17th May2017

Room (Theatre)

by timbaros

unnamed-319The story of a mother and son held captive in a room was so beautifully and emotionally told in last year’s film ‘Room.’ There is now a stage adaptation of that Oscar-winning film playing at Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Emma Donoghue, who wrote the book in which the film was based on, also wrote the stage adaptation, and it’s an interesting one. The stage show mimics the plot of the movie, however, more elements are added to it. First off, there’s a narrator who speaks out loud the thoughts of 5-year old Jake (ably played by Harrison Wilding on the night I saw it); it’s Jack’s perspective this show is told from (as in the book); and surprisingly the show is also told via songs – effective at times but a bit inappropriate at other times.

Room, in case you missed the film, is about a woman and her son who are being held hostage by a man simply known as Old Nick (Liam McKenna). The mother, Ma (excellently played by Witney White), has been imprisoned by him for seven years. Ma and Jack are unable to leave the room, locked in by the man who is Jack’s father who takes his liberties with Ma whenever he wants. And Ma has to be ever so grateful when he brings her and Jack the staples and necessities they need to live on. But it’s Jack who has adapted to living in the room – it’s all he knows. He also knows to hide in the wardrobe when Old Nick comes to visit – it’s these time that the show takes, to great effect, a dark and eerie tone. It’s complemented by the set – a room in the middle of the stage – that cleverly swings around when Nick is ‘visiting’ – so we see Jack’s frightened viewpoint from the wardrobe – which is also his bed – it’s expertly thought out. Jack’s thoughts come via the narration by Fela Lufadeju – Big Jack – who is Little Jacks’ voice and his conscience. It’s narration that at times is cute and funny and at times very serious, but it’s also does get in the way of the very dramatic story unfolding on stage.

Without giving too much away, and as mentioned above, the rest of story plays out in similar parallel with the movie, with the second half taking place in a home (as opposed to a room), where Ma and Jack have to adjust to life outside the room. It’s with the help of Ma’s mother (a good performance by Lucy Tregar) that shifts the second half into another gear, a bit slower and less intense than the first, but dramatic nonetheless.

Room has elements of it that work and don’t work. Room’s premise is very theatrical, with the whole story being told inside four walls, which this production excellently shows. In the first room there are the items that Jack has named (plant, TV, etc..), then there’s a hospital room, and then on to Grandma’s house, it’s a set superbly designed by Lily Arnold. And there is also excellent use of lighting and visuals on the walls that are characters and images seen from the eyes of a child. The cast do a very good job and it’s a helluva emotional show to be performing seven times a week (three young actors take turns playing the role of Jack). But the use of Big Jack is a device that doesn’t quite work, and some of the songs (music by Kathryn Joseph) in the second half just don’t quite work with the dark theme of the show. Nonetheless, if you loved the movie and read the book, then this is must see theatre, and only it’s playing until June 3rd.

To book tickets, please go here:
http://www.stratfordeast.com

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05th Jun2016

Room (DVD)

by timbaros

ROOM_DAY8-0047 (2) (1) copyA mother and her son are trapped in a room and can’t escape in the very dramatic and suspenseful film ‘Room.’

‘Room’ will take your breathe away. It’s one of the most talked about films of the year, deservedly so, with performances that are top notch. It’s an adaptation of a novel called ‘Room’ written by Emma Donoghue, who also wrote the script. And what a script it is. Although the film takes place in just a few locations, it feels like it goes far and wide.

It’s a plot that could be ripped from the headlines: a young teenage girl was kidnapped at the age of 17 by a stranger and is held captive in a shed in his backyard with the young son who was born out of an unwanted sexual relationship with him – they call him ‘Old Nick’ (Sean Bridgers). Brie Larson plays Joy, and Jacob Tremblay is her son Jack, and both are superb. They survive in that shed, with gray concrete walls. it’s a room (or as they simply call it ‘room’), where they are held prisoner. It’s got a skylight, a kitchen, a toilet next to the bed, a closet where Jack sleeps, a plant, and a mouse that pops out every now and then. And five-year Jack knows of no other life than the life he’s led in room. He doesn’t really know anything about the world outside room, and he thinks that what he sees on television is make believe, and not real people acting. When Old Nick pays visits to room for his sexual pleasure with Joy, Jack hides in the closet, and Joy refuses to let Nick touch him, or even to see him. But Joy has an idea that might work to get her son out of room, and when the idea takes place and works, Jack is suddenly thrust out into the world. If you’ve seen the trailer you know that Jack and his mother have escaped room, but it’s the five or so minutes when this happens that is the most suspenseful and compelling five minutes of this film, of perhaps any film, you will have seen for years. But Jack has to adjust to the outside world, a world he’s never been exposed to. This includes being exposed to other people, including his grandparents, the divorced Nancy (Joan Allen) and Robert (William H. Macy), and Nancy’s new husband Doug (Matt Gordon). And Joy has to adjust being out of room as well – it’s an adjustment that’s not an easy one. Told from Jack’s point of view, we see through his very young eyes this brave new world that he knows nothing about, grandparents that he’s meeting for the first time, and more important leaving room where he had lived all of his short life.

