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Doctor Foster review – pinging about in a pinball machine of hatred

Tense and preposterous – Mike Bartlett’s outrageous drama swerved to a fabulous finale

I can imagine how it might have gone. The writer Mike Bartlett had done well, had had plays at the Royal Court and the Hampstead theatre, the Almeida and the National, about the world today. He’d won awards by the armful, received glowing notices from proper theatre critics, such as Michael Billington. He had done well. And he thought to himself: now I’m going to have a bit of fun.

So he took a bottle of chablis out of the fridge (maybe Mike doesn’t always drink white wine, but he wanted to get inside the head of the monster he was about to create). He poured himself an enormous glass, downed it, poured himself another, then settled down at the kitchen table and began Doctor Foster (BBC1).

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Ruth Wilson webchat – your questions answered on The Affair, Idris Elba and Marmite

The Olivier-nominated actor joined us live from the National Theatre to talk about crying on cue, why American TV takes so many risks and what she has in common with Hedda Gabler

2.07pm GMT

Thanks for reading! And watching. Great answering all your questions - au revoir!

2.05pm GMT

helizsct asks:

Do you find parallels between the characters you play – ie Stella and Hedda? Both are destructive in their own way. Do you ever draw on your experiences playing other characters with whom you can see similarities?

Sometimes there are similarities, but I've never put those two together. I've seen moments of Alice in Hedda, and moments of Alison in Hedda - in their self loathing. Alice is a psychopath, and is slightly different, she enjoys it and doesn't have a conscience; Alison and Hedda have a deep sense of self-loathing, with Hedda it's quite far down and she doesn't recognise it.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Review: Gerry And Sylvia Anderson's "U.F.O.: The Complete Series"; UK Blu-ray Release From Network

  • CinemaRetro
By Tim Greaves

With Christmas 1970 on the horizon, the UK’s thrilling new sci-fi TV show UFO was well underway. Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's first live-action series, it was set in the future and revolved around the activities of the Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation (Shado), a covert agency presided over by Commander Ed Straker (Ed Bishop) to fend off alien attacks on mankind. As a wide-eyed 8-year-old I was hooked and I can recall wishing two things. One was that I could have one of the Dinky Toys’ missile-firing Shado Interceptors, which I thought then (and still think now) was the coolest among the incredible array of vehicles that appeared in the show; I’d not be nearly as forgiving today as I was back then that Dinky had manufactured it in garish green, where the ‘real’ ones on TV were white. The other wish was that I
See full article at CinemaRetro »

James Bond, and the perils of casting a new 007

Mark Harrison Oct 14, 2016

With the question of who's playing James Bond in James Bond 25 unresolved, we look back at the casting conundrums 007 has faced before.

Since 1962, fewer men have played James Bond than have walked on the moon. Despite the relatively long turnaround of the role, the subject of who might follow in the footsteps of Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig in the future has fuelled many column inches and tabloid splashes.

It feels as if speculation about the seventh 007 in Eon Productions' long-lived spy franchise has been at fever pitch since this time last year, when Craig was doing the promotional rounds for Spectre and commented that he would rather “slash [his] wrists” than play Bond again. It's only after a year of constant reports on the subject that his far more optimistic comments at last weekend's New Yorker Festival
See full article at Den of Geek »

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Reviews Are In! What Critics Think About J.K. Rowling's Buzzworthy Play

  • PEOPLE.com
Fans loved the new Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play (as to be expected), but what do the critics think? The reviews are here, and critics say the highly anticipated production is nothing short of magical. Preview audiences have been pressed to "keep the secrets," but now word is out on how extraordinary the two-act play, set 19 years after the final book in the Harry Potter saga by J.K. Rowling, really is. Here's what the critics are raving: • Ben Brantley, The New York Times"This eagerly anticipated, two-part, five-hour-plus sequel to J.K. Rowling's best-selling, seven-volume series of Harry Potter
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Reviews Are In! What Critics Think About J.K. Rowling's Buzzworthy Play

  • PEOPLE.com
Fans loved the new Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play (as to be expected), but what do the critics think? The reviews are here, and critics say the highly anticipated production is nothing short of magical. Preview audiences have been pressed to "keep the secrets," but now word is out on how extraordinary the two-act play, set 19 years after the final book in the Harry Potter saga by J.K. Rowling, really is. Here's what the critics are raving: • Ben Brantley, The New York Times"This eagerly anticipated, two-part, five-hour-plus sequel to J.K. Rowling's best-selling, seven-volume series of Harry Potter
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

BBC flocks to Thatcher drama Dead Sheep as EU referendum looms

Play examining Geoffrey Howe’s split with Pm over Europe looks more timely than ever

