THEATRE NEWG & MOVIE MON S THLY
REBEL, REBEL! ...............
THEREâ€™S A NEW DOLL IN TOWN...
TOP SHOW PICKS FROM WEST END WILMA
REBEL WILSON SHINES IN GUY AND DOLLS
SUMMER OF CINEMA 2016 GHOSTBUSTERS & FINDING DORY SHOWTIME : SFF
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PLOT FOLLOW THE
LUCK BE THIS LADY!..
THEATRE NEW & MOVIE MONTHS LY
REBEL, REBEL! ...............
THERE’S A NEW DOLL IN TOWN...
THESE ARE WHO YOU’RE GONNA CALL!..
ELLEN DEGENERES IS BACK VOICING EVERYONE’S FAVOURITE FORGETFUL FISH IN FINDING DORY
MELISSA, KRISTEN, KATE & LESLIE ARE SAVING THE WORLD IN THE REBOOT OF GHOSTBUSTERS
05 Meet the Cast As we raise the curtain on a new look PROJECTING NOW 06 Trailer Park Check out the hottest July cinema releases 18 Small Screen What’s new to DVD & Blu-ray this month 20 Summer of Cinema 2016 A sizzling season of films to look forward to from the FDA
REBEL WILSON SHINES IN GUY AND DOLLS
TOP SHOW PICKS FROM WEST END WILMA
REBEL WILSON MAKES HER LONDON STAGE DEBUT IN THE CLASSIC NEW YORK MUSICAL GUYS AND DOLLS
SUMMER OF CINEMA 2016 GHOSTBUSTERS & FINDING DORY
23 Behind the Movie: Ghostbusters Director Paul Feig on his spooktacular reboot 28 Focus On: Finding Dory The family favourite swims back onto screens SPOTLIGHT ON 32 REBEL WILSON shines in GUYS AND DOLLS CURTAIN UP 36 Top show picks from West End Wilma Including Scooby Doo, Funny Girl & Aladdin
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CAST MEET THE
THE CURTAIN’S UP ON A NEW LOOK
BOB DYLAN WAS SPOT ON
when he sang about the times a-changin’! And the times are certainly a-changin’ over here at Show Film First.
CRAIG JOHNSON Art Director KATE BRADFORD Co-ordinator JEAN STANTON Editor CHLOÉ TARTINVILLE Production
So ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first issue of SHOWTIME. We’ve decided to combine our theatre and film magazines into one comprehensive publication. Rest assured, though, all your favourite features are still here: 12 pages of TRAILER PARK where you can check out all the hottest cinema releases for July, while SMALL SCREEN offers up details on all the new DVD/Blu-Ray available this month.
We’re focusing on two highly anticipated movies too: the reboot of GHOSTBUSTERS directed by Paul Fieg (‘BRIDESMAIDS’) now with allfemale leads and FINDING DORY the sequel to Pixar’s ‘FINDING NEMO’ plus a look at the line-up for SUMMER OF CINEMA 2016.
FILM DISTRIBUTOR’S ASSOCIATION
From the big screen to the stage, Rebel Wilson makes her London stage debut in the classic New York musical GUYS AND DOLLS, you can read all about it on page 32. There’s also a comprehensive look at what’s currently playing in theatres and what’s about to open (including SCOOBY-DOO LIVE! MUSICAL MYSTERIES at the London Palladium and a UK tour of FUNNY GIRL THE MUSICAL) plus an exclusive review of ALADDIN by our very own West End Wilma. So let’s raise the curtain and exclaim: “It’s showtime for SHOWTIME”!
DUMDUMBOY Opinionator ANNA ROBBINS JEAN LYNCH
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Absolutely Central Fabulous: The Movie Intelligence 2 1st July
THE COLONY 1st July
Comedy Dir. Mandie Fletcher, UK/US, 2016, 90 mins Cast: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha, Jane Horrocks, June Whitfield, Chris Colfer, Kate Moss
Action | Comedy | Crime Dir. Rawson Marshall Thurber, US, 2016, 107 mins Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Amy Ryan, Aaron Paul, Danielle Nicolet
Drama | History | Romance Dir. Florian Gallenberger, Germany/Luxembourg/ France, 2015, 110 mins Cast: Emma Watson, Daniel Brühl, Michael Nyqvist
Edina and Patsy are still oozing glitz and glamor, living the high life they are accustomed to; shopping, drinking and clubbing their way around London’s trendiest hot-spots. Blamed for a major incident at an uber fashionable launch party, they become entangled in a media storm and are relentlessly pursued by the paparazzi. Fleeing penniless to the glamorous playground of the super-rich, the French Riviera, they hatch a plan to make their escape permanent and live the high life forever more!
The story follows a one-time bullied geek who grew up to be a lethal CIA agent (Johnson), coming home for his high-school reunion. Claiming to be on a top-secret case, he enlists the help of the former “big man on campus” (Hart), now an accountant who misses his glory days. But before the staid numbers-cruncher realizes what he’s getting into, it’s too late to get out, as his increasingly unpredictable new friend drags him through a world of shoot-outs, double-crosses and espionage that could get them both killed in more ways than he can count.
Set amidst the Chilean coup of 1973, The Colony begins by depicting the masses who are out on the street, protesting against General Pinochet. Amongst them are Daniel (Brühl) and Lena (Watson), a young couple who, like many others, get arrested by Pinochet’s secret police for producing propaganda against the regime. Following his arrest, Daniel finds himself trapped in a secret interrogation camp located beneath the infamous Colonia Dignidad; a German sect under the leadership of the notorious, charismatic and unflinching Paul Schäfer (Nyqvist). Presenting itself as a charitable mission, the Colonia is in fact a place of brutality and terror that nobody has ever escaped from. Desperate to rescue her boyfriend, Lena infiltrates the cult and witnesses the true darkness of Schäfer’s regime before she attempts a dramatic escape that puts both their lives on the line.
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From Afar (Desde Alla)
THE Mafia Kills Queen Only in Summer of Earth
Drama | Romance Dir. Lorenzo Vigas, Venezuela/Mexico, 2015 93 mins, subtitles Cast: Alfredo Castro, Luis Silva, Jericó Montilla
Comedy | Crime Dir. Pierfrancesco Diliberto, Italy, 2013, 90 mins, Subtitles Cast: Cristiana Capotondi, Pif, Alex Bisconti
Drama | Thriller Dir. Alex Ross Perry, US, 2015, 90 mins Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Katherine Waterston, Patrick Fugit
Inspired by real events, this is a black comedy about 20 years of history of Sicily from 1970s to 1990s, mocking Mafia Bosses and restoring the generosity of the heroes of Antimafia. Its focused on Arturo, a young boy who grows up in Palermo and tries to conquer his beloved Flora.
Catherine (Moss) has entered a particularly dark phase in her life: her father, a famous artist whose affairs she managed, has recently died, and on the heels of his death she’s dumped by her boyfriend James (Kentucker Audley). With relaxation and the idea of gathering her thoughts, Catherine heads to her friend Virginia’s (Waterston) lake house for some much needed rest. However, once Catherine arrives relaxation proves impossible to find, as she is overcome with memories of time spent at the same house with James the year before. As cracks in the relationship between the two women begin to appear, Catherine soon starts descending into a downward spiral of delusion and madness.
Armando, a middle-aged owner of a Caracas dental prosthesis business, is estranged from his father, who he observes occasionally from a distance. He finds a young man of the streets who negotiates a fee high enough for the boy to be used to provide Armando’s masturbatory object. Although a following encounter ends in a beating for Armando, he continues to make the boy dependent. What is the final result that Armando desires? Is it something more than a conflicted relationship with a hustler?
A bracing, eerie look at the deep bonds of friendship and the horrific effects of such bonds being frayed, Queen of Earth is an extremely dark study of the effects that the two women’s misery has upon their own relationship.
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Now You See Me 2
The Legend of Tarzan
A Poem is a Naked Person
Action | Adventure | Comedy Dir. Jon M. Chu, US, 2016, 129 mins Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Lizzy Caplan, Jay Chou
Action | Adventure Dir. David Yates, US, 2016, 109 mins Cast: Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie. Samuel L Jackson, Christoph Waltz
Documentary | Music Dir. Les Blank, US, 1974, 90 mins Cast (as themselves): Leon Russell, Eric Andersen, Malissa Bates
One year after outwitting the FBI and winning the public’s adulation with their Robin Hoodstyle magic spectacles, The Four Horsemen resurface for a comeback performance in hopes of exposing the unethical practices of a tech magnate. The man behind their vanishing act is none other than Walter Mabry, a tech prodigy who threatens the Horsemen into pulling off their most impossible heist yet. Their only hope is to perform one last unprecedented stunt to clear their names and reveal the mastermind behind it all.
It has been years since the man once known as Tarzan (Skarsgård) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane (Robbie) at his side. Now, he has been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by the Belgian, Captain Leon Rom (Waltz).But those behind the murderous plot have no idea what they are about to unleash.
After seeing Les Blank’s seminal film, The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins, Leon Russell and Denny Cordell wanted to work with him. Les directed, filmed, and edited, A Poem is a Naked Person during 1972-74, while he was living at the Russell/Shelter Records recording studio compound on Grand Lake Of The Cherokees in NE Oklahoma. This feature-length film includes appearances by Willie Nelson, George Jones, and some amazing characters in Oklahoma, where much of it was shot.
