tempestsarekind: (the wind and the rain)
Just finished watching King Charles III on PBS. Tim Pigott-Smith was quite moving, and there were lots of Shakespearean echoes (Kate is clearly being cast as Lady Macbeth, and even says "Cry havoc" at one point). Charlotte Riley as Kate is maybe not quite soft enough - which is to say that she plays the Lady Macbeth side of things aptly, but it's hard to imagine her as public Kate. (One of the puzzling things about the play/adaptation: how much are we meant to rely on what we "know" of these figures currently?)

Not totally sure how I felt about the blank verse; I'd need to give it another listen, probably. I like the idea of it, though.

Of course, there are many old friends - and some new! - among the cast: Charlotte Riley from the Wuthering Heights adaptation from a few years back, and Jonathan Strange; Adam James who played Don Pedro opposite David Tennant in Much Ado (and other things; he pops up a lot). Peculiarly, there were three cast members who'd just acted opposite each other in Twelfth Night at the National Theatre: Tamara Lawrance (Viola), Oliver Chris (Orsino), and Tim McMullan (Sir Toby). This is particularly peculiar since, of the three, apparently only Oliver Chris was in the theatrical run.
tempestsarekind: (posner and scripps)
So I happened to turn on PBS to find an episode of DCI Banks on, and who should run up - and spill coffee all over the main character - but Samuel Anderson as a new detective constable joining the unit!

Then Vicious aired after that - not the episode Sam Barnett is in, but there was still a millisecond of him in the behind-the-scenes featurette that followed the episode.

I decided then to watch the beginning of one of the DVDs I got from the library: the second season of Silk (the first season aired ages back on PBS; I honestly can't remember if they ever got around to airing the second season in my neck of the woods). I couldn't really remember much about the show, except liking Maxine Peake, but I watched the first episode contentedly enough. And then, in the preview for the next episode, a split second of a familiar face: Jamie Parker! It seems to me that at some point I must have been informed that he was in an episode of Silk, but this is not information that I could have previously retrieved without seeing him in the preview.

That's nearly half the set in one evening - and all of them accidents!

(Also, Indira Varma is obviously not a History Boy, but I didn't know she was in the second season of Silk either, yet there she was as well.)
tempestsarekind: (ophelia has so few options)
I started reading this article expecting it to be one of those finger-wagging pieces about how the sheeple just like escapism and fancy dresses, and was pleasantly surprised. It has a little bit of that ("At this moment, what we want from our relationship with a national past is this: to draw the curtains, shut out the noise of the world, and put on a box set. Thinking about Tudor history is, at least in its laziest manifestations, an excellent way of not thinking about history"), but by and large it remains an exploration of why the Tudor story resonates with people:

Tudormania: Why Can't We Get Over It?
http://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/may/04/tudormania-why-can-we-not-get-over-it

Tee hee:

Jessie Childs, a popular historian who has written about the period, said: “The Tudors are very clearly defined for children: you have Henry VII, the battlefield king; then Henry VIII, the tyrant who marries six times; then Edward VI, the boy king; then Lady Jane Grey, the nine days’ queen; then [the Catholic] Mary I who burns 300 people; and then Elizabeth I, the virgin queen. They are like a boyband: each has an identity. If you look at the Plantagenets, on the other hand – people don’t know which is which.”


I bought Jessie Childs' book God's Traitors ages ago - when it first came out in the States, in fact - but haven't yet found the time to read it…alas. Anyway, the author also speaks to Hilary Mantel, as well as to other historians who want to widen the scope of what we talk about when we talk about the Tudors.

[Edited to add: …huh. I got this link via Twitter, so I went back and clicked on the Twitter handle of the author of the article. It turns out that she wrote Under Another Sky, a book about Roman Britain that I…appear to have misplaced, actually, but I found a copy of it on sale in a bookstore in York when I was there, which is good because I don't think it was published in the US. But it also turns out that she wrote This New Noise, a book about the BBC that I read about a little while ago and wanted to look up. I did not know that these two books were even by the same person!]

Then there's an article on how aspiring actors from farther down the social ladder are increasingly being shut out of the profession in the UK. These have been bubbling up for a few years now; this one takes its starting point from the show The Night Manager. (I haven't seen it; it will probably go into the bin of "stuff about machinations that I really don't want to watch," along with House of Cards.) The article also takes a tiny swipe at costume drama, so these two articles wind up being a tiny bit related:

Why working-class actors are a disappearing breed
http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/may/08/working-class-actors-disappearing-britain-class-privilege-access-posh

And what, you can’t help wondering, is our obsession with period drama all about? Downton, suggests Josie Long, comedian and co-founder of the charity Arts Emergency, “speaks to that certain weird thing that is going on in the UK. Something very repressive that is reflected in our art.”

