The King’s Speech, Wyndham’s Theatre

Editor’s Rating
Rating

Just two weeks ago, I was at Richmond Theatre watching the stage version of The King’s Speech (read my review here). So when I got an invitation to see the press night of the West End version, I was in two minds whether to see it again. I chose to accept partly to cheer on my friend Adam Lilley, who is in the ensemble.

I’m glad I did, though, because seeing the play again helped me clarify a few things.

Continue reading The King’s Speech, Wyndham’s Theatre

The King’s Speech, Wyndham’s Theatre3Scott Matthewman2012-03-29 10:59:04Just two weeks ago, I was at Richmond Theatre watching the stage version of The King’s Speech (read my review here). So when I got an invitation to se…

Review: The King’s Speech

Editor’s Rating
Rating

Apologies for my blog silence in recent weeks/months. At fault is a combination of being busy at work, wssting too much time on Twitter, leading a rather dull and uneventful life and being too damned lazy. Will try harder in all cases.

Anyway, to kick off an attempted revival of this blog, a delayed – and very short – review of The King’s Speech, which I attended at Richmond Theatre last week in an event organised by the theatre and Twespians.

I suppose that, in a play about a man who struggles with a stammer, it’s kind of appropriate that this play consists of several short, frustrating scenes that the playwright (and the audience) has to struggle through before getting to periods of lucidity.

Or maybe it’s just that, after the unproduced play was adapted into a successful, Oscar-winning film, the producers decided to prioritise brand recognition over script quality.

Continue reading Review: The King’s Speech

Review: The King’s Speech2Scott Matthewman2012-03-12 17:52:55Apologies for my blog silence in recent weeks/months. At fault is a combination of being busy at work, wssting too much time on Twitter, leading a rat…

My Beautiful Laundrette, Above the Stag Theatre

When adapting films for the stage, it helps to start with the right source material. Haneif Kureishi’s story of My Beautiful Laundrette, directed in 1985 by Stephen Frears in a version that made stars of Daniel Day-Lewis and the fledgling FilmFour, is the sort of intimate character piece that could very well have been adapted from a play in the first place.

The story centres around Omar, a young man who is struggling to free himself from the yoke of caring for his alcoholic, infirm father, and so who joins his uncle’s business. As a test, his uncle gives him a rundown, loss-making laundrette to run, and with the help of his old school friend Johnny and the cash generated by stealing, and selling, some drugs from an unpleasant work colleague, the enterprise becomes a success.

Continue reading My Beautiful Laundrette, Above the Stag Theatre

Tamara Drewe

This is one of a series of very short reviews to catch up with what I’ve seen in the past few weeks since I last blogged.

Thanks to the lovely people at From the Red Carpet (@F\_T\_R\_C), Terrie-May and I went to the Odeon Leicester Square for the celebrity-filled premiere of Stephen Frears’ new film, Tamara Drewe. Unfortunately our tickets were for the stalls and the celebs were in the circle (former Big Brother 9 contestants Mario and Lisa ended up on our row, which probably says something about their celebrity status, or lack thereof).

Based on Posy Simmonds’ graphic novel, Tamara (Gemma Arterton) is a newspaper columnist who returns to the Dorset village of her childhood, and where she had previously been a sexually precocious wild child. The men who fell under her spell before do so again, but are thwarted by her new relationship with a wild rock star (Dominic Cooper).

Tamara is the least interesting character in the entire film, though. More interesting are the lives and loves of the people around her, most notably Roger Allam’s boorish pulp fiction hack and his long-suffering wife, played by Tamsin Greig. It is Greig’s film in many ways — not only the most interesting character on paper, but the most believable, watchable and fascinating portrayal on screen.

Greig steals the film, but not without much competition from Jessica Barden as scheming teenage fangirl Jodie. Playing much the same sort of character as she did in Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem at the Royal Court and in the West End, Barden is clearly a name to watch in the future.