icons-02 icons-01 MM Logo Instagram kickstarter-support FILM FREEWAY LOGO

blog

Movie news, reviews, features and more thoughts coming soon...

By midlandsmovies, Jun 1 2017 08:52AM

The Graduate (2017)


The Curve Theatre in Leicester


Adapted by Terry Johnson, this new stage production of the famous 1963 novel (and the infamous 1967 film) comes to Leicester’s Curve theatre on the movie’s 50th anniversary.


Charles Webb’s novel is used as the basis alongside the adapted screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry which is all the more amazing knowing it’s been organised by special arrangement with Studio Canal.


Catherine McCormack (Braveheart, The Land Girls, 28 Weeks Later) is the play’s iconic cougar Mrs. Robinson (made famous by Anne Bancroft in the movie) and she is supported by Jack Monaghan as Benjamin as he fills the shoes of Dustin Hoffman’s film incarnation.


Immediately the talented director Lucy Bailey plays up the dark humour with hilarious lines delivered in quick succession warming the audience to the protagonists. Chuckles turned into belly laughs later on as the cast showed an amazing comedic talent especially including a brief but memorable role by Tom Hodgkins as Benjamin’s father Mr Braddock.


The stage design from Mike Britton was fantastic as we moved from home settings and hotels to elevators and wedding chapels. Large projected back-lit screens have the feel of 1960’s Super-8 film but this also allowed the production to utilise these in dream-like sequences to penetrate into the mind of Benjamin. This ingenious use of adaptation from the novel got the audience far more emotionally involved and broke up the scenes into understandable narrative chunks.


The music was sparse and came in the form of a few acoustic tracks but the lack of the iconic Simon and Garfunkel tunes was disappointing but understandable given the copyright issues no doubt. However, these sounds of silence were overcome by an engaging atmosphere created by the actors themselves and the background noise effects.


The lighting especially was first rate as it created a space on the stage for the drama and comedy to play out. Finally, the crew should be applauded again for the simple, yet effective, use of curtains. As well as a symbol of privacy and hidden secrets, the half-drawn fabrics created rooms and windows as well as a hazy visions of the society Benjamin fights against.


With the stage illusions complete, the funny gags continued and we see Monaghan’s Benjamin create his own worst world with his infamous liaisons with Mrs Robinson before his self destructive nature homes in on her daughter – a delightful Emma Curtis as put-upon Elaine.


Some adult nudity and arguments are handled with sensitivity and the actors have such great chemistry you are certainly with them every step of the way. Emotions eventually climax as the disillusioned souls come together and the illicit relationships are laid bare. Richard Clothier’s natural talent should also be singled out as the confident, then broken, Mr. Robinson as he plays a husband shattered by the forbidden revelations.


Catherine McCormack’s drunken antics were a joy to watch throughout whilst she infused the role with an eroticism that any male would desire and Monaghan equally steps up his talent to match. His performance is one of great depth as he has to give Benjamin both tender and pathetic qualities yet does so with ease.


With so many parts working together there was an audible silence at the play’s conclusion, the likes of which I had never witnessed in a theatre and whilst it riffs on the film, the ending relies far more on the novel.


The Graduate is such a quality production that to pick minor faults would do such a high class show a disservice. With audience engagement at a high and with charming performances and the remarkable technical qualities so well executed this is one affair you won’t ever want to end.


Catch The Graduate at Curve Leicester from 1st to 10th June 2017.

This production has an age guidance of 14+ and contains some nudity.


Tickets can be purchased from the Official Ticket Office at 0116 242 3595 with discounts for under 16s, over 60s, under 18s school groups, members and more.

By midlandsmovies, Jun 15 2016 01:50PM

Local Leicester theatre The Curve is showcasing local talent with a new Midlands production of Bugsy Malone. Midlands Movies Mike speaks to The Curve to find out more about the child-focused musical.


Bugsy Malone was written by Alan Parker with music and lyrics by Paul Williams and used a child-only cast to show a time of 1930s prohibition with the rival gangs of Fat Sam and Dandy Dan fighting it out on the streets. Sam’s only hope is washed up boxer Bugsy Malone who also has eyes for wannabe showgirl Blousey Brown. The original 1976 film version was Parker's feature-length directorial debut and introduced young actor Scott Baio and featured a 13-year old Jodie Foster.


At the end of Summer, Leicester’s premier theatre will host an adaptation using over 30 young performers, and a home-grown orchestra will also be present at this year’s Made at Curve Community Production of the quirky musical.


In this version, up-and-coming local talent makes up the show’s crew of gangsters and showgirls including Joel Fossard-Jones as Bugsy Malone, Maeve Woods as Blousey, Harvey Thorpe as Fat Sam, Alfie Bright as Dandy Dan, Muhammed Ibraheem as Roxy Robinson and Benjamin Cowan as Knuckles. Femme-fatale Tallulah, Jodie Foster’s original role, will be played by Jennifer Brown.


Joel Fossard-Jones returns to Curve in the title-role following performances in previous productions including Adrian Mole in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole The Musical, and in other film-spinoffs as The Artful Dodger in Oliver! and Kurt Von Trapp in The Sound of Music.


The Curve itself is a spectacular state-of-the-art theatre based in the heart of Leicester’s vibrant Cultural Quarter with an award-winning building designed by acclaimed architect Rafael Viñoly.


For this production, and a first for Curve, Bugsy Malone will also feature a community orchestra made entirely of local musicians. Musical director George Dyer will lead the orchestra with many of the participants performing in an on-stage production for the first time.


The annual community productions provide an opportunity for people of all ages to work with Curve’s professional production and technical teams. The shows are central to Curve’s ongoing commitment to nurture, develop and celebrate local talent from across the region. Curve Associate Artist and choreographer for Legally Blonde and Grease, Nick Winston, will direct.


Curve Artistic Director Nikolai Foster explains, “The Curve Community Production is always a season highlight for us, combining the incredibly important work we create with our communities with our work on stage”.


The show runs from Fri 19 Aug – Sun 28 Aug and tickets can be purchased from the Box Office 0116 2423595 or booked online at www.curveonline.co.uk


Twitter: @CurveLeicester

Facebook: CURVEtheatreleicester


RSS Feed twitter