Blakeson - Writer

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

Thursday, December 21, 2017

"The Disaster Artist" / "Wind In The Willows" / Flossy & Boo / "Cut & Run" / "The Chimes"

Like most people, I guess, I haven’t seen Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room” in its entirely, the clips that are available on Youtube having done enough to ensure me that it truly is one of the most inept films ever released. I was heartened, then, to see that “The Disaster Artist”, James Franco’s lightly fictionalised documentation of its production, is funny in a warm and sympathetic rather than a derisive way. The chemistry between him as Wiseau and Dave Franco as co-conspirator Greg Sestero is palpable (they are brothers, after all), and the portrait of obsessive ambition steaming ahead despite deficiencies in terms of talent is all too easy to relate to. A highlight in a year of strong, diverse films.
"The Disaster Artist"
Theatre experiences lately have included “Unspoken”, a double bill of mental illness-themed plays from Eno Theatre at the University of South Wales, and a number of festive offerings: The Sherman’s main stage production of “Wind In The Willows”, which was great fun; my first experience of local surreal comedy duo Flossy and Boo in their “Alternativity” at The Other Room; and Charles Dickens’ “The Chimes” – an adaptation of one of his Christmas novels, taking place in St John’s Church near Chapter, and featuring people who have experience of homelessness amongst the ensemble – highly effective, if a little unsubtle in terms of spoon-feeding contemporary relevance.
Flossy & Boo (photo: Llyr Attala)

And most recently, at Chapter, there was a Dirty Protest development (i.e. script-in-hand) performance of Branwen Davies “Cut And Run”, starring Catrin Stewart. Given that it’s the tale of a Welsh Londoner returning to spend the festive period at home, it could almost be a companion-piece to their previous success, Matthew Bulgo’s “Last Christmas”. The similarities end here, however; it is very much a woman’s story. There is dark humour and poignancy in equal measure; and its prospects should benefit from the fact that the narrative leaves Wales and Christmas far behind.

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