Tags: mark gatiss


The Entertainer, Faith Healer, The Wharf Revue, Denial

Hmmm. I tend to forget that 'reading' is not the same thing as 'communicating'. Hi! Things are piling up, and I do pretty much use this journal as my record of events, so here goes.


Saw the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company screening of The Entertainer (by John Osborne), starring the aforementioned Kenneth Branagh. This production was originally slated to co-star John Hurt, but he had to pull out due to health issues, which is sad. Branagh is Archie Rice, a ye olde music hall entertainer, and the play charts the decline not only of his profession and way of life, but of grand old England, which is getting involved in foreign wars while being overrun by immigrants who don't know their place (those bloody Poles!). Archie is white, male, middle-aged, angry and bitter, and holding on to his past and future as best he can. So it would appear to hold a lot of thematic promise and relevance, but considering I only pieced the connections together for myself after the fact, it didn't really deliver.

The first obstacle for me was that the play was intended for audiences of its time (1957). And unlike many other plays, which are pretty self-explanatory regardless of when they are set, it did not bother explaining the prevailing circumstances, because the original audience would have already understood them. So when Rice's daughter returns home right at the beginning, one of the major controversies that is referred to repeatedly is that she "was at Trafalgar Square", and this may be related to her breaking up with her boyfriend. I had no idea what this was about, and mentally subbed in a theory about women's rights until I could google it. Secondly, one of Rice's sons is fighting in a war overseas. Much later we are informed he's in Egypt. Again, sorry for not knowing my history, but in a quiz show I would never choose the category "British military conflicts of the 50s" for double points.

Collapse )

Then saw an actual play at the Belvoir, Faith Healer, by the late Brian Friel. A production of this was on in London recently, and to be honest, half the philosophy of the Australian theatre scene seems to be "let's copy what's on in London". We had Charles III and Hamlet last year, and next year we're getting a production of Chimerica and Icke's 1984 (which I do want to see). Sure, some of these are new plays, and therefore you might expect them to be picked up and produced, but given how small the theatre scene is in comparison, it really is an ongoing theme.

This was an interesting play, structurally, in the sense that it was not so much a play but three separate monologues, something none of us realised going in. I spent the first 15 minutes wondering if anyone else was going to come on and wondering if I'd inadvertently booked a one-man show. The play begins with the Irish "faith healer" in questions, Francis Hardy (played by Colin Friels, no relation, note the 's'). He talks about his life travelling from town to town, and admits that most of the time he's a complete fake, but sometimes... sometimes he really does have the gift. He just can't predict when he'll have it, but he knows when it happens. He talks about his dear wife Grace and his eccentric manager Teddy, and that time he cured an entire room of people, and the time he was in a bar with a roomful of drunken men who ask him to cure one of their friends - and he agrees even though he knows he won't be able to. The second monologue is from Grace (Alison Whyte) who talks about her own life with Francis, and through her we realise that Francis' version of events may not be entirely reliable. Finally, we have manager Teddy (Pip Miller) who elaborates on, corrects, and extends the first two versions.

Collapse )

Also went to see The Wharf Revue. This is an annual comedy revue at the Wharf Theatre based on current and political events of the preceding year, and a well-loved tradition. I've only been once before, but it's generally a lot of fun, and given the year's events I decided at the last moment that I wanted to go. Tickets were already sold out, but I managed to get some discount last-minute releases (similar to the NT's Friday rush tickets) which I was really happy about. It's always written and performed by the core cast of Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe, and Phillip Scott, who are all amazingly talented, and this year with Katrina Retallick playing many (not all) of the female roles and supplying some excellent vocals.

The actors really are chameleons, and their impersonations of our local politicians were spot on - Tony Abbott (Jonathan Biggins) fan-dancing in red budgie smugglers was terrifyingly realistic, and Drew Forsythe as Pauline Hanson and Philip Scott as Derryn Hinch (a former controversial current affairs host - I can't believe he's a for-real politician now) were other highlights. They rounded off with a nod to US politics in the form of 'Little GOP of Horrors" (I never said it was high-brow comedy) which featured the songs "Suddenly Donald" and Bernie Sanders with his flyaway hair imploring the public to "Vote for Me". There was also a bizarre but hilarious parody of Disney's "Under the Sea" (because we should all go back where we came from!) featuring the cast in full-size turtle, lobster and starfish costumes.


Movie-wise, I keep meaning to see Arrival and Fantastic Beasts, but have seen neither of them. However, I did go see Denial, which screened here as part of the Jewish International Film Festival. I mainly went to see it for Mark Gatiss (and bonus Andrew Scott), but I was interested in the subject matter as well. I grew up with Holocaust books and movies, which in hindsight is kind of weird, because Jewishness isn't really a part of the cultural landscape here, the way it seems to be in the US. While the media might occasionally have a story on Lunar New Year or Ramadan, everything I know about Jewish cultural traditions I got from my f-list (and/or research and reading). Nevertheless.

