Best Supporting Actor in a Play
Dino Fetscher, The Normal Heart
A play that was almost too much to bear, a legacy so vital to remember, a removal of a sock seared into my brain. Fetscher’s Felix flirted wonderfully, felt deeply and fought magnificently in a production and performance that I won’t forget anytime soon.
Honourable mention: Pip Carter, The Book of Dust
Rewarding such malevolence onstage almost feels wrong but Carter winds his way around Bonneville’s appalling behaviour with a dangerous almost seductive charisma.
Syrus Lowe, Best of Enemies
Daniel Monks, The Normal Heart
Lucian Msamati, Romeo and Juliet
Luke Norris, The Normal Heart
Best Supporting Actor in a Musical
Ainsley Hall Ricketts, A Chorus Line
In a show all about the ensemble, it almost feels churlish to pick out individuals but the heartfelt beauty of Paul’s monologue is measured out so powerfully here. It helps that Ricketts is such a sensational dancer too.
Honourable mention: Robert Lindsay, Anything Goes
Predictably, Robert Lindsay does what Robert Lindsay always does but as Anything Goes’ Moonface, there’s a perfect marriage of character and persona that teeters just on the right edge of cheesiness.
Stewart Clarke, Be More Chill
Andy Coxon, She Loves Me
Elliot Levey, Cabaret
Obioma Ugoala, Frozen
Paul Foster’s concert presentation of Gypsy at Alexandra Palace has added yet more to its already exciting castlist. Ebony Molina, Rachel Stanley and Alexis Owen-Hobbs will star as the titanic trio of Electra, Mazzepa and Tessie Tura respectively. They’ll be joining the seven-fold Rose of Tracie Bennett, Nicola Hughes, Melanie La Barrie, Rebecca Lock, Keala Settle, Samantha Spiro and Sally Ann Triplett and Laura Pitt-Pulford as Louise, Carly Mercedes Dyer as June and Christopher Howell as Herbie.
Directed by Paul Foster with choreography by Joanna Goodwin and sound design by Paul Smith, the show will feature a 26-piece orchestra playing the show’s original orchestrations, conducted by Alex Parker. Book your tickets for 21st February 2022 here.
West End stars Julie Atherton and Ivano Turco are the latest names added to the bill for the exclusive one night only production of Lerner and Loewe’s Camelot in Concert at the London Palladium.
Julie Atherton (Avenue Q, Mamma Mia!, Sister Act, tick, tick… BOOM!) will play Morgan Le Fey, while Ivano Turco (Prince Charming in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella) takes the role of Mordred alongside the previously announced all-star cast of Ramin Karimloo, Bradley Jaden and Lucy St. Louis, as the legendary love triangle of King Arthur, Guenevere and Sir Lancelot, in the concert production on Sunday February 6.
With just one month to go, it is also announced that joining the cast are Newtion Matthews (BKLYN) as Merlyn, and Georgi Mottram, (ITV’s Walk The Line with classical crossover group Ida Girls), as Nimue. The production will be supported with the 35-strong Trinity Laban Musical Theatre Ensemble.
Final tickets are available now from www.cuffeandtaylor.com
Some may enjoy this more than me but I found The Electrical Life of Louis Wain to be almost insufferably twee despite Benedict Cumberbatch working hard
“The more intensely he suffered, the more beautiful his work became”
If you were playing Oscar-bait bingo, then you’d definitely want to draw biopic The Electrical Life of Louis Wain. Central character with vaguely defined mental condition, with a wife who dies young, plus Olivia Colman AND Benedict Cumberbatch in the cast. Maybe we should do shots rather than bingo, it might make the film a touch more bearable…
Will Sharpe’s film seems likely to divide audiences. Not between dog lovers and cat fanciers as you might expect, but to weed out those who have a high tolerance for the insufferably twee. For in its attempts to depict the unique brain chemistry of artist Louis Wain, it errs towards a sepia-tinged, Colman-narrated vision of whimsy and wonder that belies the essential tragedy here. Continue reading “Film Review: The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2021)”
As we hurtle towards 13’s incoming regeneration, the Doctor gets stuck in a time loop with Aisling Bea, Adjani Salmon and some Daleks in the entertainingly done Eve of the Daleks
“Is it a toxic, hazardous or radioactive board game?”
The first of three Doctor Who specials to take us up to Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall’s departure from the show, Eve of the Daleks proved to be one of my favourite festive specials of recent times. Mainly, it has to be said, because there wasn’t anything particularly festive shoehorned into the story, it was just a tightly scripted (mostly) standalone episode that didn’t let itself get too bogged down in series lore or seasonal schmaltz.
Ironically, at the end of Flux I was sure I wanted a proper investigation of the consequences of so much of the universe having been destroyed but apparently I could do just fine without it. Instead, this almost-bottle episode made a virtue of the Covid restrictions it was clearly filmed under by minimising cast and locations and digging into some fairly deep emotional stuff. Continue reading “TV Review: Doctor Who – Eve of the Daleks”
The musical formerly known as Half A Sixpence re-emerges on TV as Kipps but not quite enough of its charisma carries over onto the screen
“Him and his banjo, clatter janga ringa janga”
For reasons best known to the licensing gods, this recording of the musical previously known onstage as Half A Sixpence has been retitled Kipps, the new Half A Sixpence Musical. And equally puzzling is that Cameron Macktinosh International have sat on this recording for more than 4 years, nearly two of which we spent starved of theatre content. But ours is not to question why, just to switch on Sky Arts and pass judgement how we see fit.
This new version of Half A Sixpence as was, first premiered in Chichester in the summer of 2016, Beverley Cross and David Heneker’s 1963 musical adaptation of HG Wells’ 1905 novel Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul being heavily reworked with new songs from Stiles and Drewe and an entirely new book from Julian Fellowes. It transferred into the West End that winter where it lasted for a good few months, with audiences showing a limited taste for its nostalgia. Continue reading “TV Review: Kipps, the new Half A Sixpence Musical”
A glossy psychological thriller that twists and turns entertainingly, The Girl Before is a nice bit of luxury TV
“I don’t think Facebook follows me into the shower”
Adapted by JP Delaney from his novel of the same name, The Girl Before does a clever job of taking all-too-familiar TV thriller tropes and if not subverting them, actually uses them efficiently and effectively, which feels like a more radical act in some ways. So there’s an incredibly glamorous house and a narrative unfolding in two time-periods simultaneously but for once, these choices are entirely justified.
That house is 1 Folgate Street, an ultra-minimalist architect’s wet dream which has been made available by that architect for an incredibly cheap rent. Only thing is, there’s a whole set of rules you have to abide by, if you pass the interview, in order to maintain the place in keeping with its impossibly stylish aesthetic. And of course, that landlord has a handsome face and a mysterious past which doesn’t bode well for any prospective tenants. Continue reading “TV Review: The Girl Before”
Series 12 of Silent Witness, aka the one they are allowed to start getting jiggy with it, oh and they jet off to Zambia for a bit
“You lot are expert arse coverers”
Expanded to six full-length stories and moving one of them to Southern Africa, Series 12 of Silent Witness ought to be something of a golden age for the show. And even if it doesn’t quite hit that highmark for me as the writers start to head increasingly to the personal lives of the team, it is still immensely watchable.
The series starts off well with a horny paramedic getting his arse out for Nikki and Leo’s sanctimony being punctured (briefly) by being done for drink driving. And as we move through London gangs and elite police units, vengeful Russian oligarchs and insular Hasidic Jews, a wide range of stories certainly challenges the team. Continue reading “TV Review: Silent Witness Series 12”
Claire Foy and Paul Bettany headline some rather alternative festive fare in the BBC’s Christmas special A Very British Scandal
“Canapes and cock, is there anything else?”
A drama about the first major case of slut-shaming in the British media, a warning note about the dangers of dick pics, a harrowing example of how vicious divorce can get, the BBC really do know how to wish us a merry Christmas! A spiritual follow-up to A Very English Scandal, A Very British Scandal was written by Sarah Phelps whose Agatha Christie adaptations briefly threatened to become a welcome festive institution but instead, there was a pivot.
And make no mistake, this is still a high quality 3 hours of a miniseries, blessed with two strong leads in Claire Foy and Paul Bettany and taken from a true story (with the requisite dramatic license) that is eye-wincingly lurid. The 1963 Argyll v Argyll divorce case was groundbreaking in terms of the salaciousness and scandalous detail that it included that was then widely published by the media in a way that had never been done before, not least in revealing the existence of explicit photos showing non-marital relations. Continue reading “TV Review: A Very British Scandal”
Signs of staleness start to creep in Series 11 of Silent Witness as Nikki ends up in ‘mortal’ peril for the second time in four stories
“Please, you’re letting this become personal”
There’s an easy chemistry that flows between William Gaminara, Tom Ward and Emilia Fox as the core team in mid-career Silent Witness that it seems churlish to criticise. I find their gentle banter and dad jokes just a delight to watch in their office scenes, but sadly that’s not enough to hang a top-rated BBC series on.
So as it is, Series 11 finds itself tackling such wide-ranging topics as military secrecy and medical bureaucracy, neglect of the traveller community and asylum seekers, abuse in both the Catholic Church and in African religious groups, even mad cow disease. The less said about Leo’s white saviour moment the better. And of course, there’s a pronounced divergence from their remit as forensic pathologists. Continue reading “TV Review: Silent Witness Series 11”