Review: Brexodus! The Musical, The Other Palace Studio

“What the hell do we do now?”

Part of the problem that faces writers trying to satirise Brexit is that the daily influx of tragic, comic and tragicomic headlines are more outlandish than they could surely have ever imagined. A glimpse at the day’s stories shows our estimable foreign secretary thinking it OK to tell EU leaders to “go whistle”, the PM apparently keen on cross-party working, people waking up to the devastating impact of leaving the European atomic energy community, Euratom, without a carefully negotiated replacement – really, who needs satire.

Which leaves Brexodus! The Musical in a bit of a pickle as it seeks to mine its own vein of humour through a revue-like (and politically even-handed) skip through the key events of the whole Brexit process. Librettist David Shirreff works his cast hard, some of them covering more than 10 roles throughout the show, which means that it can take a little too long to work out who someone is, even in their brief time onstage. Two men in suits are David Cameron and George Osbourne, blink and suddenly they’re David Davis and Liam Fox, though it takes substantially longer to work out that this is what has happened. Continue reading “Review: Brexodus! The Musical, The Other Palace Studio”

DVD Review: One Chance

“Kind of like the opera of my life”

Next up in the list of films I didn’t think I’d ever watch was Paul Potts’ biopic One Chance. For those not in the know or at least have little knowledge of Britain’s Got Talent, he emerged as the winner of the first series, his backstory as an unremarkable mobile telephone salesman with bad teeth the perfect foil for a rich operatic tenor. And as it turns out, his life was a catalogue of misfortunes, bullying and bad health holding back his dream of becoming a singer – perfect material to make into a film one might think.

Not on this evidence. David Frankel’s film is hamstrung from the outset by the fatal miscasting of James Corden in the leading role. Potts, or at least the version that is presented here, is a shy, retiring type full of crippling vulnerabilities and crucially enlivened through the gift of music but Corden conveys little, if any of this through his performance. He’s not helped by having to mime along to Potts’ own voice but there’s something more fundamentally wrong here, Corden’s cursory attempts at impersonation horribly superficial. Continue reading “DVD Review: One Chance”