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The film was never released, and was rarely shown in public, except at non-profit institutions with Blank in attendance. After Les Blank’s death in 2013, his son Harrod Blank came to terms with Leon Russell in order to re-master and finally release the film, some forty years later. At least two major critics have declared it the best film ever made about Rock and Roll.
Bayou Maharajah 8th July
David Bowie Is 8th July
Maggie’s Plan 8th July
Documentary | History | Music Dir. Lily Keber, US, 2013, 90 mins Cast (as themselves): James Booker, Joe Boyd, Douglas Brinkley
Documentary | Music Dirs. Hamish Hamilton & Katy Mullan, UK, 2013, 99 mins Cast (as themselves): Vicky Broackes, Geoffrey Marsh, Kansai Yamamoto
Comedy | Drama | Romance Dir. Rebecca Miller, US, 2016, 98 mins, some subtitles Cast: Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph
Bayou Maharajah explores the life and music of New Orleans piano legend James Booker, the man Dr. John described as “the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced.” A brilliant pianist, his eccentricities and showmanship belied a life of struggle, prejudice, and isolation. Illustrated with never-before-seen concert footage, rare personal photos and exclusive interviews, the film paints a portrait of this overlooked genius.
“As was the case with Miles Davis in jazz, Bowie has come not just to represent his innovations but to symbolize modern rock as an idiom in which literacy, art, fashion, style, sexual exploration and social commentary can be rolled into one.” - Rolling Stone magazine
Maggie (Greta Gerwig) has never sustained a relationship longer than six months – but desperately wants a baby. She solicits a sperm donation from a friend, but has hardly begun the artificial insemination process when she consummates a budding romance with John (Ethan Hawke), an unhappily married academic hailed as “the bad boy of fictocritical anthropology.”
Driven by an entirely deeper dynamic than most pop artists, David Bowie inhabits a very special world of extraordinary sounds and endless vision. Unwilling to stay on the treadmill of rock legend and avoiding the descent into ever demeaning and decreasing circles of cliché, Bowie writes and performs what he wants, when he wants. His absence from the endless list of “important events” has just fuelled interest. Constant speculation about what the guy was up to has even led some to wonder if this is his greatest reinvention ever.
Maggie’s rejuvenating enthusiasm lures John away from his brilliant but domineering Danish wife Georgette Nørgaard (Julianne Moore) and the two settle down to raise their daughter. Everything has gone according to Maggie’s plan; so why isn’t she happy, and what meddlesome scheme will she concoct next? Maggie’s Plan is a charming, sophisticated and funny exploration of the unexpected complexities of modern romance.
Bowie is the man who elevated his music to what can only be described as an art form.
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THE Neon Demon 8th July
THE Wait (L’Attesa) 8th July
Drama | Horror | Thriller Dir. Nicholas Winding Refn, France/Denmark/US, 2016, 118 mins Cast: Elle Fanning, Jena Malone, Abbey Lee, Keanu Reeves
Drama Dir. Piero Messina, Italy/France, 2015, Subtitles Cast: Juliette Binoche, Giorgio Colangeli, Lou de Laâge
Jesse (Elle Fanning) moves to Los Angeles just after her 16th birthday to launch a career as a model. The head of her agency tells the innocent teen that she has the qualities to become a top star. Jesse soon faces the wrath of ruthless vixens who despise her fresh-faced beauty. On top of that, she must contend with a seedy motel manager and a creepy photographer. As Jesse starts to take the fashion world by storm, her personality changes in ways that could help her against her cutthroat rivals.
Among the large rooms of an old villa marked by time, Anna (Juliette Binoche) spends her days in solitude. The rugged and beautiful Sicilian countryside surrounding the house isolates her while the slowly rising fog prevents the eye seeing any distance. Only the footsteps of Pietro, the handyman, break the silence. And all of a sudden Jeanne appears, a young woman who claims to be the girlfriend of Giuseppe, Anna’s son. He invited her to Sicily to spend a few days’ holiday together. The two women do not know each other. Anna did not even know of Jeanne’s existence. And Giuseppe is not there. Where has he gone? Soon, very soon he will return, is what Anna says. The days pass, the two women slowly get to know each other, they learn to wait. Easter is coming, in the village the traditional procession is being prepared. Will Giuseppe return one night?
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Weiner 8th July Documentary Dirs. Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg, US, 2016, 96 mins Cast: Huma Abedin, Amit Bagga, Adam S. Barta
Many politicians have seen their careers careen off the tracks, but few instances have been captured so completely on film as the incisive and painfully funny Weiner. With unprecedented access to Anthony Weiner, his family, and his campaign team as they mount his New York City mayoral campaign, the film documents the impending political meltdown of epic proportions. What begins as an unexpected comeback from a disgraced excongressman takes a sharp turn once Weiner is forced to admit to new sexting allegations. As the media descends and rips apart his every move, Weiner tries desperately to forge ahead, but the increasing pressure and crippling 24-hour news coverage halts his political aspirations dead in their tracks. With the city of New York as a loud and bustling backdrop, this documentary charges through an increasingly baffling political campaign with unflinching clarity, humour, and pathos.
Ghostbusters 11th July Action | Comedy | Sci-Fi Dir. Paul Feig, US, 2016, 116 mins Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Charles Dance, Michael Kenneth Williams
Thirty years after the original film took the world by storm, Ghostbusters is back and fully rebooted for a new generation. Director Paul Feig combines all the paranormal fighting elements that made the original franchise so beloved with a cast of new characters, played by the funniest actors working today. Get ready to watch them save the world this summer!
THE HARD STOP
Fantasy | Horror Dir. Can Evrenol, Turkey/US, 2015, 97 mins, Subtitles Cast: Mehmet Cerrahoglu, Gorkem Kasal, Ergun Kuyucu
Documentary | Drama Dir. George Amponsah, UK, 2015, 85 mins Cast (as themselves): Kurtis Henville, Marcus Knox Hooke
A squad of unsuspecting cops go through a trapdoor to Hell when they stumble upon a Black Mass in an abandoned building, in the tour-de-force feature debut from ferociously talented director Can Evrenol.
The Hard Stop is an intimate documentary revealing the story, away from all press coverage, of Mark Duggan’s friends and family following his death. He was shot and killed in a ‘Hard Stop’ police procedure in 2011, sparking the most violent riots in British history.
What should be a routine night on patrol becomes a trip into the darkness of the mind and soul for a squad of unsuspecting cops in this tour-de-force feature debut from the ferociously talented director Can Evrenol. Based on Evrenol’s terrifying 2013 short of the same name, and drawing upon a diverse range of inspirations — not only such films as Quest for Fire, Apocalypse Now, and Hellraiser but also the paintings of Caravaggio, Bosch, and Giger — Baskin offers up a nightmarish compendium of imaginative frights that will leave even seasoned horror-movie fans reeling.
For 28 months, director George Amponsah (The Fighting Spirit) filmed around Broadwater Farm in Tottenham, where Duggan grew up, capturing his family’s distress and focusing on two of his best friends, Marcus Knox and Kurtis Henville. We follow the men closely as they attempt to get on with their lives, look for a job, talk about the discrimination they experience on a daily basis and the impact Duggan’s death has had on the community. Duggan is present throughout, in peoples’ testimonies and news broadcasts. What emerges is a profoundly humane, thoughtprovoking and topical testament, which gives a voice to people who are rarely heard.
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Ice Age: KEANU Collision Course 15th July
Men and Chicken 15th July
Animation | Adventure | Comedy Dirs. Mike Thurmeier & Galen T. Chu, US, 2016, 94 mins Cast (voices): Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary
Action | Comedy Dir. Peter Atencio, US, 2016, 110 mins Cast: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Tiffany Haddish
Scrat’s epic pursuit of the elusive acorn catapults him into the universe where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the Ice Age World. To save themselves, Sid, Manny, Diego, and the rest of the herd must leave their home and embark on a quest full of comedy and adventure, traveling to exotic new lands and encountering a host of colourful new characters.
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, a.k.a. the hugely popular comedy duo Key & Peele, star as Clarence and Rell, two cousins who live in the city but are far from streetwise. When Rell’s beloved kitten, Keanu, is catnapped, the hopelessly straight-laced pair must impersonate ruthless killers in order to infiltrate a street gang and retrieve the purloined feline. But the incredibly adorable kitten becomes so coveted that the fight over his custody creates a gang war, forcing our two unwitting heroes to take the law into their own hands.
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Comedy | Drama | Mystery Dir. Anders Thomas Jensen, Denmark/Germany, 2015, 104 mins, Subtitles Cast: David Dencik, Mads Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas
Gabriel and Elias are two very different brothers. Gabriel is a worn down university professor and Elias is a man whose only concern is women and trivial knowledge. During a lecture Gabriel receives a phone call. Their father is dead. Things take a turn when the brothers learn through a videotape recorded by their now late father, that he in fact wasn’t their biological father. Gabriel and Elias discover that their biological father lives on the island Ork. They set out to the island and here they meet their real family. The brothers’ first meeting with the family doesn’t go as expected. Gabriel and Elias are stranded in the marshland of Ork. Here they meet the mayor of Ork and his daughter Ellen, a neurotic woman who hates her life, herself, her father and the island. Surrounded by abnormal people, Gabriel and Elias discover the truth about themselves and their relatives. A truth that while paralyzing them also sets them free.
