Douglas Hodge - Photo Call for the Roundabout Theatre Company production Old Times at the American Airlines Theatre. at American Airlines Theatre, - New York City, New York, United States - Wednesday 26th August 2015
We present the nominees for this year's Oliviers with the awards' strong representation of musicals.
The musicals will have it at this year's Oliver Awards, the annual ceremony to honour the year's best theatre productions, which will take place on the 13th April. Last year, Matilda The Musical was the evening's grand victor and the theme of Roald Dahl adoration will be continued this year with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and its Willy Wonka, AKA Douglas Hodge, standing out as early favourites.
'The Book Of Mormon' Is One Of The Nomination-Leading Productions At The Oliviers 2014.
The childrens musical, along with the 1981 comedy musical Merrily We Roll Along, leads the nominations this year with seven nods each. Next, The Book of Mormon, Once and The Scottsboro Boys are up for six prizes each and will battle it out in the fiercely-fought Best New Musical category.
Dorothy Gale is barely back in her Tornado-ravaged hometown in Kansas five minutes than she is whisked off over the rainbow back to the topsy-turvy land of Oz once more to rescue her friends, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and Glinda, and the rest of Oz's innocent residents from a terrible peril. At the helm of this new evil is the Jester, more frightening than funny, who plans to turn the leaders of Oz into puppets controlled for his own nefarious means. Along the way Dorothy and her beloved dog Toto meets a string of new and unusual characters including Wiser the Owl, China Princess, Marshal Mallow and former tree Tugg the Tugboat, as she sets off on another exhilarating adventure to find her friends.
'Legends Of Oz: Dorothy's Return' is a new animated fantasy based on both L. Frank Baum's 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' and his great-grandson Roger Stanton Baum's sequel 'Dorothy of Oz'. It has been directed by Will Finn ('The Road to El Dorado') and Dan St. Pierre ('Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey') and written by Adam Balsam, Randi Barnes ('Imagination Movers') and Barry Glasser ('Skateboy') with a film score by Oscar nominated singer Bryan Adams. This enchanting family movie with hit the US on May 9th 2014.
While this odd biopic is a real mess, it's not quite the cinematic disaster snootier critics claim it is. Essentially fan fiction, the script spins a story that has only the vaguest basis in fact, drawing much of its dialog from screenwriter Jeffreys' and book author Kate Snell's imaginations. And if what these people say to each other wasn't so laughably silly, the film's genuinely intriguing themes might have emerged with more force.
We pick up the story in 1995, after Diana (Watts) has been separated from Prince Charles for three years. She still hasn't moved on romantically, and spends most evenings alone in Kensington Palace, making beans on toast and quietly crying herself to sleep. So when she meets heart surgeon Hasnat Khan (Andrews), she's relieved that he doesn't treat her like a princess. Over the next two years, their romance develops in secret because Hasnat is a very private man and Diana is the most famous woman on earth. Fed up with the intrusive paparazzi, Hasnat puts the brakes on their relationship. So Diana uses her friend Dodi Fayed (Anvar) to provide misleading headlines and spark Hasnat's jealousy.
Of course, we know their love is doomed for another key reason: the film is bookended by scenes in Paris on the fateful evening of 31 August 1997. But even if this romance has clearly been fictionalised, it offers some intriguing themes that catch our sympathies, mainly due to an understated performance from Watts that occasionally catches Diana with remarkable detail. So it's frustrating that Khan is portrayed as such an icy, uninteresting figure, which means that Andrews never generates any chemistry with Watts.
Continue reading: Diana Review
Princess Diana was most definitely one of the most famous and inspirational women in the world, known to all as the People's Princess. Never seduced by the lure of wealth, fame and royalty, she lived her life for others, but struggled deeply from her own personal troubles; her failed marriage to Prince Charles embroiled in affair scandals and subsequent divorce, the constant hounding of the press and her later romances. When she met heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan, she fell deeply in love, feeling for the first time in years, like a real woman. But it was a relationship doomed to failure with further media attention forcing a rift between them. She could never escape the scrutiny of the media, even while she put all her efforts into her hands-on charity work.
Continue: Diana Trailer
Sam Mendes' massive and magical production of Roald Dahl's classic, 'Charlie And The Chocolate Factory' has officially premiered in the West End.
When Sam Mendes first decided to adapt Roald Dahl's 49 year-old best loved children's book about an eccentric chocolate maker and one very lucky little boy, he hadn't anticipated the scale or scope of his Charlie And The Chocolate Factory production - or the time it would take to come to fruition.
