Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016 round-up

It's that time of year again - when theatre journalists have long since completed their "best of" lists for the year, when theatre bloggers are putting the finishing touches to theirs, and when I've spent the last week playing with a dressing-up box and a selfie stick to justify not writing very much about mine.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Last 10 things seen at the theatre: #100


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - reviewing the reviews

I'm sure it won't have escaped your notice that the reviews for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have started appearing now that the embargo has been lifted. It's quite heartening how good the various reviewers have been about not giving things away, but although the reviews are by and large safe, some of them may give away a little more than a person who has yet to see the plays may want to hear. So I have gone through the reviews and assessed them all for spoilers for you YEAH I EVEN WENT TO THE DAILY MAIL WEBSITE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO (and, obviously, I CANNOT recommend it). No judgement on the reviewers here (except Quentin Letts), and no spoilers in this post, just a round-up with spoiler warnings!

I have assessed the reviews on eight particular aspects, which I will list for you now and explain using an entirely non-Harry Potter example, that absolutely stunning example of mid-'90s action movies... *drum-roll* ... Con Air!

Title - it's called Con Air.
Loose premise - convicts on an aeroplane.
Premise - when a prison transport plane is hijacked by its passengers, America's most hardened criminals, it's up to former prisoner and Army Ranger Cameron Poe - on the plane on his way home to his family - to save the day.
Surprises - there's a bit where a car hilariously falls out of the sky! "On any other day, that might seem strange"!
Obvious characters - as Cameron Poe, Nicolas Cage really commits to his character choices. (He is obvious because he is on the poster.)
Less obvious characters - as Johnny 23, Danny Trejo is arguably the creepiest crim on the whole plane. (He is less obvious because you probably don't know he's in the film until he turns up.)
Production values - David Tattersall's cinematography is very good, and Mark Mancina's score very appropriate.
Homework - if you'd like to watch the film with deeper understanding, you could do some reading up on the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System before you start.

Obviously every single review mentions the title (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!) and the loose premise (a continuation of the story starting from the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) but they vary wildly with regards to the other six aspects. So... click "Read more >>" for the list of reviews? Tweet at me if any other reviews appear that I should add, or if you disagree with any of my safety assessments so I can make the necessary alterations. Also if you are SUPER spoilerphobic, then consider not reading any reviews AT ALL.

(Also also if you're a Con Air fan too, lemme know what crime you think it is Baby-O got locked up for.)

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Olivier Awards 2016 - entirely self-indulgent blog-post

The 2016 Olivier Awards ceremony is tonight. I know this because there is literally nothing else happening on Twitter right now apart from some weary head-shaking because sexism. So because I have some free time and I don't want to run out of Brooklyn Nine-Nine too soon, I'm doing an entirely self-indulgent blog-post on the various nominees. Warning: it's going to get a little bit "stream of consciousness"y, and hopefully a wee bit snarky too. (Update: no change to the words, I'ma just marking the winners in red.)