Precious Cargo Summertime (La Belle Saison) 15th July
THE BFG 22nd July
Action | Crime | Drama | Thriller Dir. Max Adams, Canada, 2016, 90 mins Cast: Bruce Willis, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Claire Forlani
Drama | Romance Dir. Catherine Corsini, France/Belgium, 2015, 105 mins Cast: Cécile De France, Izïa Higelin, Noémie Lvovsky
After a botched heist, Eddie (Bruce Willis), a murderous crime boss, hunts down the seductive thief Karen (Claire Forlani) who failed him. In order to win back Eddie’s trust, Karen recruits her ex-lover and premier thief Jack (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) to steal a cargo of rare precious gems. But when the job goes down, allegiances are betrayed and lines are crossed as Jack, Karen, and Eddie face off in a fateful showdown.
In 1970s France, country girl Delphine moves to Paris to break free from the shackles of her family and to gain independence. She meets Carole, a Parisian activist involved in the stirrings of the feminist movement. The attraction between them is undeniable, and they embark on a passionate, all-consuming affair. When Delphine is recalled back to her parents’ farm in the aftermath of her father’s stroke, everything comes to a dramatic halt. It’s only when she ventures into Delphine’s world that Carole realises what is at stake for the two of them, when their love is tested by those closest to them.
Adventure | Family | Fantasy Dir. Steven Spielberg, UK/Canada/US, 2016, 117 mins Cast: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, Rebecca Hall, Bill Hader, Jemaine Clement
Ten-year-old Sophie is in for the adventure of a lifetime when she meets the Big Friendly Giant. Naturally scared at first, the young girl soon realizes that the 24-foot behemoth is actually quite gentle and charming. As their friendship grows, Sophie’s presence attracts the unwanted attention of Bloodbottler, Fleshlumpeater and other giants. After travelling to London, Sophie and the BFG must convince Queen Victoria to help them get rid of all the bad giants once and for all.
From vibrant scenes of civil unrest on the streets of Paris, to the lushly photographed rural landscape, director Catherine Corsini has crafted a radiant, sensual exploration of love between two women caught in a turbulent era.
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Chevalier 22nd July
Ming of Harlem:
Twenty One Storeys in The Air
Comedy Dir. Athina Rachel Tsangari, Greece, 2015, 105 mins Cast: Vangelis Mourikis, Nikos Orphanos, Yorgos Pirpassopoulos
Thriller Dir. Dan Pringle, UK, 2016, 115 mins Cast: Reece Noi, Ewen MacIntosh, Scot Williams
Documentary Dir. Phillip Warnell, UK/US/Belgium, 2014, 71 mins Cast (as themselves): Antoine Yates, Rajiv, Brianna
In the middle of the Aegean Sea, six men on a fishing trip on a luxury yacht decide to play a game. During this game, things will be compared. Things will be measured. Songs will be butchered, and blood will be tested. Friends will become rivals and rivals will become hungry. But at the end of the journey, when the game is over, the man who wins will be the best man. And he will wear on his smallest finger the victory ring: The Chevalier.
K-Shop is a gritty urban Sweeney Todd inspired horror set in a British Kebab Shop plagued by binge drinking culture. After his father is killed in an altercation with drunken thugs, Salah’s fate is sealed in a fight with an angry customer. With a dead body on his hands the novice kebab shop owner turns vigilante disposing of the body in the one place he knows best…the kebabs. Salah watches gullible customers devour the new flesh kebabs and seizes the opportunity to seek revenge on abusive drunken binge drinkers, killing off those he deems punishable.
A documentary exploring secret lives, behaviour and extreme levels of human-beast intimacy and communication, focusing on the ‘only in New York’ story of Antoine Yates and his cohabitation in a Harlem high-rise with Ming, a five-hundred-pound tiger and Al, a seven-foot alligator, combined with filmic observation of predators in domesticated geographies.
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Star Trek Beyond 22nd July
Born To be Blue 25th July
Author: The JT LeRoy Story 29th July
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi | Thriller Dir. Justin Lin, US, 2016
Biography | Drama | Music Dir. Robert Budreau, UK/Canada/US, 2015, 97 mins Cast: Ethan Hawke, Carmen Ejogo
Documentary Dir. Jeff Feuerzeig, US, 2016, 110 mins Cast (as themselves): Laura Albert, Bruce Benderson,
The first leg of the USS Enterprise’s five-year mission takes them into uncharted territory. There the Enterprise is nearly destroyed and strands Kirk and his crew on a remote planet with no means of communication. Kirk must then work with the elements to reunite his crew and get back to Earth.
Born to be Blue starring Ethan Hawke is a reimagining of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker’s life in the 60’s. When Chet stars in a film about himself, a romance heats up with his costar, the enigmatic Jane (Carmen Ejogo). Production is shelved when Chet’s past comes back to haunt him and it appears he may never play music again but Jane challenges him to mount a musical comeback against all the odds.
Based on the Jane Austen novella ‘Lady Susan’ and set in the 1790s, earlier than most Austen tales, Whit Stillman’s exquisite comedy of matchmaking and heart-breaking Love & Friendship concerns beautiful young widow Lady Susan Vernon (Beckinsale). The deliciously scheming and manipulative Lady Susan has come to Churchill, the estate of her in-laws, to wait out the colourful rumours about her dalliances circulating through polite society. Whilst ensconced there, she decides to secure a husband for herself and for her eligible but reluctant school-girl daughter Frederica (Clark). The waters are troubled by the arrival at Churchill of the handsome, eligible Reginald DeCourcy (Samuel) and silly but cheerful - and very rich - Sir James Martin (Bennett).
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Barry Lyndon 29th July
THE Commune 29th July
Finding Dory 29th July
Adventure | Drama | History Dir. Stanley Kubrick, UK/US/Ireland, 1975, 184 mins Cast: Ryan O’Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee
Drama | Family Dir. Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark/Sweden/Netherlands, 2016, 111 mins, Subtitles Cast: Ulrich Thomsen, Trine Dyrholm, Fares Fares
Animation | Adventure | Comedy Dir. Andrew Stanton, US, 2016, 97 mins Cast (voices): Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell, Eugene Levy
Author: The JT LeRoy Story takes us down the infinitely fascinating rabbit hole of how Laura Albert—like a Cyrano de Bergerac on steroids— breathed not only words, but life, into her avatar for a decade. Albert’s epic and entertaining account plunges us into a glittery world of rock shows, fashion events, and the Cannes red carpet where LeRoy becomes a mysterious sensation. As she recounts this astonishing odyssey, Albert also reveals the intricate web spun by irrepressible creative forces within her. Her extended and layered JT LeRoy performance still infuriates many; but for Albert, channelling her brilliant fiction through another identity was the only possible path to self-expression.
The Commune reunites Danish director Thomas Vinterberg with scriptwriter Tobias Lindholm (The Hunt, A Hijacking) in a story that focuses on the clash between personal desires versus the solidarity and tolerance in a commune in the mid-1970s.
Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) is a wide-eyed, blue tang fish who suffers from memory loss every 10 seconds or so. The one thing she can remember is that she somehow became separated from her parents as a child. With help from her friends Nemo and Marlin, Dory embarks on an epic adventure to find them. Her journey brings her to the Marine Life Institute, a conservatory that houses diverse ocean species. Dory now knows that her family reunion will only happen if she can save mom and dad from captivity.
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Jason Bourne 29th July
League of Gods 29th July
Traders 29th July
Action | Thriller Dir. Paul Greengrass, US, 2016, 123 mins Cast: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, Tommy Lee Jones
Action | Fantasy Dir. Koan Hui, Hong Kong, 2016, Subtitles Cast: Bingbing Fan, Xiaoming Huang, Louis Koo
Thriller Dirs. Rachael Moriarty & Peter Murphy, Ireland, 2015, 90 mins Cast: Killian Scott, John Bradley, Peter O’Meara
Matt Damon returns to his most iconic role in Jason Bourne. Paul Greengrass, the director of The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, once again joins Damon for the next chapter of Universal Pictures’ Bourne franchise, which finds the CIA’s most lethal former operative drawn out of the shadows. Based on characters created by Robert Ludlum.
A long time ago, a determined King Zhou, supported by his concubine Daji, sets his mind on conquering the Middle Kingdom. After years of slaughter, the unyielding Adept tribes have been eliminated in succession. Jiang and General Ji from Qishan are King Zhou’s longstanding opponents. Under a divinatory sign, Jiang discovers that the Sword of Light can reverse the adversity.
Harry Fox (Scott) seems to have it all, the luxury apartment, the fancy car, but when the company he works for goes bust it looks like he will lose everything. A solution is offered by Vernon Stynes (Bradley) who has masterminded a diabolical, all-or-nothing scheme based in the Deep Web, called Trading. Two strangers empty their banks accounts, sell their assets, and put their entire worth in cash into a green sports bag. They travel to a remote location and fight to the death. Winner buries the loser and walks away twice as rich. Vernon believes Trading is a no-brainer for anyone who wants to get rich quick. Can Harry resist the lure of such a high risk gamble? It’s dangerous. It’s illegal. But it could solve all his problems.
