FILM:February / March 2018
With an absolutely riveting performance, Daniel Day-Lewis
dominates PHANTOM THREAD (cert. 15 2 hrs. 10 mins.).
He plays Reynolds Woodcock, a fashion designer in 1950s London.
Reynolds has a number of romantic attachments, all supervised by
his sister, Cyril (Lesley Manville), who looks after her brother's
every need including getting rid of the girls he has grown tired
However, when Reynolds meets Alma (Vicky Krieps), who is working
as a waitress in a small hotel, he not only falls in love with her
but succumbs to her administrations. Alma becomes Reynolds' muse
and she falls for him. Realising that he will only be truly hers
if he becomes weak, she manages to make him ill to ensure she has
him in her power.
Paul Thomas Anderson directs sharply with an accurate
eye for the nuances of each character. He uses a super camera crew
who shoot scenes to give the maximum impact. The music, too, is
carefully chosen and is made up of various combinations - from just
a piano to full orchestra and all most effective, adding to the
emotional impact of the story.
As far as the acting goes: it is not just a one-man job. Of course,
Day-Lewis is just right in the part - as he is in virtually all
the films he is in - but Vicky Krieps, who is not your usual beauty,
exudes a quiet yet determined persona and she has just the right
mixture of innocence and strength. While Lesly Manville, who has
just won the London Critics Circle Best Supporting Actress award,
manages to alter her actual features to become the guardian of her
We know that Day Lewis undertakes a lot of pre-film research, but
he has an extra special quality which allows him to inhabit his
characters and here he becomes the selfish but very talented famous
dress designer. Do see this film and watch out for it receiving
JOURNEY'S END (cert. 12A 2 hrs. 38 mins.) is such
a sad piece - rather miserable in fact - but so well worth seeing.
Based on RC Sherriff's own time in the field as depicted in his
play written in 1928, we are right in the middle of World War One.
It's the evening of the 1918 Spring Offensive. Bright and bushy-tailed
newcomer Lieutenant Raleigh (Asa Butterfield) arrives at the unit
full of enthusiasm for his role in the army. The trenches are near
Saint Quentin, France. He is pleased to meet a family friend, Captain
Stanhope (Sam Claflin) leading the unit., but concerned when he
finds that Stanhope has become a depressed alcoholic. Raleigh is
helped, though, by kindly pipe-smoking Osborne (Paul Bettany), Stanhope's
second-in-command, who is a teacher in civilian life. Osborne is
known as 'uncle' and fulfils that role admirably.
We are in the trenches beside the men who seem to know that they
are not going to have the back-up that they need and that the raid
on the Germans to capture one of their soldiers, has been scheduled
too early - in order to fit in with an officers' dinner - so that
some, if not all of them, will perish. The viewer gets a real feeling
of the terror and sometimes panic that the men get as they spend
time in close confinement in the dug-out.
Asa Butterfield as Raleigh
in Journey' End
The acting is spot-on throughout. We feel the misery
of Sam Claflin as Captain Stanhope as he faces yet another day of
carnage, while Paul Bettany gives out a feeling of calm as Osborne,
refusing to let the other men see his knowledge of what is to come.
Tom Sturridge puts on the opposite of a brave face to play Second
Lieutenant Hibbert who has panic attacks and just wants to go home.
Almost stealing the acting honours is Toby Jones as the friendly
cook, Mason, who strives to serve edible food. Just avoiding being
a stock character is Stephen Graham as sturdy Second Lieutenant
Trotter who enjoys the food. Young Asa Butterfield portrays the
right amount of innocence and enthusiasm as the new recruit.
The battle scenes are the least successful as we can't make out
the characters clearly enough, but the claustrophobic scenes inside
the bunker best capture the atmosphere. This drama, well-helmed
by director Saul Dibb, is certainly worth catching.
A WOMAN'S LIFE (cert. 12. 1 hr. 59 mins.) is a
film which looks as though it is going in one direction, then becomes
altogether something different as it progresses through Jeanne's
life. Starting in 1819 it shows the young Jeanne (Judith Chemla)
at home with her parents, Baron and Baroness Le Perthuis (Jean-Pierre
Darroussin and Yolande Morreau). Charming her with his courtship,
the Viscount Julien de Lamare (Swann Arlaud) entices her even though
he has less money than her family. After marriage, Julien proves
to be not only very mean with money - depriving his wife of basic
heating and even lighting - but, even worse, he is a womaniser.
He gets their maid, who is a close companion of Jeanne, pregnant.
She forgives him when they have their own son Paul, but there is
disaster when Julien continues to deceive his wife.
In a series of brief scenes, with flashbacks to Jeanne's early
happy life and forward to the dark tone later on, when we see part
of the picture, the story continues until Jeanne is alone with Paul.
But he becomes a liability as a young adult when he runs up debts
and squeezes money out of his mother.
Although the movie is based on the 1883 novel by Guy de Maupassant
and deals with the aristocracy of France, the film looks at issues
which people face in today's England - money worries, adultery and
deceit. We also see how a mother's love for her son can blind her
to his faults.
Great camera work is enhanced by the clever use of
lighting - bright for happier times and dull for the sad. The director
has used both his actors and the scenery to tell his story simply
and to great effect.
His choice of actors shows that Stephane Brize knows not only which
actors to cast in each part but how to use them. There are lovely,
sympathetic performances by Moreau and Darroussin who embody their
characters and support their daughter in her choice of lifetime
partner - a mistake as it turns out. What can one say about Judith
Chemla? She plays a woman who, until she is alone as an older adult,
always bends to the will of others. She adores her parents and is
happy in their company and wouldn't dream of marrying without their
blessing. She loves her husband which results in her being even
more devastated when she realises he is betraying her. Much of the
time she seems to disappear into herself - a great feat for an actress
who mostly needs to be on display.
This is a beautifully crafted film which is highly recommended.
CUSTODY (cert. 15 1 hr. 33 mins.) is a film which
really beefs up the tension as it progresses so that by the end,
the audience is sitting forward hardly breathing, to watch what
is going to happen. But this is no horror film, rather a domestic
abuse tragedy that escalates.
Antoine (Denis Menochet) appears to be a pleasant decent man as
he stands before the family court pleading for joint custody of
his young son, Julien (Thomas Gioria), asserting that he has moved
to the town, where his former wife, Miriam (Lea Drucker) now lives
with 11-year-old Julien and older sister Josephine, to be near his
son. While the family court judge accepts what he says as true,
the family know differently as he is a very abusive person, even
beating his wife while the children watched. Miriam never told anyone
about her mistreatment, so all the Judge can go on is the versions
given by the conflicting parents. But the judge grants Antoine joint
custody in spite of Julien not wanting it. Josephine (Mathilde Auneveux),
who is of age, chooses not to have anything to do with her bullying
Julien - a wonderful child actor - dreads seeing his father who
begins to show his old tendencies, but because of the court's ruling,
he is forced to go with Antoine. When Antoine breaks into his divorced
wife's home we start to fear - rightly - for their safety.
Sensitively directed by Xavier Legrand, he manages
to show the full force of violence and to never to go over the top.
This film is no Shining but a domestic drama which shows the full
force of domestic violence. The camera is used to perfection with
close intimate scenes giving way to Antoine's full rampages through
the rooms of his son's home. As the director also wrote the script
we must give him full credit for this tight atmospheric film which
is not to be missed when it opens in April.
Gary Oldman puts in an Oscar winning performance in THE
DARKEST HOUR (cert. PG 2 hrs. 25 mins.). He plays Winston
Churchill with just the right stance and voice. Thanks to expert
make-up he even looks like the Prime Minister at a crucial time
during World 11. Oldman is well matched by Kristin Scott Thomas
as his wife.
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI (cert.
15 1 hr. 55 mins.) is another almost sure-fire winner of an Oscar
for Best Actress if not for Best Picture. The wonderful Frances
McDormand plays the mother of a murdered daughter who is angry that
a culprit hasn't been found after three months. So she puts up the
three signs aimed to shame the town's chief of police (Woody Harrelson,
excellent in this supporting role) into taking action. An actor
up for the Best Supporting Actor is Sam Rockwell who plays a racist
When LADY BIRD (cert. 15 1 hr. 34 mins.) came
on as the surprise film at the London Film Festival 2017, we didn't
really know a lot about what we were about to see. Accepting that
is was a 'little' film, most of us sat mesmerized by the sheer boldness
of Greta Gerwig's small masterpiece. Well served by her actors,
Saoirse Ronan as 'Lady Bird' and Laurie Metcalf as her mother, Gerwig
directs this story of rebellious adolescence with sure-fire certainty.
