tue 26/09/2017

Sheridan Smith

The Moorside, BBC One

It takes a certain kind of perversity to make a true-life drama about a missing girl (Shannon Matthews) who wasn’t missing at all – the danger is that drama will be the only thing that’s missing. Neil McKay’s answer to the problem is to take a leaf...

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Funny Girl, Savoy Theatre

Vaudeville is having quite the West End moment, with Funny Girl inheriting the Savoy from Gypsy and Mrs Henderson Presents over at the Noël Coward. Gypsy is the pick of the bunch dramatically, delivering theatre history with real psychological heft...

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Funny Girl, Menier Chocolate Factory

It's hard not to invoke the B word - Barbra, that is, not Brice - and I speak as one who bunked off school to catch her at a midweek matinee when Funny Girl first played London almost 50 years ago. It was standing room only at the Prince of Wales...

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Black Work, ITV

Drama is all about secrets revealed, discoveries unfurled. Black Work was straight into that territory from the first scene. A man and a woman sat in a car, taking the solace from each other that they couldn’t find at home. As ever in such a...

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The C Word, BBC One / Home Fires, ITV

Perhaps only Sheridan Smith could have played the role of Lisa Lynch in The C Word [***], not just because of the no-messing directness she brought to the role, but because Lynch nominated her for the job. Lynch had attained a particular kind...

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Cilla, ITV

With Cilla Black still fighting fit and eminently telly-worthy at 71, it feels a bit odd to find a three-part dramatisation of her life popping up on ITV. Black apparently gave the project her blessing and has hailed Sheridan Smith's performance in...

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The 7.39, BBC One

There are times us northerners watch your typical London-set big-budget BBC drama and think, well, this really is another world. Whether it’s the two-hour commutes or the estate agencies where there is so much business that nobody has time to sit...

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, Noël Coward Theatre

It’s a nothing of a line – “Hail mortal” – spoken by nobody important, but in Michael Grandage’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream it becomes the basis for an entire concept. A trivial bit of linguistic sleight of hand turns it into “Inhale mortal” and...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actress Sheridan Smith

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...

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Dates, Channel 4

The idea of writing nine 30-minute dramas (or more like 26 minutes when you take the ads out) about the thrills and calamities of first-dating might have been asking for trouble, but seems to be working out unexpectedly well so far. The crafty part...

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Quartet

Assured, warm and comfy, Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut Quartet is a tasteful farce of froths and strops. Hoffman’s always wanted to direct and it’s not like he hasn’t tried. Dead Poets Society slipped from his hands, both starring and directing...

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Panto!, ITV1

Pantomime is one of the great festive traditions and the version of Dick Whittington envisaged by John Bishop in this one-off comedy drama checked off every single one of the clichés. Taking a writer’s credit alongside Jonathan Harvey of Gimme Gimme...

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