Review: The Forest, Hampstead Theatre

Like being given a jigsaw with no corner pieces, the challenges of putting together what is happening in Florian Zeller’s The Forest means it is hardly worth the trip to the Hampstead Theatre

Apparently you’ve no objection to telling stories yourself”

You might not have picked Florian Zeller to be the writer who arguably one of the most regularly produced in London over the last few years but theatres have fallen hard for the French playwright (indeed, cinemas too as his Academy Award for The Father last year attests). His latest new play The Forest arrives now at the Hampstead Theatre but despite the quality cast, I found it hugely disappointing.

Any familiarity with Zeller means that you know nothing is ever straight-forwardly presented in his world. But he pushes that to the extreme here, amping up the levels of disconcertion to a point of almost meaninglessness. There’s naturally no concession to narrative construction but this goes beyond fiendish puzzle building, this is being obtuse for the sake of being obtuse, Zeller trying to outdo his reputation at the expense of all else. Continue reading “Review: The Forest, Hampstead Theatre”

News: Cast for Hampstead Theatre’s The Fever Syndrome announced

Hampstead Theatre has announced the full cast and creative team for the world premiere of Alexis Zegerman’s vivid, new play, The Fever Syndrome, including the marvellous Alexandra Gilbreath

Running from 19th March until 23rd April 2022, The Fever Syndrome will be directed by Roxana Silbert and designed by Lizzie Clachan and features quite the impressive cast.

Lisa Dillon (Cranford, BBC One; Hapgood, Hampstead Theatre), Jake Fairbrother (Skyfall, EON Productions; Hamlet, National Theatre), Alexandra Gilbreath (Not Going Out, BBC One; The Provoked Wife, Royal Shakespeare Company), Robert Lindsay (My Family, BBC One; Anything Goes, Barbican), Sam Marks (Doctor Who, BBC One; Richard II, Royal Shakespeare Company), Bo Poraj (Miranda, BBC One, Raya, Hampstead Downstairs) and Alex Waldmann (The Mikvah Project, Orange Tree; Julius Caesar, Royal Shakespeare Company) will perform in this thrilling portrait of a brilliantly dysfunctional family.  They are joined by Nancy Allsop and Charlotte Pourret Wythe. Continue reading “News: Cast for Hampstead Theatre’s The Fever Syndrome announced”

Film Review: The Father (2020)

Florian Zeller’s cinematic adaptation of his own play The Father is hauntingly effective, boasting two stunning performances from Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman

“Is there anybody there?”

You can usually expect to see most if not all of the nominated film in the weeks leading up to the Academy Awards. But even though Anthony Hopkins took the Oscar for Best Actor, The Father has taken its time to arrive on these shores, rather fortuitously as it turns out as it means that you can actually go to an actual cinema to see it should you desire!

Directed by Florian Zeller and co-written with Christopher Hampton from Zeller’s extraordinarily successful play, The Father is a brutally challenging watch although it might not seem so from the start. Hopkins plays Anthony, an 80-something man who has dementia whose daughter Anne (Colman) is moving to Paris and is getting a carer for him. Continue reading “Film Review: The Father (2020)”

News: Broadway stars to give us Show of Titles

SHOW OF TITLES
Directed By: Lonny Price
Music Direction by Jason Howland
Date: June 8th, 2021 at 8:00PM ET

An evening of celebrated stars performing the titles songs from Broadway’s best.

With Performances By
Annaleigh Ashford, Glenn Close, Len Cariou, Darren Criss, Santino Fontana, Kelsey Grammar, David Alan Grier, Jake Gyllenhaal, Joshua Henry, Isabelle Huppert, Norm Lewis, Patti LuPone, Rob McClure, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Melba Moore, Jessie Mueller, Eva Noblezada, Kelli O’Hara, Laura Osnes, Steven Pasquale, Michael Rupert, Ernie Sabella, Lea Salonga, Phillipa Soo, Will Swenson, Aaron Tveit, Leslie Uggams, Vanessa Williams & Patrick Wilson.

