Film Review: Mary Queen of Scots (2018)

A starry Mary Queen of Scots proves an intriguing if a little frustrating film debut for Josie Rourke

“The world will decide for itself”

An intriguing, if a little frustrating one this. Josie Rourke is a titan in the world of theatre and Mary Queen of Scots marks her cinematic debut. But despite a classy pair of lead performances from Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie as diametrically opposed queens Mary and Elizabeth, an ensemble consisting of the cream of British acting talent, and the sweeping beauty of the Highlands to frame every other shot, the film never really quite sparks into life.

Beau Willimon’s screenplay, based on John Guy’s book Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart, dances around historical accuracy with its own determination, building in a climactic meeting between the two which although visually striking, dramatically brings precious little. Before then, the film is plotted as a strategic confrontation between two monarchs, two women, who are battling the worlds around them as much as each other. Continue reading “Film Review: Mary Queen of Scots (2018)”

Guest review: By The End Of Us, Southwark Playhouse

Due to a date with Helen McCrory, I wasn’t able to make this show, but its premise was one that was sufficiently interesting to send a friend who is much more into video games than I am (my limit is pretty much Tetris…) So here is @merrychrissmyth’s debut on There Ought To Be Clowns.

Video games and immersive theatre are something of a natural Venn diagram – manoeuvring around a world constructed entirely for your benefit. Block Stop’s latest production, By The End Of Us is a “Live Video Game: a video game performed by live actors, controlled by you”, with the action taking place simultaneously in The Little of the Southwark Playhouse and in what appear to be the Vaults of Waterloo Station. It’s an ambitious gambit, albeit not one that always pays off. Continue reading “Guest review: By The End Of Us, Southwark Playhouse”