The Umbrella Organisation

The Umbrella Organisation

May the power of the brolly live on!

@MycroftBrolly
British. Londoner. Public/Charity sector. Theatre, film and TV geek, writer and reviewer. Sherlockian. Campaigner. Gandhian. Tatchellite. All views my own.





The blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one's deepest as well as one's most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort — the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person — having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.
- Dinah Craik, in A Life for a Life (1859)


Sherlock Holmes / Freddie Fox
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rakspatel
Did you know the St Martin-in-the-Fields shop has a special Sherlock Holmes section? Look who I found there! Freddie Fox, the Consulting Detective.


THT Crew, London Pride 2017 - Saturday 8 July
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rakspatel
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London Pride 2017 - Saturday 8 July
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rakspatel
I marched with the Terrence Higgins Trust at London Pride yesterday. Our message was that people who are living with HIV, and are on HIV treatment, cannot pass the virus on. HIV positive people, on HIV treatment, cannot pass the virus on.

#CantPassItOn





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Consent, National Theatre
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rakspatel


Raks's Reaction
I first saw Consent at the National Theatre on Thursday 20 April. It was superb.

The drama is set amongst a group of friends in their 30s/40s, many of whom are barristers. The play is not a courtroom drama on rape, as I had assumed (although it does feature a rape case), but more of a drama about relationships, marriage, adultery, rape and the question of Consent. It was all the better for this.



Superlative performances, and sharp witty intelligent writing. Thought provoking, provocative, funny. It was incredibly funny (which was not at all what I was expecting). The best new play I have seen in eons. I loved it so much, as soon as I got home I bought myself another ticket to go and see it again (Monday 24 April).

Cut and pasted from the National Theatre website:

Why is Justice blind? Is she impartial? Or is she blinkered?

Friends take opposing briefs in a rape case.

The key witness is a woman whose life seems a world away from theirs.

At home, their own lives begin to unravel as every version of the truth is challenged.

Follow the link for more details:
https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/consent

Occupational Hazards, Hampstead Theatre
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rakspatel



Raks's Reaction
I saw this yesterday and it was great to see intelligent and insightful political theatre on stage. It needs a powerhouse central performance, and Henry Lloyd-Hughes certainly delivers that!

Cut and pasted from the Hampstead Theatre website:
September 2003. Rory Stewart, a thirty year old former British diplomat, is posted to serve as governor in a province of the newly liberated Iraq. His job is to help build a new civil society at peace with itself and its neighbours - an ambitious mission, admittedly, but outperforming Saddam should surely not prove too difficult …

Stephen Brown’s new play, based on Rory Stewart’s critically acclaimed memoir Occupational Hazards, tells an extraordinary story about the moral conflicts, the dangers and the comic absurdities inherent in any foreign occupation.

Follow the link for more details:
https://www.hampsteadtheatre.com/whats-on/2017/occupational-hazards/

Handsome Devil out in UK cinemas today!
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rakspatel


Handsome Devil is out in UK cinemas today (was out in Ireland last week). It stars Fionn O'Shea as Ned, Nicholas Galitzine as Conor, and Andrew Scott as Dan Sherry.

I saw it as part of BFI Flare and loved it. I saw it again at a BFI Preview this week and my opinion remains unchanged.

It is a wonderful film, with incredibly powerful storytelling and superb performances throughout.

Handsome Devil is a charming, inspiring and uplifting film, about being different and the power of friendship. Highly recommended.


Grantchester Series 3, ITV 9pm tonight
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rakspatel


My favourite TV series Grantchester (NOT Sherlock!) returns to ITV at 9pm tonight for Series 3.

Both James Norton and Robson Green have described it as their "happy place" and it is definitely that for me to.

Watch it and share in the joy!

My previous feature on Grantchester can be found here:
http://mycroft-brolly.livejournal.com/462024.html
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Hamlet, starring Andrew Scott, transfers from Almeida to Harold Pinter (West End)
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After completing a sold out run at the Almeida, Hamlet, starring Andrew Scott, is transferring to the West End and will be playing at the Harold Pinter from June to September 2017. For further details, follow the link:
https://almeida.co.uk/whats-on/hamlet-west-end/9-jun-2017-2-sep-2017

Raks's Reaction:
I had the privilege of seeing this at the Almeida (3 times) and it is one of the best Hamlets I have ever seen and one of my favourite Hamlets ever. Andrew Scott genuinely speaks the verse in a way that is totally new and fresh. Hugely recommended. Tickets on sale now!