It’s what happens, she thinks, “when you don’t have different voices coming through”. And “posh fetishisation… posh as aspiration” becomes a defining feature of our culture.

Posh is at the very heart of mainstream viewing, a cornerstone of all TV schedules and a guaranteed seller abroad. The Night Manager is currently being broadcast in America on the cable channel AMC, which contributed a large part of its £18m budget. It’s a vision of Britain that sells.


The piece itself is a more interesting look at this phenomenon than simply "Downton make drama all posh now." But I'm sure there is some sort of "Downton effect," even if it is more about making money than having it: just as it's harder to sell comedies internationally because they tend to rely more on specific cultural contexts than action and superhero films, it is probably easier to sell costume dramas and literary adaptations abroad - if only because costume drama tends to assume that you have to explain the historical setting at least a little bit, and that explanation works just as well overseas. It is frustrating, though, to be a fan of costume drama and have it assumed that you must just want to watch posh people lounging about in frocks, as opposed to being interested in fictional explorations of what life was like in the past. I would love to have a wider range of costume drama available - even just getting a show set in the Tudor period that didn't take place at court would feel like Christmas!

That's separate from the main point of the piece, though, which focuses on how hard it is to pay for a place at drama school, and then to find work in the industry if you do. (And as always, don't read the comments: Guardian articles about the arts are always overrun by people who fling about the word "luvvies" and seem to think no one should ever expect to be paid for art, because it's not a real job like plumbing. One wonders whether these people watch TV or movies, or listen to music, and what they think would happen to their own lives if we made it impossible for people to make a living while making art.)
tempestsarekind: (your strange behavior puzzles martha)
Okay:

Hattie Morahan has apparently recently been in not one, but two Sherlock Holmes-related properties: Mr. Holmes, the film starring Ian McKellen; and Arthur and George, the miniseries starring Martin Clunes (and also featuring Charles Edwards, who has played Benedick and Richard II for Shakespeare's Globe, and was also on Downton Abbey).

Looking up Hattie Morahan led me to a 2013 film I hadn't heard of (in which she has a role) called Summer in February, starring Dan Stevens and Dominic Cooper - both of whom were in the Andrew Davies adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, in which Hattie Morahan played Elinor Dashwood.

Looking up Dominic Cooper led me to The Lady in the Van, starring Maggie Smith (the third Downton alum in this update, along with Charles Edwards and Dan Stevens). Perhaps unsurprisingly, given that the film was written by Alan Bennett and directed by Nicholas Hytner, the cast also includes - along with Dominic Cooper - Frances de la Tour, Stephen Campbell Moore, James Corden, Samuel Anderson, and Samuel Barnett, all of whom were in The History Boys. (I knew Samuel Barnett was in the film, thanks to Twitter, but didn't know about all of the other History Boys alums.) Jamie Parker does not seem to be in the film, but Roger Allam, who played Falstaff to his Hal at the Globe, is.

ETA: Just to bring this whole thing full circle, IMDb says that Frances de la Tour is also in Mr. Holmes…along with Hattie Morahan.

two things

Jun. 30th, 2015 04:30 pm
tempestsarekind: (the wind and the rain)
1. How did I not know that Indira Varma played Olivia in the Derek Jacobi Twelfth Night at the Donmar?

2. What does it say about me that I am far more upset about not seeing Indira Varma than about not seeing Derek Jacobi?

(I'm also sad that I was too sick to go to the Globe On Screen Titus in which she played Tamora, but I at least have the option of watching that on DVD or Globe Player once it's out. I love Olivia, and I have yet to see an Olivia that I really love...)
tempestsarekind: (dido plus books)
Reading an interview with Gugu Mbatha-Raw pulled up this tidbit:

At RADA, Gugu’s contemporaries included Ben Whishaw, Tom Hiddleston and Andrea Riseborough, all former nominees for the Rising Star gong. Shortly after graduation, she was Juliet to Andrew Garfield’s Romeo at the Manchester Royal Exchange, when they were both 22.

Well, this is the worst; everything is terrible. (Oddly enough, I was thinking "I bet she would have made a wonderful Juliet" at an earlier point while reading this article, because Harry Lloyd got mentioned, and he was one of my fancasts for Romeo for a while.)

