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Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - ON STAGE -

The fam­ily mu­si­cal Joseph and the Amaz­ing Tech­ni­color Dream­coat will burst onto the Wat­ford stage in uary and the com­edy nes in his Pock­ets will be rformed in Oc­to­ber. You can visit www. at­ford­colos­seum.co.uk r more in­for­ma­tion and book on­line 24 hours a

ets can also be pur­chased by call­ing 0845 075 3993, or vis­it­ing the Wat­ford Colos­seum Ticket Of­fice. HERE has been a rich har­vest of taut thrillers in 2014, in­clud­ing the in­de­pen­dent Amer­i­can fea­tures Blue Ruin and Cold In July and gritty Bri­tish films Locke and Starred Up.

With David Fincher’s adap­ta­tion of Gone Girl loom­ing on the hori­zon, this is un­doubt­edly a year when au­di­ences will catch them­selves re­turn­ing to filthy habits and fu­ri­ously bit­ing their nails in the dark of an un­bear­ably tense cin­ema.

Be­fore I Go To Sleep is guar­an­teed to jan­gle nerves and drop a few jaws as sum­mer mel­lows into au­tumn.

Based on SJ Wat­son’s best­selling novel, this in­ge­nious thriller places us in ex­actly the same hellish predica­ment as the hero­ine, who wakes up each morn­ing with­out any mem­ory of the past, in­clud­ing her own iden­tity.

Through the eyes of this ter­ri­fied wife, we ab­sorb scraps of in­for­ma­tion from sup­pos­edly re­li­able sources and try to piece to­gether the truth, un­sure if writer-di­rec­tor Rowan Joffe is lead­ing us a merry, sadis­tic dance.

Fol­low­ing a car ac­ci­dent, 47-year-old Chris­tine Lu­cas (Ni­cole Kid­man) is di­ag­nosed with an­tero­grade am­ne­sia.

Each morn­ing she wakes in a strange bed next to a man she does not know and creeps into the ad­ja­cent bath­room where a se­ries of photographs on the wall be­gin to fill in the blanks, let­ting her know that the man is her hus­band Ben (Colin Firth) and they have shared many happy years to­gether.

“You store up in­for­ma­tion for a day, wake up and it’s all gone,” ex­plains Ben, whose love for his wife holds strong.

He leaves for work and Chris­tine con­tin­ues to learn about her past from in­for­ma­tion in the house.

Then she re­ceives a mys­te­ri­ous tele­phone call from some­one called Dr Nash (Mark Strong), who in­structs her to look in the wardrobe.

“We’ve been keep­ing a video di­ary. I’m not sure Ben knows,” con­fides the medic.

The sub­se­quent footage casts doubt on the facts that un­der­pin Chris­tine’s frag­ile ex­is­tence.

“Don’t trust any­one!” whis­pers Chris­tine to her­self in the video di­ary, tears glis­ten­ing in her eyes.

As Chris­tine re­con­nects with Claire (Anne-Marie Duff), who is sup­pos­edly her best friend, con­tra­dic­tory tes­ti­monies drive her to the brink of in­san­ity.

Be­fore I Go To Sleep drip-feeds us frag­mented flash­backs, cloud­ing our judge­ment of char­ac­ters as they or­bit Chris­tine, pur­port­edly out of love.

Kid­man cap­tures the fragility of a woman at the mercy of her con­di­tion, who knows she must stare into the abyss be­fore sleep robs her of a day’s de­tec­tive work.

Firth and Strong of­fer ster­ling support and Joffe cranks up the ten­sion mas­ter­fully with each hair­pin twist.

The guess­ing game of who to trust is part of the film’s di­a­bol­i­cal ap­peal and the script en­gi­neers some won­der­ful bluffs un­til a gasp-in­duc­ing big re­veal that should have au­di­ences tee­ter­ing pre­car­i­ously on the edge of their seats.

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