Based on the 16th-century Chinese novel “The Investiture of The Gods”, Jet Li is back with a big cast including Louis Koo, Fan Bingbing, Tony Leung Ka-Fai and more!
SHOWTIME : SFF
DVD & BLU-RAY RELEASES THIS JULY 4TH JULY RELEASES
SON OF SAUL
DVD + Blu-ray • Run time: 83 mins Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Rebel Wilson, Mark Strong, Isla Fisher, Penelope Cruz Director: Louis LeTerrier
DVD + Blu-ray • Run time: 107 mins Cast: Géza Röhrig, Levente Molnár, Urs Rechn, Todd Charmont, Jerzy Walczak Director: Laszlo Nemes
Nobby (Baron Cohen), a sweet but dimwitted football hooligan, has everything a man from the poor fishing town of Grimsby could want, including 9 children and the most attractive girlfriend in the northeast of England. There’s only one thing missing: his little brother, Sebastian, who Nobby has spent 28 years searching for. Nobby sets off to reunite with Sebastian, unaware that not only is his brother MI6’s deadliest assassin, but he’s just uncovered plans for an imminent terrorist attack. On the run and wrongfully accused, Sebastian realizes that if he is going to save the world, he will need the help of its biggest idiot.
October 1944, Auschwitz-Birkenau. Saul Ausländer is a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando, the group of Jewish prisoners isolated from the camp and forced to assist the Nazis in the machinery of large-scale extermination. While working in one of the crematoriums, Saul discovers the corpse of a boy he takes for his son. As the Sonderkommando plans a rebellion, Saul decides to carry out an impossible task: save the child’s body from the flames, find a rabbi to recite the mourners Kaddish and offer the boy a proper burial.
18TH JULY RELEASES
DVD + Blu-ray • Run Time: 114 mins Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elizabeth Moss Director: Ben Wheatley
DVD + Blu-ray • Run time: 88 mins Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw Director: Robert Eggers
Dr. Robert Laing (Hiddleston) feels like he’s made it - he’s moved into a luxury high-rise, seeking soulless anonymity. However, the building’s residents have no intention of leaving him alone and it isn’t long before the veneer of civilisation begins to collapse, and darker human urges begin to surface, and Laing’s good manners and sanity disintegrate along with the building. From acclaimed director Ben Wheatley (Kill List, Sightseers), and based on the classic novel by J.G. Ballard, comes a unique and dazzling vision of a dystopian Britain on the brink of social meltdown.
New England, 1630: William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life, homesteading on the edge of an impassable wilderness, with five children. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another. “The Witch” is a chilling portrait of a family unravelling within their own fears and anxieties, leaving them prey for an inescapable evil.
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11TH JULY RELEASES
KUNG FU PANDA 3
DVD + Blu-ray • Run time: 106 mins Cast: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson Director: Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
DVD + Blu-ray • Run time: 95 mins Cast: Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie Director: Jennifer Yuh & Alessandro Carloni
Wacky comedy drama from the Coen Brothers, set in 1950s Hollywood when the studios were in their heyday. The story follows a day in the life of ‘fixer’ Ed Mannix (Brolin) who has to retrieve famous actor Baird Whitlock (Clooney) after he has been kidnapped while filming the next big blockbuster ‘Hail, Caesar!’. A group called ‘The Future’ is holding Whitlock ransom for $100,000, and it’s up to Mannix to get him back.
One of the most successful animated franchises in the world returns with its biggest comedy adventure yet. When Po’s long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters. But when the supernatural villain Kai begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible—learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas!
25TH JULY RELEASES
ROCK THE KASBAH
DVD + Blu-ray • Run time: 107 mins Cast: Tom Felton, Joseph Fiennes, Cliff Curtis, Stephen Hagan, Peter Firth Director: Kevin Reynolds
DVD • Run time: 102 mins Cast: Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, Zooey Deschanel, Leem Lubany s Director: Barry Levinson
The epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius (Fiennes), a powerful Roman military tribune, and his aide, Lucius (Felton), are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus (Curtis) in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumours of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem
Richie Lanz (Murray), dumped and stranded in wa-rtorn Kabul by his last remaining client (Deschanel), discovers Salima Khan (Lubany), a Pashtun teenager with a beautiful voice and the courageous dream of becoming the first woman to compete on national television in Afghanistan’s version of “American Idol.” Richie partners with a savvy hooker (Kate Hudson), a pair of hard-partying war profiteers (Danny McBride and Scott Caan) and a hair-trigger mercenary (Bruce Willis) and, braving dangerous cultural prejudices, manages his new protégée into becoming the “Afghan Star.”
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Ok, so you can’t depend on the good old British weather, but one thing you can depend on is a sizzling Summer of Cinema. With over 40 big screen treats coming to a movie theatre near you between now and September, the Film Distributor’s Association (FDA) has put together a great compilation of what films to look out for. With family favourites like Pete’s Dragon, The BFG, Finding Dory and Swallows and Amazons, to side-splitting comedies which include David Brent: Life on the Road, Bad Moms and Bridget Jones’s Baby, to edge-of-your-seat thrills with Suicide Squad, Ben-Hur and The Magnificent Seven, there really is something for everyone, plus competitions and a run down of the 12 Top Summer Box Office hits ever.
Suicide Squad 5th August
So, what are you waiting for? Head over to launchingfilms.com/summer2016-landing and start exploring the #SUMMEROFCINEMA2016 line-up now.
Pete's Dragon 5th August
Nine Lives 5th August 20
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David Brent Life on the Road 19th August
Swallows and Amazons 19th August
Ben Hur 26th August
Bad Moms 2nd September
Sausage Party 2nd September
Bridget Jones's Baby 16th September
The Magnificent Seven 23rd September SHOWTIME : SFF
GHOSTBUSTERS is in UK cinemas from Friday 11h July 2016
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Ghostbusters makes its long-awaited return, rebooted with a cast of hilarious new characters. Thirty years after the beloved original franchise took the world by storm, director Paul Feig brings his fresh take to the supernatural comedy, joined by some of the funniest actors working today – Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth. This summer, they’re here to save the world! The new film began with director Paul Feig, who, as the creator of “Freaks and Geeks” and the director of Bridesmaids, The Heat, and Spy, has built an impressive comedy resume of some of recent years’ most successful, groundbreaking, and memorable comedies. Given the opportunity to reboot the franchise, it was Feig who saw a way to bring one of his personal comedy influences into the 21st century. “I was an enormous fan when Ghostbusters first came out,” he says. “I saw it the opening weekend in the theater and had honestly never seen a comedy do what that movie did to that audience. People, including myself, just lost our minds, not only because it was funny. It was the funniest people - we all loved Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold
Ramis, and Ernie Hudson, so seeing them together - this supergroup of funny guys - made it even better. But the thing that put it over the top was the context of an enormous world of fighting ghosts with technology... that’s the greatest idea in the world. It’s one of these things that make you say, ‘I wish I had thought of that idea.’” Naturally, the idea for another Ghostbusters - as a sequel - was one that had been explored for quite a while. “I’ve always wanted to do another sequel,” says Ivan Reitman, who directed and produced the first two iconic films in the franchise, and now produces the new film with Amy Pascal. “It’s one of those movies that you should revisit and I was really hoping that I could do it. But unless we all agreed on something, it wasn’t going to get done. Getting four people - especially these four people - to agree was kind of impossible. And then, unfortunately, we lost Harold.” With the passing of Harold Ramis in 2014, the studio and Reitman began to look for a new comedic talent to take the helm of a future film. That’s when Feig entered SHOWTIME : SFF
MOVIE BEHIND THE
the picture. “I knew they’d been trying to put together a sequel for a long time,” says Feig. “I started wracking my brain. Funny people fighting the paranormal is still the greatest idea ever, and it felt like there was still so much to explore outside the worlds of the first two films. I thought, ‘How would I do it?’ Well, I’d make it with the four funniest women I know. That excites me, because it makes it something new.” “Paul has been intent on doing a big tentpole movie with women, but it was hard to figure out the right film, with the right cast - the chemistry had to be right on every front,” adds executive producer Jessie Henderson, who is Feig’s producing partner. “We took our first stab at that with Spy, but his idea for Ghostbusters was an opportunity to take it to an even bigger level, with special effects, visual effects, and the ensemble cast.” Reitman was also excited about the opportunities for comedy in Feig’s idea. “What’s really exciting about
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Paul’s take is that it’s not about the gender,” he says. “It’s the friendship of four particular characters as they do something extraordinary.” With the studio and Reitman in his corner, Feig teamed with Katie Dippold to co-write the screenplay. “There was only one person I wanted to write this with, and that was Katie,” says Feig of his co-writer on The Heat. “I’ve worked with her on other projects and I know she loves ghost stories. She loves scary movies. It was a match made in heaven.” “At first, we spent a lot of time talking about what we wanted the script to be,” says Dippold. “There were so many different creative debates - what elements of the original do you want to see again? What should feel new? Then we talked about the story and the characters. Nobody wanted to do remakes of the original characters - Venkman will always be Venkman. So we came up with four new characters of our own.”
