Family affairs a dangerous area for Mary Stuart
some mean tricks on me! If you don’t know the Bad Idea Bears, they are the cutest little bears you have ever seen, but they like to convince you that it’s a good idea to do some bad things! Once they hid all my costumes and I had to go on stage in my dressing gown!
What do you like to do to relax when you are not on stage?
I’m currently watching House of Cards, so as soon as I get home I turn on the TV, grab some popcorn and watch about five episodes in a row. I do love Kevin Spacey, I hope we get to work together one day! AUDIENCES will be taken back in time thanks to a new play to be performed later this month.
The production of Mary Stuart sees Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots going head to head.
Elizabeth I’s court was a pack of scheming, conniving self-promoters with barely a conscience amongst them, and Mary is little better.
Too ready to trust, too easily ruled by passion rather than prudence, how could such foibles merit execution after 19 years under house arrest?
In its original 1800 version, playwright Friedrich Schiller examines these and other related issues in a marathon three-hour production that used Shakespearean verse form throughout.
The English translations that began to appear 150 years later gradually modernised the language but still kept audiences in their seats for the original three hours.
Then, in 2010 came Andrew Cowie’s new translation, half the length of the original and in 2010 English that condenses all the spitting fire, the whispered plottings, the subtly applied pressures and alliances of convenience of England’s 16th century rulers.
Whether or not you’re a confirmed fan of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, this production will last well beyond the final curtain as you grapple with the way our forbears managed the governance of this country.
Mary Stuart will be performed at the Court Theatre in Tring from Wednesday, May 13 until Saturday, May 16 at 8pm.
Tickets are £10 to £12 and can be bought by going to www. courttheatre.co.uk or by calling 07543 560478.
EVERY film carries a certain weight of expectation for the audience based on the calibre of talent in front of and behind the camera, as well as word of mouth.
More often than not, dreams are silently crushed when reality unspools at 24 frames per second on that big screen.
So it’s a genuine thrill when a feature exceeds its promise with understated confidence and flair.
Top Five sounds like the worst kind of vanity project: an insider’s portrait of modern celebrity directed and written by Chris Rock, in which the stand-up comedian turned film star plays a stand-up comedian turned film star who wants to be taken seriously.
Art and life walk hand in hand here and they are the best of friends because this occasionally filthy-minded comedy is smart, knowing and laugh-out-loud funny, concealing a heart of gold behind a blistering barrage of polished quips.
Admittedly, in his role as the ringmaster of this delightful circus, Rock allows too many showbusiness chums to flash their pearl whites – DMX, Whoopi Goldberg, Adam Sandler and Jerry Seinfeld cameo as themselves – but they don’t distract from the tender love story at the heart of this little gem.
Rock plays Andre Allen, star of the hugely successful Hammy The Bear film franchise in which he plays a cop in an animal suit with the catchphrase, “It’s Hammy time!”
Audiences and the film studios are hungry for another instalment but Andre is attempting to reinvent himself by headlining a serious drama entitled Uprize, set against the turbulent backdrop of the Haitian Revolution.
Promotional duties for Uprize coincide with Andre’s forthcoming wedding to reality TV star Erica Long (Gabrielle Union) so, naturally, cameras are tracking their every move.
So too is reporter Chelsea Brown (Rosario Dawson), who has been granted a rare audience with Andre, even though her newspaper has been less than kind in the past about his work.
The spark between Andre and Chelsea is palpable and as the day unfolds, they trade cheeky banter, confirm his wedding preparations with Erica’s manager Benny (Romany Malco) and give the slip to Andre’s bodyguard Silk (JB Smoove) so they can spend some quality time with his friends including ex-girlfriend Vanessa (Sherri Shepherd), who knew him before he was famous.
Galvanised by the smouldering on-screen chemistry between the two leads, Top Five is snappily scripted by Rock, who generously distributes the best lines and in-jokes among his ensemble cast.
Dialogue has a natural rhythm that feels like we are eavesdropping on the characters mid-conversation, particularly in crowded scenes where Andre and his coterie argue about their top five favourite rappers.
Chris Rock is at the centre of events in Top Five