‘Room’ is a story about survival, emotions, and the tight relationship between a mother and her young son. It’s masterfully directed by Lenny Abrahamson who is responsible for holding our attention throughout the entire movie. It’s also credit to the actors who bring this story to life. Told from Jack’s perspective who is in every scene, we see his freedom as a rebirth of sorts, with Joy being his world in and out of room. Only seven when he was cast, Tremblay captures, and holds us, in his every scene. It’s incredible that a young boy his age has so much range that he displays in the film. He’s simply incredible. It’s a shame that he didn’t receive a BAFTA, Oscar or Golden Globe nomination for this film, it’s the performance of the year. Larson is excellent as Joy. Larson rose to fame in her award-winning performance in 2013’s Short Term 12. She deservedly won Best Actress at the Oscars and the Golden Globes. But it’s Tremblay who steals the movie. He’s simply just amazing.



Room [DVD] [2016] (DVD)

Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Starring: Brie Larson
Rating: Suitable for 15 years and over

New From: £3.98 GBP In Stock
Used from: £0.09 GBP In Stock

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16th Jan2016

Room (Film)

by timbaros

ROOM_DAY8-0047 (2) (1) copyA mother and her son are trapped in a room and can’t escape in the very dramatic and suspenseful film ‘Room.’

‘Room’ will take your breathe away. It’s one of the most talked about films of the year, deservedly so, with performances that are top notch. It’s an adaptation of a novel called ‘Room’ written by Emma Donoghue, who also wrote the script. And what a script it is. Although the film takes place in just a few locations, it feels like it goes far and wide.

It’s a plot that could be ripped from the headlines: a young teenage girl was kidnapped at the age of 17 by a stranger and is held captive in a shed in his backyard with the young son who was born out of an unwanted sexual relationship with him – they call him ‘Old Nick’ (Sean Bridgers). Brie Larson plays Joy, and Jacob Tremblay is her son Jack, and both are superb. They survive in that shed, with gray concrete walls. it’s a room (or as they simply call it ‘room’), where they are held prisoner. It’s got a skylight, a kitchen, a toilet next to the bed, a closet where Jack sleeps, a plant, and a mouse that pops out every now and then. And five-year Jack knows of no other life than the life he’s led in room. He doesn’t really know anything about the world outside room, and he thinks that what he sees on television is make believe, and not real people acting. When Old Nick pays visits to room for his sexual pleasure with Joy, Jack hides in the closet, and Joy refuses to let Nick touch him, or even to see him. But Joy has an idea that might work to get her son out of room, and when the idea takes place and works, Jack is suddenly thrust out into the world. If you’ve seen the trailer you know that Jack and his mother have escaped room, but it’s the five or so minutes when this happens that is the most suspenseful and compelling five minutes of this film, of perhaps any film, you will have seen for years. But Jack has to adjust to the outside world, a world he’s never been exposed to. This includes being exposed to other people, including his grandparents, the divorced Nancy (Joan Allen) and Robert (William H. Macy), and Nancy’s new husband Doug (Matt Gordon). And Joy has to adjust being out of room as well – it’s an adjustment that’s not an easy one. Told from Jack’s point of view, we see through his very young eyes this brave new world that he knows nothing about, grandparents that he’s meeting for the first time, and more important leaving room where he had lived all of his short life.

‘Room’ is a story about survival, emotions, and the tight relationship between a mother and her young son. It’s masterfully directed by Lenny Abrahamson who is responsible for holding our attention throughout the entire movie. It’s also credit to the actors who bring this story to life. Told from Jack’s perspective who is in every scene, we see his freedom as a rebirth of sorts, with Joy being his world in and out of room. Only seven when he was cast, Tremblay captures, and holds us, in his every scene. It’s incredible that a young boy his age has so much range that he displays in the film. He’s simply incredible. It’s a shame that he didn’t receive a BAFTA, Oscar or Golden Globe nomination for this film, it’s the performance of the year. Larson is excellent as Joy. Larson rose to fame in her award-winning performance in 2013’s Short Term 12. She just deservedly won Best Actress at the Golden Globe Awards and is now the front runner for the Best Actress Oscar. But it’s Tremblay who steals the movie. He’s simply just amazing. ‘Room’ has been nominated for the Best Picture Oscar – deservedly so.

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