Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

"The Hunting Of The Snark" / "Star Trek Beyond"

Sherman Cymru’s family offering for the summer holidays is an adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s nonsense mini-epic “The Hunting Of The Snark”, with a lively cast of six, including on-stage musician. Great fun, with lots of topical references, although the fact that it focuses on the relationship between the Banker and his son (a character invented by writer Annabel Wigoder) means that any grander themes with which Carroll may have been toying seem to get lost.

"The Hunting Of The Snark" (photo: Mark Douet)

The weekend saw a visit to the National Museum of Wales, and the exhibition focussing on the Battle of Mametz Wood during World War 1, at which many Welsh soldiers fell. There is much memorabilia, poetry and art, most strikingly the painting “The Charge of the Welsh at Mametz Wood, 1916”, by Christopher Williams. Also showing is an exhibition of the work of legendary children’s book illustrator Quentin Blake which, seemed barely less dark, given his long association with the morally complex work of Roald Dahl; his illustrations for Michael Rosen’s “Sad Book” are particularly stark. Also somewhat downbeat, although inspirational in intent, is Shimon Attie’s vivid video-photographic tribute to the people of contemporary Aberfan, which was famously struck by tragedy in 1966.

The Charge of the Welsh at Mametz Wood, 1916”, by Christopher Williams

 Star Trek Beyond”, even though its release is tinged with tragedy following the awful death of Anton Yelchin (“Chekov”), is every bit as heartening as its immediate predecessors, despite the replacement of director J.J. Abrams by Justin “Fast And Furious” Lin. Relationships are foregrounded, as the U.S.S. Enterprise, having been lured to a distant planet, is attacked and the crew separated. Idris Elba plays the villain whose motivation (somewhat topically) is to subvert the Federation’s ethos of peaceful co-operation. The visuals are predictably spectacular, but it is the warmth between the crew-members which leaves the most lasting impression.

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