February 1st, 2012

Raks New Profile Pic Square

Referee, starring Andrew Scott, to be broadcast again: Tuesday 7 February, Radio 4

Yes - This is yet another excuse to go down the Emperor and Galilean memory lane!
Photo credit: http://search.independent.co.uk/wall?q=ibsen

The radio play, Referee, for which Andrew Scott won a Best Supporting Actor Award at the BBC Audio Drama Awards will be broadcast again this coming Tuesday (7 February) at 2:15pm on Radio 4.

Cut and pasted from the BBC website:

Referee: Nick Perry's claustrophobic drama set in the world of top-flight sport.

Geoff is a football referee at the top of his profession. But after a controversial game, he's heavily criticised and dropped from the upcoming Cup Final. Geoff's frustration builds and his scruples are soon tested.

Follow the link for the full details:

The story re Andrew winning the Award with a photo is here:

I have had to create a special "radio" tag just for Mr Scott (although I am sure Mr Cumberbatch will also make full use of the new tag!).
Raks New Profile Pic Square

Dr Who Experience - Closes Wednesday 22 February 2012

Photo credit: http://www.combom.co.uk/2011/10/doctor-who-experience-poster-102011.html

This is supposed to be AMAZING, comes highly recommended by everyone including Matt Smith and Mark Gatiss, and it is closing on 22 February 2012.

Doctor Who star, Matt Smith, comments:
"The whole concept of the Doctor Who Experience, which will give fans a chance to star in their very own Doctor Who adventure, is massively exciting! I hope as many people as possible enjoy boarding the TARDIS next year to embark upon an exhilarating and sometimes terrifying adventure through time and space".

So if you have not yet seen it, NOW is the time to get along to it. If you have children, there are lots of special activities for children and young people planned for the 2 week half-term period.

I have not seen it yet but I am going just before it closes. I may do a review after it has shut its doors for good.

For all the details, including a trailer and lots more, and to book tickets, follow the link:
Raks New Profile Pic Square

Wishing all my readers a bright future!

January is over, February is now here, and 2012 is well and truly underway. I had some good news today, that will hopefully lead to a bright new future for me. I am wishing all readers of The Umbrella Organisation exactly the same!

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars" - Oscar Wilde

The four friends from Emperor and Galilean - Agathon, Peter, Julian and Gregory (left to right).
Photo credit: http://www.andrew-scott-online.com/

This has now pretty much become my default photo for all good news and celebrations. It is about aiming high, reaching for the stars, pursuing your dreams and ambitions, and, last but not least, friendship.

And, here is a poem I am trying desperately hard to live up to:

If by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Dennis Hopper nailed it. Follow the link:
Raks New Profile Pic Square

Danny Boyle's award-winning Frankenstein returns to cinemas this summer

Photo credit: http://www.lonestarproductions.co.uk/

a new play by Nick Dear, based on the novel by Mary Shelley

Due to popular demand, Danny Boyle's award-winning production of Frankenstein will return to cinemas from June this year, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternating the roles of Victor Frankenstein and the Creature for a special two-part presentation.

Tickets will be on sale soon.

This is the National's trailer for Frankenstein. Not to put too fine a point on it, it is mind blowing and genius. When I saw this for the first time my jaw literally dropped to the ground!

Upcoming NT Lives

Travelling Light, a new play by Nicholas Wright - 9 February (varying dates internationally)
A funny and heart-warming tribute to Hollywood’s golden age, with the award-winning Antony Sher.

The Comedy of Errors, by William Shakespeare - 1 March (varying dates internationally)
A contemporary staging of Shakespeare’s furiously paced comedy, with acclaimed British comedian Lenny Henry,

She Stoops to Conquer, by Oliver Goldsmith - 29 March (varying dates internationally)
One of the great comedies of the English language; a celebration of chaos, courtship and the dysfunctional family.

For more information, to find your nearest venue, and to book tickets, follow the link:
Raks New Profile Pic Square

Great Expectations (BBC, 2011) and Dickens 2012

Oscar Kennedy as Young Pip, BBC, December 2011
Photo credit: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1740419840/nm3960821

As I am sure everyone will know, Dickens mania has hit town because it is the bicentenary of his birth this year. The BFI are right in the middle of a major Dickens season.

I have never read a single Dickens book in my life. But I have a familiarity with his work, because of the countless TV and film adaptations that there have been of his books over my lifetime.

I have very belatedly started to watch the recent BBC adaptation (December 2011) of Great Expectations - I have just finished Part 1 (I Sky Plussed it). And I have to say ...

I thought it was brilliant. All the actors were pitch perfect, the settings and landscape they used conveyed a real sense of the place, the time, and the age, and the story zipped along at a fast pace and gripped the whole way through.

I have very carefully selected the image above to illustrate this story because I thought that Oscar Kennedy was quite simply outstanding as Young Pip. He conveyed all the emotions in a very true and real way, and you really felt for him right from the off. For such a young actor, a towering performance.

More information about the adaptation can be found here:

If you missed it, and want to watch it, it is now available on DVD here:

I cannot wait to watch Part 2!

Dickens 2012
Celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens

Dickens 2012 is an international celebration of the life and work of Charles Dickens to mark the bicentenary of his birth, which falls on 7 February 2012.

Although a writer from the Victorian era, Dickens’s work transcends his time, language and culture. He remains a massive contemporary influence throughout the world and his writings continue to inspire film, TV, art, literature, artists and academia.

Follow the link for all the details on Dickens 2012: