sat 17/08/2019

farce

Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Apollo Theatre

The pleasures to be found in the pitfalls that are part of live performance rear their accident-prone head yet again in Peter Pan Goes Wrong, the latest exercise in controlled (or is it?) chaos from Mischief Theatre, the young and clearly very...

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French Without Tears, Orange Tree Theatre

Over the past quarter century the reputation of toff playwright Terence Rattigan has been restored, mainly by strong stagings of his classic dramas, such as Deep Blue Sea. But his first smash hit, French Without Tears, has been the unicorn of...

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Ravel Double Bill, Glyndebourne

Ask opera-lovers to name their favourite one-acter and chances are the choice will be L’enfant et les sortilèges. Colette’s typically off-kilter fable of a destructive kid confronted with the objects and animals he’s damaged is set by Maurice...

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The Pirates of Penzance, English National Opera

When ENO announced its return to Gilbert and Sullivan, rapture at the news that Mike Leigh, genius Topsy-Turvy director, would be the master of wonderland ceremonies was modified by its choice, The Pirates of Penzance. Last staged at the Coliseum –...

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The Three Lions, St James Theatre

The devil gets the best lines, as usual. That may depend, of course, on whether we’re prepared to qualify David Cameron in that role, but in William Gaminara's rapid-firing farce The Three Lions, the PM (played with real brio by Dugald Bruce-...

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Sex Tape

Slap and tickle and slapstick meet to varying degrees of not very funny in this comedy starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel as a married couple who attempt to spice up their love life with a home-made skin-flick. Extreme product placement, a lack...

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The Grand Seduction

 Taylor Kitsch’s doomed film career continues with this trite but good natured Canadian mash-up of Doc Hollywood and Waking Ned. Just like in major box office failure John Carter, Kitsch finds himself dumped in a foreign, mysterious land but...

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Some Like It Hot

In what is undoubtedly one of the earlier recorded examples of the single entendre, the original ad campaign for Some Like It Hot yelled “Marilyn Monroe and her Bosom Companions”. Well, the posters may not have minced words, but there’s more than a...

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The Importance of Being Earnest, Harold Pinter Theatre

“Some might say we’re getting too old for this sort of thing,” declares Martin Jarvis’s Jack Worthing, going off Wlldean piste. Well, we did wonder whether the reunion of Jarvis with Nigel Havers’s Algernon after 32 years might not be some sort of...

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Two Into One, Menier Chocolate Factory

Political farces always start with a distinct disadvantage — the reality is so much sillier than the fictional version. Never mind, if anyone can make a stage comedy funny it is Ray Cooney, who is not only one of the most entertaining playwrights of...

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The Walshes, BBC Four

Zany Dublin family comprising eccentric parents, neurotic daughter and dozy slacker son prepare to meet daughter's new boyfriend... Sound promising? No not especially, but The Walshes is written by Graham Linehan (with help from the "Diet of Worms"...

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Le docteur Miracle, Pop-up Opera, The Running Horse

An orchestral musician recently told me that only one per cent of graduates from UK music colleges go on to take up a post in an established opera company or orchestra. You’d think, given such an alarming statistic, that there would be a lot of very...

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