mon 27/09/2021

tv

Tidy: Ruth Jones gets gonged

Jasper Rees

The late rise of Ruth Jones, who has been made an MBE, is a blessed relief. According to the prevailing rules of ageism and lookism, Jones should still be plugging away in supporting roles, typically as the large gobby sidekick which for years looked like the outer limit of her casting range.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Borgen creator Adam Price

Caroline Crampton

Borgen wasn’t supposed to be an international hit. Even though viewers all over the world had adored other Danish and Swedish TV exports like The Killing and The Bridge, the show’s creator Adam Price was told early on in the commissioning process that his slow-burn drama about Danish coalition politics was not something that was going to bring him global recognition.

Read more...

10 Questions for Actor Simon Russell Beale

Adam Sweeting

It’s difficult to give Simon Russell Beale a brief introduction, so encyclopedic is his list of stage and screen acting credits. He has cruised masterfully through Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov, the Restoration playwrights, Shaw and Pinter, and recently camped it up madly in a revival of Peter Nichols’s Privates on Parade. He has been such a mainstay of the National Theatre that the building may have subsided into the Thames without him.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Sex researcher Shere Hite

Jasper Rees

This week Channel 4 embarks on a season of programmes about sex. Real sex, it claims, in real British bedrooms. A new series called Masters of Sex dramatises the story of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, who from 1957 pioneered research into sexual response. And then there is Sex Box, in which couples will perform the eponymous activity in the eponymous container and then come out and discuss it in front of Mariella Frostrup and a live audience.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Actress Sheridan Smith

Jasper Rees

There’s a song in the musical version of Legally Blonde, in which peroxide ditz Elle celebrates her impending good fortune. “Oh my god, oh my god, you guys,” she sings exultantly as she prepares to accept her beau’s proposal of marriage. Since leaving the role at the start of 2011, Sheridan Smith has continued hollering the words more or less non-stop.

Read more...

10 Questions for Internet Broadcaster Jamal Edwards

joe Muggs

In six and a half years of existence, SBTV has redefined what youth culture broadcasting can be. It began as nothing more than a YouTube channel where Jamal Edwards would put up videos he had filmed of his favourite grime MCs – but his natural ambition and charm ensured it kept expanding from that base.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson

Jasper Rees

Is Steptoe and Son the platonic ideal of the British sitcom? Two men trapped in eternal stasis, imprisoned by class and bound together by family ties as if by hoops of steel, never to escape: it’s what half-hour comedy should be. Posterity would seem to agree, because since the sitcom ended in 1974 the two rag and bone men have never been out of work, appearing in the cinema, on stage and radio.

Read more...

Interview: Braquo and A Prophet screenwriter Abdel Raouf Dafri

Kieron Tyler

Explaining the difference between the first series of the uncompromising French policier Braquo and the second, which he has come on board to write, Abdel Raouf Dafri says his take is “even more violent, even more sarcastic. The line between the good guys and the bad guys is even more fluid”. Dafri knows about bad guys. He wrote Mesrine and A Prophet. He also knows series one of Braquo is a tough act to follow.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Actor Zach Braff

Jasper Rees

Zach Braff (b 1975) is overwhelmingly known as the star of Scrubs, the hugely popular American hospital comedy which came with a side order of surrealism. But fans of low-budget indie cinema will also cherish fond memories of Garden State, which he wrote, directed and starred in alongside Natalie Portman.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Actor Tom Hollander

Jasper Rees

A few years ago something curious happened to Tom Hollander. He grew up. As a brilliant young actor he won the Sunday Times Ian Charleson Award for a series of stage performances whose governing tone was mercurial energy. But as he moved into film, the sense was of an actor who was more eager to be noticed than believed.

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

Album: Catherine Graindorge - Eldorado

Catherine Graindorge is a Belgian violinist and composer. Her second album explores the collateral damage of Covid. The grim sounds she produces...

The Midsummer Marriage, LPO. Gardner, RFH review – Tippett’s...

British opera’s attempted answer to The Magic Flute, and its presentation as the opening gambit of Edward Gardner’s eminent position as...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentleman We...

Looking for answers to what qualifies an album for a makeover and its attendant return to record shop racks can cause heads to spin. Multiple...

The Last Five Years, Garrick Theatre review - bittersweet mu...

Much has happened in the five years since your reviewer braved the steep rake at The Other Palace and saw The Last Five Years...

Gagarine review - hazy cosmic jive in a Paris banlieue

This is the story of a boy and a building. Sixteen-year-old Youri (newcomer Alseni Bathily) lives, with his telescope, in Cité Gagarine, a vast...

Album: Black Dice - Mod Prog Sic

There’s a strand of music that a friend of mine once referred...

Nicola Benedetti, Barbican Hall review – from Bach to the Hi...

If a standard-sized recital hall can be a lonely place for a solo violinist, playing an auditorium of Barbican dimensions must feel like crossing...

Creature, English National Ballet, Sadler's Wells revie...

If a new ballet can be doomed by the weight of expectation, then...

'Rest now, you God': remembering bass-baritone Nor...

Few singers really change your life. Norman Bailey did that for me [writes David Nice of theartsdesk]. The occasion wasn't my first experience of...