On the day of Geoffrey Howe’s memorial, Monkey hears that Dead Sheep, the play written by ITV’s Tonight reporter Jonathan Maitland about the former chancellor’s savaging of Margaret Thatcher in his resignation speech, may be made into a BBC film. A reading of the play – described by the Guardian’s Michael Billington as “extremely entertaining” – went down well at the corporation and producers are now in talks to raise funding. At Howe’s service in Westminster, attended by his widow Elspeth, David Cameron, George Osborne and John Major among others, Michael Heseltine reminded people of how dismissive the anti-European Thatcher could sometimes be towards Howe – something highlighted in Maitland’s play. Given Howe resigned over Thatcher’s policy towards Europe, saying, “the European enterprise is not and should not be seen … as
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Tamzin Outhwaite webchat – as it happened

The former EastEnders star is back in the West End, and she came in to talk about reincarnating as a guitar, Hp sauce, training with the army and lots more

2.05pm BST

Well, that was fun. Thank you all so much for your questions. If you like to laugh, come to see How The Other Half Loves at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket - we're on until June 25. The episode of Inside No 9, series three, will be on this autumn on BBC2.

2.03pm BST

Antiquarian asks:

There used to be a publicity shot of you in Red Cap on the “media appearances” board in HQ Training Estates South East, where you filmed. They said it was the most stolen image, more so than 007. Any other unusual accolades like that?

I used to be seeded number three in trampolining in Redbridge. And in all-girls doubles, tennis, me and my partner were seeded number two.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Dominic West webchat – as it happened

The star of The Wire, The Affair and now Les Liaisons Dangereuses talked about McNulty’s fake English accent, Cynthia Nixon as a therapist, wearing a silver caped leotard and mountain climbing

6.08pm GMT

Thank you all for your kindnesses and rudenesses. I've really enjoyed it. I hope you can get along to see Nt Live on Thursday. Keep it real. Protect and serve.

6.06pm GMT

Kristina Wilde asks:

I was lucky enough to see Dangerous Liaisons from the front row last Saturday and was completely thrilled. Who or what did you study to get into the mindset of Valmont, and is he comparable to any of your modern characters?

Unfortunately I think he's comparable to most of my modern characters! I hope I'm not getting into a rut. I read a lot about the Marquis de Sade, who was a preoccupation of Laclos, and like Valmont, had a warped view of love,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Can Kevin Spacey Save Relativity Despite Big Hurdles?

Throughout his career, Kevin Spacey has shown an appetite for taking big risks — both on an off the screen.

The 56-year old who grew up in the San Fernando Valley turned a small-time hood with a limp and a suburban dad in the thrall of a high school cheerleader into unlikely anti-heroes in “The Usual Suspects” and “American Beauty.” Then he leveraged those Oscar-winning successes into a production company called Trigger Street that mixed digital experiments with prestige fare such as “The Social Network” before leaving Hollywood for London, where he spent a decade revitalizing the Old Vic theater.

But Spacey’s latest bold move has left many in Hollywood puzzled. The actor and his producing partner Dana Brunetti stunned the entertainment industry when news leaked out on Wednesday that that the pair had reached an agreement to sell Trigger Street to Relativity Media and to assume control of the bankrupt film and TV studio.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Daisy Haggard: 'If I had Botox, my career would be over'

Her career depends on her ‘wiggly’ face and her most memorable TV character was built on a repertoire of snorts and whinnies. Now, in her latest stage role, the Episodes actor is talking fluent gobbledegook

Daisy Haggard’s surname is quite the misnomer. The 37-year-old actor, who resembles a cross between Lisa Kudrow and a young Eve Pollard, is nutty, breezy, rambunctious and bright. Anything, in short, but haggard.

Her eyes can look languid one minute, only to pop out on stalks the next, and she is in good cheer over lunch at the Royal Court theatre in London. She high-fives me when I predict that her stated philosophy (“It’s important to enjoy the silly!”) could very well provide the headline for this article, then speculates on how I might report our time together: “Daisy Haggard pushed the squid into her mouth and let the fat dribble down her chin,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Reece Shearsmith webchat – as it happened

The League of Gentleman actor – who is currently appearing in new play Hangmen –answered your questions at 1pm on Wednesday 23 September, giving his insights into lost characters, creative influences and his comedy writing technique. Read his responses below

2.16pm BST

Thanks for all the questions, sorry if I didn't get to you. But imagine the answer was just what you wanted - that is what I would have said.

2.15pm BST

JackNimrod asks:

As a kid, what scared you more: Dracula, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, or Davros from Doctor Who?

