TV Review: Silent Witness Series 14

With Kieran Bew with his top off and Barbara Flynn breaking every singe person’s heart, Series 14 of Silent Witness is mostly excellent. We just need to talk about Harry…

“If you’re deliberately trying to annoy me, you’re succeeding”

Series 14 of Silent Witness is the first one that contains episodes that I actually remember from first time around, two of them in fact. One – ‘Lost – can lay claim to being one of the best ever stories that the show has produced. The other indulges in a fakeout that had me hook line and sinker at the time though as I recall, not my dad!

It’s a season that start off tremendously, the serial killer vibes of ‘A Guilty Mind’ and the decades-spanning effects of ‘Lost’ offering up a different take on forensics for once. But towards the end of the run, it is clear that a decision has been made (who knows by whom) to give Harry more to do and that throws things off balance. Continue reading “TV Review: Silent Witness Series 14”

Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Southwark Playhouse

The Southwark Playhouse’s Japanese-inspired production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream provided a welcome respite from a chilly Monday night. Performed by a pared-down cast of 7, with everyone doubling up (and in one case tripling up), this made for an intimate retelling of the story. Most interestingly the lovers also played the Rude Mechanicals, a choice I had not seen before, but one which for the most part worked.

With a minimalist set, and dressed in traditional Japanese attire, the transplanting of the action to Japan looks very effective, and it feels like an interesting twist on what is such familiar material: for example, the fairy Mustard-seed becomes Wasabi. Jay Oliver Yip’s Puck had a wonderful physicality and his delivery of the impish lines did not disappoint, and I felt all four of the lovers/Mechanicals delivered strong performances. However, the Theseus/Oberon and Hippolyta/Titania roles suffered a little bit from heavy Japanese accents to the occasional point of unintelligibility. It was only with the opening scene of Act 2 with Oberon and Puck where it seemed that the accent was being exaggerated and played for comic effect that one felt comfortable enough to laugh at the delivery without seeming patronising. Continue reading “Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Southwark Playhouse”