I mean, I did see her as Ophelia opposite Jude Law, but… Juliet, you know? My heart-girl, my best beloved. I can just imagine Gugu's radiance in Belle in that role.
tempestsarekind: (dido plus books 2)
…Aw man, they knew just how to push all my costume-drama buttons, didn't they?

What I like most about it so far, I think, is that they weren't afraid to just drop us into this world of honor and pride and family obligation and let us accept that these were the feelings that overwhelmingly influenced people's behavior - instead of trying to gloss them over and make them more palatable to a modern audience. I think perhaps Ross is a bit too friendly with his tenants (they called him "Ross"!), but they are mostly of an age with him, so I can imagine that he might well have grown up with them in a more relaxed way. But I really like Ross' interactions with Demelza: he rescues her, but he also treats her like a servant; he's fair to her, but not overly kind. I'm sure their relationship will change as the show progresses, but I like that it's started this way. And more personally - I'm an only child, from a small family, so I tend to forget how interconnected people's extended families can be; I liked that aspect as well.

Before watching the episode, I thought that casting Aidan Turner in a role where he was likely not to get to smile was rather a waste, but now I think that the warmth he shows so easily comes out in unexpected moments - as when he smiles at the children enjoying the Punch-and-Judy show on market day, for example - and helps to balance out the quick anger and the brooding that might otherwise be too much.

Also, I am very excited for the inevitable Demelza-wears-a-dress scene. :)

ETA: Rather than starting a new post - is anyone else watching The Crimson Field? Wow, that first episode was a lot. And spoiler ) I've missed Oona Chaplin's face, too, after the premature cancellation of The Hour (sob), so it's lovely to see her here. And Suranne Jones as well!

I don't get why PBS tends to throw all its new dramas at one at once, though, instead of spreading them out. They've been doing pledge drives for absolute weeks now, with nothing but the same tired old health programs on ("Change Your Brain, Change Your Life" and the like), and then both Poldark and The Crimson Field starting tonight.

*giggle*

Apr. 5th, 2015 10:14 pm
tempestsarekind: (martha + ten + TARDIS)
I am entirely too amused by the fact that in the credit sequence for Wolf Hall, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Harry Lloyd got a title card all to themselves, seeing as they were both in "Human Nature/Family of Blood."
tempestsarekind: (globe)
Dispatch from the Department of Stuff No One Else Cares About, "Eight Actors in Britain" edition: In yesterday's episode of the most recent season of Endeavour (the prequel series to Inspector Morse), I did not spot any actors from Doctor Who, but there were four actors who had been in Globe productions. Two of these are series regulars: Jack Laskey (Orlando in the Thea Sharrock-directed AYLI), and Roger Allam (Falstaff in 1 and 2 Henry IV; also Prospero in last summer's production of The Tempest). The amusing thing was that the other two actors had also been in those same productions: I was of course thrilled to note Jamie Parker's name in the opening credits; he played Oliver opposite Jack Laskey's Orlando, and Hal to Roger Allam's Falstaff. And then Jessie Buckley was Roger Allam's Miranda! (They filmed this production of The Tempest, but who knows if they'll ever get their act together for US screenings; they never did for last year's, as far as I know - which was not a terrible hardship, I suppose, since I'd always planned to buy the DVDs for Jamie's Henry V and Sam Barnett's Twelfth Night anyway, but I still would have loved to see Jamie cry God for Harry, England, and Saint George on a big screen too.)

(Jamie played an utterly obnoxious Oxford tutor of medieval history, clipped upper-crust accent and all - but his voice was still so lovely that I kind of just wanted him to keep being obnoxious forever...)

hmmm...

May. 12th, 2014 04:34 pm
tempestsarekind: (little dorrit)
There are several actors announced in this article on the upcoming BBC miniseries of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, but the one I'm most interested in is Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn:
http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/may/08/damian-lewis-henry-viii-bbc-mantel-wolf-hall-bring-up-bodies

(Maybe this summer I will actually get around to reading Wolf Hall? I mean, I'm not holding my breath, but maybe.)

so...

Mar. 27th, 2014 08:23 pm
tempestsarekind: (henry tilney would SO write fanfic)
Remember that "Time-Travelling Celebrities" article/meme/hashtag/whatever that was going around a little while ago? I was scrolling down this page:
http://bjws.blogspot.com/2014/03/1500s-european-families.html

and got to this portrait:
Adriaen Thomasz Key, Self-Portrait With Family (1583)


and, well, is anybody else getting a JJ Feild vibe from the face in the upper left corner? Or is it just me?
tempestsarekind: (bored history boys)
Quite some time ago, I read this blog post about dreamcasting Good Omens, if a TV version of it should ever actually come to pass:

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/05/the-two-southern-nancys-casting-crowley-and-aziraphale-for-good-omens

At the time I had two reactions: 1) amusement that every pick for Aziraphale had been on Doctor Who; and 2) a sudden need for a TV show in which Russell Tovey plays an angel.

