Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Kitchen (National Theatre)

I feel like I haven't been to the theatre in so friggin' long!! I didn't even go tonight, this was another NT Live affair. After The Cherry Orchard I wasn't sure if the National know how to film their productions, but because this was an ensemble there weren't loads of irritating close-ups of "the star".
Because the Kitchen is so beautifully choreographed whoever was filming was obviously keen to show it. It looked really good, I wish I'd seen it live- uh, I mean, live without the ten minute delay, actually in the theatre. I bet it's even more spectacular!
Tom Brooke is a great firecracker, weird boney face and beautiful eyes, Jonathan Pryce-like in his manic desperation, I think after seeing him in the Caretaker I thought; "bet Jonathan played it exactly like that." He'll be big in the theatre now I reckon, it's an ensemble piece but he was the one you watched.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Jane Eyre (2011)

I had doubts about yet another Jane Eyre, especially as I love love LOVE the 2006 BBC version. But the trailer, though it looked practically the same as the BBC one, or maybe because it looked the same, made me want to watch it.
I wondered would it be exactly the same, would they deliver all the lines and shoot it the same. They didn't. It is so worth seeing! It's great!
The only bit that I found very similar was the school bit with Jane's pal dying, but I suppose you can't do that much different.
I loved how they mixed it up a bit, put all the boring St John bits at the beginning, that's the bastard about the series, episode three is SO boring because it's just St John talking. Ugh! So that was great, breaking those chapters up with Jane's childhood and then ploughing into the sexy story!
The sexual tension was so well done! Bloody loved it! Got me all riled up. Jane seemed hardly to say anything through the whole film which really worked and she looked like a munter (I thought much more than Ruth Wilson's duckface) and Rochester was an angry shouty bastard but he was serious and it made me realise how camp Toby Stephens is! They cut a load of it though (not much of Mrs Rochester freaking Jane out and Grace Pool wasn't even in it), there was far too much Judi Dench and I can't stand her, it was a serious story but they some how managed to give Judi Dench loads of jokes- It's like they wrote more lines for her.
The ice queen was far too cute played by lovely Imogen Poots and the little French girl was too sweet as well, she is AWESOME in the 2006 version, she grates on you as much as she does on Rochester, love it! Anyway, thumbs up, well done to everyone doing Yorkshire accents too.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

I wish I'd had a comfier seat because this film was long! It was good though, it looked good and it was a good one for keeping your brain going. It took a couple of hours before anything exciting happened though and it was a bit of a sausage-fest. No women apart from Tom Hardy's squeeze but then Tom Hardy was the Bond character in this spy film, Mark Strong was a bit at the beginning as well and I like him.
Anyway, was the book as gay as the film? The bit I enjoyed the most (apart from Tom Hardy being beautiful) was Mark Strong's heartbroken face and those big brown eyes crying at the end, AW! Sausage-fest.

The Inbetweeners Movie (2011)

I was really looking forward to it, so was Anna, the trailer looked great, classic Inbetweeners. Anna saw it first and said she'd never been so disappointed in all her life.
I then was prepared to see great disappointment and because I was prepared you know, I still managed to enjoy it.
But Anna was right, it could have been about anybody, it wasn't about the Inbetweeners. Somehow we're supposed to think Jay and Simon have a bond when they haven't for all three series, their falling out was the basis of the film, but were they ever really that close?! They all get girlfriends?! What? The only one who would get a girlfriend is Neil, because he would shag anybody. They are all loathsome and all of those girls must have had serious mental issues, especially the tortured soul who likes Simon and ESPECIALLY the little blonde who is supposed to be intelligent but decides to go out with Will. Maybe Jay could have got a girl, when he's sweet he is sweet, but you have to have pretty low standards and that chick who went for him was gorgeous!
Anna thinks overall it would have been greatly improved by all the parents also being on holiday with them (but staying somewhere nice). The parents are great and the bit that they were in was fantastic. Not enough! I think I would have liked that too.
BUT, saying that, I did really really like lots of bits of it. The dancing was hilarious.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

At first I was like 'Why's the CGI so terrible in this film?!' but then I didn't mind because it was all so ridiculous I ended up enjoying it immensely! Truly trash but so enjoyable, all the cheesy references, TERRIBLE cgi, it looked like a cartoon!! So many letter-box actors, and the worst plot and script! I must write it down...
Ok, so James Franco is trying to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease and testing his medicine on monkeys, it works but he gets the sack and ends up keeping a super intelligent baby monkey in his attic, already we're like, what? How can he afford to do that and why does no one find out for like five years? He cures his declining father with the same formula but after a few years John Lithgow's immune system gets rid of the stuff and Franco sets to work making a better version of the magic potion.
Franco's super-monkey hurts the unlucky guy who lives next door through protecting Lithgow (as monkeys do) and he gets put into an EVIL monkey sanctuary that literally would not exist in reality. The guys who work there are dicks and you wonder if they hate monkeys so much why do they work at a monkey sanctuary? "I like violence and I hate animals." "We have the perfect job for you, at the monkey sanctuary!"
Back at the pharmaceutical company Franco used to work at before getting fired at the start the greedy British black man who owns it gives him the go-ahead and they all decide to try the new medicine on the most EVIL looking monkey they can find... British black man then watches new improved evil clever monkey drawing evil bananas and writing his name on a list under the heading of 'To Kill' but is not worried at all.
Main monkey becomes king and somehow the other monkeys understand what he asks them to do despite the fact they are just monkeys (???) he makes them intelligent however with new improved gas- which coincidentally is deadly to humans. Unlucky guy next door catches a face full of deadly germs and it is revealed over the end credits (after all the intelligent monkeys have run into the woods and turned over a load of cars etc.) that he is a pilot and he spreads the plague all over the work thus eradicating the human race leaving apes as the ruling species. The End.
I really enjoyed Tom 'Draco Malfoy' Felton, playing the biggest douchebag of all time, how awesome to deliver the line, "Get your stinking paw off me, you damn dirty ape!" He was really good and his American accent was far better than Dominic Cooper's in Captain America.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2011 Part Three

And the last two. I saw Lip Theatre Company's amusing play In For a Pound and my god it was funny and mad. A good tight show it reminded me of the plays my friend Evil Dave wrote while we were in Lip six years ago... I was so glad I got to hang out with the cast at the end of Fringe party my friends hosted, they are a lovely talented bunch with great faces for comedy.
The Sweet Release was a cabaret at the Sweet venue, I think I got about ten acts crammed into that hour! Stand ups, belly dancers, music, magic and Dr Beard.
I loved the belly dancing, the first girl was good but watching my friend Lynne was hypnotic and very sexual, watching Lynne dance was like being on drugs! The stand-ups were great and the piano player who sang an improvised song that the audience chose the lyrics to was fun. Such a shame we only got three minutes of Laura Hayden, I like cock jokes told by women. I must say the comparing was vastly improved once transferred into the hands of that capable man of science, Dr Beard. Half way through he did his mad set, which went down extremely well with everyone despite it being quite an eclectic manic drug-fueled style of comedy, very physical, he uses mime, sings songs but it's mainly bellowing. He then compared the rest of the show which was great because everyone was glad to see him again.
I will soon post a picture of Dr Beard, or maybe of Dr Dad, his father (played this year by me).

