Hello darlings, hope you are all well. Have you been to see anything at the cinema or theatre recently?
Pirate Mick and I had tickets for the live screening of the Kenneth Branagh production of ‘The Entertainer’ written by John Osborne.
I do not know if you are aware but it is a play about the life of a music hall song and dance man, Archie Rice. Sounds like just my sort of thing as love variety and music hall .
Here is the trailer for the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s production of The Entertainer, broadcast live to cinemas across the UK and around the world.
I had been organised enough to get the tickets, for the screening at ‘The Parkway Cinema‘ Cleethorpes, bought online, printed off at the cinema beforehand so we could just arrive shortly before the start and was directed to the screen. We found some seats at the back and settled down.
Although advertised to start at 7.15pm the show did not start until 7.30pm although there was a pre show documentary but the lights in the cinema were up and so people did not settle down until the main show. The lights were not switched off until quite a good few minutes into the play and again the same thing happened at the interval. This was a bit disconcerting and I was pleased when the lights were finally dimmed.
On the play itself I thought Kenneth Branagh played a good part, but almost too good. In my eyes he was portraying a musical star not a music hall star. The show girls confused me as they would not had looked like something out of Copacabana and I think should had looked more like out of the burlesque show in Gypsy. More sordid and bawdy than polished and professional.
The part of the father was meant to initially be played by John Hurt and I would had liked to had seen that, however Gawn Grainger took on the role as the father Billy and portrayed him well. Greta Scacchi played Archie’s wife Phoebe, although it took me a while to work out the relationships. Sophie McShera, who starred in Downton Abbey, took on the role of daughter Jean, sounding very much like Judi Dench when she played Sally Bowles in Cabaret. The voice did not come across that well on screen and in fact there seemed to be quite a lot of shouting from all the cast, which in the theatre would probably come across fine but with the stereo sound grated a little.
I was also not sure on the combining the music hall and the family home and confusion reigned a few times.
I thought the play would be more about the music hall and the struggles but it was more about the political movement. The ending left me with more questions. ‘Why did Jean not have a ticket to go to Canada?’ She leaves her boyfriend to look after her step mother Phoebe but is not given a ticket by Phoebe’s brother. Did Archie Rice die at the end or accept his fate of prison for not paying his taxes?
I do not think they were questions for us to answer I think I just did not get it!
The Entertainer is playing at the Garrick Theatre, London until November 12th 2016.
Have you seen the play or the live screening? What did you think? Do you recommend another play for me to try or am I just too much of a musical, variety girl at heart?
Sparkle Hugs and Glitter Kisses xxx
All photographs, unless stated, are the copyright of Lorna Liza