Film Review: Peterloo (2018)

I wanted to like Mike Leigh’s Peterloo, I really did…

“You must be famished coming all the way from Wigan”

I’ve been a big fan of Mike Leigh’s film work, since discovering it in the last decade or so, and loved his last film Mr Turner. So news of his return to period drama, albeit through his idiosyncratic process, in Peterloo was a plus for me. The reality though is an epic that proved a real slog for me, even boring by the end. Continue reading “Film Review: Peterloo (2018)”

Review: The Silence of the Sea, Donmar at Trafalgar Studios 2

“The sound of a man understanding…something”

The final entry in the final year of the Resident Assistant Director programme which has seen the Donmar Warehouse periodically take over Trafalgar Studios 2 is The Silence of the Sea, directed by Simon Evans. Anthony Weigh has fashioned a new theatrical version of this story which was written pseudonymically by Vercors in 1942 as it spoke of the French resistance to the Nazi occupation. Or rather, it tells of the silence with which a man and woman greet the German officer who is billeted to their small coastal cottage and the challenges faced not only by them but also by the interloper, who is not all at first seems.

The predominance of silence is both illuminating and challenging. Leo Bill’s natural gift of spectacular oration is superbly highlighted as German officer Werner, delivering several lengthy speeches which delve deep into the increasingly troubled psyche of a man not necessarily convinced of the legitimacy of his country’s actions. From the patronising swagger of his arrival to the anguished reflexive defence of his countrymen, he is frequently mesmerising as he tries to fill the awkward void. Intersecting but not interacting with him, Finbar Lynch’s Older Man also gives us his take on the action, a more conversational account of life under Occupation which one which soon ramps up in intensity. Continue reading “Review: The Silence of the Sea, Donmar at Trafalgar Studios 2”