Friday, 26 August 2011

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2011 Part Two

Simon Munnery's Show, well, I was really drunk,and that just made it all the more magical. Especially the bubble hat. My favourite part- apart from the video of the Gillette eight bladed razor advert set in the 1940s- was the Sherlock Holmes monologue. Ace.
The Carroll Myth at Sweet on the Grassmarket was recommended to me by pals DBS. Great script, it was really well acted and staged -and the costumes were lovely. I liked all the instantly recognisable bits of Alice but also liked the not so recognisable bits. The Cheshire cat was cleverly done, played by three actresses in identicle cat suits just appearing in different parts of the room- including on the audience's lap!
Richard Herring, I see him every year, I saw him three times this year, and who knows maybe I'll see him again on Sunday or Monday! I went to recordings of his Edinburgh Podcast which are really great, two different comics on every day, one for chatting with and the other to do a five minute bit to promote their show. I saw Al Murray and he was great because he wasn't the one doing the five minute bit, he wasn't the pub landlord who Murray descibed jovially as "just a fucking idiot!" he was an Oxford boy talking to another Oxford boy and giggling. So much fun.
And of course I also saw Rich's excellent show, What Is Love, Anyway? Calum and I went and though Rich spends the entire hour just shouting it is very very good and he even managed to shout some quite sensitive stuff that sort of proves that Love is definitely something.
Faust/Us the one-man show of Doctor Faustus is so fucking terrifying and clever and exhausting and innovative I don't know how to review it! The show relies completely on Calum breathing in exactly the same places each night, the one hour projection of film, animation, puppetry and sound rolls while the actor acts around it playing all the characters convincingly with as little as a simple change of stance!
I think it's really brilliant that Calum has managed to use that animation degree even if it's just knowledge of how things work on screen. The film alone would be an amazing show but it's great that it's been useful for what he is actually going to do for the rest of his life, perform.
Fordie! I went to see Matt Forde's show Dishonourable Member and I fucking loved it. Though Matt must have sweat an entire ocean I still found myself a bit in love with him. That's what politics will do to a girl. Oh, is it just me? Just me who found Fordie's sports style commentary to an imaginary Labour Party win extremely emotional? Just me and Fordie who feel as strongly about Oasis as they do about the Labour Party? Yes. Fordie's show was for me, that's why I went on my own, the boy himself says that his opinions usually split the room, my opinions do too, that's why I came on my own, and it was brill. Bonus for the Alan Partridge sex jokes, we've all been there, mate.
Jon Richardson's written a book called It's Not Me, it's You. He's in Edinburgh doing some readings, no show this year, a book instead! I look forward to reading it all and agreeing with it all. Vis Fordie and the Labour Party, Jon Richardson and me are OCD buddies. Fuck, when it comes to cleaning and organising, I am up there with the mentalists. I get angry when I'm eating dinner because the plate I'm eating off is dirty- this sounds normal, of course you would be, that's disgusting! No. I mean that I have to clean everything I've used to cook with before I can eat the meal I've made and it bothers me that because the dinner is on the plate that plate now needs to be cleaned but I can't do it until after I've eaten it despite the fact I just DID all the washing up.
Yeah... Not even Jon would be that crazy.
Anyway, I hope he's ok, in the future I mean. I know I will be, because though I'm crazy, I enjoy washing up and cleaning up, and whoever I end up with will have to deal with the fact that I want to do those things- not to make their lives easier, but so I know it's done properly.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2011 part one

I went to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on Sunday and came back last night, I'm going back again tomorrow (I came back for one day of work!) so I thought I'd post my thoughts on some of the shows I saw on Part One of the trip, before I forget them all after Part Two!
The first show I saw was The Man Who Planted Trees, a kids show which I was attracted to by the puppet in this photograph and by my pal Calum recommending it. It was really lovely, a simple poignant story told by a soft spoken English bloke in French and English while the other guy provided the comic relief in the form of a wise cracking American puppet dog- the dog was coincidentally the best actor I saw this last week.
Mind you, the actors in Subsist, a post-Zombie Apocolypse drama, were pretty darn good too. I've known the company since they were students and now they are fully formed actors. A good gimmick; there are four different endings and none of the actors know which it'll be until the final scene- the one I got was chilling, though I believe most of them are! Trapped in the claustrophobic venue with them the play was terrifying. Great achievement for a play with no actual zombies.
And on a lighter note some radio4 types pretend to teach lions synchronised swimming. Paul Merton's Impro Chums was such a timewarp of a show! I like Radio4 but this was like Radio4 in the 1950s! Still a giggle but wow, times have changed. Nice and gentle, I hope the 70 year olds in the audience weren't too upset by the eff word.Jimeoin is another one good for a giggle. We saw him last year so Laura and I decided to go again! He had a new show, and only did about three minutes of last year's material. A lot of this year's show seemed to be observational comedy about different birds- not women, like pigeons and swans... I like him, he has a mad face. That's really all you want from an Irish comic.
My Family saw the Duchess of Malfi a few years go without me, I really wanted to see it because I love Imogen Stubbs. I missed it though, can't remember why. Anyway, I was on my way to buy shoes when I was given the flyer for Malfi, a version of the play set in a Jazz club. I thought, yeah, I don't need shoes and stumbled into the Bedlam Theatre.
It was exactly what I pictured- in a good way! These Revengers Tragedy type plays are always good when the blood and horror is choreographed, jazz was the perfect choice. The music and mood was so well done. Good company too- The Offshoots- good name!
Set in a fudge shop, about guys working in a fudge shop, free fudge?! The Fudge Shop was fun and the fudge was sickly. Luckily they also gave out free bottles of water for you to wash it down with. For the cheapest show I saw (seven quid) it was really good value! My friends have given it five stars, I reckon this is because they're starving, I'd give it three and a half, cut that baby-blowjob joke and you'd get four. Loved the ending, really fun.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Young Vic)

Anna recommended this one for my birthday, she made me read the Pillowman once, it was terrifying! But I’ve seen In Bruges and that had such an excellent script I was like, hell yeah, sign me up for Martin McDonagh.
This was a really good production of a very good, funny and tragic play. Four brilliant characters brought to life by four brilliant actors, all so well written!
Nice atmos at the Young Vic too, loved having to walk through the rain to get to our seats, good old Ireland! Depressing!
First half was brilliantly funny and I found myself identifying with Maureen far too much, second half was still so funny but it got dark- real dark! I didn’t like my self-awareness anymore!!
I really liked it, glad I got ill after it, not during!