Much of the film centres on the relationship between Lady Bird and
her mother and the scenes between them are expertly directed and
acted. Lovely writing adds to the overall quality of this movie.
While it missed out on receiving Oscars it was a real hit in my
I GOT LIFE (cert. 15 1 hr. 29 mins.) is a real
little gem of a film. Probably the best movie I have seen dealing
with a woman's menopausal life. 50 plus Aurore (magnificent Agnes
Jaoui) loses her job, is divorced and finds her elder daughter is
pregnant. When she searches for work in La Rochelle, France, she
comes across men who are not only sexist but distinctly ageist.
As she meets with other older women - some still suffering with
the menopause she learns how an older woman becomes invisible. She
falls again for her childhood sweetheart Christophe (Thibault de
Montalembert), but he is afraid to make a commitment. With a realistic
script by director Blandine Lenoir who also directs, and a realistic
portrayal of the main character, this is a film to be watched by
all women of a certain age - and their menfolk too!
Another amazing woman is shown in A FANTASTIC WOMAN
(cert. 15 1 hr. 40 mins.)
It's bad enough for Marina (Daniela Vega) when her dear older
boyfriend and loving partner suddenly dies. However, Marina, as
a transgender woman has to put up with awful behaviour from her
Director Sebastian Lelio has directed a very moving film with
a trans gender actress as its star. Daniela Vega shows that she
is worthy of all the plaudits that have fallen on her as she portrays
the young woman who must endure real hatred and abuse from the family
and friends of the dead man. The Chilean film rightly won the Best
Foreign Language Oscar.
THE MERCY (cert. 12A 1 hr. 52 mins.)
is a story which is told with compassion and understanding of the
man at its centre. Colin Firth plays Donald Crowhurst, an amateur
sailor who really believes that he can win a competition to race
around the world. Not only is he ill-prepared but he doesn't have
the experience to undertake this. He is well supported by his wife
(Rachel Weisz) who believes in him. Unfortunately, Crowhurst can't
face reality and makes up an elaborate story about his position
and how he is on course to win. He moves on to disastrous consequences.
It is a sad story as the outcome could have been avoided. Firth
is very good in the main part, but the film somehow lacks a feeling
THE SQUARE (cert. 15 2 hrs. 31 mins.) is a rather
strange satire about modern art, publicity work and response to
a crime. Rather in the manner of Haneke, where one is never sure
what is real or not, director and writer Ruben Ostlund sets most
of the film in a museum presided over by Christian (Cales Bang)
who promotes a new installation, 'the Square.' Lots go wrong in
this over-long though often witty film.
SWEET COUNTRY (cert. 15 1 hr. 53 mins.) is an
Australian western, set in 1929. Directed by Warwick Thornton, it
stars Sam Neil as Fred Smith, a preacher, who employs an aboriginal
couple, Sam (Hamilton Morris) and Lizzie (Natassia Gorey Furber)
as workers on his farmland in central Australia.
Newcomer Harry March (Ewen Leslie) persuades Fred to let him hire
Sam and family for one day. Harry treats them terribly and commits
such atrocities that eventually Sam shoots him. Most of the film
is taken up with the manhunt for Sam who knows the bush so well
that he evades capture for some time. The outcome is full of tension
and very well executed under superb direction and with actors -
many of whom are non-professionals - who put their very souls into
LOVELESS (cert. 15 2 hrs, 7 mins.) is a Russian
film which remains disturbing until the end. Such a sad film, it
is also a thriller as from the middle onwards there is a search
and we do not know what will happen until the end - and probably
not even then! Boris (Alexey Rozin) and his wife, Zhenya (Maryana
Spivak) are moving to a divorce as each wants to be with a different
partner. Meanwhile they live in the same apartment in Moscow with
their son, 12-year-old Alyosha (Matvei Novikov). Many of their arguments
- which are almost continuous - centre on custody of their son.
Unhappy Alyosha hears everything and feels unwanted, a burden and
loveless. He goes missing and the parents don't even notice for
two days. They come together to try to find him but are still at
odds with each other. Another excellent performance by a young child
actor combined with good camera work under the direction of Andrey
Zvyagintsev makes this movie another must see.
