The new David Hare political drama Roadkill proves to be the scariest thing about this year’s Hallowe’en, and not in a good way
“You can get away with anything if you just brazen it out”
Throwing in a cast like this can usually get me to forgive a lot but not even the combined thrills of Helen McCrory, Sylvestra Le Touzel, Sidse Babett Knudsen and Saskia Reeves could get me to like Roadkill. Maybe its the closeness of it all, Tory political corruption is headline news pretty much every day now, so why would we want it on our TV screens as drama as well.
Potential timing issues aside (though when are the Tories never out grasping for themselves…), there are more fundamental problems at play here though. David Hare’s writing feels particularly aimless here, there’s little sense of accretion in watching Hugh Laurie’s Teflon-coated minister Peter Laurence ride out any number of potential scandals, just a relentless, remorseless journey of scum rising to the top. Continue reading “TV Review: Roadkill”
It is Sarah Kane’s turn to get the Tristram Kenton treatment from the Guardian’s archive, and what an impressive array of talent that have understandably flocked to this most challenging of playwrights:
Photos: Tristram Kenton
Booking an interactive show in which we the audience get to play the role of the jury?
Using a gimmick to cover the business of reviewing the play….?
Continue reading “Review: Terror, Lyric Hammersmith”
BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Helen Mirren – The Audience at the Gielgud
Anne-Marie Duff – Strange Interlude at the NT Lyttelton
Hayley Atwell – The Pride at Trafalgar Studios
Suranne Jones – Beautiful Thing at the Arts
Tanya Moodie – Fences at the Duchess
BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY
Daniel Radcliffe – The Cripple of Inishmaan at the Noël Coward
Ben Whishaw – Peter and Alice at the Noël Coward and Mojo at the Harold Pinter
James McAvoy – Macbeth at Trafalgar Studios
Lenny Henry – Fences at the Duchess
Rory Kinnear – Othello at the NT Olivier Continue reading “2014 What’s On Stage Award nominations”
“If you’re going to talk about sheep deformities, hand me the bottle”
Third up for the Michael Grandage Company is ‘the Daniel Radcliffe one’, the first major revival of Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan. But though it is being sold on the strength of its star, it is much more of an ensemble piece than first impressions would allow, as a picture of 1930s rural Irish life in all its brusque humour, unstinting relentlessness and occasional vicious kicks is built up. A break from the old routine is offered when a Hollywood film crew arrives on the neighbouring island of Inishmore and no-one is more excited about the opportunity than Cripple Billy, a young orphan lad blighted by physical disability from birth and who spots an opportunity to escape the blunt cruelty of the daily taunts.
Still in previews, Grandage’s production doesn’t quite seem to have decided how it wants to straddle the line between stereotypical olde Oirish sentimentality and McDonagh’s more brutal sensibilities which might be familiar to those that have seen The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Part of the problem lies in a vein of comedy that feels somewhat uninspired so it does, relying on the repeated utterances, without malice mind, of words and phrases that ought to jar in our more politically correct times. But this is essentially one gag extended throughout much of the show and it soon wears thin – the over-emphasis on how kookily different things were back then and over there just isn’t enough to hang a play on, especially when Grandage is playing it as safe as this. Continue reading “Review: The Cripple of Inishmaan, Noël Coward”