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Theatre Royal Haymarket)

I finally got to see Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. I am so very pleased I did!
I know Hamlet like the back of my hand what with seeing so many versions lately, so I loved all the scenes where Ros and Guil had to do their lines and just deal with it all! I loved the scenes with the Players, excellent fun and I loved the scenes where it was just the two of them- though when they lasted longer than twenty minutes they got a bit tedious... Existentialism isn't that great. Probably would have got tedious quicker if they hadn’t been played by lovely lovely Posner and Scripps. God, they were just too cute! Jamie Parker and Sam Barnett, always my favourite History Boys, I love seeing you both on stage. They made it so very entertaining. Such sweeties.
I love fanfics.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Captain America (2011)

I was really looking forward to Captain America. And the first hour really delivered, it was a great origin story and then the bit with the USO show was so much fun, what a great song!
After that though, when he actually started being Captain America it was so boring and you don't really learn anything about the characters, no pasts, no motivation, what was the Red Skull actually after? What was it actually about? Why did JJ Feild have no closeups?
I was very annoyed that the girl character was so typically what they're always like in those Marvel films, she said at one point that she had struggled in life too, but that was as much character development you got!! She was just there to really really like Captain America.
I liked all the British character actors (Toby Jones, Richard Armitage, Dakin, Filch, etc.) and the end credits were very nicely done.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

A Woman Killed With Kindness (National Theatre)

After War Horse we went back to the National and saw this. I have to say I was extremely disappointed.
I get so annoyed when the National doesn't deliver. Peter Hall's Twelfth Night was so boring and uninventive. This modern-day (well, 1919) version of Heywood's 17th century play at least looked inventive. Two beautiful interiors filled the stage and the costumes and the way the characters moved around were very beautiful.
But it was slow and it was boring.
The actors did their best, well, sort of, there was a lot of crashing and bashing of the set over the dialogue at the beginning which was very irritating, you couldn't hear anything!
My main problem though was with the story. If you're going to set a play where a woman starves herself to death in a different period to when it was written, don't set it at a time where it just wouldn't have happened! I can see the parallel the director was trying to make with the ol' sufferagettes, but it seemed so unlikely that the characters around Anne would have let her do that to herself. It was ridiculous and it just ended, suddenly.

War Horse (New London Theatre)

My Norweigan pal came to stay last month, she is a big theatre junkie, but she prefers musicals. She told me to book us a show that she hadn't seen. I booked War Horse, because all though Linn didn't want anything too heavy, I thought she would enjoy it on an aesthetic level if nothing else.
I saw War Horse at the National a couple of years ago with my emotionally stunted sister, so I had to hold in the tears so as not to embarrass her and I nearly died in the process. This time I was with Linn and Alison and at the end we were all sobbing tears of grief and joy- the best kind of tears.
War Horse is Spectacular.
The puppetry is amazing. Less than ten seconds in you will believe the horses are real. You will worry for the actors safety when the horses freak out, you'll think "god, those horses could hurt someone!" they are that well designed and performed.
The music is beautiful and emotive, the stage craft is excellent and hasn't changed that much since the theatre switch, the story is TOO emotional. If you're an emotional cripple, like I am, go to War Horse once a year, it's so much better than a breakdown, just let it all out.
Alison started crying when Joey turned from a foal into a grown horse, that was only 15 minutes in!
I don't care if they're making a film, I'm not interested, nothing could compare to this experience, a real horse will never be as engaging or as charming and tragic as the puppet Joey. I effing love War Horse.

Anne Boleyn (Shakespeare's Globe)

A few weeks ago Alison and I saw Anne Boleyn at the Globe, I had wanted to see Rosencrantz and Guildenstern- and so had Alison! But Anna booked the tickets and then couldn't come.
Anyway, I enjoyed it, it was a million times better than The Other Boleyn Girl, Henry VII was hot and charming, Anne was a good lead and it was a good script, though James I and Villiers' dance and makeout number in the middle I recall was the real highlight.
It was fun and it was period so it fit at the Globe but as always, when I go to the Globe and I don't see a Shakespeare I kind of feel like what's the point?

Henry IV Part One and Part Two (Shakespeare's Globe)

Last weekend Anna and I went to the cinema to Shakespeare's Globe 2010 production of Henry IV- part one on saturday and part two on sunday.
We phyiscally saw (at the Globe) the production of The Merry Wives of Windsor that they're also screening at the cinema, about four years ago, it was absolutely wonderful and tons of fun. Andrew Havill in particualr as Ford was hilarious I remember. But that was the only expeience I'd had of Falstaff, played by Christopher Benjamin as the disgusting fat old wretch you expect when you read Falstaff.
I have chosen to post a photo of Roger Allam's Falstaff and his gang from part two rather than a photo of the two lovelies Sam Crane and Jamie Parker as Hotspur and Hal from part one because though, as I've cleary indicated, the boys were utterly lovely and such bloody good actors- Crane a brilliant creepy villain (and, above, a fun Russell Brand impersonator), Parker the ultimate young leading Shakespearean hero, such a natural charming actor, god, he was like a young Kenny Brannagh except Scripps!!- Anyway, I've chosen to post Falstaff here because I love Falstaff. Roger Allam was so so good. He won the Olivier, we all knew he was going to be good, the reviews were great but, man, he was SO good! I mean, yes, I've had a crush on him for a long time. Even as Falstaff with the padding on, he was such a fucking charming, warm, and witty, handsome coward! He was not a disgusting Falstaff and everything he said made perfect sense to me!!
Hot. This is getting tagged under 'handsomes'. Not for Scripps, not for Crane, for Allam.
Anyway, wonderful staging, so accessible, brilliant acting and ensemble. Part one was so much fun, part two was a tad depressing, especially as Allam was such a lovable Falstaff (don't like the idea of him dying in Henry V). I would have loved to have seen the shows live at the Globe and I'm so glad I got to see them now! I hope more theatres start filming and then showing in cinemas, instead of hiding them all away for the public never to see...

Intermission

Ok, I've been terrible, I have five plays to write about before I forget them completely. I will do it tonight. I'm off to London next week to see Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and then the week after that I'm in Edinburgh Fringing it up. Until later please enjoy these pictures of DanRads in The Woman in Black and Richard Armitage in North and South. or is it the other way around...


Thursday, 30 June 2011

Bridesmaids (2011)

I read that this movie does nothing for feminism and instead just shows that women can be as disgusting and therefore as funny as men. Not true. This film was funny and [most of] the women were still women -and I thought very like my pals. Maybe that says more about me and my pals, I don't know. Anyway, I enjoyed it. Fell flat a bit at the end, ho hum. Loved the lead she was so real and I hope she and Roy from the IT Crowd live happily ever after (what?) though of course Don Draper stole the whole freakin' show as the douche-bag. HE IS SO HOT RIGHT NOW.