I just finished rereading Good Omens, and this post came to mind. I agree that he's probably too young for Aziraphale, but...can't you picture him as an angel, anyway? An earthbound angel, sarcastic and tightly wound and touchingly, tremblingly brave; exasperated and in love with humanity in equal measure? Yes, okay, I know - a lot of that is just George from Being Human with wings, but that is partly my point: he'd be so good at it.

(I never did watch his last season of Being Human. I got enough of a sense from the internet, without reading any real spoilers, that it was not something I wanted to see, given that I had signed on to the show for "snarky supernatural flatmates" and not "an all-the-bad-things buffet.")
tempestsarekind: (all the world's a stage)
I went to see My Week With Marilyn today by myself, which meant that I spent a good deal of today staring at Eddie Redmayne's face.

Time well spent.

Also, pretty much everyone else was in this movie, too, from Dougray Scott (!) to cameos by Derek Jacobi and Simon Russell Beale, from Dominic "I'm in all the movies" Cooper to Judi Dench, from Miranda Raison to Emma Watson to Zoe Wanamaker. And of course Kenneth Branagh, and two Renaissance Films regulars, Gerard Horan and Richard Clifford (aka Borachio and Conrade; and yes, I did have to look up their names because I always call the former "Borachio" and the latter "Boyet" in my head). So that was fun.
tempestsarekind: (all the world's a stage)
I went to see My Week With Marilyn today by myself, which meant that I spent a good deal of today staring at Eddie Redmayne's face.

Time well spent.

Also, pretty much everyone else was in this movie, too, from Dougray Scott (!) to cameos by Derek Jacobi and Simon Russell Beale, from Dominic "I'm in all the movies" Cooper to Judi Dench, from Miranda Raison to Emma Watson to Zoe Wanamaker. And of course Kenneth Branagh, and two Renaissance Films regulars, Gerard Horan and Richard Clifford (aka Borachio and Conrade; and yes, I did have to look up their names because I always call the former "Borachio" and the latter "Boyet" in my head). So that was fun.
tempestsarekind: (very few dates in this history)
So I finally watched Glorious 39 this afternoon (I have had this film out from Netflix for months now). Seriously, who isn't in this movie? Romola Garai, Eddie Redmayne, Juno Temple, Bill Nighy, David Tennant, Jeremy Northam, Julie Christie, Hugh Bonneville, Jenny Agutter, Charlie Cox--have I missed anyone?
tempestsarekind: (very few dates in this history)
So I finally watched Glorious 39 this afternoon (I have had this film out from Netflix for months now). Seriously, who isn't in this movie? Romola Garai, Eddie Redmayne, Juno Temple, Bill Nighy, David Tennant, Jeremy Northam, Julie Christie, Hugh Bonneville, Jenny Agutter, Charlie Cox--have I missed anyone?
tempestsarekind: (excuse me what)
http://www.digitalspy.com/movies/s7/doctor-who/news/a288086/karen-gillan-to-star-in-romeo-and-brittney.html

Somehow, they have taken all sorts of things I like (Shakespeare! Time travel! Karen Gillan!) and made them sound like something that terrifies my very soul. Wow.

But Craig Ferguson hugged a Dalek last night, so. (Matt Smith is on tonight, yay!)
tempestsarekind: (excuse me what)
http://www.digitalspy.com/movies/s7/doctor-who/news/a288086/karen-gillan-to-star-in-romeo-and-brittney.html

Somehow, they have taken all sorts of things I like (Shakespeare! Time travel! Karen Gillan!) and made them sound like something that terrifies my very soul. Wow.

But Craig Ferguson hugged a Dalek last night, so. (Matt Smith is on tonight, yay!)
tempestsarekind: (posner plus books)
I'd totally forgotten that Russell Tovey was in My Family and Other Animals until it popped up in my Netflix recommendations ("British dramas based on real life," a category that actually makes sense based on my interest in An Education. Well done for once, Netflix). How did I manage that?

...Now I want to see it again.
tempestsarekind: (posner plus books)
I'd totally forgotten that Russell Tovey was in My Family and Other Animals until it popped up in my Netflix recommendations ("British dramas based on real life," a category that actually makes sense based on my interest in An Education. Well done for once, Netflix). How did I manage that?

...Now I want to see it again.

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