Park Theatre has announced the full line up of almost 40 celebrities who will take to the Park200 stage this February and March – completely unrehearsed – to play the Inspector in a farcical whodunnit. Each night will see a different actor, presenter, musician or comedian having their lines fed to them via earpiece as they attempt to crack the case of a stolen diamond. First announced in November, the initial line up has been expanded to include Simon Callow, Ian McKellen, Mark Gatiss and Emma Thompson amongst others. Who will perform in Whodunnit [Unrehearsed] 2 on any given night is a closely guarded secret and will only be revealed when the curtain goes up. Continue reading “News: Whodunnit [Unrehearsed] 2 guest performers revealed”
Mark Gatiss adapts MR James’ The Mezzotint for a well cast ghostly Christmas treat
“We’ve enough tat here as it is”
Festive programming seems to have gone a little haywire these days, or maybe its just the nostalgia kicking in after too many chocolate biscuits. Where’s the new Box of Delights eh? The BBC are leading with a sex scandal and have also turned to Mark Gatiss for a touch of horror for the season, with a new adaptation of MR James’ The Mezzotint, the fourth in their A Ghost Story for Christmas strand.
Perfectly contained at under 30 minutes, it is a highly effective piece of storytelling, tautly directed by Gatiss himself. Rory Kinnear’s Edward Williams is a curator at a local museum and a confirmed bachelor, whiling the hours away with games of golf and researching the more shadowy corners of his family history. But when a mezzotint engraving of an unidentified manor house falls into his hands, he can’t begin to imagine what it might reveal. Continue reading “TV Review: A Ghost Story for Christmas – The Mezzotint”
The Amazing Mr Blunden is a nice bit of undemanding, traditional, festive fare with Simon Callow doing what Simon Callow does best
“Time is not a straight line, it’s more like a vast wheel on which we stand at different points, rarely meeting”
I’m not normally one for much convention but I do like a bit of traditional festive family fare in this downtime period between Christmas and New Year but despite the preponderance of content and platforms, there doesn’t seem to be much of it around, not least that is new. So credit to Sky and their new adaptation of The Amazing Mr Blunden for scratching that itch for me.
Based on Antonia Barber’s 1969 book The Ghosts which was also filmed in 1972, Mark Gatiss leads this version as writer and director, and also as star since, you know, he can. And it is a refreshingly different take on the ghost story as it takes place in both 1821 and the modern day, reconfiguring what we know as ghosts as time travellers instead, depending on your perspective. Continue reading “TV Review: The Amazing Mr Blunden”
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)”
Theatre returns at both end of The Cut – programmes announced for both the Old Vic and the Young
- Queers Curated by Mark Gatiss, 2 Jun, 30 Jun
- Home? Curated by Noma Dumezweni, 14-20 Jun
- The Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter, 7-10 Jul
Directed by Jeremy Herrin and starring Daniel Mays and David Thewlis
- Bagdad Cafe by Percy and Eleonore Adlon, adapted by Emma Rice, 19 Jul-21 Aug, streamed 25-28 Aug
Starring Patrycja Kujawska, Le Gateau Chocolat and Sandra Marvin
- Camp Siegfried by Bess Wohl, 7 Sep-30 Oct
Directed by Katy Rudd and starring Patsy Ferran and Luke Thallon
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted by Jack Thorne, 13 Nov-8 Jan
Directed by Matthew Warchus
- A Number by Caryl Churchill, 24 Jan-19 Mar
Directed by Lyndsey Turner and starring Lennie James and Paapa Essiedu
- Into the Woods – Music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine, 16 Apr-9 Jul
Co-directed Terry Gilliam and Leah Hausman
- Changing Destiny by Ben Okri, 9 Jul-21 Aug
Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah
- Klippies by Jessica Siân, 4–13 Aug
Directed by Diyan Zora
- AI developed by Chinonyerem Odimba and Nina Segal, written alongside GPT-3 OpenAI technology, 23–25 Aug
Created by Jennifer Tang and Company
- Hamlet by William Shakespeare, 25 Sep-13 Nov
Directed by Greg Hersov and starring Cush Jumbo
- Best of Enemies by James Graham, 2 Dec-22 Jan
Directed by Jeremy Herrin
Nottingham Playhouse has announced a season of live and digital productions that celebrate local stories and support East Midlands’ talent. The shows and events range from dance, music, drama, and Bollywood to horror, comedy and romance. Most the productions will be available to rent for On Demand viewing over five days, with others livestreamed. Prices start from just a small suggested donation to its Curtain Up appeal, to £20 per household. Bookings for live events will go on general sale on Tuesday 23 March. On Demand productions will steadily become available for rental from 16 March 2021 through to June 2021. Continue reading “News: Nottingham Playhouse reveals a Spring Loaded season of 23 events”
The National Theatre, in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, has today launched National Theatre at Home, a brand-new streaming platform making their much-loved productions available online to watch anytime, anywhere worldwide.
Launching today with productions including the first ever National Theatre Live, Phèdre with Helen Mirren, Othello with Adrian Lester and the Young Vic’s Yerma with Billie Piper, new titles from the NT’s unrivalled catalogue of filmed theatre will be added to the platform every month.
In addition to productions previously broadcast to cinemas by National Theatre Live, a selection of plays filmed for the NT’s Archive will be released online for the first time through National Theatre at Home, including Lucy Kirkwood’s Mosquitoes with Olivia Colman and Inua Ellams’ new version of Chekhov’s Three Sisters (a co-production with Fuel). Continue reading “News: NT launches new streaming service National Theatre at Home”
We’re beginning to see the fruits of some more of the lockdown programming that has seen theatres across England respond in a variety of impressive ways
Nottingham Playhouse’s Unlocked Festival continues to rocket up the must-see list as it announces more details. Their local writing commission has ended up with two winners – Wayward Thread’s Hand Me Down and Lapelle’s Factory’s Shuck, both of which will now receive work-in-progress performances as part of the festival.
Casting has also been announced for James Graham’s Bubble, which will star the marvellous Pearl Mackie and the equally marvellous Jessica Raine. They join the likes of Mark Gatiss and Jade Anouka reading ghost stories on
Halloween, new work from Naomi Obeng and a concert starring Rosalie Craig, Sandra Marvin and Jodie Prenger. Continue reading “News: October UK theatre news update”
The National Theatre has today announced further productions that will be streamed live on YouTube every Thursday at 7PM BST via the National Theatre’s YouTube channel as part of National Theatre at Home; the new initiative to bring content to the public in their homes during the Coronavirus outbreak. The titles announced today include productions from partner theatres which were previously broadcast to cinemas by National Theatre Live. Continue reading “News: National Theatre at Home Phase 3”
Three feature-length episodes of a new take on Dracula prove an indulgence too far
“One can have too much of a good thing”
I found episode 1 to be a bit of a drag and the subsequent two parts of Dracula were no better, worse in fact, as Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat’s adaptation of Bram Stoker’s iconic novel takes the daddy of all vampires to places (and times) new for no good reason at all. Dolly Wells’ casting as the continuation of the Van Helsing bloodline had some great moments due to some witty writing and her wonderfully dry interpretation but there’s only so much the charismatic Claes Bang could do with the lord of darkness himself.