The Cherry Orchard (National Theatre Live)

This was my first 'National Theatre Live' experience, bizarrely the tickets were more expensive than actually seeing it at the National Theatre, I sat in York cinema and watched The Cherry Orchard.
I didn't bother making the trip to London to see it because despite the fact that Howard Davies' other Russian productions at the National (The White Guard and Philistines) being amazing and beautiful- and of course Conleth Hill being wonderful, I'd heard a good production of The Cherry Orchard on Radio4 a couple of years ago and that was enough for me... Also the radio didn't have Zoe Wanamaker, who I can't stand.
And it was a good production, the second half was particularly good, when the shit hits the fan in those Russian plays that's when the acting really takes off! And you know, there seemed to be less Wanamaker in the second half too, or maybe just less close ups...
That was the weird part about seeing it at the cinema, the fact that the camera dictated what I was looking at. I didn't like that at all! If I'd have been watching at the theatre I would have had my eyes on Conleth Hill or Mark Bonnar the whole time, watching how they reacted to what the others were saying, not zooming in on Tim McMullan (amusing though he is) or Charity Wakefield's big bland face.
Mark Bonnar, there's an actor I've been enjoying lately, Psychoville, Doctor Who and now great, a bit of theatre, haven't seen him on stage since Philistines and that must have been four years ago! He is one hot potato right now. I might just add the tag 'handsome' to this post. I'd still rather go for Conleth Hill though, he is one brilliant actor... If you'd never seen Rory Kinnear and someone told you that Roy Kinnear had a son who was a brilliant actor you might just picture Conleth Hill- he is a bit on the Roy Kinnear side of cuddly. And I love him.
Anyway, a play about the sadness of moving house. Don't like Zoe Wanamaker, over rated, like Simon Russell Beale. Blah. Rest of the cast: thumbs up.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Ok. I didn't want to see it, but then last sunday BBC2 showed Curse of the Black Pearl and I watched it and loved it- because it is good. Then I got in the mood for the second one, because I actually really liked that one, the special effects were great and Norrington was in it a lot looking handsome- also Jonathan Pryce did some hero-ing, helping Elizabeth escape, and I liked that. The second film is actually my favourite one. That's why I was so utterly disappointed by the third film, it was all over the place and lacked both Norrington and JP.
So I didn't want to see this one, what if it was as bad- or worse!- than the third film?! But we'd watched them all last week and after seeing the third one again I realised Pirates 4 couldn't possibly be as bad as the third one! So we went to see it.
And it was ok, a good adventure plot and lots of swashbuckling. It wasn't as terrible as three but it wasn't as enjoyable as the other two, it just seemed to lack feeling.
It lacked this because Jack did not have his pals around him, he had no one to banter with, when Gibbs showed up it was great, they were great together, funny and warm, but when he was among the new cast it was like he was alone, he never connected with them and as we learned from the third film, Jack on his own is not funny, he's boring and he looked bored in this film.
Blackbeard's beard wasn't as terrifying as it could be, Penelope Cruz was ok and came closest to being the replacement pal that Jack desperately needed. The missionary and the mermaid seemed superfluous, Jack never spoke to them so we the audience never cared- The films are about Jack! He wasn't even a Captain in this film! That's like, 80% of who that character is! no wonder he seemed so lost!
Anyway, the thing I actually enjoyed in the film was Barbossa, who I never really cared about, it's just in this one he seems to have the most thought out plot! He looks to have gone straight but he's joined the navy to get revenge for losing his ship (and leg), he gets his revenge in the end and gets a much better ship so his plot was all nicely tied up. When he was with Jack the banter returned. Also he had fun scenes with the British, Uncle Monty (Richard Griffiths) as the King and two officers from the other films (the only returning characters aside from Jack, Barbossa and Gibbs!) Gillette and Groves- not sure which is which.
So I was happy to see the handsome officer from the first film, the one who stands behind Norrignton and says "That has to be the best pirate I've ever seen!" I always wondered why he didn't get more screentime, he was there throughout the film and soon became my favourite character- though as soon as he took his wig off I was glad he got shot at the end, good profile and eyebrows, hair not good. Sorry mate.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

A Dance to the Music of Time (channel 4, 1997)

Like a cross between Brideshead Revisited and the Camomile Lawn in that some of the characters are charming like in Brideshead and then all the actors were replaced by older actors who look and act nothing like them in the final episode- like in the Camomile Lawn.
BUT the Camomile Lawn did this much more successfully because throughout the wartime episodes they cut to the 1980s scenes and showed some of the older-selves so that the audience had time to grasp who was who, also they used Jennifer Ehle's mum, Rosemary Harris, to play her so that was really good casting! It was only at Max's funeral when we had to believe that formerly handsome young secondary characters had grown into the most hideous of old extras that it disappointed- this is what happened in ADttMoT, except it wasn't secondary characters, it was the lead.
My mum told me that when my parents first watched it they honsetly believed that the actor who had played the lead (James Purefoy) through the first three films must have died. It was the only explanation they could think of to why they suddenly had another actor play him! That's how much it disturbs the flow of the story! Ok, this might sound odd but here's the real issue, it wasn't that they replaced the actors- it was that they replaced SOME of the actors and put aging makeup on others, and it seems completely at random! James Purefoy suddenly turns into John Standing, Miranda Richardson gets no age makeup and is the same age in 1943 as she is in 1963, Simon Russell Beale is Simon Russell Beale aged 14 to 84 but with bad prosthetics. Why replace some actors and not others!?
Ho hum, I'll get away from the casting problems and onto the story problems.
The Camomile Lawn has no real story, it's about a bunch of inbred poshies bonking during the war. This pretends to have a story but is basically the same sort of thing but with less bonking. I compared it to Brideshead because it follows some boys from school after the first war, Oxford, through their jobs and up to the second war. Also there's the usual characters, James Purefoy as the lead is the Charles, Paul Rhys is the Sebastain but there's also a rake and a fop and a marxist amongst the bunch of pals AND, most importantly there is the brown-nosing flesh-crawly creep, Widmerpool (Simon Russell Beale). It was like watching Brideshead if suddenly Brideshead was not about beauty but about that fat fuck Boy Molcaster and all the boring shit he got up to!
Simon Russell Beale was really good as the creep but- and I know this sounds weird, considering he's so theatre famous- I've never seen him in anything before and I've always assumed he would be like that in every role he plays. He has never appealed to me, he practically lives at the National Theatre, collecting awards a dozen at a time every year, but I just have no desire to see him or any of the plays he appears in. Obviously if he decided to do a play with young Rory Kinnear I would have to make an exception and maybe I'd see the light, but until then he just makes my flesh crawl and this show really didn't help.
In conclusion Paul Rhys was the best thing in it, his Sebastain-esq story was extremely tragic and well acted, his end was horrific.