Collapse )

Oh, and last and very much least, I watched The Visit (M Night Shyamalan) on DVD. Two children go and stay with their grandparents, who seem to be acting very strangely. But, as their mother reassures them over Skype, they're just a bit eccentric - because they're old. The kids were both great actors, but the resolution was obvious in the first half hour (even though I am generally Captain Clueless), then took forever to get there, and was thoroughly unsatisfying when it finally did. Eh.

I'm really looking forward to Split (James McAvoy) and T2. Honestly, I was put off by the idea of a sequel to Trainspotting, but the trailer looked unexpectedly cool and now I must see it :D. What movies are you looking forward to?

(no subject)

Quick run down of stuff I've been seeing, just in case anyone would like to chat about it :D

- Arcadia (by Tom Stoppard) at the Opera House - it featured one of the lead actors from Holding the Man (Ryan Corr), and I wanted to see whether he could actually do stage. Turns out that he can, as could everyone else up there, which was nice. I'm not even going to bother trying to explain Arcadia - you either know it, or you don't. It's about love and chaos theory and history and gardens and uncertainty, and involves flipping back and forth across time, the modern replacing the traditional, and talk of the butterfly effect and recursive algorithms and their application not only to mathematics, but to relationships, and history. Plus the usual entertaining banter. Exactly my cup of tea; possibly not everybody's. I can't think why *g*

- 10 Cloverfield Lane - never saw Cloverfield, but I just liked the feel of the trailer and was intrigued by John Goodman, who I thought was pretty amazing, actually. Collapse )

- Zootopia, mainly thanks to a highly positive review by shadowfireflame. I'm glad I saw it, and I did enjoy it a lot more than I would have expected from the trailer, but it just didn't make a huge impression on me - possibly because the message aspect was so blatant? It was worthy, and a lot of fun, and I don't really have anything bad to say about (even that bloody song was catchy) but I wasn't captivated by it the way I was by Inside Out. Maybe because I'm not really an "animal" person to begin with, idk. I did particularly enjoy Chief Bogo (Idris Elba) and Gazelle (Shakira) in relatively minor roles.

- Clone - mainly for the sake of Mark Gatiss, but I do like Jonathan Pryce very much as well. I'd seen the Gatiss sections on Youtube before, but never watched the entire series. I loved it, actually. Pretty much your typical cheesy British comedy, but there's nothing wrong with that. Jonathan Pryce plays Dr Victor Blenkinsop, a scientist who has managed to create the ultimate super-soldier. In future all soldiers can be cloned from this perfect prototype and be sent into battle, sparing the rest of the populace. But in the best British comedic tradition, it's an utter disaster - the Clone is sweet, childlike, and a complete and utter klutz. Victor and the Clone are forced to go on the run while Victor struggles to find the right "trigger" to turn him into the super-soldier he was always meant to be. In the meantime, the delightfully psychopathic Colonel Black (Mark Gatiss) is doing his best to find and destroy them so his superiors never find out. Colonel Black kills a lot of people, threatens to kill many more, and occasionally talks about his erection. It's that kind of show.

- The Devil of Winterbourne, written by and featuring Mark Gatiss. I'll just cut and paste from my tumblr review.

Collapse )

Haven't yet finished The Night Manager, which improved a little from the first episode, but which I still find a bit silly. Tom Hiddleston is immensely pretty, but unconvincing to me as Mr SuperSpy. Hugh Laurie is basically playing English evil!House, which is delightful. His accent is so upper class you could cut yourself on the edges. Elizabeth Debicki is gorgeous - apparently her entire purpose - and Olivia Colman is engaging as a role that was originally written for a man, apparently. Why am I not surprised?

I think that's all of note. And so much other goodness as well - Doctor Strange pics, Mark Gatiss winning an Olivier and new setlock coming up, yay!


Come on... closer... closer...

I have already boggled on tumblr, but I was not prepared for the sheer... extent of Mark Gatiss's appearance in London Spy. THERE IS NO WAY OF RECOVERING FROM THAT. OH GOD. I'm actually torn between "squee!" and "agh, can't unsee!". It's an odd yet delightful feeling. He's such an evil version of Mycroft, too (especially when combined with the Shezza/Danny comparisons made by multiple people). Admittedly I have even less idea of what's going on with the plot than when I started, which in another show would probably bother me, but I'm just going with the flow on this one. At this point I don't even care what it's about. I think there are spies involved, possibly :P

(Oh, but I did love that line about spies and shirts. You know the one.)

Saw The Lobster last night, something which I've had planned for several weeks, but is apparently part of the universe's plan to show me that Ben Whishaw exists, because he had a small part in it as well (Colin Farrell stars). The movie is a very European-flavoured surrealist tragicomedy set in a world where everyone must be paired off. Singletons are sent to a hotel, where they have 45 days to find a partner or be transformed into an animal of their choice. David (Farrell) has just separated from his wife, and arrives with his dog, who used to be his brother. If David does not find his match, he wishes to be a lobster, a choice the hotel manager commends as very original and thoughtful. (Me, I just kept thinking about a nice butter sauce.)

