21st Dec2015

The Dazzle (Theatre)

by timbaros

The-Dazzle-at-FOUND111.-Joanna-Vanderham-Milly-David-Dawson-Homer-and-Andrew-Scott-Langley.-Photo-credit-Marc-Brenner-468-600x350A play about two brothers who need each other to coexist is the plot of the new play The Dazzle.

It’s the lead actor and the theatre itself that are the main attractions. Irish actor Andrew Scott is a huge film and television star who was most recently the character ‘C’ in the James Bond film ‘Spectre.’ He’s won awards for his performance in the 2014 film ‘Pride’ and is also known for his television work including playing Jim Moriarty in the hit television show ‘Sherlock,’ as well as for his numerous stage appearances. The theatre, Found111 theatre on Charing Cross, is in the old Foyles bookstore building that was most recently the home to sold out performances of the all volunteer show ‘You Me Bum Bum Train.’

‘The Dazzle’ is performed in one of the building’s upper rooms, which is reached after a dizzying climb of three floors. It’s a room that must’ve been used as book storage for the bookstore, as it seats only 130, so it’s theatre at it’s most intimate, with the stage just inches away from the first row. As for the show itself, it’s based on the true story of two brothers whose bodies were found amid 136 tons of clutter in a crumbling New York City townhouse in the 1940’s. Scott plays Langley Collyer, while David Dawson plays his brother Homer. Langley is a bit of an autistic savant – he’s a piano-playing genius but can’t seem to hold his own in life. He relies, depends and needs Homer to survive. Homer makes sure that Langley is taken care of and reminds him to clean himself. And unfortunately the brothers are on the verge of being broke, so Homer has to urge Langely to perform for money, even though Langley doesn’t want to. Homer, meanwhile, is a non-practicing lawyer who toddles around their cluttered living room with a piano in it’s center. The boys lives get turned around when Milly Ashmore (Joanna Vanderham) visits. She’s a rich heiress who is taken by Langley’s boyish charm and good looks. It’s soon enough that Homer sees an opportunity to marry Langley off to her to ensure their future. But the wedding doesn’t happen and it’s a catalyst that spins the brothers, and Milly’s, lives around, and not for the better.

‘The Dazzle,’ written by American Playwright Richard Greenberg, and directed by Simon Evans, is tricky to pull off because of the very intimate space. The actor’s every move, breathe, facial expression, and mistakes are captured finitely. But at times the actors seem to be overreaching a bit, putting on a show not just for the audience but for themselves as well. It’s all a bit overdramatic in parts where it doesn’t intend to be, and a bit unbelievable as the show plays out. The show does have quite a few witty lines (“we have a blind cleaner who comes in and spits on the furniture” Homer tells Milly when she asks why their apartment is so dirty and cluttered), but it won’t be winning any awards. The wow factor in this show is seeing Andrew Scott, a rising star, very up close and personal, and the theatre itself, which is true pop-up theatre.

The Dazzle is playing until January 30th – to buy tickets, please go here:


04th Jan2014

What Maisie Knew – DVD

by timbaros

images-56What Maisie Knew is a heartbreaking film about a 7 year old girl in the middle of her parents divorce and the extreme hostility between them.

 Maisie, played by a really amazing Onata Aprile, is a very sweet, typical 7 year old girl. Both her parents, rock singer Susanna (Julianne Moore) and English businessman Beale (Steve Coogan) have very busy lives. While they both love the daughter to pieces, they hardly have any time to spend with her. They always shuffling her between both of their New York City apartments, constantly arguing on whose turn it is to have her, whose turn it is to pick her up at school, and really whose turn it is to be the parent.
Things get really complicated when Julianne’s former right hand assistant Margo (Joanna Vanderham) moves in with Beale, while Susanna quickly takes on a new husband in the form of bartender Lincoln (a sweet and charming Alexander Skarsgard). When Beale decides that he has to go to England to work on his business ventures (without taking Maisie), and at the same time Susanna has to embarks on a tour that she can’t get out of, it is up to Margo and Lincoln to watch over and take care of little Maisie.
The most amazing thing about this movie is Aprile’s performance. She is absolutely great in this film. She is cute as a button and has the most soulful eyes and the cutest giggle of any little actress in recent memory. She also displays an incredible look of sorrow when her father tells her he can’t take her to London with him, and more sorrow when her mother all of a sudden departs on her tour. She also has a very sad look of exasperation on her face when her mother needs to find a place to drop her off so someone else can take care of her. Moore, who always gives a great performance in any movie that she is in, is also very good as the rock star singer living a rock star life, but with a little girl she barely has time to take care of, and always on her phone or hanging out with her rock star buddies. Coogan is an OK choice to play the father, but it is hard to believe that a woman like Susanna would fall in love with a man like him. Vanderham and Skarsgard also give excellent performances as the other halves who understand Maisie’s needs. But it is the performance of Aprile, the twinkle in her eye, and the smile on her face at the end of the movie, that will long last way after you have seen the film.
What Maisie Knew is now out on DVD.