Dexter, season 4

I had my tonsils out last week and since then I have been watching some of the boxsets that are kicking around my folks' house. My dad likes Dexter because my dad wishes he was Dexter (though my dad also says stuff like "I don't understand why he doesn't just kill his wife and kids!" proving Dexter, the deranged serial killer, is more developed as a human than he is.) I started with Season four even though my dad has season three as well, I did this because John Lithgow was on the box.
Love John Lithgow.
Remember when me and Alison went to see him do his one man show at the National, it was wonderful! Such joy! So I wanted to see him be a bastard, and not just a Cliffhanger or Santa Claus bastard, a proper, hammer weilding bastard. And hey, with the normal image I have of him, staring into a mirror and shouting "God, I'm gorgeous!" it was at first an amusing idea- especially as the first time we see him he kills a girl while looking into a mirror. But it's suitably horrifying straight away for you to say, wait a minute, I don't like seeing him like this! This is horrible!! He was a good bastard. (And rather too attractive in this publicity shot- pin up! Ha!)
Anyway, I liked Dexter and the other characters enough to want to watch the other series now, much better than the cop crap on British TV.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Verdict (Grand Opera House, York)

I went to see the Agatha Christie theatre company perform Verdict tonight, my main reason for going was that a couple of weeks ago I opened up the shop where I work to find a load of leaflets thrown all over the floor, printed on slippery cheap paper they had slid from the desk overnight. When I picked them up I saw Robert Duncan's grimacing old face staring back at me. Drop the Dead Donkey occupies I'd say 30% of my brain space, the character of Gus, played by Robert Duncan, occupies 80% of that 30% (the rest is Henry). So of course I had to see it! Even though plays I've seen starring Rob in the past have been abysmal I had to see it- plus Neville from the Harry Potter films was on the flyer too and he's quite cute.
Neville, go to school. And if you want to be an actor, go to acting school. Yeah, not the best of the bunch. And what a boring, predictable play full of ugly fourth rate actors. The main thing I took from it is where a buttonhole is on a man's lapel. Which is good, because I'd been getting it wrong on drawings all day. I still like Robert Duncan, he always plays Gus whether he's a confident fop, a hideous demon or a conflicted professor. Good old Andy Hamilton!

Les Aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010)

I imagine if I had read the comic, rather than just looking at the collection of cards that my dad has taken from the comic strips (he's a fan of the artist Jacques Tardi- French comic artists are way better than American), I might have known to expect such a weird film. There were no pictures of the pterodactyl in my dad's cards! Just Adele with her tits out!
Anna thought it was terrible but I enjoyed it, if it wasn't for the hatpin incident, the tits (French film) and the Egyptian mummies it would have been a good kids' adventure film! Anyway, I liked her. Her face was great.

Monday, 25 April 2011

A Simple Wish (1997)

My small cousins found this in my DVD collection over the Easter weekend and decided they wanted to watch it.
A Simple Wish is brilliant. Martin Short plays male fairy godmother (they had to let him pass the exam because otherwise they'd be accused of sexism, despite the fact he undoubtedly failed) the way you'd expect him to play it. This is before the Damages days so we'd only ever seen Marty play a total nut, but never a threatening nut, that is most important.
I used to love this film, I was thirteen when I first saw it and loving Martin Short in the innocent way that I did I did not see anything sinister about it at all. I made my grown up pals watch it last year and they were extremely creeped out by it. He is twitchy and awkward and he tells 8 year-old Mara Wilson (Matilda) not to tell anyone about him. He arrives in her room in the middle of the night and despite being a creepy middle-aged man she accepts he is a fairy godmother... Ok, so I see their point, maybe it is kind of weird and it wouldn't get made in the same way today. I was worried the kids would think it was weird this weekened, but guess what- they loved it.
Yep! It is magical! And the fact that he's awkward and useless isn't creepy, it's funny and cute.
I was so relieved that I googled Marty to see what the heck he's been up to these last few years, he hasn't made a film for ages! I was horrified to find out that his wife died last year, really, really awful. I completely loved him when I was small and I remember reading about a lot of his family dying when he was young, I couldn't think of anything more horrific to happen to someone who from what I remember in those old interviews obviously just wanted a happy healthy family of his own. I'm glad his kids are all quite grown up and they have him. Poor Marty. He was my total hero when I was small.

Moonlight (Donmar Warehouse)

I suddenly found myself in London on a thursday with nothing to do, a matinee, that's what I should do! Cause Celebree was the only play I really wanted to see (I'd forgotten about Sophie Thompson in Clybourne Park and would have preferred to see that had I remembered...) but Cause Celebree was forty quid a ticket and on the other side of town, I was in Forbidden Planet reading the new Daniel Clowes... the Donmar was right there and there was a Pinter on for a tenner.
Pinter it is. Everyone was good, the two brothers were not my cup of tea but I liked the ghost girl, the vignettes of the old remembered neighbours were great, and the main couple- David Bradley and Deborah Findlay were excellent and amusing.
The real highlight for me though was coming out of the theatre and seeing Una Stubbs waiting outside the stage door. I felt like saying "Una! I haven't seen you for ages!" but luckily I remembered she is not my friend, I am just in love with her. I smiled madly. Definitely worth a tenner.

Blithe Spirit (Apollo Theatre, West End)

When the first, very slow, scene was over I suddenly remembered that the last Noel Coward play I went to see was horrific and that I hate Hermione Norris. Luckily as soon as Ruthie Henshaw (of musical theatre fame) arrived as the ghost all was forgotten. A well cast piece of fun.
Rob Bathurst was handsome as ever, Alison Steadman reliably nutty, Hermione Norris well cast as the uptight second wife and Ruthie excellently floaty and funny... Her musical background served her well in the movement department, she was the best thing for me, breathed life into that dead character.
Good for a giggle, just what I needed after the London Book Fair.

Submarine (2011)

Saw this film more than a month ago with Anna! Thought it was ok. Love that kid who used to be in Young Dracula and then stole the show in that episode of Being Human ("Get off me you gay lord!") Always been a fan.
His character was great and played very very well but considering it was mainly about his love for girl-in-red coat, I felt her character was extremely badly written and boring.
I can see the film becoming one of those films loved by ridiculously clever but arrogant teenage boys who identify so much with the character that they can't see that he's actually a twat and therefore they are also twats. I can see said boys yearning for a girl like the one in the film, loving her despite her faults, thinking that she is the perfect woman. But the thing is, the girl character was one-dimensional, seriously, she was, doesn't matter if you see that she's only a prick 'cause she's worried about her mum, she was still a boring character- and a twat.
That's the problem with these sorts of films. The people in them are not people you should aspire to be or be friends with, they are tools. If I want to see a film about teenage outcasts living in the middle of nowhere I will watch Napoleon Dynamite because at least Napoleon has good intentions.

