The Greatest Showmsn is a musical biopic about the life of legendary showman P T Barnum.
It is a delightful example of a modern musical, with toe tapping melodies and memorable lyrics. I must owe an apology to those sitting near me as my feet started tapping and head bobbing along to the music, within seconds of the start. It is very infectious and in many respects excellent.
The story rattles along, compressing years into the space of a song, taking our hero from down and out to successful family man by very clever visual clues.
Hugh Jackman appears to be born for this role. He leads a remarkable cast through triumph and disaster to hope and fortune.
Its only flaw is that the story is told through very rose tinted story.
Totally ignored are the darker aspects of Barnum and the world he inhabited.
That is not surprising as this is designed as a mass-market audience pleaser, which it is, most triumphantly.
This film is worth at least 4 stars out of five, only falling short of five due to the lack of salt to balance the sugar.
This autumn sees the welcome return of the Spiegeltent, venue for GSC’s new production of The Legend of King Arthur.
This brand new play has been written by Caroline Devlin, who has given us a delightful, action packed, humorous and family friendly tale, just right for this time of year.
More than that, she has produced a script befitting the multitalented company, taking and using recognisably Shakespearean plot devises to great effect.
We have the Fool as narrator, babies separated at birth, family treachery, songs, and so forth.
For children, it is a great introduction to the wider world of live drama.
The players are very few in number but, by incredible costume and lighting changes, plus our willing suspension logic, the stage is filled with a massive menage of characters.
A young girl changes to aged monk to soldier in moments and we applaud in delight.
The founders of GSC, Sarah Gobran and Matt Pinches, can be very proud of what they have achieved yet again.
I fully recommend this delightful play to anybody who can get to Guildford before it ends on 5th November.
Truly a 5 star production.
This is the second film of the Kingsman franchise, and on this form, not the last.
Yes it’s time to release our 14-year-old selves and suspend disbelief for 141 minutes in our busy lives.
The writers’, Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughan, have created another rip-roaring, rooting-tooting extravaganza that keeps the viewer riveted to their seats. The fantastic soundtrack matches the action brilliantly, raising your pulse rate over and over again.
A great cast, obviously enjoying their chance to overact like crazy, do a fine job of representing their comic-book characters perfectly.
I would especially highlight the two animal actors, both puppy dogs, who are used to great emotional effect.
I doubt there will be any major prizes for this film but you will be awarded with a very enjoyable piece of entertainment.
The full 5 out of five stars for this piece of glorious hokum.
Sometimes the experience of sitting in a cinema can make you feel really old. Today I was is a near capacity audience and I think if you took the combined age of any three, I would still have been older.
This is because Baby Driver is squarely aimed at the current Grand Theft Auto generation. For these millennials, raised on the criminal as hero, driving to kill, all while isolated in a bubble of noise from their surgically attached ear buds, this film was heaven.
But that isn’t to say I did not like it, far from it. This is a well-written, directed and acted crime caper in the long tradition of The Italian Job and Bonny & Clyde.
The music forms the controlling heartbeat of the action, raising your blood pressure with the craft of Hitchcock. The choice of music is eclectic and appropriate. I felt very at home with many of the choices and enjoyed the newer pieces so much; I am considering buying the sound track.
This film deserves a much broader audience than saw it with me today. For that reason I award it 5 out of five stars. Give it a go.