TV Review: Silent Witness Series 13

God-tier guest casting, daring deviation in the storytelling and Leo getting hit on the head, Series 13 of Silent Witness is probably one of my absolute faves 

“Your kind think you’re some kind of heroic martyr, you won’t be told or fobbed off. If people get dragged into your mess then it’s jolly unfortunate but you don’t give a shit because you have right on your side”

Now this is the good stuff. Series 13 of Silent Witness opted to shake things up just a little more than usual and the result, for me, is one of their most effective seasons to date. For one, having Leo be the one who is attacked rather than Nikki is (three series on the trot in case you’d forgotten) is just nice for the variety but adding a note of frailty into this most sanctimonious of characters works well.

It also sets up a cracking episode which sees Nikki and Harry at loggerheads as they take the same evidence and end up with wildly different conclusions which they’re then forced to defend in court. And a campus shooting episode, whilst having hardly anything to do with forensic pathology, is brilliantly conceived and chillingly executed. Fresh takes on the storytelling really makes this series feel alive. Continue reading “TV Review: Silent Witness Series 13”

fosterIAN awards 2017

 WinnerRunner-upOther nominees
Best Actress in a PlayHattie Morahan/
Kate O'Flynn/
Adelle Leonce,
Anatomy of a Suicide
Victoria Hamilton, Albion
Shirley Henderson,
Girl From the North Country

Cherry Jones,
The Glass Menagerie

Justine Mitchell,
Beginning

Mimi Ndiweni,
The Convert

Connie Walker,
Trestle
Best Actor in a Play
Ken Nwosu, An OctoroonAndrew Scott, HamletAndrew Garfield,
Angels in America

Gary Lilburn,
Trestle

Ian McKellen,
King Lear

Cyril Nri,
Barber Shop Chronicles

Sam Troughton,
Beginning
Best Supporting Actress in a PlayBríd Brennan, The FerrymanKate Kennedy, Twelfth Night (Royal Exchange)Sheila Atim,
Girl From the North Country

Laura Carmichael,
Apologia

Romola Garai,
Queen Anne

Lashana Lynch,
a profoundly affectionate, passionate devotion to someone (-noun)

Kate O'Flynn,
The Glass Menagerie
Best Supporting Actor in a PlayFisayo Akinade,
Barber Shop Chronicles
Brian J Smith, The Glass MenageriePhilip Arditti,
Oslo

Gershwn Eustache Jnr,
a profoundly affectionate, passionate devotion to someone (-noun)

Fra Fee,
The Ferryman

Patrice Naiambana,
Barber Shop Chronicles

Nathan Stewart-Jarrett,
Angels in America
Best Actress in a MusicalJanie Dee, Follies AND
Josefina Gabrielle, A Little Night Music
AND Josie Walker,
Everybody's Talking About Jamie
Amie Giselle-Ward, Little WomenSharon D Clarke,
Caroline or Change

Kelly Price,
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾

T'Shan Williams,
The Life
Best Actor in a MusicalGiles Terera, HamiltonScott Hunter/Andy Coxon, Yank! A WWII Love StoryJohn McCrea,
Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Philip Quast,
Follies

Michael Rouse,
Superhero

Jamael Westman,
Hamilton
Best Supporting Actress in a Musical
Tracie Bennett,
Follies
Rachel John, HamiltonChristine Allado,
Hamilton

Julie Atherton,
The Grinning Man

Sharon D Clarke,
The Life

Joanna Riding,
Romantics Anonymous

Lucie Shorthouse,
Everybody's Talking About Jamie
Best Supporting Actor in a MusicalJason
Pennycooke,
Hamilton
Mark Anderson, The Grinning ManFred Haig,
Follies

Cornell S John,
The Life

Chris Kiely,
Yank! A WWII Love Story

Gareth Snook,
Romantics Anonymous

Obioma Ugoala,
Hamilton

2017 Best Actress in a Play + in a Musical

Best Actress in a Play

Hattie Morahan/Kate O’Flynn/Adelle Leonce, Anatomy of a Suicide

How to split these three? Why would you even want to. Their effortless grace, their ferociously detailed complexity, their heart-breaking connectivity, all three will live long in my mind.

Honourable mention: Victoria Hamilton, Albion

Not far behind in the fierceness stakes was this epic role of near-Chekhovian proportions, tailored by Mike Bartlett for one of his frequent collaborators. Quite why this hasn’t followed Ink into the West End I’m not sure. 

Shirley Henderson, Girl From the North Country
Cherry Jones, The Glass Menagerie
Justine Mitchell, Beginning
Mimi Ndiweni, The Convert
Connie Walker, Trestle

8-10
Laura Donnelly, The Ferryman; Imelda Staunton, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf; Rosie Wyatt, In Event of Moone Disaster 

Best Actress in a Musical

Janie Dee, Follies AND Josefina Gabrielle, A Little Night Music AND Josie Walker, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

A second three-way tie? Hey, it’s my blog and my rules! From Dee thoroughly owning the Olivier through song and dance, to Gabrielle making me feel like I was hearing ‘Send in the Clowns’ for the first time, to the sheer beauty of Walker’s uncompromising love for her son, this was only way I could reward a banner year for leading female musical performances.

Honourable mention: Amie Giselle-Ward, Little Women

Sadly ineligible to win since her name doesn’t begin with J…, Giselle-Ward nevertheless blew me away at the heart of this gorgeous musical which, if there’s any justice, should continue the Hope Mill’s admirable record of London transfers. 

Sharon D Clarke, Caroline or Change
Kelly Price, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾
T’Shan Williams, The Life

8-10
Carly Bawden, Romantics Anonymous; Sandra Marvin, Committee; Marisha Wallace, Dreamgirls

 

Review: Trestle, Southwark Playhouse

“We’re not here forever. You’ve got to take a chance from time to time. Sometimes you’ve got to see something you like and grab hold. Don’t let it go.”

Unforgivably late, I made it along to Trestle for its final matinee – too late to be able to recommend it to all and sundry but delighted to find it sold out and packed to the rafters in the Southwark Playhouse’s Little space. Written by Stewart Pringle, this two-hander is the 2017 Papatango New Writing Prize winner and tacks rather hard away from both Papatango’s tendency towards the bleakly dystopian and Pringle’s previous output as a writer.

For Trestle is beautifully tender and warm, the kind of play you imagine Victoria Wood heartily approving of as it tracks the burgeoning relationship between Harry and Denise, two retirees struggling to find their place in the world. Their paths cross as their regular bookings at the village hall border onto each other – as his council meetings finish up, her Zumba classes are about to begin and in the moments inbetween, as they share the putting away of tables and chairs, they slowly get to know each other.
Continue reading “Review: Trestle, Southwark Playhouse”

Review: Folk, Watford Palace Theatre

“Sing me something holy, something wholly inappropriate”

One day, Tom Wells will start writing about something other than misfits in the East Riding of Yorkshire but until he does, we’re still being blessed with minor-key gems like Folk (after Jumpers for Goalposts, The Kitchen Sink, and Me, As A Penguin), reaching the end of its tour here in this co-production between Birmingham Repertory Theatre , Hull Truck Theatre and Watford Palace Theatre.

From the front room of her Withernsea home, Irish nun Winnie has been subtly changing the world for those around her. Her sweary, spoon-playing ways have long been complemented by Stephen, a mournful musical middle-aged man who counts her as his only friend and when the teenage Kayleigh comes crashing into their lives, it is music that proves the force that slowly bonds them together. Continue reading “Review: Folk, Watford Palace Theatre”