The Eagle (2011)

Saw this film more than a month ago with Pennifer. I remember being pleasantly surprised! We only went to see it 'cause there was nothing else on, but it was a good yarn and only the last four seconds ruined it...
"Right buddy?" -wink to camera!
*Shudder*
Also, what a waste of Mark Strong, hiding him under wigs and beards.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The Tempest (2011)

Very easy to follow but unimaginative version of the Tempest, I did enjoy it but it was nothing special. Everyone did very well with their words (Brandy included- though he already talks like that so I never thought Shakespeare would be a challenge for him). The costumes were irritating, all the zips just looked cheap, Caliban's loincloth looked like designer gear next them... Being one of Shakey's magical plays There were a lot of trippy special effects but they were not impressive, they were quite embarrassing and I feel would have been done exactly the same way in 1970 (lots of kalidescoping), still though I wasn't that embarrassed when I thought about it, I mean, what else can you do with sprites and magic?!
Finally the root of the problem. Forget the zips and the whirly special effects. The casting of a woman in a male role completely changed the tone of the piece and it ended up not working at all. Mirren's performance was solid. But the ending was completely changed.
Prospero is a man full of anger, he tortures his enemies but in the end his heart softens thanks to seeing his daughter fall in love and so he does not kill, he forgives. This is a very strong character. He rose above his emotions and he found peace. Well done.
Prospera is a woman scorned, she tortures her enemies but in the end she forgives them. This is a very weak character. She is woman and so she could never really go through with it anyway, she did what all women do, she let her heart soften and she forgave them and gave up her magic, resigning herself to death.
In conclusion: Men and women are different and what may be a great strength in a man can be seen as a weakness in a woman. Helen Mirren should have killed those fuckers and the final shot should have been her on Caliban's shoulders waving her stick and cackling. Avenged.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Greg Davies: Firing Cheeseballs at a Dog (York Grand)

And now back to the present day. Last night Anna, Lauren and I saw Greg of We are Klang (or Mr Gilbert from the Inbetweeners) do his stand-up show. I found it so enjoyable that in between my painful laughter I couldn't help wishing that my parents were there to enjoy it as well. Greg confesses he is a worrier and that he can't go through any normal experience without fretting about who might die, the stories in his show are the few moments where he has felt none of this worry, only joy and hilarity. Lauren said she felt the ending was a disappointment but I found it consistently brill and all the more enjoyable seeing that Greg was laughing so much himself.
I recommend to everyone. If Greg comes near you, see his show.

Old Reviews 10: Present Laughter (National Theatre, December 2007)

Also while in London I saw the Noel Coward play 'Present Laughter' starring Alex Jennings. I am not a Noel Coward fan, I didn't know if I was before hand, but now I do know, the only bit Anna and I laughed at was the bit that Round the Horne had taken the piss out off back in the 60s, no one else laughed as it wasn't actually a joke. Anyway, it was one of those audiences who laughed at everything while Anna and I sat there wondering what the hell they were laughing at. Jenno himself was awfully good, but I'm not sure if I was convinced by the other actors and sorry, Noel Coward, but I just didn't like how it was written! The set and lighting were lovely of course, it was the National Theatre, but it didn't work as a play for me.
How the hell old is Alex Jennings? I've always thought he was around mid fifties, but I've thought that for about ten years! He has the face of a child!! Has anyone ever noticed that women look older on stage and men look younger? Well, Jenno did.

2011 Author's Note: That's the gays for you! You'll notice this starts with the word also, that's because the day before we saw the Spice Girls' reunion show at the O2. Fun.

Old Reviews 9: Russell Brand's Shame (Feb 2007)

Anna and I went to see Rusty because we've been fans of his radio show since last May, first the 6music show- which was way better by the way Rus- and now his Radio2 show, check it out. If you hate Russell Brand I don't blame you. I had no idea what he was like on TV, what he even looked like for three months! I just loved his radio stuff, it's so friendly and fun, it's not at all what you might think of him from that ghastly show he does about Big Brother, he has no catchphrases on radio, he's just a weirdo who likes Star Wars and the Elephant Man just like the rest of us.
Anna bought some horrific badges that said stuff like "'citing!" and "ball bags" on them, I didn't want any.
Trevor Lock was Russell's warm up guy, and I thought he was ok, me and Anna were laughing at your routine. You could sort of tell that the audience just wanted to know where the hell Russell was and that none of them had heard of Trevor, they obviously hadn't listened to the radio for the past ten months like me and Anna where Trev is one of Russell's co-hosts. (along with Matt! Woo! Where Matt where Matt where Matt?) We loved Trevor's final joke and him stripping down to bikini, he was brilliant. The theatre was so hot that I can't remember much of what he said or Russell and people keep asking me what it was like but my eyes dried up somehow and maybe my brain too...
Russell did two hours and kept explaining in the first hour "This isn't the show, i'll start that in a minute," my favourite parts of the show were the bits that weren't the show. His first hour consisted of going through the local newspapers and reading out all the most boring stories and taking the piss out of them. He also took the piss out of the girls from Emmerdale who had come to see him- oh, and he walked among the audience and sat on people, not us, we were in the circle. Anyway, the newspapers, it was very amusing, the first story he chose to ridiclue was about a woman who was trying to promote hula-hooping as a big new exercise alternative. He called her on Craig's phone- Craig was in the front row, Russell used his phone to make various prank calls. He left a message on the hula hooping woman's phone and then later a message on some grouting company's phone- they called back which was most amusing, I'd love to get one of those phonecalls with an audience laughing in the background, it was hilarious. Russells' second hour was basically him talking about sex, which was most amusing but a bit crass. What I do remember however is:
"Me, I'd look out of place on a bike, 'less it was a penny farthing... How do you do madam? Oh, Mr Merrick! Good evening John, how are you? -Oh, that's ever so kind of you to ask *slurp*- Very grateful the Elephant Man wasn't he? Nah, he's alright, I liked 'im." Then Russell told himself "It's an obscure reference as it is, just stop it." Me and Anna were cheering for more Elephant Man impressions.
At the end of Russell's show he said "Now, those of you who are thinking, 'oh, he's on the telly, he's unobtainable..' I'm not. Ok? I'm not! So I'll be in the foyer in a minute for a cuddle, see ya!"
We couldn't get out of that bloody place for all the freaks and weirdoes hanging about wanting to meet and shag Russell. In an other life we would have liked to meet him too, but we knew that Dad-Y and Mooma were waiting outside and probably had been for about half an hour, so we left and didn't meet old Rus.
Russell was great though, it sounds boring 'cause I'm a bit tired, but some of the news paper stuff he did and the improvised stuff was all brilliant, it was just like the radio show though I did miss Matt.

2011 Author's Note: This was the first of three times Anna and I went to see Russell's stand up, I think it's best to think of him as having died rather than think about what he's up to now. I loved that radio show (see photo- remember when Matt ate all those narners?)

