROH hasent been a hit this year for me.
        C U

      • webcowgirl Says:

        Hi Mr Tubz. I was wondering how your ballet going was going. Betty Blue Eyes has 10 quid seats out there and it is really good. Birmingham Royal Ballet is doing a mixed bill in October at Sadlers Wells you should probably check out. I wanted to tell you to see the Mariinsky this summer but I was too busy worrying about stuff to actually TELL you. There is a mixed bill at the ROH in November that would probably also be well worth catching. I have to say the last year’s season at ROH didn’t really do it for me either.

  18. Insignificant Theatre Says:

    Hi Webcowgirl!

    We’re contacting you from Insignificant Theatre, a new theatre company in London acting as a platform for new writing, artists and ideas. After a very successful first event we are preparing for our second ‘Speakeasy’ event, a night of never-before-seen monologues, taking place at the end of June in Covent Garden.

    We are using these evenings as a showcase for writers and actors and with a total of 15 monologues to be performed there will be a big variety of both on show. We would like to offer you a ticket to one of the three evenings where you can enjoy a fun-filled and friendly evening and see some of London’s the best new writers and actors at the same time! If you provide us with an email address we can send you a flyer for the event too.

    “The Speakeasy – Extraordinary night of monologues” is back after a sell out show earlier this year.
    Insignificant Theatre is proud to present the second instalment of exciting new writing and talented actors.
    Come along to the Nell of Old Drury pub in Covent Garden and join us for never-seen-before performances and a friendly drink.
    Eight Actors. Fifteen writers. One night – not to be missed.

    8:00PM – 10:00 PM
    Mon 27th, Tue 28th, Wed 29th June
    Tickets available on the door only £4
    Reserve your tickets now at insignificanttheatre@gmail.com

    Please RSVP and let us know which night you would like to attend so that we can reserve your seat. We look forward to hearing from you and hope that you will be able to make it along for a night of extraordinary monologues.

    All the best

    Insignificant Theatre
    http://www.insignificanttheatre.webs.com
    facebook.com/insignificanttheatre
    insignificanttheatre@gmail.com
    @insignificantuk

  19. Insignificant Theatre Says:

    P.S. For anyone else who is interested in coming along- there are still tickets available! Please contact us through the mediums above.

  20. Insignificant Theatre Says:

    Hi Webcowgirl,

    I wrote to you a few months ago regarding our ‘Speakeasy’ event, a night of never-before-seen monologues, which was taking place at the end of June in Covent Garden. We are now in the process of organising our third night and would love it if you could come along.

    As with the last event we’re using these evenings as a showcase for writers and actors and with a total of 18 monologues to be performed there will be a big variety of both on show. We would like to offer you a ticket to one of the three evenings. Please find more information below and if you send us an email address we can pass on a flyer.

    “The Speakeasy – Extraordinary night of monologues” is back after two sell out shows earlier this year.
    Insignificant Theatre is proud to present the third installment of exciting new writing and talented actors.
    Come along to the Nell of Old Drury pub in Covent Garden and join us for never-seen-before performances and a friendly drink.
    Eight Actors. Eighteen writers. One night – not to be missed.

    8:00PM – 10:00 PM
    Mon 3rd, 4th, 5th October
    Tickets available on the door only £4
    Reserve your tickets now at insignificanttheatre@gmail.com

    Please RSVP with the date you wish to come to so that we can reserve you a seat. Hope you can make it along!

    All the best

    Tamara
    Insignificant Theatre
    http://www.insignificanttheatre.webs.com
    facebook.com/insignificanttheatre
    insignificanttheatre@gmail.com
    @insignificantuk

    P.S. Tickets are also available for anyone else reading this for £4!

  21. tubz Says:

    I’ve got a ticket for one of my all time favourite reggae artists. ‘toots and the maytels’ – it’s for this thursday at the brighton dome, but I’ve just read that several of his shows on his world tour has been cancelled due to a sore throat. Very disappointed, I’m gonna try and get hold of the betty blue eyes this week to make up for it. As for the ROH. I’ve been disappointed in the triple bills I’ve seen this season. I know now I like the performances with more up to date music. Not the loud old classical stuff, its hard to explain. Still a lot to learn. I will check out Sadler’s Wells Birmingham Royal Ballet, I saw Fela there, it was really lively and full of energy. And very comfortable seating. C U

    • webcowgirl Says:

      I was gonna ask if you want to see the new Zoonation show with me in November …

      • tubz Says:

        Of course. I would love to. I caught a snippet of them at the Canary Wharlf summer event. It was really energetic with some great beats. I look forward to receiving the details.

