The finalists of The ONCOMMs 2021

The OnComm is the new award for online shows from across the UK (and beyond) and was introduced in
May 2020. 

1. Recording pre-lockdown (direct)
(i.e. with little or no editing)
Going Viral / Daniel Bye
Hysteria / Spymonkey
Jane Clegg / Finborough Theatre
The House Of Bernarda Alba / Graeae

2. Recording pre-lockdown (edited)
(i.e. with significant editing)
Bubble / Theatre Uncut
Cyprus Avenue / Royal Court & Abbey Theatre
SeaWall / Simon Stephens
The Encounter / Complicité Continue reading “The finalists of The ONCOMMs 2021”

TV Review: Flesh and Blood

Imelda Staunton plays a blinder in ITV’s Flesh and Blood but for a thriller, there’s not much that is actually that thrilling apart from Russell Tovey’s chest hair

“I never ever dreamt it would end like this”

The myriad ways in which we can now consume television content means that programmers can find themselves in a bit of a bind, searching for the best way to ensure their show breaks through in such a crowded marketplace. Just look at The Split, releasing the entirety of its second series online whilst also going for a weekly broadcast. Stripping a show over a week for four consecutive nights, as ITV did with Flesh and Blood, may seem like a happy medium between those two modes but in this day and age, I don’t it matches either. 

Written by Sarah Williams (Becoming Jane; Small Island), Flesh and Blood is a lush family drama, edging towards thriller territory, as a body is discovered in this sleepy Sussex beach town. And in true winding narrative style, we don’t know who has carked it. Francesca Annis’ Vivien is quietly surprised to find new love with Stephen Rea’s Mark but her adult children don’t think she’s been playing the grieving widow for long enough and once he moves into their former childhood home, hackles are truly raised, conveniently allowing them to turn from the drama in their own lives.  Continue reading “TV Review: Flesh and Blood”

TV Review: The Honourable Woman

“It’s the Middle East Shlomo, enemies is what you make”

Only by chance did I find out that The Honourable Woman was leaving Netflix at the end of this month, so I quickly took the opportunity to catch up with Hugo Blick’s political spy thriller and as is so often the case with these things, was left wondering how I could have taken this long to watch it.

Political intrigue and personal drama coming from kidnapped children, suspicious suicides and betrayals ranging from old blood feuds to intra-familial conflict set the scene immediately for a typically dense and complex story from Blick, centred on a refreshingly new take on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the seeming impossibility of finding a solution when the wounds of the past are still felt so keenly and deeply. Continue reading “TV Review: The Honourable Woman”

2015 British Academy Television Awards winners

Best Actor
Jason Watkins – The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies as Christopher Jefferies (ITV)
Benedict Cumberbatch – Sherlock as Sherlock Holmes (BBC One)
Toby Jones – Marvellous as Neil Baldwin (BBC Two)
James Nesbitt – The Missing as Tony Hughes (BBC One)

Best Actress
Georgina Campbell – Murdered by My Boyfriend as Ashley Jones (BBC Three)
Keeley Hawes – Line of Duty as DI Lindsay Denton (BBC Two)
Sarah Lancashire – Happy Valley as Catherine Cawood (BBC One)
Sheridan Smith – Cilla as Cilla Black (ITV) Continue reading “2015 British Academy Television Awards winners”

2015 British Academy Television Awards nominations

Best Actor
Benedict Cumberbatch – Sherlock as Sherlock Holmes (BBC One)
Toby Jones – Marvellous as Neil Baldwin (BBC Two)
James Nesbitt – The Missing as Tony Hughes (BBC One)
Jason Watkins – The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies as Christopher Jefferies (ITV)

Best Actress
Georgina Campbell – Murdered by My Boyfriend as Ashley Jones (BBC Three)
Keeley Hawes – Line of Duty as DI Lindsay Denton (BBC Two)
Sarah Lancashire – Happy Valley as Catherine Cawood (BBC One)
Sheridan Smith – Cilla as Cilla Black (ITV) Continue reading “2015 British Academy Television Awards nominations”

Review: Ballyturk, National Theatre

“It feels like we might be less than we were in a place we don’t know now”

Set in “no time, no place”, with characters merely named 1,2, and 3, and doing marvellous things with yellow jumpers, talc, 7 inch records and a pile of chocolate bourbons and pink wafers, you’ll understand that Ballyturk really is the type of show you need to see to truly understand. Enda Walsh directs his own play fresh from premiering it in Galway this summer and it is a breathless delight, although through the piercing humour, one catches glimpses of an absolute bleakness.

I could talk about Kate Prince’s energetic choreography which calls to mind a hyped-up Morecambe and Wise, or the endless surprises hidden in Jamie Vartan’s design which capitalises on the height and depth of the Lyttelton Theatre, the powerfully evocative compositions from Teho Teardo which combines 80s delights like ABC and Yazoo with moodier self-penned work and the extraordinary textures of Helen Atkinson’s sound design which brings the town of Ballyturk to life. Continue reading “Review: Ballyturk, National Theatre”

2012 British Academy Television Awards nominations

Leading Actor
Benedict Cumberbatch – Sherlock (BBC One)
Joseph Gilgun – This Is England ’88 (Channel 4)
John Simm – Exile (BBC One)
Dominic West – Appropriate Adult (ITV)

Leading Actress
Romola Garai – The Crimson Petal and the White (BBC Two)
Nadine Marshall – Random (Channel 4)
Vicky McClure – This Is England ’88 (Channel 4)
Emily Watson – Appropriate Adult (ITV) Continue reading “2012 British Academy Television Awards nominations”