Old Reviews 8: The Letter (an Edinburgh Theatre, Feb 2007)

So into the theatre where we scoffed our sandwiches too quickly, and hundreds of old people joined us. I forgot about these wednesday matinees, they're like pensioner days. That's what happened when I saw Nigel Havers a couple of years ago, I was on my own in a sea of grannies. Same today. But you know how it is, pensioners are so well behaved, they've been to the theatre before they know it's not their living room so they won't talk... UNLESS they're sitting next to me, they're then guaranteed to talk. "Ooh, is that Anthony Andrews? No. That's a much younger man. Is that Anthony Andrews? Yes, yes it is. Hasn't he aged?" I stress, this was NOT a conversation this was a commentary by one mad old woman.
Anyway, the play was The Letter starring Antoine and Jenny Seagrove. The first scene was Seagrove overacted and forgetting her lines, it was cringeworthy, I actually thought "Oh my god.. this is amatuer dramatics. This is so terrible." And I actually found myself thinking I could do a better job!! She was dreadful and I thought the whole play was going to be a dead loss, but luckily for us most of the play was just Anthony Andrews talking to himself or his amusing clerk. What started out a horrible attempt at drama soon turned into humor and the day was saved by Double A! The man who I've now seen most on stage out of all my favourites! (thrice)
We had ice creams in the interval and old people did embarrassing things but not as embarrassing as Celia's slip falling off somehow from under her dress. She blamed the old people. I was in hysterics. Anyway, not a bad play. Didn't like Seagrove, she had a one-tone voice that cut through me and she couldn't act.

2011 Author's Note: Me and Celia were so drunk on our trip to Edinburgh we could have been watching anything.

Old Reviews 7: Evita (Apollo) Rock 'n' Roll (Duke of York's) (August 2006)

Hello! I had a good time and saw some shows, as is the way when one goes to London, as well as seeing the two shows mentioned I also saw Les Miserables which I'd never seen before and thought I'd better see. It was ok I suppose, just a bit too long with only a couple of really good songs I thought. Plus, Javert died so I was pretty annoyed. Ok, I'm sure no one cares about Les Mis 'cause it's been running for what, 20 years? I'll just say I still couldn't decide who I liked better Jean Valjean or Javert, they were both cool, the guy playing Valjean was great! Apparently he's the youngest actor to play the part as well as holding the record for the longest running Phantom of the Opera (1,400 show! Jeez!) Enough!
Anna and I went to see Evita on wednesday, Anna's never liked Evita, she hates Madonna so refuses to watch the film, which is a shame because I think the film's actually ok and I try to forget about Madonna in the real world while I'm watching it. We'd read reviews of the show, it was supposed to be nothing special, sort of average as far as shows go, all the reviews said basically the show belonged to Elena Roger. And it certainly did, that woman has such a huge amazing voice for such a tiny person!! She was the perfect Eva. I'd say Matt Rawle didn't compare to Antonio, but then, seriously folks, who could?! (Antonio fan, right here!) He was good though, and he looked the part, Anna just said it was a bit of a contrast to Elena's Argentinian singing accent to have the narrator singing it all in an English accent. One of the great things about the show was to me, as a stupid artist, the brilliant set! I'd read that it wasn't spectacular but I'd say compared to the crappy Les Mis set from the day before it was wonderful! And Anna of course loved all the dancing and I'm happy to say there was a lot of great dancing! All the songs were there (excpet of course my favourite- the Lady's got Potential), there was a lot more focus on the political I'm pleased to say, the film seems to focus on Eva as a poor little dove rather than all the corruption and ambition. I thought it was rubbish in the film that they cut Peron's mistress singing 'So what Happens Now?' and have Madonna sing it, but they did it properly and Eva was always strong, flirty, dangerous and a total bitch! That was one quibble I always had with the film, them painting her as the victim, like when Jimmy Nail drops her, in the musical she drops Magaldi, much more accurate!
So, Rock 'n' Roll. This play was so good, so funny and touching, I reccomend it to absolutely everyone! I mean, I could see people (other peeps in the audience) looking at me and Anna obviously thinking "you can't possibly understnad this, not even the bits about rock and roll which are the non-political bits!" Well to hell with you! Anna read up on the political side of it before we went, though I'd say they make it all very clear in the play! And I love rock and roll! Every scene ends with a black screen and a bit of rock and roll appropriate to what the characters have been talking about and I knew every one of those songs! I don't like music, when people ask me what I like to listen to, I don't know what to say but all the bands they talked about in the play... I had those albulms! On VINYL!!
Anyway, enough about my knowledge of rock and roll. I'll tell you about the actors, they were all perfectly cast, Rufus Sewell, Brian Cox and Sinead Cusack all standing out as the amazing performers of the day, especially Rufus and Brian, those guys were AMAZING! And wow is Rufus Sewell handsome!!! (girly moment again) That boy is AMAZINGLY HANDSOME!! I'm glad I've always based my imaginary boyfriend Max on him... And again the set was ingenious, two different back drops, Prague and Cambridge and the revolving rooms were great.

2011 Author's Note: I forgot about Max my imaginary boyfriend... He was a looker! Rock 'n' Roll was one of the best plays I've seen not at the National.

Old Reviews 6: A Touch of the Poet (Studio 54), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Imperial), Spamalot (Shubert) Spelling Bee (Circle in the Square) Jan 2006

