This list wouldn’t be this list without Elliot Cowan on it, it was almost named after him at one point!. And if there’s something a bit wrong about including so good a play as Les Blancs on as tawdry a post as this, there’s no doubting how his ongoing transition into a silver fox is irresistible.
|(c) Faye Thomas|
Pink Mist was another of those plays where I had to try hard not to be distracted by the handsomeness of its cast, but fortunately a Gay Times photoshoot allowed us all to return, guilt-free, after the fact.
|(c) Gay Times|
Apparently on a one-man mission to make Shakespeare sexy, this time saw The Winter’s Tale hotting up, especially good fun as I’d ponied up for seats that were practically on the stage for this one.
Any man that can do a Robyn dance routine (YOUARENOWHERE) is a winner in my book, and when you look like this guy, you can be sure I won’t be dancing on my own.
|(c) Maria Baranova|
Not necessarily the best photo but a worthy entrant for his commitment to new gay writing as much as his commitment to looking mighty fine in it.
It’s a bit of a shame that Harington did a whole lot of press about how he didn’t like being objectifed for his body just before Jamie Lloyd went and exploited it shamelessly in Doctor Faustus. Not many other people were complaining though…
|(c) Marc Brenner|
I loved the fact that within minutes of Murder Ballad starting, director Sam Yates had Karimloo shirtless, recognising and rewarding its target audience
Ned Derrington (plus bonus Dominic Tighe)
Given that one of Emma Rice’s first innovations at the Globe was to get Derrington’s Lysander in his pants and flirting outrageously with a male Helenus, who knows what other treasures we have now lost with her untimely departure on the schedule later this year.
|(c) Getty Images|
There’s probably something in the fact that I think every man I’ve ever seen play Stanley Kowalski has made it on here, so who am I to buck a trend…
|(c) Manuel Harlan|
|(c) Manuel Harlan|
Rumour has it I might have gone to Sunset in the Villa Thalia in the hope of seeing Mr Crane in beachwear. I may not have been disappointed 😉
|(c) Manuel Harlan|
Nuff said 😉
|(c) Ellie Kurtz|
Production shots for Sunset Boulevard missed out one of the more eye-opening bits of the show with Xavier in his swimming trunks but fortunately, his tracking of his fitness progress on Instagram in advance of the show
Utterly charming and silkily dangerous, Fagbenle’s performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom was a feast for the eyes as well as the heart and soul.
And a final Brucie bonus, Luca Savazzi from one of the last things I saw in 2016…
|(c) Jan Versweyveld|
“The Black bird has landed”
It’s only taken me, ooh, a couple of years to get round to watching Cilla, a 2014 ITV miniseries written by Jeff Pope, in which time the small matter of Cilla Black’s passing has made it a more poignant piece. My main reason for watching though, its arrival on Netflix aside, was to finally catch up with Sheridan Smith’s portrayal of the Liverpudlian light entertainment behemoth, back in the days when she was just a Scouse lass called Priscilla White.
Pope’s script definitely has a touch of the rose-tinted about it but there’s no denying the amazing energy of Liverpool’s music scene in the 1960s that comes across in the first two episodes. Though she has a job as a typist – her mother proudly proclaims “the first in the family to be considered suitable for office work” – Cilla dreams of being a singer and is making quite the name for herself on the club circuit, building a following through club performances with upcoming bands such as a quartet called The Beatles. Continue reading “TV Review: Cilla”
“People of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them, they went out and happened to things”
I came to Da Vinci’s Demons late but I really enjoyed working my way through Series 1 and Series 2 of this historical fantasy in order to get up to speed for the arrival of the third series. This turned out to be a bit of a bittersweet exercise as the show was then cancelled and the decision made to release the final series in its entirety online. I reviewed the first two episodes here but it has taken me a while to get to watching the rest though sadly, it wasn’t quite the swansong I’d hoped for.
Now thoroughly uprooted from Florence, the multitudinous locations of the many-stranded narrative leave Da Vinci’s Demons flailing aimlessly a little too often, with a sense of confusion about where and when (and indeed why) things are happening and not enough of a grand design emerging, drawing the pieces together with increasing clarity. The most frustrating part of this is the prominence of the programme’s internal mythology, pitching the Sons of Mithras (now bad) against the Labyrinth (possibly good, I think). Continue reading “DVD Review: Da Vinci’s Demons Series 3”
“Some people say that heroes are born and some that they’re made”
As Da Vinci’s Demons draws to a close and Game of Thrones fans have to wait until the end of April for Season 6 to start, ITV step into the big-budget historical fantasy genre with their 12-part serialisation of Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands. Created by James Dormer, Tim Haines and Katie Newman, Beowulf is based on the epic Old English poem set in the Dark Ages in Northumbria but spins its own fantasy world out of the source material, something that looks promising on the evidence of this first episode.
With any new series, there’s a certain amount of setting up to be done in the first episode and Dormer’s writing does well to weave plenty of exposition into the story without weighing it down too much. After seeing his father killed by a fearsome beast which he then slaughters, the young Beowulf is adopted by the local thane Hrothgar. This is shown in a brief prologue as as the show starts proper, we’ve skipped a couple of decades ahead where Beowulf, long estranged from his family, returns to the frontier town of Herot to mourn Hrothgar’s passing. Continue reading “TV Review: Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands Episode 1”
“This chemistry sounds much too sophisticated for a horde of heathens”
In this world of Netflix and Amazon dramas, the rules of getting your televisual content out there have changed for everyone and following suit, the entirety of the third series of Starz’ Da Vinci’s Demons has been released for people to go for a binge-watch or bite-site chunks as they see fit. I haven’t got a huge amount of time this week so I thought I’d sample the opening two episodes of this final (for now) season of this highly enjoyable historical fantasy romp, not least to get the cliff-hanger ending of Series 2 out of the way.
And perhaps acknowledging the forthcoming ending (although the series was filmed before the cancellation was announced), the tone of the show has darkened, increasingly bloody and brutal as ritual and warcraft take a more vicious turn with the stakes rising for pretty much every concerned. The Turks’ sacking of Naples gives us the best battle the show has done with fearsome consequences for several characters, Riario’s dealings with The Labyrinth become ever more sinister and even Gregg Chillin’s Zoroaster gets a decent plot for once. Continue reading “TV Review: Da Vinci’s Demons Series 3, episodes 1 + 2”