NT Live: Hedda Gabler, National Theatre
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It is the NT Live of Hedda Gabler at the National Theatre tomorrow. I have seen it live and all I am going to say is ... it is an experience not to be missed!

Cut and pasted from the National Theatre website:

Hedda Gabler

Just married. Bored already. Hedda longs to be free...

Ivo van Hove – one of the world’s most exciting directors – makes his National Theatre debut with a modern production of Ibsen’s masterpiece.

This vital new version by Patrick Marber features Ruth Wilson in the title role and Rafe Spall as Brack.

Follow the links for more details:
https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/hedda-gabler
http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/productions/59687-hedda-gabler


Film Highlight: Manchester by the Sea
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I first saw Manchester by the Sea as part of the BFI London Film Festival in 2016 and it was, without doubt, my favourite film of the festival and one of my favourite films of 2016. It really struck a chord with me, moved me profoundly, and stayed with me for a long time after. Put very simply, it blew me away. I saw it again last month when it went on general release across the UK, and my initial view of it remains unchanged.

I was delighted to see it win 2 BAFTAs on Sunday (12 February) - Kenneth Lonergan won for Original Screenlay and Casey Affleck won for Leading Actor.

In summary, my strong advice is ... catch this whilst you can ... it is in cinemas now!

Cut and pasted from the BFI London Film Festival website:

Manchester by the Sea
Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams shine in this devastating drama from Kenneth Lonergan, about a man’s painful hometown return.

USA 2016

Tender, brutal and utterly mesmerising, Kenneth Lonergan’s third feature as director is one of the most visually eloquent and emotionally devastating explorations of grief and redemption in recent cinema.

Casey Affleck gives an indelible, career-defining performance as the laconic, calcified Lee, a man whose spare existence is suddenly ruptured when the death of his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) forces him to return to the hometown he abandoned years before. Rocked by contact with his estranged ex-wife (Michelle Williams) and the revelation that Joe has made him guardian of his teenage son (Lucas Hedges), Lee’s private torment deepens.

Lonergan harnesses all the cinematic potency of the wild and durable Massachusetts locations to magnify the unfathomable inner turmoil of a man so shattered by the consequences of one single mistake that he cannot reverse his retreat from life, even when faced with the responsibility of caring for someone else.

The primary tragedy is revealed through a series of flashbacks that imbue the narrative with a foreboding urgency, often triggered by an emotional response to place, spoken exchanges, or the knowing stares and whispers of the townspeople.

This is exacting filmmaking, profound and overwhelming.
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Winter TV Highlights
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rakspatel
January can be a dark and depressing month, so I thought I would promote two new excellent TV drama series (one on the BBC and one on ITV) which have been/will be keeping me going over the Winter.

Taboo, BBC One, Saturdays 9.15pm
1814: James Keziah Delaney returns to London from Africa and is encircled by conspiracy, murder and betrayal.



The Halcyon, ITV, Mondays 9pm
Period drama series about a bustling and glamorous grand hotel in wartime London (World War II).



I am enjoying both Series immensely so I hope you all enjoy them too :)
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New Year TV Highlight: Sherlock Series 4, Sunday 1 January, 8.30pm, BBC One
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rakspatel
With Christmas 2016 well and truly over, we can look forward to the New Year and 2017. My New Year TV Highlight is - obviously - the return of Sherlock in Series 4, where all questions will be answered, and all mysteries solved - not!






Christmas TV Highlight: Grantchester Christmas Special, Christmas Eve, 9pm, ITV
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Just promoting my personal Christmas TV highlight which is the Grantchester Christmas Special on Christmas Eve on ITV at 9pm. ITV screening this on Christmas Eve has literally MADE my Christmas!



Grantchester, for the uninitiated, is a crime series/murder mystery series, set in 1950s Grantchester, Cambridge, England, post Second World War, where the crime solving team is made up of a Vicar, the Reverend Sidney Chambers, played by James Norton, and a police officer, Detective Inspector Geordie Keating, played by Robson Green.



If you want to know more about Grantchester and, in particular, why I love it so much, you can read all about it in my special Grantchester feature here:
http://mycroft-brolly.livejournal.com/462024.html
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Crime Scene: Issue 6
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rakspatel


Definitely going to get this issue! I have bought previous issues of this magazine (Crime Scene) and, if you are into crime, it is definitely worth getting. There is very comprehensive coverage of crime across a range of genres - film, TV and books.

Sherlocked Convention - ExCeL London, 24 - 25 September 2016
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rakspatel


I attended the second Sherlocked Convention at the ExCeL Centre, London on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September 2016 and my personal highlight (obviously!) was ...


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