On Tuesday, off I went to York to watch The King's Speech. Now, given the way this film has been hyped in recent weeks, one would be forgiven for not realising that, actually, it is a very, very funny film indeed. The dialogue fizzes with lots of wondrous one-liners and mordant wit. And of course it also has Helena Bonham-Carter, who, as far as I'm concerned can do very little wrong. Both Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush are fabulous but, for me, the jaw-dropper was Guy Pearce's turn as Edward VIII: his appearances are fleeting but spell-binding. Of course, it's not a comedy. It's so much more: at turns witty, sad, angry and frustrating. It really is quite, quite spellbinding. And I'll buy the DVD when it turns up because I think it will bear up to a lot of repeat watching and deserves the awards it's getting right now.
|Interval time at Punt & Dennis|
And then, finally, last night, down to Scarborough to check out Count Arthur Strong. I've been listening to the radio shows for a few years now, a convert after hearing clips on various shows beforehand. I was hoping that he wouldn't prove to be a let-down. I needn't have worried, though the Spa Theatre wasn't quite as full as I'd hoped, which flattened the atmosphere just a touch. Steve Delaney's monstrous creation, on the other hand, was sensational. The two riffs on 'Michaels' (there were recurring references to Michael McIntyre through the show too) and his version of Deck of Cards alone were worth the admission fee for me. The cookery segment was something that had appeared in the radio show, but was all the nicer for having seen it done live. Though his supporting cast are more than able, Delaney himself is a masterful character actor, and Arthur's tics and ever more spiralling rants are the real centre of proceedings.A great show, and a real coup for Coastival to have got him there: congratulations to all.