I think of those three, I would say the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Dracula only frightened me afterwards, having watched one of the Hammers, it was in the night in the dark that I would then consider him trying to get in at the window. The Creature was a proper monster - those dead eyes swimming through
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Dennis Potter: there is a nostalgic, rightwing impulse in England

In a BBC World Service broadcast in 1979, Dennis Potter – who would have turned 80 this weekend – talked to Michael Billington about the relationship between good and evil in his play Brimstone and Treacle

Dennis Potter: I was conscious of wanting to write [with Brimstone and Treacle] a parable, exactly the kind of thing which in a sense is destroyed by simply reading a synopsis of what happens. In a sense, what happens is merely the structure to release preoccupations of my own about the relationship between good and evil, neither of which by definition one can understand without appreciating the other. We can obviously only define good by having a sense of evil. We can only define evil by having a sense of good. And I’m interested in the way the modern world has slid into the assumption that evil is an adjective and not a noun, and I wanted to personify it
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Gillian Anderson webchat – as it happened

From the impact of ‘The Scully Effect’ on young women, her dreams of doing a comedy with Jason Bateman, to why Paolo Nutini is a ‘living genius’, the actor was here to answer your questions. Read all her answers here

Gillian Anderson on therapy, rebellion and ‘being weird’

2.31pm GMT

Thank you everybody for joining me this afternoon - thanks for all the questions, and for making me think, and have a great day!

2.21pm GMT

The conversation is in process. And the result ultimately is up to Fox.

2.20pm GMT

shanghaisputnik asks:

I saw Streetcar at the Young Vic in July and later how they chose to present it live-to-tape when shown in cinemas via Nt Live, so I feel now I’ve seen three unique iterations of this production. I assumed the decision to go with a wide static frame and the long takes to compliment and keep
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Sir Donald Sinden obituary

Formidable actor who embraced equally tragedy and farce, stage and screen

"To hear him in full spate is not unlike being shot between the eyes by the world's largest plum," said the journalist John Preston of Donald Sinden, who has died aged 90. The remark was applicable to the actor's vocal delivery both on stage and off. No review was ever penned without "fruity" appearing somewhere near "voice" in the text. Judi Dench, who played a notable Beatrice to his Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing in 1976, said he had "a Christmas pudding of a voice, soaked in brandy"; while the director Peter Hall, who played a very big part in his career, likened it to a bassoon that could be terribly tragic, terribly moving and extremely funny. Physically, too, Sinden was both imposing and endlessly, sometimes outrageously, inventive. In all, Michael Billington averred, he was a critic's dream, because he
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

London Critics Heart ‘Shakespeare In Love’; NY Times Not So Much

London Critics Heart ‘Shakespeare In Love’; NY Times Not So Much
The stage adaptation of Oscar winner Shakespeare In Love has opened at London’s Noel Coward Theatre to raves from many of the UK critics but a big ho-hum from the New York Times‘s Ben Brantley, which could throw a wet blanket over plans for a Broadway transfer by co-producers Disney and Sonia Friedman. “I’ve often attacked our modern mania for turning movies into plays. But, in the case of Shakespeare In Love, the transformation is fully justified,” wrote Michael Billington in The Guardian. “Even more than the original screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, Lee Hall’s new version is a […]
See full article at Deadline »

Eli Wallach: 50 years of being very good, bad and (occasionally) ugly

An ability to project villainy or cynicism or worldly power, often while mounted on a horse, was Eli Wallach's calling card in the movies. But he also had a kind of stern, cerebral handsomeness

Eli Wallach dies at 98

His career in clips

Eli Wallach obituary

Read an interview from 2010 with Eli Wallach and one from 2000 by Michael Billington Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Eli Wallach: a career in clips

With a career stretching back to the method acting glory years of the 1950s, Eli Wallach, who has just died, played a key role in Hollywood over six decades. We look back at his most memorable roles

Eli Wallach dies at 98

Peter Bradshaw's appreciation

Eli Wallach obituary

Read an interview from 2010 with Eli Wallach and one from 2000 by Michael Billington

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Page to stage: is it always second best?

Adaptations of novels are rife in theatre. But it's wrong to think of them as inferior – sometimes they are more than a match for the original works

Over the weekend I was in Bristol watching Sally Cookson's marvellously textured devised version of Jane Eyre at the Old Vic. It might be the 19th-century title that's getting audiences into the building, but once they are there they will be watching a piece that uses all the tools of 21st-century theatre. It is a show that is a million miles away from the literal and literary adaptations that were part of my youthful theatregoing.

Like Melly Still's Coram Boy, Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin's Matilda, Simon Stephens and Marianne Elliott's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, and Tom Frankland and Keir Cooper's Don Quijote (which actually takes a hacksaw to Cervantes's book), the
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Time-travel film Back to the Future to be adapted for West End as a musical

Original team behind hugely successful film following adventures of Marty McFly is reassembled to create a musical version

Back to the Future, which starred Michael J Fox as Marty McFly, is to become the latest film to be adapted as a West End musical.

Jamie Lloyd, a rising star of theatre, is to direct and co-write a new version of the 1985 movie that will also involve the original men behind it: Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale.

Lloyd said he was five when he first saw the film "and I have been a huge fan ever since". Back to the Future is due to open in 2015, the 30th anniversary of the original film – and the same year that McFly visited in Back to the Future II.

The producers said it was not a matter of simply transporting a successful film to the stage. Gale, who co-wrote and co-produced all three Back to the Future
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »
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