“Paul was intent on making a movie that lived up to the spirit of the original but had a new reason for being,” says Amy Pascal. “It always comes down to the characters, and that is what Paul has always been brilliant at creating.” It was in this way that Feig approached the film as an entirely new story as a new team answers the call. “I wanted the movie to start with our world today - a world that has never seen ghosts that we can prove,” says Feig. “Our Ghostbusters have dedicated their lives to scientifically proving ghosts exist, but they’re considered loonies, because there’s no physical proof. But when they actually get to see the ghosts they’ve been trying to see for their whole lives, they’re going to prove that
their whole lives’ mission was correct. They all have this common goal, and they complement each other.” So, Dippold and Feig created new characters who would mesh well as a team. He explains: “Abby is the paranormal expert; she’s dedicated her life to studying ghosts. Erin is the physicist, who tries to bring a scientific grounding into it. Holtzmann, the engineer, can take the
“Paul was intent on making a movie that lived up to the spirit of the original but had a new reason for being” SHOWTIME : SFF
MOVIE BEHIND THE
concepts that Abby and Erin come up with and actually build the physical equipment to fight them. And finally, Patty joins the group as the newcomer who knows the ins and outs of New York City, which will be one of the keys to solving where the ghosts are and what’s happening to Manhattan.” “You’ve seen men as comedic eggheads but not since Elaine May in A New Leaf have women been portrayed as funny scientists,” says Pascal. “It was a fresh and unique take on the material that needed to be told.” But writing the characters as complementary was only half of the challenge - Feig also had to cast the roles with actors who were hilarious and could bring them to life. Into these roles, Feig cast Melissa McCarthy as Abby, Kristen Wiig as Erin, Kate McKinnon as Holtzmann, and Leslie Jones as Patty. “I think the reason why Melissa is one of the most 26
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successful comedians working today is that she brings an everyman quality to her work,” says Reitman. “She brings great energy, great truth - she has a quality of being very funny and very real. People love her because she’s here to represent them. When it came to casting the role of Erin, Feig says McCarthy was already on board, which led to what seems like a first go-to candidate in her Bridesmaids co-star. “Kristen’s name just kept coming up,” Feig says, “but I didn’t even know if she’d want to do it, because she’s been showing what a great actress she is in so many dramas lately. Then, out of the blue, my wife was talking to Kristen and she said, ‘Oh, I know Paul’s doing Ghostbusters, and if he’d ever want me to do any little part in it, I’d love to.’ That was music to my ears, because Kristen would be so good in this role. She’s really one of the funniest people in the world - she makes me laugh and always has.”
“For the role of Jillian Holtzmann, we needed an actress who could go outside the box,” Reitman states. “I saw the extraordinary sketches in which Kate McKinnon plays Justin Bieber, and captures his essence in a totally original hilarious way. For Ghostbusters, she brings a unique, quirky, comedic energy to her role that is perfect! Kate is a comedic force to be reckoned with.” For the final role, Feig was struck by lightning. “I first saw Leslie Jones do a ‘Weekend Update’ segment. About a minute into her bit, I sat up and said to my wife, ‘That’s one of our Ghostbusters,’” says Feig. “We met, and we bonded over the fact that we both started in stand-up at about the same time, in the 1980s. She’s such a big personality, but it’s sincere - she’s so passionate about everything she does. She commands the screen as Patty Tolan.” But one other reason why these four actresses were right for the roles was that beyond their individual talents, Feig knew they would blend well as a team, creating a whole that was even stronger than its individual components. “That’s why it was important to me to cast actors who were friends in real life, because when you do that,
you get a level of camaraderie, realness, and warmth between them that you don’t sometimes get when you put actors together who don’t know each other,” Feig continues. “It’s always been important to me - it’s one of the reasons why I think Bridesmaids worked so well. Kristen and Melissa were Groundlings together, did Bridesmaids and ‘Saturday Night Live’ together. Kate and Leslie are on ‘Saturday Night Live’ right now. All four of them have worked together in various projects, and they all have a very different sense of humour that complements each other: Kristen is just so good at that contained, neurotic comedy that she keeps very fun; Kate is such a physical comedian, but has this inner oddness, providing the movie with a weirdo energy; Leslie is just an explosion that comes onto the set; and Melissa is the leader of the pack. You’re really getting four very distinct characters, four very distinct personalities, whom also happen to be able to kick a lot of ghost ass.”
"You’re really getting four very distinct characters, whom also happen to be able to kick a lot of ghost ass."
GHOSTBUSTERS (3D) is in UK Cinemas from Monday 11th July, 2016
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I SAW THE LIGHT is in UK cinemas from Friday 6th May 2016
FINDING DORY is in UK cinemas from Friday 29h July 2016
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Pixar’s FINDING DORY welcomes back to the big screen everyone’s favourite forgetful blue tang Dory, who is living happily in the reef with Nemo and Marlin. When Dory suddenly remembers that she has a family out there who may be looking for her, she recruits Marlin and Nemo for a life-changing adventure across the ocean to California’s prestigious Marine Life Institute (MLI), a rehabilitation center and aquarium. In the effort to find her mom and dad, Dory enlists the help of three of the MLI’s most intriguing residents: Hank, a cantankerous octopus who frequently gives employees the slip; Bailey, a beluga whale who is convinced his biological sonar skills are on the fritz; and Destiny, a nearsighted whale shark. Deftly navigating the complex inner workings of the MLI, Dory and her friends discover the magic within their flaws, friendships and family. While the conclusion of the 2003 Oscar®-winning film Finding Nemo left filmmakers and fans perfectly satisfied, director Andrew Stanton had the realisation there may be some unfinished business worth exploring. “Dory had wandered the ocean most of her life,” says Stanton. “Because of her short-term memory loss, she couldn’t remember anybody she’d met, but she had emotional memories—she always remembered how it felt. And she was repeatedly left with a compounding feeling of separation and loss.
That, for me, is really juicy stuff. That’s somebody that deserves to feel better about themselves; that’s a main character with a story to tell.” “It’s a story about family,” says Ellen DeGeneres, who lends her voice to Dory. “It’s about finding the courage to do something she’s always wanted to do— even if she couldn’t remember she wanted to do it.” According to Stanton, the story crew initially showcased Dory as light-hearted, bubbly and funny—attributes that certainly apply to the character, but left her lacking depth. “She seemed a little two-dimensional,” says the director. “I realized that even though I had her full backstory in my head, nobody else did—including the audience. Everyone walked away from ‘Nemo’ with fond memories of how funny she is. But I always saw that as a mask. I realized we’d have to fill in the audience about what happened to her when she was young.”
“Her optimism and helpful nature are a defence,” continues Stanton. “It is an unconscious armour she presents in hopes others won’t tire of her challenge and ditch her. When we first meet her in Finding Nemo, one of the very first things she says is ‘I’m sorry.’ She just assumes that somehow her short-term memory loss has caused a problem and she’s quick to try to mend it. SHOWTIME : SFF
Finding Dory reveals that Dory has a loving mom and dad who dote on their daughter, patiently helping her manage her short-term memory loss. “They don’t try to change her,” says Stanton. “They just want to help her own who she is. Being a parent and seeing my kids grow up and enter the world, I realize that kids are all born with certain temperaments, flaws, quirks—and it’ll always be who they are. You probably spend most of your time as a parent worrying about those things, too—you don’t lose sleep over the things they do well. The best quality I could give Dory’s parents is that they never doubt her.” Despite their best efforts, young Dory gets lost. “She wanders the ocean for most of her life,” says Stanton. “And slowly forgets why.” A massive stingray migration cruises through their neighbourhood, triggering Dory’s memory. “The experience is viscerally similar to an event that separated her from her parents so long ago,” says Stanton. “She’s flooded with memories and suddenly very motivated to track down her family.” In an effort to maintain Dory’s drive to find her family, filmmakers had to first understand her memory issues. 30
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Says producer Lindsey Collins, “While Dory forgets details in her day-to-day life—like Nemo’s name—her emotional memory is fine—she knows she loves Nemo and Marlin. And the love she has for her parents has been with her all along.” “The mystery of memory is so important to the story,” adds screenwriter Victoria Strouse. “Memory is a huge part of family—all of those seemingly meaningless or mundane interactions we all experience as children stay with us and shape our personalities. Dory possesses those memories—on some deep level—and accessing them is part of her ultimate journey of realizing that she’s not broken after all.” According to co-director Angus MacLane, the memory flash marks the beginning of a new adventure. “It kicks off a quest—both internally and externally— to try to find her family,” he says. “But Dory feels that she can’t do it on her own, so she talks her newfound family—Marlin and Nemo—into coming along.” Dory finds her way to the “Jewel of Morro Bay”—the Marine Life Institute (MLI), where she believes her family may be. The MLI is a rescue and rehabilitation centre and premiere aquarium. In the journey to the MLI,
“It’s about finding the courage to do something she’s always wanted to do—even if she couldn’t remember she wanted to do it.” Dory finds herself separated from Marlin and Nemo, and must rely on her own intuition—as well as a host of colourful characters, appealing to each of them to help her on her quest. “I play a disgruntled octopus named Hank,” says Ed O’Neill, who was tapped by filmmakers to bring Dory’s chief wingman to life. “He doesn’t like anybody and just wants to be left alone.” “We realised that Dory needed a foil,” says Stanton. “Dory was created in the first movie as a surrogate for Nemo. Marlin’s emotional journey to be a better parent called for a character like Dory to test him. Kids—and Dory—are very in the moment; they don’t think about the future too much. They take risks and have fun. “For this film,” Stanton continues, “we needed a surrogate Marlin. Hank is a curmudgeon, an introvert.