  22. Doug Devaney Says:

    Aloha Webcowgirl,

    Like many a chancer, I thought I’d tell you about the show we’ve got playing this coming week at The Courtyard Theatre, Hoxton. “Get Carter” is based upon the same Ted Lewis novel as the cult 1971 Michael Caine film.

    Jonathan Holloway’s adaptation, directed by James Weisz, takes the story back to its original Scunthorpe setting and the production has garnered numerous critical garlands at the Brighton and Edinburgh Festivals.

    So why am I mentioning this to you, oh mistress of the intenet bovine? Well, you see, amongst our cast we have both a firefighter and a puppeteer. Nick Bartlett has been serving as a firefighter with the West Sussex crew for the last two years while George Williams has worked extensively with Long Nose Puppets, whose adaptation of Polly Dunbar’s book “Penguin” played nationally last year.

    The challenge we’re laying down for you and your readers, Webby, is: can you spot the difference? Get yourselves down to the Courtyard Theatre, Hoxton (Nearest tube: Old Street) between Thursday 22nd and Sunday 26th at 8 pm to take part.

    (Of course, Webster, if you want to come and review us for your blog, you’re more than welcome. Just let us know by return of e-mail)

    See you there?

    Doug

  23. cosmo Says:

    Hey, I was wondering whether you could possibly delete my comments on carlos acostas Premieres sadlers wells show from your blog replies? would be really grateful. Great site-tell lots of people about you.

    • webcowgirl Says:

      Hi – sorry, I can’t see any comments that have this signature or IP address, so I’m afraid I can’t really do that …

  24. tubz Says:

    Can you contact me on reid835@yahoo.co.uk.

    I would like you do a write up for me. I’m sure it will be well within your comfort zone. I will give you more details via email.

    Thanks.

  25. shez Says:

    Hello!

    So glad I stumbled upon your blog! My theatre hobby mainly started this year so there’s still many shows I haven’t seen yet. I look forward to reading your work.

  26. A year in blogging – Webcowgirl’s most popular posts of 2011 – and tips for improving your blog stats « Life in the Cheap Seats – Webcowgirl’s London theatre reviews Says:

    […] About Webcowgirl706 […]

  27. karl falconer Says:

    Hi there

    I am writing on behalf of PurpleCoat Productions, a theatre group taking part in this years International Youth Arts Festival. We are partially funded by Stephen Fry, have support from Sir Ian McKellen, Richard Wilson and Con O’Neill, and are also currently collaborating with the RSC.

    We know that shows in the festival have been reviewed by the national papers in the past, so it would be fantastic if Webcowgirl was interested in reviewing us. It’d be great if we could send you our press release with info about the show and about PurpleCoat. For any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Thanks a lot for your time

    Warm Regards

    Karl Falconer
    PurpleCoat Productions

  28. Philipp Oberlohr Says:

    Dear webcowgirl,
    I’d be happy to see you at my show ‘seance.’
    http://www.philippmagos.com/seance.html
    Regards,
    P

  29. Alan Perrin Says:

    Your writing is engaging. It trundles along nicely. But It’s misplaced as far a Barkers play is concerned. Hamlet didn’t exist. Hamlet is fiction. That’s not a reason not to care.

    • webcowgirl Says:

      If Hamlet had spent the whole play inside the NASA control center, maybe you’d feel differently. Every woman in Scenes might as well have been a space alien.

  30. Internetcatwoman Says:

    I’ve always wondered why bloggers are giving themselves synonyms and thus not reveal their identity, when professional reviewers do so all the time?

  31. tubz Says:

    whats up cowgirl?

  32. jon fraser Says:

    Dear Webcowgirl,

    We would like to invite you to review the final performance piece put on by this year’s Post Graduate actors from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.

    It is a version of THIS CHILD – by France’s current leading playwright Joël Pommerat, and is being performed for only the second time in London.