And Special Appearances By
Broadway Inspirational Voices, Candice Bergen, Danny Burstein, Bryan Cranston, Sheldon Harnick, John Kander, Angela Lansbury, John Lithgow, Lindsay Mendez, Phylicia Rashad, Ben Vereen, BD Wong & Florian Zeller. Continue reading “News: Broadway stars to give us Show of Titles”

74th British Academy Film Awards winners

Best Film
The Father – Philippe Carcassonne, Jean-Louis Livi and David Parfitt
The Mauritanian – Adam Ackland, Leah Clarke, Beatriz Levin and Lloyd Levin
WINNER – Nomadland – Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, Frances McDormand, Peter Spears and Chloé Zhao
Promising Young Woman – Ben Browning, Emerald Fennell, Ashley Fox and Josey McNamara
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Stuart M. Besser and Marc Platt

Best Director
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Sarah Gavron – Rocks
Shannon Murphy – Babyteeth
Thomas Vinterberg – Another Round
Jasmila Žbanić – Quo Vadis, Aida?
WINNER Chloé Zhao – Nomadland Continue reading “74th British Academy Film Awards winners”

74th British Academy Film Awards nominations

Best Film
The Father – Philippe Carcassonne, Jean-Louis Livi and David Parfitt
The Mauritanian – Adam Ackland, Leah Clarke, Beatriz Levin and Lloyd Levin
Nomadland – Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, Frances McDormand, Peter Spears and Chloé Zhao
Promising Young Woman – Ben Browning, Emerald Fennell, Ashley Fox and Josey McNamara
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Stuart M. Besser and Marc Platt

Best Director
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Sarah Gavron – Rocks
Shannon Murphy – Babyteeth
Thomas Vinterberg – Another Round
Jasmila Žbanić – Quo Vadis, Aida?
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland Continue reading “74th British Academy Film Awards nominations”

2020 British Independent Film Awards

Best British Independent Film
Rocks – Sarah Gavron, Ameenah Ayub Allen, Faye Ward, Theresa Ikoko and Claire Wilson
Calm with Horses – Nick Rowland, Joe Murtagh and Daniel Emmerson
The Father – Florian Zeller, Christopher Hampton, David Parfitt, Jean-Louis Livi and Philippe Carcassonne
His House – Remi Weekes, Aidan Elliott, Martin Gentles, Arnon Milchan, Edward King and Roy Lee
Saint Maud – Rose Glass, Andrea Cornwell and Oliver Kassman

Best Director
Remi Weekes – His House
Nick Rowland – Calm with Horses
Florian Zeller – The Father
Sarah Gavron – Rocks
Rose Glass – Saint Maud Continue reading “2020 British Independent Film Awards”

26th Critics’ Choice Awards nominees

Best Picture
Da 5 Bloods
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Mank
Minari
News of the World
Nomadland
One Night in Miami

Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Director
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
David Fincher – Mank
Regina King – One Night in Miami
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland Continue reading “26th Critics’ Choice Awards nominees”

2020 British Independent Film Awards nominations

Best British Independent Film
Rocks – Sarah Gavron, Ameenah Ayub Allen, Faye Ward, Theresa Ikoko and Claire Wilson
Calm with Horses – Nick Rowland, Joe Murtagh and Daniel Emmerson
The Father – Florian Zeller, Christopher Hampton, David Parfitt, Jean-Louis Livi and Philippe Carcassonne
His House – Remi Weekes, Aidan Elliott, Martin Gentles, Arnon Milchan, Edward King and Roy Lee
Saint Maud – Rose Glass, Andrea Cornwell and Oliver Kassman

Best Director
Remi Weekes – His House
Nick Rowland – Calm with Horses
Florian Zeller – The Father
Sarah Gavron – Rocks
Rose Glass – Saint Maud Continue reading “2020 British Independent Film Awards nominations”