Godzilla 3D (12A)
THERE is a refreshingly retro feel to this latest incarnation of the daddy of all movie monsters that is redolent of the days when the concept of “less is more” guided a director’s hand.
What’s more, Gareth Edwards proves he can bring off a multi-faceted storyline that packs death, destruction, the threat of nuclear apocalypse, father/ son bonding, the force of Mother Nature and a 200ft high dinosaur from the depths into 111 minutes.
Deep beneath the earth something is stirring. When it emerges – a glowing-eyed winged demon – it is not something mankind can defeat. Something bigger is needed…
Godzilla is packed with themes, subplots, references and nods to other movies. Yet unlike the slew of recent comic-book adaptations it holds fast to drama and avoids cheesy humour. This is a plausible thriller that pays tribute to its Japanese past but rockets the story into the 21st century. The effects are first rate, the sense of powerlessness tangible and authentic, the emotion raw and the terror genuine. It is populated with ant-like figures running in panic and awe. If irradiated behemoths were laying waste to your neighbourhood, you’d run too. a theatre critic without seeing A Taste of Honey.
Which is why I want to thank director Mark Babych for making it feel like I was watching this classic of British theatre for the first time.
Shelagh Delaney’s extraordinary piece of work has become lumbered with being A Very Important Play.
It came at a time when the Angry Young Men were reclaiming a form of expression they had been denied for far too long. It’s easy, when faced with a work of such stature to treat it reverentially, to put on white gloves to carry it out of its protective bubble. I never want to see another version of Look Back in Anger presented as though I were watching it in a museum. In order to direct A Taste of Honey for this Hull Truck Theatre production, Babych has taken the gloves off. The result is a piece of work that is immediate, visceral and heart-wrenching and it makes you view the play in a whole new light.
By getting down and dirty, not worrying about the anachronisms (the prospect of a mixed race baby was far more shocking than today. I hope) and simply digging right into the heart of the piece, Babych has given new life to Delaney’s words.
Helen is a feckless mother, a story told with a genius piece of sparsity by Delaney, by having her daughter call her by her first name. Loose with her morals, Helen has brought up a typically rebellious teenager in Jo, who is as headstrong and determined as her mother is flighty and unreliable. It is, of course, Jo who falls pregnant with the baby of a sailor and has to suffer the consequences. Babych has helped Julie Riley as Helen and Rebecca Ryan as Jo find the emotional heart in two brilliant performances. Ryan in particular, as the wilful Jo, is electrifyingly good. This play’s never looked so vital.
To May 17. SJT, Scarborough, May 20-24, York Theatre Royal, July 8-12. SOMETIMES it’s good to dust off the old classics and be reminded of just how good they are.
Sure, it’s old fashioned and yes it harks back to an England that probably never really existed, with men dressing in black tie and women in ball gowns for dinner in country houses full of eccentrics, but that’s not a reason to consign the classics to history. Director Damian Cruden wisely chooses to do little other than present a straightforward telling of the story in a design by Nigel Hook that might have been created to allow theatre critics to use the word sumptuous. It is beautiful, as are the costumes as is the story.
Noel Coward’s comedy was hugely inventive for its time, calling for a stage to be affected by the paranormal. In 1941, when it first began its record-breaking West End run, one wonders how terrifying it might have been for audiences who witnessed the occult.
Novelist Charles Condomine lives a life of luxury with his second wife Ruth. His first wife, Elvira, died seven years previously and Charles has the shard of ice in his heart
The concert is part of the centenary celebrations of the King’s Hall and Wilson will be at the venue on Friday June 13 at 7.30pm. For tickets, which are £15, £19 and £23, call 01943 602319. GET your toes tapping along with Flamenco performers Jaleo next Tuesday, May 20, when they are appear at the City Varieties in Leeds. Formed in 1988 by award-winning artists from Seville, this dynamic dance company combine the essential qualities of flamenco with an innovative spirit that represents flamenco as one of today’s most dynamic art forms. Over the past twenty years Jaleo have built up an international reputation as an exciting and colourful company. Tickets are priced at £20.50 and are available from the box office on 0113 243 0808 or online via www.cityvarieties.co.uk NO matter how many times Evita is revived for the stage it always retains that incredible dramatic intensity that ignited the West End when it opened back in 1978.
Evita tells the story of Eva Peron, and her rise to become one of the most adored women in Argentina, and unfurls through the words of Che, the narrator, and some of the most memorable songs in the world of musical theatre.
Madalena Alberto is a powerful and emotionally charged Evita. With firm conviction, she portrays Evita from her humble beginnings as an ambitious young girl to a woman of great wealth and power. Bringing a new passionate dimension to the song Don’t Cry for Me Argentina this actress created an unforgettable theatrical experience for her audience.
As Juan Peron, Mark Heenehan is imposing and stately combining superb acting with a powerful voice. Together they establish a wonderful on stage chemistry that is passionate, strong yet tender and at times very moving especially in their final duet together. The role of Che, who links Eva’s life in both dialogue and song is not an easy one but Marti Pellow tackles this role with energy and attack. An impressive production not to be missed.
To May 17. FOR one night only next month, Yorkshire Dance will be presenting Bend It, a unique evening that brings together an eclectic mix of established artists from the world of dance, theatre, film, drag and cabaret whose work explores themes of gender, sexuality, identity and relationships.
Curated by Yorkshire Dance Associate Gary Clarke the evening will be hosted by drag diva Mysti Valentine and will include live performances from solo artist Amy Bell, avant-garde dance duo Thick and Tight and will feature the world premiere of choreographer Lea Anderson and film maker Marisa Zanotti’s new documentary film Edits.
The fun starts at 7.30pm on Friday June 6 at Yorkshire Dance in Leeds. Tickets are £8 and £6 concessions. Box office 0113 243 8765.