Elling, Trafalgar Studios – London, review

John Simm shines as EllingHere are a 100 reasons why you have to go and see Elling:

John Simm

That’s it, that’s a 100 reasons.

Here is the story:

Mummy’s boy Elling (Simm) and his roommate, the uncouth reluctant virgin Kjell Bjarne (Bower) are the Odd Couple of Oslo: a pair of confused souls taking their first steps in the outside world after years of an isolated and institutional life. Given a flat in the city by social services, their mission is to re-assimilate themselves into society – it’s either that or a return to the asylum. All they have to do is convince their social worker that they really are ‘normal’, even if it does feel safer sleeping in a wardrobe…

It is an incredibly funny but also very touching story, and John Simm’s performance is stunning, he is one of the best actors I have ever seen on stage. It’s all in the details, the way he speaks, the way he moves, the movement of his eyebrows, he becomes Elling. It was striking to see him leave the stage after the last scene, and come back as John Simm as we know him, in order to get the audiences applause. The audience was roaring for him.

I can only very highly recommend you to see this play, it will make you laugh, it will make you nearly cry, and it will make you think about how “normal” we all are these days.

Elling runs in the Trafalgar Studios until the 6th of October 2007.

Go see it. GO SEE IT!

[rating:5/5]

Betrayal – Donmar theatre, London – review

Yesterday I saw Harold Pinter‘s Betrayal in the Donmar. And even though I am getting more and more depressed about the fact that people in the books I read and the people in the plays I watch don’t seem to be able to not betray their partners (what’s going on in the world!) – I quite liked the play. The play was structured backwards, which meant that you more or less saw the last scene first and the first scene last. I liked the fact that it was a modern story to which I could relate, and the actors did well on the nearly naked stage.

The Donmar theatre, close to Covent Garden, is one of my favourite theatres in London. It is not fantasically huge, but they run an interesting program, and you get to sit very close to the stage, so you have a good view on what’s going on.

Roger Michell directed it, and if you read his personal quotes you know why you should like him. I know I do.

Anyone famous in Betrayal?
Well, Samuel West had a tiny role as Anna’s co-star in Notting Hill, and Toby Stephens played the baddie in James Bond – Die Another Day.

[rating:4/5]

Pirates in the theatre


Was 12 times enough? Well, forrr now-uh.

First I saw Davy Jones on stage in New York. He was awesome. He was great. And cool. And nice. And handsome. And voicilicious.

Then I saw Lord Beckett in the National Theatre in London. He was fantastic too.

16 days from now I will see Captain Will Turner in the Duke of York theatre in London. Which is good, there is a pirate living here who wants his ship back, so we need to have a talk with him.

What have those three men in common?
I’m afraid they are in a film together I have seen too much of recently … »

Not here to be loved

When I woke up this morning I felt very weird. Weird that I didn’t need to go to work, weird wondering what I have done – quitting it, and well, my head is just still a bit confused about what is happening in my life at the moment. It will get better soon I’m sure.

A way to get me out of that kind of state of mind is the cinema, the cinema is my second home. Yes, you probably knew that already.

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The Drowsy Chaperone – Novello theatre London – review

It might start to sound a bit pathetic now, my “I don’t like musicals” attitude and maybe I should alter it a little bit and say “I don’t like standard 13 in a dozen like musicals”.
I found an email in my inbox last week from a PR man connected to this musical and he made me an offer:
I give you 2 tickets for The Drowsy Chaperone – you write about it on your blog.

Didn’t take me long to decide.
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Landscape with Weapon, National Theatre, London – review

First of all – I am incredibly pissed off about the fact that Bill Nighy isn’t even nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in The Vertical Hour. Extremely pissed off. I have no words for it really, if that wasn’t award worthy acting then I don’t understand a thing. Kevin Spacey (Moon for the misbegotten) wasn’t nominated either.

But despite all that misery, I had a ticket for a play tonight.

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Theatre, Film, Davy and Doors

A door in Notting Hill

I saw Attempts on her life in the National Theatre last Thursday. After about 10 seconds in the play I realized I had seen this play before and I didn’t like it that time. I saw it in Aarhus performed by freshly graduated theatre actors. It wasn’t their fault I just have problems with modern theatre, it’s not my cup of Yorkshire tea.

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Mama Mia, Prince of Wales Theatre London – review

Mama Mia London

My break from the theatre has been long enough, I can’t just not go to the theatre because I don’t want to lose my memories of the Vertical Hour, so I went tonight. Unplanned, impulsive – business as usual.

And I know I said I hated musicals, I do, Spamalot was the exception. But I had to check out Mama Mia after all those film rumours.

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Ordinary world

New York - break dance - Central Park

She walked all the way from the market on Union Square (14th) until the edges of Central Park that day. It felt good, and because New York was melting for her with lots of sunshine it gave her a feeling of spring. Both on the outside of her body, it was nice to be able to drop the gloves, but also inside her mind. It felt like after a long dark winter, she was slowly waking up again. The sun on her face, the sounds of the city it felt good.

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The Vertical Hour – a review, and a simple twist of fate

The Vertical Hour - Bill Nighy

After nearly 2 weeks, digesting both the trip and the play (I still haven’t really landed in London yet, it’s a weird feeling), it’s time for a personal review of The Vertical Hour. I warn you up front, it has become a long post, that’s what happens when my heart takes over from my head. If you haven’t seen the play you might not be interested in reading it at all. If you still have to see they play (lucky you) you might want to wait reading it until you have seen it, although I promise not to tell you how it’s ending. I felt the need to write it down, so here you go. And there is a beautiful song to hear in this post, I promise you that.
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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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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.

Monty Python’s Spamalot, London – review

Spamalot, the Monty Python musical finally opened in London 2 days ago, after a successful ride (Tony Award) on Broadway.

I am normally not that crazy about musicals, I tend to find them boring. But Spamalot is not your average musical, it kicks ass. It takes the piss out of every musical cliche you can come up with, it has stolen from every musical you can come up with, it is impressively actual and up to date, it is hilariously funny and has some very intelligent jokes too. The set design is fantastic with castles, palaces and things like a huge trojan, uhm, rabbit. And people like the Knights Who Say Ni (We are no longer the Knights who say “NI”. We are now the Knights who say “Icky Icky Icky Icky”). So silly, but so very funny.
Tim Curry is brilliant as King Arthur (he will play King Arthur until January 2007) always followed by his coconut gallopping assistant, and the Lady of the Water has an amazing voice, while singing beautifooly songs. And You get John Cleese as the voice of God. And ..

Well I am not even that big a Monty Python fan, but what can I say, you want to see this.
It’s big big fun.

Moon over Spacey

I haven’t slept well since I wrote my bad review of A Moon For The Misbegotten, I still feel bad about it to be honest, because I have so much respect for Kevin Spacey. I have to stand by my words, even though people have explained to me that O’Neill plays aren’t always easy, but this was how I experienced the play, the acting was terrific, the story just wasn’t my cup of tea. That can happen.

But it pleases me enormously to read that the Independent (review isn’t online yet, I’ll link it up when it is) is raving the play and the actors to hights far beyond the moon today. So does the Guardian (Watching Best and Spacey together is like seeing two desperate people stripping their souls naked.), and the Times (Is there better acting to be found anywhere? I?d be surprised.)

Kevin Spacey gets what he deserves for the hard work and passion he puts in the Old Vic. Now London (critics) better stop nagging, and go appreciate him in stead.

And while we are at it, London, how can you even consider closing the Theatre Museum in Covent Garden. All the people saying that it doesn’t belong in the West End are simply stupid. There, I said it.