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory has been brought to life on a large scale before: 1971's film saw Gene Wilder bring his unconventional and volatile incarnation of the mad professor of confectionery in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, whereas a Tim Burton movie kickstarted the franchise again in 2005 with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that saw Johnny Depp on truly bizarre form.
Now, the legend has been brought to the West End by Skyfall director Sam Mendes, who also has a host of strong musicals under his belt, including Oliver! (1994) and Cabaret (1994). The Guardian hails the modern adaptation of Dahl's moral fable as a "sumptuous visual feast" and praises the effective "engaging and sinister" portrayal of Wonka by Douglas Hodge. Young Jack Costello's "adorable" performance as Charlie is lauded by The Independent, along with the band of entitled and greedy golden ticket-winning brats who accompany Charlie on the trip of a lifetime.
Continue reading: Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Musical Debuts In West End
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The Musical will open this evening at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. It has a star studded cast and is directed by Sam Mendes.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The Musical has been re-envisioned by Sam Mendes and will open its doors to the public for the first time this evening at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
For those of you who don’t know the Raold Dahl’s much loved children’s book, the story follows Charlie, a poor but delightful child, who wins a golden ticket (hidden in a chocolate bar) and is given the opportunity to tour the eccentric Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Also present on the tour are a handful of hideous and sinful children who all come to sticky ends. It’s a modern day fairy-tale where good conquers evil except for Willy Wonka who we’re never quite sure about. There is something sinister about the chocolate maker and his army on oompa-lumpas.
Starring Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka; Nigel Planer as Grandpa Joe; Clive Carter as Mr Salt and a multitude of small children playing Charlie and the assortment of monsters, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory promises to be a star filled event. Especially as it is directed by Sam Mendes, who won an Oscar for American Beauty, he is not unfamiliar with the stage either having directed numerous musicals including Gypsy, Oliver and Cabaret.
Douglas Hodge won a throng of new fans and even a Tony Award when he was last on Broadway for La Cage Aux Folles and now he is back on the stage taking on the celebrated title role in the latest version of Cyrano de Bergerac to hit New York.
It is the role, created by Edmond Rostand in 1897, that has seen such distinguished actors as Christopher Plummer, Gérard Depardieu (who won an Oscar nomination) and most recently on Broadway Kevin Kline put on the fake nose to take on the role, but this time round the Brit actor his being lamented as being the perfect casting as audiences and critics can’t help but lap on the praise for the actor, who performed the first show of the run only last night (October 11, 2012).
In fact, it isn’t just Hodge that is getting the praise for the show, as his (largely British) co-stars have also impressed all round for their performances. British director Jamie Lloyd takes helm of the new production, whilst fellow Brit Ranjit Bolt has provided a new translation of the timeless production. Kyle Soller, another Brit and French actress Clemence Poesy make up the rest of the top billed cast.
After surviving the horrific encounter with a underground society of blind, naked carnivorous mutants, Sarah (Macdonald) is left dazed and amnesiac. But Appalachian sheriff Vaines (O'Herlihy) talks her into heading back into the cave to see if her friends are alive, taking his deputy Rios (Cummings) as well as a professional rescue team (Dallas, Skellern and Hodge). The question is whether they'll find survivors, and how long it'll take for them to become mutant food.
Continue reading: The Descent: Part 2 Review
Surprisingly, "Legally Blonde's" very modern Reese Witherspoon seems quite at home in the 19th Century world of London society as sprung from the pages of William Makepeace Thackeray's "Vanity Fair." Unfortunately she fails to inspire much sympathy for the novel's cunning, charmingly conniving, social-climbing heroine.
An orphan raised at a snooty girl's school, where she was indentured as a maid to pay for her edification, upon graduation the brilliant Becky Sharp rises quickly from nanny for the children of an eccentric country nobleman (Bob Hoskins), to sharp-tongued companion for his gossipy, aged society dame sister (Eileen Atkins), to wife-by-elopement of the nobleman's nephew -- much to the shock and chagrin of her former employers.
On the arm of her dashing army officer husband (James Purefoy) -- who used to "break hearts for a hobby" before falling under her spell -- Becky elbows her way into the disapproving circles of the Georgian-era upper crust, her beauty and biting wit making her irresistible to pliant men and a formidable rival to condescending women.
Continue reading: Vanity Fair Review