He really doesn’t want to be healed and sent back out to the ocean. He’d prefer a solitary existence inside an aquarium tank, so he’s trying to get himself into a more permanent installation.” “Hank is smart, set in his ways and very cranky,” says DeGeneres. “He’s not happy where he is, while Dory is always happy wherever she is. There’s a great juxtaposition between these two; they’re complete opposites. It’s a great pairing because she is so innocent, yet pushes him to open his mind. They’re both fearful—though Dory doesn’t realise it. She just keeps swimming.” FINDING DORY is in UK Cinemas from 29th July, 2016 and is part of the FDA’s #SUMMEROFCINEMA2016
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Hollywood Star Rebel Wilson Joins West End Cast of Guys and Dolls Award-winning actress Rebel Wilson has joined the West End cast of Guys and Dolls for a strictly limited 8 weeks only at the Phoenix Theatre to play the part of Miss Adelaide until Sunday 21 August 2016.
Guys and Dolls also announced the opening of a new booking period, with tickets now available until 7 January 2017. Rebel Wilson said: ‘A lot of people who know me from my more recent film work have no idea how much theatre has influenced my life. I saw my first musical at age 14, a show called 42ND STREET, after one of my family’s dogs had unsuccessfully auditioned to be in it. It blew me away and I’ve loved musical theatre ever since. Training at the Australian Theatre for Young People gave me the opportunity to perform onstage in 8 productions ranging from new Australian musicals to classic plays. I then went on to write and perform in my own productions before being snapped up to do screen work. I am delighted to be making my West End debut in GUYS & DOLLS and to be playing such an iconic role as ‘Miss Adelaide’ is truly an honour. Hopefully I crush it.... but you’ll have to come and see me to find out!’ Rebel Wilson has become one of the film industry’s most recognisable comedic actors since gaining 32
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recognition through her role as “Fat Amy” in the multi award winning Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 (Universal Pictures). For her performance in Pitch Perfect Rebel received a MTV Movie Award for “Best Breakthrough Performance” and a Teen Choice Award for “Choice Movie Actress: Comedy.” For her performance in the sequel, Rebel won two MTV Movie Awards for “Best Ensemble Cast” and “Best Kiss” and received a nomination for “Best Comedic Performance,” as well as several Teen Choice Award nominations. She also received a People’s Choice Award nomination for “Favourite Comedic Movie Actress.” Rebel will reprise her iconic role as “Fat Amy” in Pitch Perfect 3 which will be released in the summer of 2017. Rebel made her American comedy film debut in Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids alongside Kirsten Wiig. The film, produced by Judd Apatow, was named one of AFI’s top ten films of 2011 and received a Critics’ Choice Movie Award for “Best Comedy”. Her other film credits include How to be Single, Grimsby, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Bachelorette and Ice Age: Continental Drift. Rebel will also make a cameo appearance in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, which is released this July. Rebel also has notable history of writing her own material, and in 2013, she hosted and was the Head Writer on the MTV Movie Awards. She got her start in entertainment writing and performing on Sydney’s stages and on the beloved Australian cult comedy series Pizza. Before moving to the United States, Rebel wrote and starred in two further television series: The Wedge and Bogan Pride,
She holds a double degree in Law and Arts (BA/LLB) from the University of New South Wales, and trained as an actor at the Australian Theatre for Young People. Guys and Dolls Nathan Detroit is desperate: he needs money for an illegal dice game, and he needs it fast. Not to mention a 14-year engagement with nightclub singer Miss Adelaide, whose patience is finally running out. Enter notorious gambler Sky Masterson, a guy who can never turn down a bet, and straight-laced missionary Sarah Brown, a doll with a heart of ice. Nathan’s wager is that Sky has to romance Sarah by taking her to Havana for dinner and in return he’ll provide a dozen ‘sinners’ for Sarah’s mission. Surely this is one bet Nathan absolutely can’t lose? A joyous and vibrant celebration of Prohibition-era New York, Guys and Dolls first premiered on Broadway in 1950 and captured the optimism and energy of post-
World War Two America. This hugely popular and multi award-winning musical, based on the colourful stories by American journalist Damon Runyon renowned for his vivid fictional depictions of the gamblers, hustlers and nightclub singers of New York, features some of Broadway’s greatest musical numbers including ‘My Time of Day’, ‘Luck be a Lady’ and the show-stopping ‘Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat’. Guys and Dolls is directed by Gordon Greenberg with choreography by Cuban dancer and former Royal Ballet star Carlos Acosta and Andrew Wright whose credits include Chichester Festival Theatre’s Singin’ in the Rain. Director Gordon Greenberg has directed plays and musicals at major theatres across America and Europe, written for television and stage, and runs the musical theatre program at The New Group in New York, where he is based. He directed the current revival of Guys and Dolls for Chichester Festival Theatre, which is now running in London’s West End. He will direct his adaptation of Irving Berlin’s Holiday
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MOVIEDOLLS GUYS BEHIND THE
Inn on Broadway in October, 2016 at Studio 54 for Roundabout Theatre Company and Universal Pictures Stage Productions. Other directing/writing includes the Drama Desk Award winning production of Working (which he adapted with Stephen Schwartz and Lin-Manuel Miranda) at 59 E 59 in New York, after productions at the Broadway Playhouse in Chicago, Asolo Rep and The Old Globe in San Diego. He directed and adapted the critically acclaimed New York revival of Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well… (Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Award noms), the new stage adaptation of Tangled for Disney, Johnny Baseball for Williamstown Theatre Festival, Pirates! Or Gilbert and Sullivan Plunder’d (created with Nell Benjamin, Paper Mill et al), the new production of Yentl, Band Geeks! (recipient of NEA and NAMT grants for production at Goodspeed), The Baker’s Wife (revised with Stephen Schwartz for Goodspeed and Paper Mill), Disney Fantasy (with Neil Patrick Harris & Jerry Seinfeld), 1776 (Paper Mill), Floyd Collins (Signature), Jesus Christ Superstar (revised with Stephen Oremus), etc. Current 34
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projects include co-writing Emerald City Music, an original movie musical for Nickelodeon Television and Scramble Band, an original movie for the Disney Channel, writing The Single Girls Guide (a new musical updating Jane Austen’s Emma to 1964) for the Fifth Avenue Theatre in Seattle (developed at Dallas Theatre Center), adapting and directing The Secret of My Success for Universal Pictures Stage Productions, and writing Point-A-Pitre, a NYSCA commission for The New Group, with Kirsten Childs. Born in Texas and raised in New York, Greenberg performed in his first Broadway show at age 12. He attended Stanford University and NYU Film School before joining J. Walter Thompson Worldwide for a stint as a producer/director of commercials. He then moved back into theatre - first performing on Broadway and on television and soon directing and writing. He is a member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, The Writers Guild of America, The Dramatists Guild, and the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab.
Choreographer Carlos Acosta trained at the National Ballet School of Cuba, and has danced as a principal with English National Ballet, National Ballet of Cuba and Houston Ballet. He is a Principal Guest Artist with The Royal Ballet and appears worldwide with companies including ABT, Paris Opera Ballet, Kirov, Bolshoi and Australian Ballet, and has created roles in contemporary ballets both with The Royal Ballet and internationally. Acosta was instrumental in taking The Royal Ballet on tour to Havana, and starred in the Company’s performances of Romeo and Juliet at The O2 Arena dancing Romeo opposite Tamara Rojo as Juliet. He has staged several shows across Europe featuring both classical and contemporary repertory, including his own choreography and the work of choreographers from his native Cuba. Shows for Sadler’s Wells include
Based on a story and characters by Damon Runyon Music and Lyrics: Frank Loesser Book: Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows Director: Gordon Greenberg Designer: Peter McKintosh Choreography: Carlos Acosta and Andrew Wright Musical Supervisor, Musical Director and Dance Arrangements: Gareth Valentine Orchestrator: Larry Blank Lighting Designer: Tim Mitchell
the semi-autobiographical Tocororo and Carlos Acosta with Guests from The Royal Ballet for which he won the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for his performances. He recently staged a new production, Classical Selections, at the Coliseum, and produced and choreographed a new production of Don Quixote for the Royal Ballet. Screen credits as an actor include the feature films New York, I Love You and Day of the Flowers. The music and lyrics are by Frank Loesser, whose credits include How To Succeed In Business Without
Really Trying and the song ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’. The book is by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. Burrows’ credits include HowtTo Succeed In Business Without Really Trying and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Swerling’s credits include the seminal film It’s A Wonderful Life.
