TV Review: The Windsors, Series 3

Series 3 of The Windsors sees the show tailing off just a little, as it struggles to work out how fit Meghan in as a comic character

“There could be tanks on the streets of Kensington and Chelsea”

After a couple of years off-air, Series 3 of The Windsors returned with an avowed aim of real topicality but given the way that Harry and Meghan’s departure from royal life and the subsequent revelations have played out, it can sometimes be a tricky watch (if you’re pro-Meghan that is…).

I’d argue that the series does best when cutting a little looser from this territory too. Charles and Camilla’s visit to the Middletons’ is inspired as is the dip into accidental Satanism, Fergie choosing between Eugenie and Beatrice at Glastonbury is hilarious as is their diversion to chalet life in Verbier. Continue reading “TV Review: The Windsors, Series 3”

TV Review: Doctor Who Series 12

Series 12 of Doctor Who goes hard on what we think we know about the Time Lord and finishes in a blaze of glory

“You can be a pacifist tomorrow. Today you just need to survive”

I don’t think I have ever minded anything that happened in Doctor Who so much that I have declared it cancelled, even at the point where all the magnificent character development by Catherine Tate’s Donna was undone in a plot point of real cruelty. So it is hard to take so-called fans of the show seriously when torrents of complaints are unleashed about the sanctity of a world of science fiction that has long enjoyed challenging and expanding what we know about characters we love. (See my Episode 1 review here.)

So it should come as little surprise that I really rather enjoyed series 12 of Doctor Who. Across the season as a whole, I felt that Jodie Whittaker has settled more into the role, especially as the writers feel more confident in finding her voice. And the balancing act of having three companions in the TARDIS has been more assured now that the business of introducing them is over, allowing the group to splinter off for large chunks of episodes has allowed much more of their characters to shine through, particularly for Mandip Gill’s Yaz (who I am mightily glad survived that final episode – I thought she was doomed after her chat with Graham). Continue reading “TV Review: Doctor Who Series 12”

2015 BroadwayWorld UK Awards – Winners’ list

Best Choreography in a New Production of a Musical
Drew McOnie – Hairspray – Leicester Curve

Best Costume Design in a New Production of a Play or Musical
Sue Blane – The Rocky Horror Show – Playhouse Theatre

Best Direction of a New Production of a Musical
Trevor Nunn – Cats – London Palladium

Best Direction of a New Production of a Play
Lyndsey Turner – Hamlet – Barbican

Best Featured Actor in a New Production of a Musical
Steve Rushton – American Idiot – Arts Theatre

Best Featured Actor in a New Production of a Play
Will Austin – Gods And Monsters – Southwark Playhouse

Best Featured Actress in a New Production of a Musical
Kerry Ellis – Cats – London Palladium

Best Featured Actress in a New Production of a Play
Rachel Lumberg – Romeo and Juliet – Sheffield Crucible

Best Leading Actor in a New Production of a Musical
Killian Donnelly – Memphis – Shaftesbury Theatre

Best Leading Actor in A New Production of a Play
Benedict Cumberbatch – Hamlet – Barbican Theatre

Best Leading Actress in a New Production of a Musical
Imelda Staunton – Gypsy – Savoy Theatre

Best Leading Actress in a New Production of a Play
Olivia Vinall – The Hard Problem – National Theatre

Best Lighting Design in a New Production of a Play or Musical
Hugh Vanstone – Future Conditional – Old Vic

Best Long-Running Show in the West End
Les Miserables Queen’s Theatre

Best Musical Direction (Fringe or regional)
George Dyer – Annie – UK tour

Best Musical Direction (West End)
Richard Morris – American Idiot – Arts Theatre

Best New Musical in the West End
American Idiot – Arts Theatre

Best New Play
The Play That Goes Wrong – Duchess Theatre

Best New Production of a Musical (Fringe/Regions)
The Spitfire Grill – Union Theatre

Best New Production of a Play (Fringe/Regions)
Crucible – Manchester

Best Performance in a Long-Running West End show (Female)
Rachelle Ann Go – Les Miserables – Queens Theatre

Best Performance in a Long-Running West End show (Male)
Jon Jon Briones – Miss Saigon – Prince Edward Theatre

Best Revival of a Musical
Grand Hotel – Southwark Playhouse

Best Revival of a Play
Harvey – Theatre Royal Haymarket

Best Scenic Design in a New Production of a Play or Musical
Es Devlin – Hamlet – Barbican

Best Sound Design in a New Production of a Play or Musical
Chris Whybrow – American Idiot – Arts Theatre

Theatrical Event of the Year
Miss Saigon 25th Anniversary Concert – Prince Edward Theatre

Theatrical Venue of the Year
Queens Theatre

Understudy of the Year in any production of a Play or Musical (Female)
Marsha Songcome – Miss Saigon – Prince Edward

Understudy of the Year in any production of a Play or Musical (Male)
Luke Baker – American Idiot – Arts Theatre

Review: Gods and Monsters, Southwark Playhouse

“Masculinity is on the rise”

There’s a variety of warnings to heed before going into see Russell Labey’s Gods and Monsters at the Southwark Playhouse – a first half that is 85 minutes long, there’s strobe lighting and there’s male nudity. And with the last point in mind, forgive a puerile game of wordplay throughout the length of this review – ding dong, we’ve started. The story focuses on the final days of James Whale, director of films like Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein (but not Frankenweenie) as he variously battles illness and the distracting presence of his hunky new gardener –will he survive, make a cock-up of the situation or perhaps even both?

Sequestered in the Hollywood Hills, Whale lives with his long-suffering maid Maria where he entertains a steady flow of adoring Tom, Dick and Harrys (or should that be John Thomas and Johnsons) – often young, often gay – in search of gossipy interviews about old Hollywood. But the misbehaving organ that is his disintegrating mind is letting those memories – shown here in elegant flashbacks – peter away and Whale is determined that he will get the last word. It is a quietly paced play in which the whole package doesn’t always quite fit together perfectly but there can be no doubting the absolutely tremendous performance from Ian Gelder as Whale – rarely off-stage and undeniably on the top of his game. Continue reading “Review: Gods and Monsters, Southwark Playhouse”