Review: Two Into One, Menier Chocolate Factory

“There’s far too much sex in this hotel and I’m not having any of it”

The things I do for Josefina Gabrielle… Whilst I am more than happy to revisit the Chocolate Factory once Gabrielle joins up in the major cast change soon, I had to be dragged to the Menier Chocolate Factory to see her in Ray Cooney’s Two Into One, my natural aversion to farce meaning I was more than happy to give it a miss. But a cheap deal on tickets plus the promise of gin saw me head out on a Sunday and have the slightly depressing inevitability of my preconceptions being proven right.

If we’re to believe scions of our national press, this is “a classic farce” and if we don’t like (or the genre as a whole), we’re “sourpusses…more to be pitied than censured”. Which says it all really. If you’re of a certain generation, as much of this audience was, and brought on a certain style of humour, then Ray Cooney will be right up your street. And a thirty year old political farce which makes no concession for the time past since it was written will more than likely have you chortling down the aisles. Continue reading “Review: Two Into One, Menier Chocolate Factory”

Short film review #38

Deafblind

 

DeafBlind Trailer from Ewan Bailey on Vimeo.
There’s clearly nothing Maxine Peake can’t do (quite what she makes of Hamlet later in the year is a definite treat in store) but her performance in Ewan Bailey’s DeafBlind is something eerily spectacular. She plays Maggie, a deaf blind woman thoroughly isolated by her condition and also, as it turns out, by the attentions of a stalker who has taken up residence in her home completely unbeknownst to her. He seeks to control her existence and there’s a stunningly uneasy sequence as she slowly comes to suspect someone is there and reacts in an unexpected way… Peake is predictably excellent but James Young’s uber-creepy Ben is inscrutably brilliant too.
 

Continue reading “Short film review #38”

TV Review: The Town

“Apparently once death seems possible, the idea catches on”

One of the things about winding down the theatregoing at Christmas is being able to catch up on some of the television that I rarely have time to watch normally, and doing so at my parents’ house is particularly ace because of their awesome telly. First up for me was The Town, an ITV three-parter written by one of the hottest playwrights in the country Mike Bartlett. Upping the ante was a cast that included Julia McKenzie, Andrew Scott, Douglas Hodge and also Phil Davis and Siobhan Redmond.

I have long been a fan of Redmond so I was pleased to see the opening moments of the show devoted to her as her character went about the rituals at the end of her day including saying goodnight to her husband as played by Phil Davis. I was then gutted as this proved to be a great case of misdirection as they were both then found dead the next morning by their teenage daughter Jodie, never to be seen again. As their son Mark returns to bury them in this provincial town he left 10 years ago to move to London, the show then deals with the difficulties in returning to a less than lamented hometown, combined with the growing sense that the deaths – recorded as a joint suicide – are less clear-cut than the police would seem to think. Continue reading “TV Review: The Town”