BOX OFFICE INFORMATION FOR WEST END RUN PHOENIX THEATRE CHARING CROSS ROAD LONDON WC2H 0JP GUYS AND DOLLS Booking until 7th January 2017 Performance Times: Wednesday - Saturday at 7.30pm Matinees Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 2.30pm Ticket prices: From £25.00 GuysandDollsTheMusical.co.uk Please tag the account on twitter
Sound Designer: Paul Groothuis
and use the following hashtag:
Casting Director: Pippa Ailion
UK Tour Casting: Anne Vosser
US Casting: David Harvey
ATG | atgtickets.com 0844 871 7687
The Chichester Festival Theatre production of Guys and Dolls
Groups 0844 871 7644 | firstname.lastname@example.org
is produced by Tristan Baker and Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment, Oliver Royds for BOS Productions, Richard Darbourne Ltd and Tulchin Bartner Productions.
0844 871 7677
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SCOOBY-DOO LIVE! MUSICAL MYSTERIES
comes to the London Palladium this Summer!
The much-loved Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. Gang take centre stage in an all-new family musical, SCOOBYDOO LIVE! MUSICAL MYSTERIES, presented by Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Life Like Touring. Featuring everyone’s favourite characters from one of television’s longest-running animated series, SCOOBY-DOO LIVE! MUSICAL MYSTERIES is set to thrill audiences in London for the very first time at the iconic LONDON PALLADIUM from THURSDAY 18 until SUNDAY 21 AUGUST. In this exciting new production, Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. Gang have been called upon to help solve an epic mystery. A trouble-making ghost is haunting a local theatre and Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Scooby-Doo are on their way in the Mystery Machine to crack the case. With crazy ghosts, perplexing puzzles,
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and an abundance of Scooby Snacks, it’s Scooby-Doo and friends at their best, travelling across the country, solving mysteries wherever they go. SCOOBY-DOO LIVE! MUSICAL MYSTERIES features big musical numbers including the evergreen ScoobyDoo theme song, “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?,” alongside original groovy tunes including “Round Every Corner” and “We’re Mystery Inc.” Filled with wacky new characters and uproarious antics, SCOOBY-DOO LIVE! MUSICAL MYSTERIES has young audiences on the edge of their seats in traditional Scooby-Doo fashion from the moment the lights go down. Scooby-Doo has been delighting families for decades, and today, with 99 tour stops, sold out performances and thousands of fans attending each show throughout Australia, WBCP and Life Like Touring are thrilled to be bringing SCOOBY-DOO LIVE! MUSICAL MYSTERIES to all Scooby fans in London. Get Tickets to Scooby Doo Live. Photo: Hanna Barbera
Funny Girl the Musical
to tour the UK next year
months whilst Sheridan takes a break due to stress and exhaustion. Natasha has received rave reviews for her portrayal of the role but Sheridan is expected to return to the role in early July. Keep an eye on www.funnygirlthemusical.co.uk for more details. The West End production of Funny Girl plays at the Savoy Theatre until October 2016.
Funny Girl UK Tour dates Manchester Palace 20 – 25 February Milton Keynes Theatre 28 February – 4 March Liverpool Empire 7 – 11 March It has been announced that the hit musical Funny Girl will go on a major national tour in 2017. The 5 star production opens at Manchester Palace where it runs for a week from 20 February, before touring to venues including Milton Keynes Theatre, Liverpool Empire, Bristol Hippodrome, Stoke Regent Theatre, His Majesty’s Theatre Aberdeen, Edinburgh Playhouse, New Victoria Theatre Woking, Marlowe Theatre Canterbury, Birmingham Hippodrome, Newcastle Theatre Royal, Mayflower Theatre Southampton, King’s Theatre Glasgow, Nottingham Theatre Royal and Southend Cliffs Pavilion. Further tour dates will be announced shortly. Funny Girl brought global fame to Barbra Streisand 50 years ago and boasts some of the most iconic songs in film and theatre history, including People and Don’t Rain On My Parade. This ‘iconic, legendary, laugh-outloud’ (The Times) musical tells the story of Fanny Brice, whose vocal talents and comedic ability see her rise from Brooklyn music hall singer to Broadway star. The production had a sell out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory last year with Sheridan Smith in the leading role of Fanny Brice. Natasha J Barnes has been performing the role at the Savoy Theatre for the past few
Bristol Hippodrome 21 – 25 March Stoke Regent Theatre 28 March – 1 April His Majesty’s Aberdeen 10 – 15 April Edinburgh Playhouse 18 – 22 April New Victoria Woking 25 – 29 April Marlowe Theatre Canterbury 2 – 6 May Birmingham Hippodrome 9 – 13 May Newcastle Theatre Royal 16 – 20 May Mayflower Theatre Southampton 23 – 27 May King’s Theatre Glasgow 30 May – 3 June Nottingham Theatre Royal 12 – 17 June Southend Cliffs Pavilion 20 – 24 June SHOWTIME : SFF
Sheridan Smith’s understudy Natasha J Barnes is the greatest star in FUNNY GIRL
On 12 May 2016 it was announced that Sheridan Smith would take a 2-4 week break from performing the role of Fanny Brice in Funny Girl at the Savoy Theatre due to stress and exhaustion. Understudy Natasha J Barnes stepped into the role (something she had previously done for one week during its run at the Menier Chocolate Factory when Sheridan also took a break) with just a few hours notice and without having fully rehearsed the part on the West End stage. Natasha has been making headline news recently by turning upset audience members frowns upside down and taking them from complaining and demanding their money back because Sheridan was not performing as advertised, to standing ovations at the end of every show because of her magnificent performance. Having seen Sheridan perform the show twice (once at the Menier Chocolate Factory and once at the Savoy Theatre) I was keen to go and check out Natasha’s portrayal of the role whilst she is filling in for Sheridan. Natasha truly is the greatest star, embracing the role in the face of adversity, knowing that audiences have paid to see Sheridan Smith and are a little disappointed when the show first begins that she is not there. Natasha grabs the audience by the ears and pulls them into her incredibly warm and sweet portrayal of Fanny Brice with adorable comedic expressions that really hammer home the true story of a girl who made her fame and 38
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fortune because she was funny. Any stubborn audience members who may have been reluctant to embrace Natasha at first, were immediately won over in Act 2 with the hilarious song ‘Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat’ in which she portrays a Nazi soldier with a comedy moustache. The audience were captivated in fits of laughter, believing they were watching something very special. You can read my original review of Funny Girl here (December 2015) and (April 2016). One thing I haven’t mentioned in previous reviews, is the incredible performances by Valda Aviks and Gay Soper as Mrs Meeker and Mrs Strakosh. These two actresses have an incredible combined history of performing in West End shows such as Once, Sweeney Todd, The Witches of Eastwick, Sunday In The Park With George and The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time (to mention but a few) and it is wonderful to see these two actresses still being embraced on the West End stage even in their later life. Both Sheridan and Natasha have two things on their side with this production. They have a brilliant character to portray with Fanny Brice and they are wonderfully directed in the show by Michael Mayer. One thing is for sure, whether people are lucky enough to see Sheridan or Natasha in Funny Girl, they will not be disappointed. Please, don’t rain on the understudy’s parade. It is a difficult job and Natasha is incredible. I hope that with this story being such big news, along with the recent Sunset Boulevard story where understudy Ria Jones stood in for Glenn Close for a few days (also to standing ovations), audience members will be more inclined to accept that everyone gets sick and they are not paying to see a celebrity on stage, they are paying to see a show with incredibly talented performers, regardless of whether they are the ones you were expecting to see or not. Sheridan Smith is due to return to the role on the week commencing 11 July 2016. Get tickets here. Reviewed by West End Wilma Photo: Manuel Harlan
West End Wilma chats to the star of the West End production of
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
I auditioned 5 times for the part over about a 3 week period and every time I was called back the stakes got higher and higher for me and I got more and more on edge. Elle While and Anna Marsland (the associate and resident directors) did such a good job at putting me at ease and letting me get into it without nerves getting in the way. When I got the call from my agent and he told me it felt like my whole life changed. I was absolutely stunned, I couldn’t sleep for days! For those who may not be familiar with The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Nighttime, can you tell me what the show is about and the character that you play? The play is a murder mystery about a boy with an extraordinary mind who sets off on a quest to find his friends killer and learns a lot about himself along the way. I play Christopher Boone, a 15 year old who describes himself as ‘a mathematician with some behavioural difficulties’ and is the ‘detective’ of the story. The whole play is shown through the eyes of Christopher and we see how he processes and understands (or doesn’t understand) the world around him.
Joseph Ayre comes to the National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time direct from a three year undergraduate course at East 15 Acting School.
Christopher is different to most people his age and he struggles with certain things many of us do not. The National Theatre and The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-time are big supporters of providing
West End Wilma caught up with Joseph during rehearsals to talk about the show over a cup of tea. You have just finished a three year undergraduate course at East 15 Acting School and now you’re going straight into the West End to play the lead role in a huge show. What was the process like of auditioning for such a big part and how did you feel the moment you found out you had got it? The process was equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. SHOWTIME : SFF
play Alex in A Clockwork Orange. Ooh and Bob in American Buffalo. There’s too many! If you could be the opposite sex for the day, what theatre role would you love to have a go at playing?