    Created from verbatim interviews with families on an estate in France, Joël Pommerat’s play exposes the realities of parent/child relationships and the raw emotions that frequently go unspoken.
    The performance is at the Bridewell Theatre and runs from Monday 26th August – Friday 30th August , at 7.30, with additional performances Thursday 29th at 3pm and Saturday 31st at 4pm.

    Tickets can be obtained in person from the box office or by calling the number below.
    BRIDEWELL THEATRE
    Bride Lane
    London EC4Y 8EQ
    Box Office: 020 8829 0036
    Opening Times: Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm

    thanks

    Also – if any other potential reviewers are reading this, you are also most welcome to attend.

  33. Scrawny Cat Says:

    Hello Webcowgirl,

    If by some chance you are free on September 24th, come along to The Battersea Mess and Music Hall in Clapham. We, Scrawny Cat Theatre Company, will be hosting our monthly scratch night, Scrawl.

    Scrawl is about testing out new ideas, new writing and new devising and we welcome feedback in any form, so your opinions on what we’re trying to do would be very welcome.

    Perhaps we’ll see you there.

    Scrawny Cat

  34. alicia Says:

    Hi!nice blog..I am looking to join one of the two, and I will appreciate suggestions form you:
    1 part time evening course in acting , i am working full time and i am currently doing lots of classes but need to commit to one year course, I am no young girl! so any school that accept people in their late 20s..
    2 maybe is better to join an amateur group? advise on the one you know or so shows that you loved.. also…i do like screen acting..
    thanks you x
    Alicia

    • webcowgirl Says:

      Hi, I don’t really understand what you’re saying here, sorry, the grammar just doesn’t make any sense to me. Good luck!

  35. alicia Says:

    ahah sorry! basically, can you suggest any good acting school and any good amateur theatre company in London?

  36. Caity @ Where The Heart Is Says:

    American expat theatre lovers unite! Moved here about three months ago and can’t seem to find myself anywhere but seeing shows! Love finding others like me 😀

  37. Peter Brooke Says:

    Hi, please follow @OperaVera on twitter! We’re performing Puccini’s ‘Il Tabarro’ at The Forge, Camden this week.
    OV

  38. Vanessa Fenton Says:

    I just reread your review after quite afew years. Made me sad a bit. The girl the stiffness the fear all if it.
    I ve stopped choreographing for a while. I miss it. It’s a tricky business putting ones soul on the stage for everyone to pick at.
    Vanessa

    • webcowgirl Says:

      I get the same thing with writing reviews, where people say horrible things about me as a person because I’ve put forth an opinion they disagree with. Thus they say I am ignorant, uneducated, shouldn’t be writing. You have to develop a thick skin. And you have to believe in yourself. Just because one person doesn’t like what you did, or because you made one work that you weren’t happy with, isn’t a reason to stop. You’re going to to stuff, you’re going to expose yourself, and some people won’t like it. It’s true of every artist who ever dares show their stuff to the public, and the most important thing is to believe in yourself. So do, and choreograph some more, and don’t worry about what I said, because God knows there’s only about two people on the earth who give a rat’s patootie about what I write! But I keep writing because it’s me and it’s what I have to do. And you should keep choreographing if your muse is telling you it’s what to do, and take any one review with a grain of salt. But on my side, remember: no one learns anything if people only say positive things.

  39. Claire Dyson Says:

    Dear Web Cowgirl. I am member of The Malachites – you have reviewed two of the plays that I appeared in for them (I was The Duchess Of York in Richard 11 and Goneril in King Lear) and I love the way that you review. I would like to invite you to review a new play called “The Gift” which will be staged at The White Bear from 6th – 17th October (Tues’ to Sat’.) I have set up a new theatre company with my sister, Angela Dyson called Room 6. http://www.room6.org.uk – please bring your unerring and discerning eye (and a pen) to Kennington in October.
    Sincerely,
    Claire Dyson

  40. Kit Chester Says:

    Dear Web Cowgirl. I am a regular reader of your reviews, which are refreshing and honest. How about going along to Darknet at the Southwark Playhouse. Everyone I know who’s seen it really rates it, but the “professional reviewers” don’t like it. Interested to know what you think.
    Kit

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