Short Film Review #9

It’s been a little while since I’ve watched any short films but I had a few link sent to me last week so I thought I’d cast my ever-beady eye over them to see what treasures might be unearthed. As ever, click on the ‘film’ tag to see more short films.

First up was Babysitting, written by Lucan Toh and Sam Hoare and also directed by the latter, but most attractive for its cast including Romola Garai, Dan Stevens and Imogen Stubbs. And from its opening shots of a bedraggled Garai and a super-glam Stubbs, it is rather a bundle of subversive fun. There’s a bit of a twist to the title that I won’t reveal here but it is one that sends Garai’s Maggie on a bit of a journey, where she bumps into arrogant ex Spencer, Stevens in fine West London toff mode and her priorities are pulled skewiff as old feelings rise to the surface. The pair are well-matched and amusingly styled and if the film as a whole comes across as a little slight, it is highly entertaining.    Continue reading “Short Film Review #9”

Review: Million Dollar Quartet, Noël Coward

“What does rock’n’roll mean?”

At first glance, there’s little that can be said about Million Dollar Quartet really. It is not a show I would normally ever have thought of going to see, the music not being of my era or a genre that I know much about. But when a ticket was wafted in front of me combined with the knowledge that the show is closing mid-January, I thought ‘what the hey’ and trundled along to the Noël Coward Theatre for the evening. What was most surprising about was that I really rather enjoyed myself.

The show is based around the real life meeting of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins (have to admit I hadn’t heard of Perkins) on 4th December 1956 at the Sun Records recording studio in Memphis. Over the course of the evening, the four rip through over 20 of the songs for which they became hugely famous with the help of two additional musicians and Presley’s girlfriend Dyanne who’s on hand to provide the odd bit of vocal support. There’s also something of an attempt to work in some proper story: mainly around the record label shenanigans with professional rivalries coming to the fore, testing friendships and loyalties of these four men at different stages in their career. Continue reading “Review: Million Dollar Quartet, Noël Coward”

Review: Rent Remixed, Duke of York’s

Many a musical has received a facelift, but none quite so dramatic or misguided as Rent Remixed, setting up shop at the Duke of York’s. William Baker (director) and Steve Anderson (musical arranger) are perhaps better known as part of the creative team behind Kylie Minogue but are responsible here for reinterpreting Jonathan Larson’s much loved Rent for a younger generation.

The original itself is a rough reworking of La Bohème, celebrating the lives of a group of sexually ambiguous, bohemian New Yorkers, eking out a living on the breadline and devastated by the arrival of HIV and AIDS. And whilst this is ostensibly the same show, the process of ‘remixing’ has ended up with curious results. Continue reading “Review: Rent Remixed, Duke of York’s”