Winner of the Best Picture Oscar, THE SHAPE OF WATER
(cert. 15 1 hr. 59 mins.) is a fantasy. Starring Sally Hawkins as
Elisa, a mute cleaning lady working in a secret Government laboratory.
When a new specimen is brought in, she gravitates towards him
and discovers a humanoid water creature, who communicates with her
without speaking and they fall in love. Director Guillermo De Toro
- who won the Best Director Oscar for this film - presents a fantasy
which on paper sounds preposterous but as you watch it, you enter
his amazing world.
The whole film is very special with lovely performances
by Octavia Spencer as Elisa's friend in the Government establishment
and Richard Jenkins as her gay elderly neighbour.
LONDON CRITICS CIRCLE 2018 FILM
The WINNERS for the 38th annual London
Critics' Circle Film Awards were announced at The May Fair
Hotel, hosted by actors Alice Lowe and Steve Oram Thomas
Full List of Winners:
FILM OF THE YEAR: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing,
FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR: Elle
DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR: I Am Not Your Negro
BRITISH/IRISH FILM OF THE YEAR: The Attenborough
DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR: Sean Baker - The Florida
SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR: Martin McDonagh - Three
Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
ACTRESS OF THE YEAR: Frances McDormand - Three
Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
ACTOR OF THE YEAR: Timothée Chalamet - Call Me
By Your Name
SUPPORTING ACTRESS OF THE YEAR: Lesley Manville
- Phantom Thread
SUPPORTING ACTOR OF THE YEAR: Hugh Grant - Paddington
BRITISH/IRISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR: Sally Hawkins
- The Shape of Water/Maudie/Paddington 2
BRITISH/IRISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR: Daniel Kaluuya
- Get Out
YOUNG BRITISH/IRISH PERFORMER OF THE YEAR: Harris
Dickinson - Beach Rats
BREAKTHROUGH BRITISH/IRISH FILMMAKER: The Philip
French Award: Francis Lee - God's Own Country
BRITISH/IRISH SHORT FILM OF THE YEAR: We Love
Moses - Dionne Edwards
TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Blade Runner 2049
- Dennis Gassner, production design
EXCELLENCE IN FILM: The Dilys Powell Award Kate
JULIUS CAESAR (Bridge Theatre, London
until 15 April, NT Live Broadcast 22 March. Box office: 0333 320
There are many productions of JULIUS CAESAR that
have taken place in the past and some good ones more recently, but
Nicholas Hytner's interpretation must surely rank with the highest.
Both his choice of setting - a promenade audience with half around
the centre and the rest sitting on seats overlooking the action
- and the beauty of the new Bridge Theatre in London are superb.
So too is Hytner's choice of actors. Ben Whishaw plays Brutus as
a quiet thinker, a politician more interested in books than action,
while David Morrissey's Mark Antony is a bit of a showman, confident
in his ability to get the mob on his side
Making his mark, too, is David Calder as Julius Caesar. He talks
as though he doesn't want or care about acclaim but seems all too
happy to accept honours when they are offered. Who does he remind
you of as he shows off to the crowd? Could it be another dig at
And then we have a female Cassius. Michelle Fairley starts off
in rather a low key but soon gains in stature and is a worthy member
of the main trio of conspirators.
Surprisingly, another group of actors turns out to
be the parading audience on the ground (what the Globe Theatre would
call 'groundlings') who form the mob and, with more than a little
stage management, are moved around the floor to respond and, indeed,
to take part, in the main action. We can see how they are manipulated
first by Ben Whishaw's intellectual Brutus and then by Mark Antony's
oratory, brilliantly put across by David Morrissey.
Amazing sets, brought on quickly by the group of stage hands, which
even has ash falling from above and settling over the furniture
in a war scene. In this case modern dress fits in well with the
interpretation and the loud rock group which plays at the start
of the play encourages the promenaders to bounce around the floor.
Do visit the outstanding Bridge Theatre.
LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT (Wyndham's Theatre,
London, until 7 April Box office: 0844 482 5120)
That Eugene O'Neill based his play on his own family and his own
life makes it more poignant. Under director Richard Eyre we are
given a clear picture of all the members of this family and can
feel for them all as the story unwinds. It's virtually real time
as the events all take place over one long day.
Mary Tyrone, the mother of the family (played magnificently by
Lesley Manville) is a morphine addict. The father of the Tyrone
family is James Tyrone (a good solid performance by Jeremy Irons).
