Don Juan in Soho, Donmar – review

Rhys Ifans in Notting Hill« Rhys Ifans in his classic Fancy-a-fuck t-shirt in Notting Hill

To be totally prepared for The Vertical Hour, I am doing a small theatre warming up these weeks. I saw Love Song, Love or Money, and today it was time for Don Juan in Soho. Three plays about Love actually, three very different plays in three different theatres. They are all great and recommended, but this last one was definitely the funniest one.

OK, you have all seen Notting Hill of course. If not go rent it (no Bill isn’t even in it), it is a lovely feel good film, an excellent Christmas watch, written by Richard Curtis, with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant in it. Hugh Grants lovely Welsh flatmate in that film, Spike, was played by Rhys Ifans. (The same Rhys Ifans who played against Daniel Craig in Enduring Love by the way, which has in fact Bill in it. By golly, I need to see that film again, Daniel and Bill in one film! Hello, you are rambling again. Oh, yes, sorry.).

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Thirteen days
The smallest integer with eight letters in its spelled out name in English.
The atomic number of aluminium.
The number of dimensions in some theories of relativity.
The number of participants at the Last Supper.
The number of steps, according to Egyptian lore, between life and death.
The number of animals in the Chinese zodiac, including the cat.
A 1999 album by British band Blur.
The number of cards in a single suit of a standard deck of playing cards.
The number of players in a rugby league team.
He got nominated for a Golden Globe for Gideons Daughter that day in December in 2006.
The number of days before The Vertical Hour.

I got my new specs yesterday. They are funky, the world looks pink.

Bill Nighy in pencil, kind of

Because it is that day of the year again. And because I can only make things like this with nice faces on it. And no, of course I didn’t forget Bill’s birthday. 57 today, and still the funkiest man in the universe. And the most brilliant actor on the planet.

So – a very very Happy Birthday to:
Lawrence, Billy, Davy, Viktor, Alan, Whitey, Richard, Bernard, Slartibartfast, Dylan, Philip, Mortmain, Robin, Louis, Roger, Dan, Ray, Peter, Mr. Johnson, Edward, Tristan, Jeremy, Julian, Barton, Tiger, Gideon, Colonel Osborne, Cameron, Stamfordham, Mr. McGill, Jeffrey, Lockwood, Lord Sandwich, Ian, Will, Tom, Oliver, John, Hugh, Mark, Sam, Cecil, Ronald, Helmut, Lee, Oates, Conor, Vincent, Nick, and Albert.

And Bill himself.

I love them all ’cause they
Show me the world as I’d love to see it

Oh go on then, have some Billy Mack.

Back in London

The Norwegian Nisse

Holland was nice. There were family visits, Sinterklaas, a meeting with friends from way back (and the wonder that laughing with them always seems to be so easy, no matter how long we haven’t seen each other), and I got reunited with my little Norwegian friend here.

But it was a very weird and sad day today. Right in front of our office an older woman got hit by a car. It was raining and she was just laying very still on the middle of the street, her legs pulled up a little, and her grey hair spraid on the black asphalt . A man was holding an umbrella over her while other people called an ambulance. The ambulance arrived in 2 minutes. All the time we were waiting for her to move, but she didn’t. The ambulance people did not even attempt to revive her, she had died on the spot. She has been wandering around in my head since.
May she rest in peace.

The Girl on Tour – Hawaii would be nice

Bill Nighy - Lawrence in The Girl In The Cafe

What is that man doing here you wonder? I think we have looked at Will Ferrell and Daniel Craig long enough now haven’t we. And we are in the middle of a small update on The Girl In The Cafe on tour project, so it is completely legitimate.

Things are going a bit slower here around the Christmas time. One DVD is currently in Holland but those people seem to have gone on holiday, her twin sister has just arrived at soyouthinkican‘s house in the States. To make things a little bit more exotic for the Girl, Hawaii has just been added to the list of planned destinations. She likes that I can tell you. I might jump in the envelope with her when she is going there, I mean, Hawaii! I envy her a bit, she is going places I have never been.

If you want to be added to the list, please read here and join. If you want to know where she is going or has been check here.

Paul in Spain saw the film, loved it, and wrote a wonderful review. A big thank you for that! Read More

Stranger than fiction – review (9/10)

Stranger than fiction
And then the Americans : Stranger than Fiction (imdb)

An otherwise average film year certainly is shaping up here in the last 2 months. It seems like they stuffed all the good films in the end of the year.

There is no way you get me into a cinema to watch a film like Talladega Nights. That kind of humour just isn’t me, and I thought Will Ferrell wasn’t really me either. But I admit to be absolutely positively surprised by Will Ferrell’s performance in Stranger than Fiction. What a great actor he is, when not playing a goofy character. He nearly reminded me, dare I say this, of Bill Nighy. His underplaying of the character, his laid back way of acting, his lanky body, he was fantastic.

The story is very original and interesting, it is funny, it is romantic, and it is entertaining until the end. It also has a well playing (as always) Emma Thompson and Dustin Hofman in it.

This might be the Christmas Rom Com you were waiting for, as I can’t see any other ones coming even close to this one this year.

Highly recommended.

London to Brighton – review (9/10)

London to Brighton
First the Brits.

London To Brighton (imdb) has been called one of the best British films of this year, and that’s not completely undeserved. It’s a thriller and it will keep you on the edge of your seat from the first until the very last minute. This film really does show the darkest sites of London, and the dark sites of life. It is incredible well acted and it blew me away. Don’t expect any pink coloured happy endings here, you will be disappointed. Though there might be a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, but only a little bit.

Very recommended, but not for the faint hearted.


Mind the doors

I walked to Waterloo station after the theatre to get the Northern Line. I walked just behind 4 crazy (the good way) English guys who were already in a weekend mood. As they were a few steps ahead of me they could just about wrestle themselves into the train, using arms and legs to keep the already closing doors open. One of those brave boys sacrificed his arm to try to press the door open for me too, but the train doors were too strong for him. He had to give up, the doors were now closed. 4 faces were looking at me as to apologise for not getting me in.

I pulled up my shoulders, bowed for them as a thank you and waved to them. They waved back.

I was about to turn and wait for the next tube when the train driver, who probably had seen all this and who must have been in an excellent mood, decided to make an exception. An exception to the rule that once the doors are closed, the doors stay closed and the train leaves.

He opened the doors for me.
I stepped in. The cheer that welcomed me made me feel like someone who had just scored a goal for the English football team in the final against France in the Worldcup. It was hilarious, those crazy guys.

I know that life in London is not always a fairy tale, the city has a dark side too, I pass it every day. But on days like this London is great.

British men, you got to love them. Ooh la.

Love and Money – Young Vic – review

While Kevin was giving a Spacey performance in the Old Vic, I went to it’s younger brother, the Young Vic, a bit further down on The Cut. Recently reopened and kicking off with a season of fresh new plays. Love and Money was very different from Love Song, a nearly naked stage, and quite a different view on the whole Love thing. Was it any good? Yes it was any good, excellent acting, interesting story. Recommended, if you like something different.

But honestly, the best theatre related thing today was reading all this. I told you he was good.