Guest stars such as Lesley Manville, Adam James and Elizabeth Berrington help elevate an interesting Series 3 of Silent Witness
“I’d’ve thought you’d learned by now, this is police work not yours”
Series 3 of Silent Witness brings a new recurring police team for us to get to know, a(nother) new handsome man from Sam’s past who is waiting to jump into bed with her, and a new set of cases for Sam to get overly invested in. It gets to beyond the point of mockery when almost every episode has a line like the above quote in it but you sense the writers acknowledging this, as the opportunity to work in a different capacity in London is presented at the end of the season.
Which is probably right as there can’t be many more police officers in Cambridge that Amanda Burton’s Sam Ryan hasn’t royally pissed off. And in a Midsomer Murders/Morse way, surely there’s a limit to the number of crimes that can take place in a single locale. The casting is on point in this series though – Adam James and Mark Umbers appearing as posh students and somone had clearly been watching Mike Leigh films as Lesley Manville, Heather Craney and Elizabeth Berrington all make appearances here.
Top guest appearences
- a baby Nicholas Hoult appears briefly as a grieving child
- a fresh-faced Adam James as an earnest undergrad who describes someone as “a bit of poof but he didn’t deserve to get beaten up” (1998 doesn’t feel that long ago…)
- there’s a performance of striking froideur from Lesley Manville in ‘Fallen Idol’
- Jimi Mistry makes up the numbers in the incident room for one scene in one of the cases early on, never to be seen again
- and no spoilers but Josette Simon is brilliant as the slick Drug Squad DCI at the heart of ‘Divided Loyalties’
Ahead of National Theatre at Home’s one year anniversary on 1 December, the National Theatre has today announced the next filmed productions to be added to the streaming service, which is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Joining the platform today is Simon Godwin’s critically acclaimed 2018 production of Antony & Cleopatra in the Olivier theatre, with Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo playing Shakespeare’s famous fated couple. Then the iconic and multi-award-winning production of War Horse, based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, will be available from 1 December until 31 January 2022 on demand internationally for the first time since its premiere 14 years ago. It will be available with British Sign Language, audio description and captions. Continue reading “News: One year of National Theatre at Home – New titles added”
Wild horses couldn’t drag me to see another Cherry Orchard at this point, but it is one of the most enduring productions on British stages. As Ian McKellen and so approach the play in Windsor, the Guardian looks back at some other star-filled productions of Chekhov’s classic.
Photos, clockwise from top left: Tristram Kenton; Photostage; Tristram Kenton; Peter Brooker/Rex/Shutterstock
You won’t have seen Lesley Manville like this before… Let Him Go is a real trip for a Western
“You didn’t come here to eat my pork chops?”
Those who know me know I enjoy a little Kevin Costner but I probably wouldn’t have had a look at Let Him Go as neo-westerns aren’t necessarily my first port of call when it comes to films. But the presence of Lesley Manville in there meant that it had to happen and Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey is it one of the most inspired casting decisions ever.
She plays Blanche Weboy, the matriarch of a menacing North Dakota family who rule their particular roost with real fear, who have recently welcomed a grandchild into their mix. Except the other set of grandparents George and Margaret (Costner and Diane Lane) didn’t know anything about it, their dead son’s wife having remarried and absconded with her abusive new partner. Continue reading “Film Review: Let Him Go (2020)”
Simon Annand’s Time To Act is a beautiful book of photos capturing actors in the minutes before they go on stage
Tackling the constraints of the pandemic in its own way, Simon Annand’s fantastic new book of photos Time To Act has launched a virtual exhibition of some of the photographs which has now been extended to until Christmas. It’s an ingenious way of sharing some of the hundreds of images from the book and should surely whet the appetite for either just buying it now or putting on your list for Santa to collect soon.
Continue reading “Book review: Time To Act – Simon Annand”
The Bridge Theatre has announce a repertoire of twelve one-person plays during September and October, using the theatre’s flexible auditorium to provide around 250 socially distanced seats.
An Evening With an Immigrant by Inua Ellams
Award-winning poet and playwright Inua Ellams left Nigeria for England in 1996 aged 12.
An Evening With An Immigrant is a potent and personal account of life as an immigrant told through poetry and music telling Ellam’s ridiculous, fantastic and poignant story – escaping fundamentalist Islam, experiencing prejudice and friendship in Dublin, performing solo at the National Theatre and drinking wine with the Queen of England – all the while without a country to belong to or place to call home. Continue reading “News: the Bridge Theatre plots an autumn season of monologues”
Lennie James and his iconic yellow jacket return for an uncompromising and still excellent second series of Save Me, this time with added Lesley Manville
“Thought I was cleverer than I am, I went in there, bloody swinging my dick. I offered him out and he sat me on my arse”
After a scorching first series, series 2 of Save Me, wittily named Save Me Too, picks up some 17 months later. South East London charmer Nelly had his world tipped upside down when his long-estranged daughter Jody was abducted and all signs pointed to someone he knew being deeply involved. And a tense finale saw him following the trail only to find a different kidnapped girl – Grace.
The slight time-jump of this second series is an effective tool as it allows James to explore the weight of tragedy with a little distance added in. Two years or so down the line, life has had to continue but the shadow of a child abuse ring naturally lingers heavily and we how see James’ Nelly, and to a lesser degree Suranne Jones’ Claire – Jody’s mum – have accommodated as best they can the vacuum in their world. Continue reading “TV Review: Save Me Too”
A new series of monologues, curated and produced by Michelle Collins alongside the Equity Benevolent Fund, has been released online for charity. Entitled “#FortheLoveofArts”, the scheme sees acting talent come together to raise funds for beleaguered artists and individuals during the ongoing pandemic.
Appearing in the series are Lesley Manville, Ian McKellen, Adjoa Andoh, Miriam-Teak Lee, Derek Jacobi, Layton Williams, Sue Johnston, Jason Watkins, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Pearl Mackie and more. Some of the monologues are brand new works penned especially for the series.
The monologues can be viewed on the Equity Benevolent Fund’s YouTube channel.
Along with the rest of theatreland, I’m already over-excited and impatient for all of these.
Filming begins today on new productions of Alan Bennett’s critically acclaimed and multi-award-winning Talking Heads monologues, which first aired on BBC Television in 1988 and 1998. Ten of the original pieces will be re-made with the addition of two new ones written by Bennett last year. They are produced by Nicholas Hytner’s London Theatre Company and Kevin Loader.
The monologues which will air on BBC One in the coming months are as follows: Continue reading “News: Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads returns to TV”
National Theatre at Home continues its home programming with both versions of Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller and Antony and Cleopatra with Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo, plus there’s a National Theatre at Home Quiz
Following on from the success of its opening set of transmissions – One Man, Two Guvnors was viewed over 2.5 million times in the week it was available – the National Theatre has announced the next two productions it will be airing as part of National Theatre at Home. 2011’s Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller sharing its two main roles and 2018’s Antony and Cleopatra, starring Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo.
Both productions will be free to stream, premiering at 7.00PM BST and then available on demand for seven days. Further productions to be streamed as part of National Theatre at Home will be announced soon.
Today also sees the launch of the National Theatre at Home Quiz, to be played from home featuring familiar faces from the world of stage and screen as the quizmasters. Each quiz will include rounds of five questions on a wide variety of topics.
On the final Monday of each month people will be able join the virtual quiz directly from their homes via the NT’s YouTube channel and Facebook page live at 7pm. The first quiz will be on Monday 27 April with quizmasters Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Lenny Henry, Lesley Manville, and Sir Ian McKellen asking questions on topics including history, sport, nature, and of course, the National Theatre (bagsy team Manville).