He was once a good and well-known actor but no longer and is mean
with his money, which he worries about constantly. One son Jamie
Tyrone (Rory Keenan in a performance which exactly captures the
character) is a failure at everything he does and covers this up
with excessive drinking. The other Edmund Tyrone (a sensitive characterisation
by Matthew Beard) is suffering from tuberculosis, which is not really
acknowledged by the family, the parents insisting that it is just
a cold. He absorbs himself in morbid poetry.
Costumes are beautifully designed with all four members of the
household in light cream with James in darker brown trousers. The
set - with glass panels making see-through walls all around - suits
this production and the only slightly jarring moment is the rather
over done performance by Jessica Regan as the Irish maid Kathleen.
Jeremy Irons & Lesley Manville
in Long Day's Journey Into Night
Drink, drugs and illness dominate the play and the
cast bring everything to life as they gel into a magnificent tragic
family. They are led by Lesley Manville who can't be bettered in
this part. Look at her in the Phantom Thread (reviewed in FILMS
above) and then here - hard to believe it is the same actress.
The audience sat completely still for three and a half hours! This
Just closed or about to close
THE YORK REALIST has just finished at the Donmar
Theatre but goes on to play at the Sheffield Crucible until 7 April.
It is an excellent play by Peter Gill about the conflicting modes
of living of the two lovers at the centre. It's a gay love story
where the two are pulled apart as George (Ben Batt) who lives in
a small northern community and John (Jonathan Bailey) the assistant
director of the York Mystery Plays who comes to his house when George
is cast in the plays. Although they really love each other they
cannot reconcile George's wish to stay in his community and John's
need to stay in London. Beautifully acted. Catch it if you can.
ROTHSCHILD & SONS, which was on at the Park Theatre,
is not the most marvelous play. Although interesting in that it
tells how Mayer Rothschild (Robert Cuccioli) came from humble beginnings,
Hamburg's Jewish ghetto, to have five sons who, along with him,
came to rule the banking world, it is not memorable. There are distinct
echoes of Fiddler on the Roof here - not surprising as this is the
final musical from the Fiddler team of Jerry Brock and Sheldon Harnick.
Although it has some good music and pleasant singing it is lacking
in dramatic impact and I can't see it being taken up elsewhere.
LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN continues at the Vaudeville
Theatre, London, until 7 April. It's a charming piece, funny and
beautifully acted by the whole cast. Full of comedy with outstanding
performances, particularly by Jennifer Saunders, who puts across
somewhat saucy ditties between acts. The production captures both
the intelligence and humour of the Oscar Wilde play under the directorship
of Kathy Burke.
EUGENIUS! (was on at The Other Palace). I must
admit that I wasn't enamoured when I saw the Workshop performance
of this at the Palladium. While it is certainly better now, it is
not the kind of musical that appeals to me. Director Ian Talbot
has done his best with the material and there are, indeed, some
catchy tunes and lively action. I liked the use of two doll babies,
one of whom crawled. It's more of a comic book all-action show than
a modern musical. The audience seemed to really enjoy it! But I
don't see it as having much of a future.
ALL OR NOTHING, which has just completed its run
at the Arts Theatre, is a mod musical, with book by Carol Harrison,
which has some very catchy songs and very loud music. It is going
on to play at the Ambassadors Theatre (until 2 June. Box office:
020 7395 5405).
Telling the story of the Small Faces, all the music and lyrics
are, of course by the group. The four very young East London lads
form a group in the 1950s. They are eager to succeed, and, in many
ways, they do with lots of hits, but they become victims of the
wicked world of showbiz and it all goes horribly wrong for them.
All Or Nothing - The Mod Musical
There is a story here, but people mainly go to the
show for the well-known hit songs including Lazy Sunday,
Itchycoo Park, and, of course, All or Nothing.
The Royal Court Theatre continues to come up with intriguing plays
and GUNDOG, directed by Vicky Featherstone, which
has unfortunately closed, is certainly that. Simon Longman's new
play captures the extreme hardship of living very close to nature.
With a most impressive set, composed of mounds of earth, we see
two sisters fighting for existence as they struggle almost alone
with the hardship of the upkeep of their land. The arrival of a
hard-working foreigner alters the dynamics of the small family unit.