Austism Friendly/Relaxed Performances of their shows, so people like Christopher can enjoy theatre just like everyone else. Unfortunately not all West End shows currently perform these types of shows. How important to you think it is for theatre to be made accessible to everyone, regardless of disability? I think it’s extremely important. Everybody should be able to enjoy theatre, and the growth of relaxed performances can only be a good thing. Art can inspire change and growth and nobody should be missing out on that. There are lots of exciting shows coming to London in 2016. What are you most looking forward to seeing? Ralph Fiennes as Richard III sounds like a match made in heaven. I saw him in Man and Superman and it was one of the best things I’ve ever seen. He’s a hero of mine. Plus Vanessa Redgrave as King Lear? I’m sold. This is the beginning of your career. Do you have any dream roles that you would like to play over the years to come? Wow that’s tough. I really like Shakespeare so I’d love to have a crack at Hamlet or Henry V. Also I’d kill to 40
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I saw The Taming of The Shrew at The Globe the other day and it really got me thinking about Kate. It’s such a difficult role to pull off, you have to be strong and at the same time be downtrodden by all the horrendous misogyny that’s thrown at her through the play. And the speech at the end is infamously confounding. I think that would be a challenge. Although I must say that women aren’t being represented nearly enough as they should be in the theatre or in any other medium, so this question is harder to answer, but it shouldn’t be. Why do you think people should come to see The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-time at the Gielgud Theatre? It’s a wonderful story and the guys at Frantic Assembly have come up with such a unique and magical way to tell it. As much of a cliché as it is there really is something for everybody, it’s exciting, it’s sad, it’s moving, it’s inspiring, it’s technically mind-blowing and one of the best things about it is that everyone can enjoy it, no matter what age you are. Thanks for having Tea With Wilma Photo: Brinkhoff Mögenburg'
Jessie Wallace to play prison warden Mamma Morton on
CHICAGO UK Tour
Kat Slater/Moon aka Jessie Wallace is leaving Albert Square and heading out on tour with the cast of CHICAGO, playing the role of Mamma Morton between 15 August – 22 November 2016, replacing X Factor winner Sam Bailey who is currently starring in the role.
Waylon Jacobs, Justin-Lee Jones, Dann Kharsa, Chelsea Labadini, Ellie Mitchell, Peter Nash, Helen Siveter, Kerry Spark, Lindsey Tierney and Emily Warner. Jessie Wallace is best known for playing Kat Slater in EastEnders, a role for which she has won numerous awards. Her other TV credits include Amy Kriel in Wild at Heart and Pat Phoenix in The Road to Coronation Street, for which she was nominated for a Bafta Award. Her theatre credits include Maureen in Rent Remixed in the West End, Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be at the Theatre Royal Stratford East and Sylvia in the national tour of Stepping Out. John Partridge is probably best known for playing the role of Christian Clarke in EastEnders. His many musical theatre credits include Rum Tum Tugger in Cats in the West End, on tour and the official film of the show, John in Miss Saigon on the first UK national tour and most recently Zach in A Chorus Line at the London Palladium. John was also a judge on BBC1’s Over the Rainbow, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s search to find a Dorothy for the musical The Wizard of Oz.
Jessie will perform around the UK at Nottingham Royal Concert Hall (15 – 20 August), Belfast Grand Opera House (5 – 10 September), Liverpool Empire (12 – 17 September), Glasgow King’s Theatre (19 – 24 September), Aberdeen His Majesty’s Theatre (26 September – 1 October), Bromley Churchill Theatre (10 – 15 October), Woking New Victoria Theatre (17 – 22 October), Canterbury Marlowe Theatre (24 – 29 October), Norwich Theatre Royal (31 October – 5 November) and Leeds Grand Theatre (22 – 26 November). Continuing in their current roles are John Partridge as Billy Flynn, Hayley Tamaddon as Roxie Hart, Sophie Carmen-Jones as Velma Kelly, Neil Ditt as Amos Hart and A.D. Richardson as Mary Sunshine. Other cast include Daniele Arbisi, Nicola Coates, Frances Dee, Adam Denman, Francis Foreman,
Based on real life events back in the roaring 1920s, nightclub singer Roxie Hart shoots her lover and along with cell block rival, double-murderess Velma Kelly, they fight to keep from death row with the help of smooth talking lawyer, Billy Flynn. Photo: Catherine Ashmore SHOWTIME : SFF
THE WOMAN IN BLACK to tour the UK
will play the role of Mr Kipps and The Actor will be played Matthew Spencer. In 2012, Susan Hill’s novel The Woman in Black was released as a major motion picture, starring Daniel Radcliffe, which became the highest grossing British
Stephen Mallatratt’s adaptation of Susan Hill’s bestselling novel has terrified over 7 million theatregoers since it first opened 27 years ago. Robin Herford’s gripping production is a brilliantly successfully study in atmosphere, illusion and controlled horror.
horror film in 20 years. The sequel to that film, The
Now, the unanimously acclaimed stage production of The Woman in Black embarks on a major tour from September 2016, opening at Lichfield Garrick Theatre, until the end June 2017, visiting over 30 theatres nationwide. Plenty of opportunity to see if you’ll survive the tale…
He engages a young actor to help him tell his story and
The touring cast will perform their roles at The Fortune Theatre in London from 8th – 22nd August. David Acton
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Woman in Black 2: Angel Of Death, came out in 2014. The Woman In Black tells the story of a lawyer obsessed with a curse that he believes has been cast over him and his family by the spectre of a ‘Woman in Black’. exorcise the fear that grips his soul. It begins innocently enough, but as they delve further into his darkest memories, they find themselves caught up in a world of eerie marshes and moaning winds. The borders between make believe and reality begin to blur and the flesh begins to creep. Visit www.thewomaninblack.com for tour dates
First look at the cast of
HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD
Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley (shown left) and Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger (middle) is Cherrelle Skeete who will play Rose Granger-Weasley (right).
Previews have now begun for the highly anticipated play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Fans are being asked to ‘keep the secrets’ and not talk about the play online so everyone can enjoy the magic for themselves when they see it but the show has released these images of the cast which we are delighted to be able to share with you.
Alex Price who will play Draco Malfoy and Anthony Boyle who will play Scorpius Malfoy. It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three
Joining the previously announced Jamie Parker as Harry Potter (shown left) are Poppy Miller (right) who will play Ginny Potter and Sam Clemmett (middle) who will play Albus Potter.
school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is currently scheduled to play at London’s Palace Theatre until May 2017 but with tickets being completely sold out I am sure it wont be long before an extension of the run is announced. Whether or not the show is magical remains to be seen but one thing is for sure, this play doesn’t look like it will be going anywhere anytime soon! www.HarryPotterthePlay.com Photo: Charlie Gray
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brings a ‘Whole New World’ into London’s West End
The smash hit Broadway musical Aladdin has been hugely anticipated by theatre goers, ever since it announced the show would open in the West End. People are clambering around to get tickets, with many performances already selling out. I was excited to go along and check it out but unfortunately I found it to be an example of how just because a show is a hit on Broadway, not every production translates well across the sea. Based on the 1992 Disney film and featuring a mixture
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of new music and classic songs, Aladdin tells the story of a down on his luck boy called Aladdin who lives on the streets. When he bumps into a beautiful girl called Jasmine he falls immediately for her, unaware that she is a Princess who has escaped from the Palace. Unable to marry the Princess unless he is a Prince, Aladdin stumbles across a magic lamp with a Genie inside, who must grant him three wishes. But will Aladdin use his wishes to change the world for the better and free the Genie of the shackles of his lamp, or will he make himself a Prince so he can win the love of the Princess. Dean John Wilson does a good job in the role of Aladdin, with his animated face and excitable little boy energy. Trevor Dion Nicholas is reprising his role as the Genie from the Broadway production and is a big bundle of laughter and comedy. He embodies all the qualities you would expect from a panto dame and is covered in more glitter than a craft shop. It is however
Jade Ewen who steals the show as Princess Jasmine. I’m always wary of pop stars who are cast in musicals, as it can be a case of getting bums on seats rather than casting the best person for the role. Jade however shines as the Princess, delivering a sweet portrayal of the role whilst also showing her character as a strong woman. There are some great songs in the show. A Whole New World, Proud of your Boy and One Jump Ahead, all beautifully sung and with bright colourful costumes and well choreographed dance routines. Of course the big draw in Aladdin is always the spectacle of the flying magic carpet which Aladdin takes Princess Jasmine for a ride on. This is well executed but doesn’t have the wow factor I was hoping for. An audience member summed it up perfectly by saying ‘If Mary Poppins can fly out into the audience with her umbrella, why can’t the magic carpet do the same’.
The big difference between Aladdin on Broadway and Aladdin in London is that we know the show so well as a pantomime. America doesn’t have a panto culture and so will see the show as a funny comedy musical but to me I just saw a very expensive glorified pantomime that I could see for a fraction of the price all around the country at Christmas. Aladdin is a good, fun and colourful show that is very much enjoyable but sadly doesn’t quite live up to the hype it has received. Reviewed by West End Wilma Photos: Deen van Meer © Disney ALADDIN is booking at the Prince Edward Theatre until 11 February 2017. Tickets
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T HERE'S A N E W D OLL I N TO W N!
PHOENIX THEATRE 8 WEEK S ONLY UNTIL 21 AUGUS T.
BOOK YOUR TICKET S
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