Monthly Archives: November 2013

Theatre & TeeVee Round-Up #86


Good morning, campers! I know – I’ve been neglecting the blog. I couldn’t really find anything exciting to post about. Sure, there’s politics and world events – but there’s thousands of other blogs covering all of that stuff and probably better, too.

A couple of post-worthy subjects cropped up recently, so I’ll natter on about those for a bit.

Pixie and I travelled to The Big Smoke to see the stage adaptation of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time. It’s at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. Quite a nice theatre it is, too. I won’t provide a lot of spoilers, in case you’re going to see it (and I recommend you do) – but the story revolves around a 15-year-old boy, called Christopher Boone. Christopher seems to have a form of Asperger Syndrome. He attends school and lives with his father. His father has told him that his mother died during a medical operation. One night, he finds his neighbour’s dog dead in her back garden – he is found at the scene by a policeman and taken to the station for questioning.

After he is released, he is determined to find the dog’s killer and starts investigating the incident. What he finds out ends up being far more complicated and he learns more about his life and his abilities than he thought he ever would.

I really enjoyed the adaptation – the cast is excellent, particularly Mike Noble as “Christopher”. He seems to get the mannerisms correct, to me. I’m not an expert on Asperger syndrome, or autism – but like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, it’s a believable performance. Trevor Fox, as “Ed Boone”, Christopher’s father, shows the right amount of compassion and frustration in his role. I do need to give a shout-out to the always amazing Amanda Drew, as Christopher’s mother “Judy” – she gives a heartfelt performance that never drifts into mawkish cloying.

The stage is set up as a huge piece of graph paper, which connects with the theme of Christopher’s interest in mathematics. There’s a lot of physical action in the play – the whole cast act as furniture, or will lift one of the actors to simulate zero gravity, or ocean waves. I thought it was quite clever. There’s also great use of lighting and sound – the ‘cube’ stage is wired for LED lighting and the speakers around the theatre will be set for ‘stun’ during the parts where Christopher is overwhelmed. As I said – I’d highly recommend going to see this show – it’s well-acted and the story really grips you. The current cast will be performing until March 2014.

Perhaps you dig the Scandinavian teevee offerings of late, like I do. If you’re a fan of The Killing, or Wallander, or The Bridge – I suspect you also dig Borgen. The series, about a female Danish politician who becomes the Prime Minister and the effect that has on her family life and friendships, stars the lovely Sidse Babett Knudsen. It is an ensemble cast, so she gets great support from “The Killing” actor Soren Malling, Birgitte Hjort Sorensen, Johan Philip Asbaek and Lars Knutzon.

The new (and final series, we’re told) sees “Birgitte Nyborg” (Knudsen’s character) working as a consultant for a few different corporations, after her term as Prime Minister ended. She’s also got a boyfriend, an English architect (Nyborg split from her husband in the second series). When she returns to Denmark, she catches the politics bug again and tries to re-join her old party. The new leader doesn’t really want her around – so she challenges him for the party leadership. In a plot development that you could kinda see coming, she loses the bid for the leadership and instead forms her own new party, which ends up being dubbed “The New Democrats”.

Nyborg recruits Parliament outsiders, as well as “Katrine Fonsmark” (Sorensen’s character), a journalist who used to give Nyborg a bit of trouble when she was Prime Minister. Fonsmark has had a child with her lover, Nyborg’s former spin doctor, “Kaspar Juul” (played by Asbaek), but now they are separated and have joint custody of the child. She is attempting to juggle being a mother and her role in the New Democrats, with all of the problems that implies.

So far, the new series seems up to the standard of the other two. I suspect Nyborg will attempt another bid for P.M., but I also suspect she won’t be elected a second time. Still, it’ll be interesting to see the dynamics in the new party unfold and see if her relationship with the architect brings her lasting happiness. Sorry for the spoilers, but I suppose if you’ve been watching it, it doesn’t matter.