Spamalot. I love Holy Grail and I love David Hyde Pierce and Hank Azaria. So I thought I was a Python fan, let me tell you something, you do not realise what being a python fan is until you've heard an American audeince! It was dreadful! I couldn't stand it, they laughed so much at everything, they even laughed to the extent that the joke became not-funny because of the laughter! Ok the laughing wasn't that bad, laughing's good, but what I could not
deal with was the people in the audience who decided that when a joke was "super-good" it deserved to be repeated in loud voices and laughed at some more! No! No! Don't do that! You turn something funny into something annoying!! And all I could think was "Oh god, oh god, I hope the audience at Dirty Rotten Scoundrels isn't like this, oh god! I couldn't stand it!"
Anyway, the show was more or less exactly the same as the film but they gave it an ending and a girl. Some of the musical numbers were good, and some were tedious. DHP's number was by far the best and Hank Azaria was the best actor as all the John Cleese parts.Next day was Gabriel Byrne in A Touch of the Poet which was absolutely wonderful, a lovely theatre too, all the actors were great and I needed a good straight(ish) play to get over the horror of the Python fans! There was a part in the second half though when I drifted off a bit, I was very tired, still jet lagged, but when Gabe was off stage for a good half hour I felt the days walking getting to me and Carolyn told me that she realised that in that part she was just staring at the wall! Some theatre lovers we are!! Gabe was great in it, especailly at the end when he came out of his pretentious bastard character for the happy(ish) ending.I think I'll just skip the next one and go to Friday's play The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. This show was wonderful. I'd booked tickets the day before because my dear friend Lauren was ill for the entire trip and I felt so awful for her that I wanted her to at least have one treat while she was in New York. (of course tickets for Wicked were all sold out unless you want tickets at 300 dollars a pop!) I'm so glad we chose this show. The theater was decked out like a school assembly hall and the show was clearly one of those audience participation ones, which I'm always a little weary of. Spelling Bees don't go on over here in Britain, so I can't see this coming to the West End really despite how good it was. If you've seen the film Spellbound though, you'll have an idea what a spelling bee is. The actors in the play were absolutely brilliant, playing not only the kids taking part in the bee but with very little costume change, sometimes just putting on a pair of glasses or a hat they performed other parts in sort of flashback scenes of the kids with their parents before just sitting back down. All the songs were wonderful, very catchy and funny, and the actors pointing into the audience at their 'moms' and the whole feel of it was great, I didn't mind at all taking part in it and Lauren thought it was great so I'm glad we saw it.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. The show was so good, Jonathan Pryce was so surprising, it's great that even as such a big fan he could surprise me like that by acting so differently from anything I'd ever seen him do before. The word that springs to mind at the jet lagged moment is 'zany'.
That was one good wig, Calum didn't even know it wasn't real, and he calls himself a fan... Our seats were FANTASTIC. Front row centre of the circle, or the mezzanine as it's known in America. Calum kept looking at me to check if I was ok before it started, I was grinning and jumpy and sweaty palmed.
There was Jonathan for his opening number, Give Them What They Want, he was suave and so cool, then he totally made out with some chorus girls in the middle of the number as he took their jewelry. (You guys have seen the film right? It's ace, as a kid I had all of Steve Martin's films and I always loved that one. Especially the Ruprecht bits, my friend Paul and I have been doing Ruprecht impressions since we were 12!! "Oklahoma, Oklahoma! Oklahoma!!" etc.)
When they talked between numbers Jonathan played it so David Niven, I just loved him. The jokes were great, it was the film in musical form, the music went with it and the songs were great... Norbert Leo Butz, now there's a showman! He was a crowd pleaser indeed, very funny physical guy. And that's what struck me about Jonathan in the show, how physical he was being, and how energetic he is to do all that dancing and jumping about and still be able to sing so wonderfully, and it was wondeful.
'All about Ruprecht' and the Ruprecht scene was the highlight of the first act. Jonathan takes his loud and annoying Oklahoma fiance down to the garden to meet "the Young Prince" "Ruprecht will be so happy in Oklahoma!" Enter Norbert wearing underwear and too small shirt, clutching tridant and stuffed dead ferret (which wears the same costume) And so goes the scene straight from the film, Ruprecht tried to snog Jonathan's bird, Jonathan hits him off, he gets sad and Jonathan goes to hug him to forgive him, when Norbert jumps him and gets him on the bed, dry humping and sticking the tongue down the ear. But here's the best part, they roll off the bed and Jonathan sort of goes along with it, stroking his leg and smiling coyly as they recover and stand up to the horrified girl, where he sings a great song, and actually cracked up during one of the lines pulling Norbert's face into a grin as they dance and play. It was brilliant, Jonathan corpsing in the middle of a song was brilliant, it's clear that the two of them were having such a good time!
The second half had an equally good fun number, which was Ruffhousin' mit Shuffhausen where Jonathan's character continuously hits Norbert acoss the thighs with a whip-like stick while he's under the guise of a man who has no feeling in his legs. It was the numbers that they performed together which were the best, Norbert had some great songs and the lyrics to 'Love is My Legs' are just hilarious!! I sung it for the rest of the trip. There was a great big dance number in the middle, ('The More we Dance') Jonathan is so energetic, I was so surprised that he would do something that to me looked so tiring!!
I don't think I've ever seen him do comedy like that before, and the chemistry between the two leads was great.

2011 Author's Note: This was an Art School trip to New York which consisted (for me) of going to as many Broadway shows in five days as I could manage. I remember being sad that I'd missed John Lithgow in DRS but so bloody over the moon to find out Jonathan Pryce was replacing him! I loved seeing Jonathan in a musical, I remember the show so vividly, I'm glad I went to Dundee Art School for that reason alone. Also, Spelling Bee is actually on this month at the Donmar for a very short run.

Old Reviews 5: The Brothers Grimm (November 2005)

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I actually liked it.
Ah Jonathan Pryce, have you never seen a film where the British baddy sword fights against the American armed only with a flag, "I sense an impailing!" I sung as it began... Didn't Mel Gibson kill British Jason Isaacs with an American flag in the Patriot?! Just like in that Simpsons episode! He did! I swear he killed a Brit with an American flag!!
And what about a kiss for Jonathan!? Everyone else got kissed and brought back to life, I don't see anyone running to his side! Unfair. Ah well, I guess he was a creepy bastard with an outrrrrrrageous french accent.

2011 Author's Note: Very surprised I never wrote a fanfic along that theme...

Old Reviews 4: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)

I just saw the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants with my friend Lindsay, she didn't like it, but I tell you I've never cried so much in one cinema. I couldn't stop, everytime Bailey and Tibby's bits of the story came on all I could taste was tears spluttering out of my mouth, it was so embarrassing.
But seriously, I'd seen the trailer about a hundred times and thought no way, each time, that looks so crap. But then I wanted to see it 'cause I wanted to do a comic about me Lauren and Susie sharing a pair of jeans, so I reckoned I'd better see the movie if I'm to take the piss out of it.
It's about these four girls buying a pair of jeans that they share on their seperate holidays... One's a blonde tart who wants to bone her football coach at football camp. One's a moany bitch who has to watch her dad get remarried to a family of nazis. One's a prude with a face like a child making out with a very young Antonio Banderas while her Greek grandparents spit on her, and the last one's a kick ass arty type making a documetary with her new best friend cute-12-year-old-girl!
So basically I hated the blonde one becaue I know so many people like that, and sports sucks big time anyway. I didn't like the one that was telling the story who had to watch her father get married, she was extremely annoying, and as self-centered as the blonde. The one with a face like a child was ok, but I thought her sketches were crap, I liked the guy who looked like Antonio Banderas that she fell in love with, he was the good part of her story. I liked the one who befriended the 12 year old, I liked her story the best and Brian McBrian is the best name for a character, he was cool.
But christ, when Tibby found out Bailey (the kid) had leukemia I cried through almost all their scenes, I sort of found myself thinking 'god, I hope she dies soon so I can stop crying!!' Oh it was so sad, but the girl and the kid were so good! Good actors I mean! I wish I had a cool twelve year old friend who would carry my sketch book for me when I go out drawing.... that would be handy. I wouldn't want a sick one though, that would be depressing.

2011 Author's Note: I guess it must have been my time of the month or something...