Ria Zmitrowicz and Rochenda Sandall play the sisters. For me and
for many in the audience of the very small studio upstairs, the
star of the show is Romanian actor, Alec Secareanu who, with little
dialogue, gives heart to the character of the foreigner. So good
in the film God's Own Country, he displays a charismatic intensity
Another super production at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre downstairs
was GIRLS AND BOYS which, I understand was completely
sold out almost before it opened. Starring Carey Mulligan as the
only performer it was so beautifully acted that it is a real pity
it had such a short run. A continuous monologue but with so much
nuance that remembering it almost seems like other actors inhabited
the stage with her. In Dennis Kelly's play, we hear the actress
speak about the beginning and then the gradual disintegration of
her marriage, taking in two children along the way. All the other
characters are imagined in this well-written, beautifully performed
The tiny Union Theatre, under the leadership of Sasha Regan, continues
to put on major productions on its very small stage. The venue is
so welcoming - from the charming man who runs the refreshment bar
to the intimacy of the auditorium that one feels good even before
the show starts. But CARMEN 1808 is worth seeing
for its own value. Unfortunately, this has just finished. With musical
theatre actors - rather than operatic voices - the large cast give
a very different 90-minute version of Bizet's opera. The setting
is now 1808 and Spain is governed by Napoleon's French army. The
well-known music is all there and it is performed as a musical rather
than an opera. Let's hope it is put on again but in a larger venue!
Although not my cup of tea, I can see how PIPPIN,
recently at the Southwark Playhouse Theatre, appeals to people.
There are, indeed, some good songs, but they get lost in a lot of
fussy business with nods at the audience as though to say, 'Aren't
we being clever.' The music and lyrics are by Stephen Schwartz who
has given us a couple of lively tunes, particularly Corner of the
Sky and No time at all. The choreography - some re-created from
Bob Fosse's original production - is well performed.
With an enthusiastic audience who not only join in the spirit of
the show by answering questions thrown at us, but also laugh and
demonstrate their enjoyment of the many comic moments in NAPOLEON
DISROBED, lately to be seen at the Arcola Theatre, this
came across well. The show gives out and receives much warmth boosted
by the two performers who work excellently together: Paul Hunter
who plays Napoleon and Ayesha Antoine who plays everyone else! Directed
by Kathryn Hunter with lots of knockabout business and two very
gifted actors, it is most enjoyable.
The memory of the BBC series of A PASSAGE TO INDIA,
which has just closed at the Park Theatre remain as we watch the
brave attempt by adapter Simon Dormandy to transfer E.M. Forster's
famous multi-layered novel to the stage. With effective staging,
the life of the British in Imperial India in and their inter-action
with local Indians is performed on a simple set with minimum props.
An ensemble of actors who work really well together under the direction
of Sebastian Armesto and Simon Dormandy, do their best to bring
the period and the story to life.
As in David Lean's original 1945 film, in this staged version of
BRIEF ENCOUNTER (Empire Cinema London until 2 September.
Box office: 0844 871 7628.) Laura (Isabel Pollen) meets
Alec (Jim Sturgeon) when he goes to her aid at the railway station
café after she gets a cinder in her eye. They get to know one another
though each is married to someone else. Meeting every time they
come to London from the suburbs, they fall in love, but their love
is doomed. The romance of the very British posh couple is contrasted
with an equally British couple, the working-class café manager,
Myrtle (Lucy Thackeray) and her suitor, Albert (Dean Nolan, who
also plays Laura's husband). Emotional moments between the main
couple are nicely balanced by the very funny antics of Beryl (Beverley
Rudd) who is Beryl's assistant in the railway station café.
The 1940s-time period is perfectly caught from the clothes to
the design of the railway café, where the two main upper-class characters
meet, to the clipped English way of talking contrasted with the
cockney accents of the lower class.
The actors play musical instruments as well as singing and acting.
They are all, without exception multi-talented and multi good! The
acting is uniformly fine, and the piece shows how director Emma
Rice is able to produce a genuine true acting ensemble who work
together as one.
Isabel Pollen as Laura and
Jim Sturgeon as Alec in Brief Encounter
All the songs are by Noel Coward and heart-stirringly moving. The fantastic staging moves the characters around the stage taking in various venues and even has our non-sexual lovers swinging from chandeliers!
You have time to see this…so book now!