“The murderer is never the one you initially suspect”
The story begins as so many of them do, with a murder. This time it is wealthy 80-some tycoon Aristide Leonides who kicks the bucket and the finger of suspicion doesn’t know where to point as it could any one of the disillusioned family members who also lived in the sumptuous family pile. His grand-daughter secures the services of a private investigator to look into the case discreetly and thus the mystery begins.
“You hunt them where they live”
There’s something interesting about a community that can simultaneously urge the need to talk constructively about failure and also gloat endlessly about the its possibility. Where the National Theatre is concerned, the stakes feel considerably heightened and following a summer that contained the divisive Salomé and Common, sadly you could almost feel the knives being sharpened in advance for Saint George and the Dragon.
Two contrasting viewpoints from two contrasting people, to be sure, but you wonder how open-minded people are being, particularly when the start to this press night was delayed by 30 minutes or so adding fuel to certain people’s fire. But all this dancing around is doing, is delaying the inevitable, in that I found Rory Mullarkey’s new play really quite tough-going and had it not been for an effortful performance from John Heffernan keeping it afloat from the front, it would have been worse. Continue reading “Review: Saint George and the Dragon, National Theatre”
Lots of exciting news in the National’s new season announcement, taking us up to January 2018, rather putting the lie to the cries of “crisis” that pop up far too easily when a less-than-well-received show (or two) takes up residency there.
Highlights for me include the perfection of this production pic:
“In Whitechapel, they die every day”
When low ratings for series 2 of Ripper Street saw the BBC decide to pull the plug on it, it was something of a surprise to hear Amazon Video would be taking it over (this was 2014 after all) in a deal that would see episodes released first for streaming, and then shown on the BBC a few months later. And thank the ripper that they did, for I’d argue that this was the best series yet, the storytelling taking on an epic quality as it shifted the personal lives of its key personnel into the frontline with a series-long arc to extraordinary effect.
And this ambition is none more so evident than in the first episode which crashes a train right in the middle of Whitechapel, reuniting Reid with his erstwhile comrades Drake and Jackson four years on since we last saw them. A catastrophic event in and of itself, killing over 50 people, it also set up new villain Capshaw (the always excellent John Heffernan) and brilliantly complicated the character of Susan, promoting her to a deserved series lead as her keen eye for business, and particularly supporting the women of Whitechapel, throws her up against some hard choices. Continue reading “DVD Review: Ripper Street Series 3”
A slightly different take from Christopher Haydon here as he has location footage – filmed at the Scaligero di Torri, Verona with Meera Syal and Tamara Lawrance – but opts to explore the play’s dramatic links to the rest of the canon. So we get clips of 10 of Shakespeare’s other plays and are shown how devices and plots are reused time and time again.
Possibly one of my most favourite potential productions in the making here, as James Dacre takes David Harewood and John Heffernan to Othello’s Tower in Famagusta, Cyprus where they nail it. Please make this happen somehow.
Timon of Athens sees Dromgoole go for the similar star wattage of Dominic West in Coriolanus, opting to focus on Simon Russell Beale wandering through atmospheric parts of Athens with no other actors or productions to distract. And it works wonders again, even if I’m not sure I need to see the play again in a hurry.
|Best Actress in a Play||Lia Williams, Oresteia||Letitia Wright, Eclipsed||Thusitha Jayasundera, My Eyes Went Dark
Marianne Jean-Baptiste, hang
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nell Gwynn
Lara Rossi, Octagon
|Best Actor in a Play||John Heffernan, Oppenheimer||David Morrissey, Hangmen||Chiwetel Ejiofor, Everyman
Jamie Samuel, Plastic Figurines
Eelco Smits, Glazen Speelgoed
Angus Wright, Oresteia
|Best Supporting Actress in a Play||Daisy Haggard, You For Me For You||T’Nia Miller, Eclipsed||Priyanga Burford, The Effect
Estella Daniels, Octagon
Rosalind Eleazor, Plaques and Tangles
Sally Rogers, Hangmen
|Best Supporting Actor in a Play||John Simm, The Homecoming||David Moorst, Violence and Son||Harm Duco Schut, Glazen Speelgoed
Johnny Flynn, Hangmen
James Garnon, As You Like It (Globe)
David Sturzaker, Nell Gwynn
|Best Actress in a Musical||Natalie Dew, Bend It Like Beckham||Katie Brayben, Beautiful||Tracie Bennett, Mrs Henderson Presents
Jennifer Harding, The Clockmaker's Daughter
Debbie Kurup, Anything Goes
Kelly Price, Little Shop of Horrors
|Best Actor in a Musical||Giles Terera, Pure Imagination||Matt Henry, Kinky Boots||Ian Bartholomew, Mrs Henderson Presents
Killian Donnelly, Kinky Boots
Scott Garnham, Grand Hotel
Alex Gaumond, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
|Best Supporting Actress in a Musical||Emma Williams, Mrs Henderson Presents||Amy Lennox, Kinky Boots||Anita Dobson, Follies
Anna Francolini, wonder.land
Lauren Samuels, Bend It Like Beckham
Lorna Want, Beautiful
|Best Supporting Actor in a Musical||Emmanuel Kojo, Show Boat||Ako Mitchell, Little Shop of Horrors||Matthew Malthouse, Mrs Henderson Presents
Ian McIntosh, Beautiful
Jamie Parker, High Society
George Rae, Grand Hotel