It's pretty much as bizarre as it sounds, but hilarious in parts, with all the actors adopting this stilted, overly serious way of speaking that just makes it even funnier. The singletons must abide by all sorts of odd rules and regulations, and participate in dances, meetings, etc. to find their match. Occasionally an alarm sounds, when they are all required to grab the tranquiliser guns located in their rooms and go hunting for "loners" who have escaped, but continue to live in the woods around the hotel (why? who knows). Every loner successfully captured means one extra day of allowed singlehood. Ben Whishaw is one of two male friends David makes at the hotel, and plays the "Limping Man" - his wife had a limp, too, but she died. Now he'll do whatever it takes to find a new partner before his time runs out.There are lots of interesting female characters - the hotel manager (Olivia Colman, also in London Road), the sympathetic hotel maid (Ariane Labed), the leader of the Loners (Lea Seydoux), the mysterious woman (Rachel Weisz), as well as the various potential partners David meets at the hotel. In case you're wondering, he has to declare his preference as "homosexual or heterosexual" upon check-in - flexibility is disallowed due to previous "operational issues" (an apparently lesbian couple is visible at one of the dances, so I don't think they're separated for the duration.) Similarly, he must choose between a size 44 and size 45 shoe. They don't do half sizes. He must spend the first day with one hand cuffed behind his back to show him how superior "two" is to "one". It's all like this.

Well worth seeing for some really interesting ideas and deadpan humour, but dragged a bit in the final third and I think really lost its way in the end. I immediately wanted to rewrite the ending to one which I thought worked much better both plot-wise and symbolically, which is a bad sign *g*. Still, I really enjoyed many things about it, and I think I'm officially adding Ben Whishaw to the list of actors who I might not see something for, but who add bonus points to anything they're in. He doesn't do much for me physically, but he's a wonderful actor to watch, and I really, really like his voice.


London Spy and Spectre (or, I see Ben Whishaw everywhere)

London Spy. If you're not watching it, you should be. It's a five-part mini-series from the BBC (who else). Now, I am not the slightest bit interested in spies (yawn), or Ben Whishaw for that matter - the only reason I was even mildly interested to begin with is that Mark Gatiss is in it, only he hasn't shown up yet. BUT THIS SHOW, GUYS. It's a completely misleading title, for a start. Yes, it's London, and yes, there are spies, but I can imagine some lovely people sitting down for what they imagine will be some conventional spy thriller and then backing out in horror *g*

All I can say is that within 12 minutes I was having serious Mystrade AU feels, or basically any story where posh-uptight-works-for-the-government (Edward Holcroft, whom I didn't recognise from Kingsman, but guh) meets working-class reckless-drug-and-party-animal (Ben Whishaw, being most unlike Q). There's romance, explicit sex, and intrigue, but don't hold me responsible for your feelings. Who's with me? :)

I also saw Spectre on the weekend, more for the sake of Ralph Fiennes and Andrew Scott than anything else. Eh. I mean I loved it whenever either of them were on the screen, but found it difficult to care otherwise, since Daniel Craig does nothing for me. It was a perfectly passable and moderately engaging movie that was about half an hour too long.

I'm like a DUCK

Ah, I just love this time of year - I have four assessments due in the next week and have been a bit manic trying to finalise them all. But I've reached the stage where I really have to take a break, so: hello, lj! Have seen a few things, but been too lazy to review. Here's what I can remember:

Saw Mark Strong in the NT broadcast of A View from the Bridge (Arthur Miller). Never seen the play in any form, really enjoyed it. The play centres around Eddie, an Italian-American longshoreman, and the whole play has this lovely theme of water going through it, all tied in with blood and migration and desire, which I could appreciate without having to look very hard for it. He and his wife Beatrice have a ward, Catherine, daughter of his late sister-in-law, who they love as their own. When Eddie helps Beatrice's two male cousins smuggle themselves into America (by submarine, apparently), and Catherine falls for one of them, Roldolpho, it sets off a chain of events that... doesn't end well.

Collapse )

On the whole, though, an excellent production. And if you can contemplate the name of this play without once thinking about Kim Wilde, then... well done, you ;P

I also saw Pitch Perfect 2, which was AWESOME.  I wasn't going to - I enjoyed the first one but didn't love it to pieces, and the reviews had been lukewarm. But notalwaysweak loved it, and I needed something that didn't require much in the way of deep thought, so it suited the bill. Also, I love Rebel Wilson, who will always be the chick from Bogan Pride to me.Anyway, the movie was basically 95% amazing singing and terrible jokes, and I really don't know what more one could ask for. I was thoroughly, and consistently, entertained throughout, and that happens a lot less often than you'd think. I'm also quite fond of Anna Kendrick, but was blown away by the chick who played "physically flawless" Kommissar, from the German team (Das Sound Machine), who also looked awfully familiar. When I saw the credits, I realised she played Virgillia to Hiddleston's Coriolanus, and was one of the very few actors I actually liked in it (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen). So, from Shakespeare to Pitch Perfect 2, lol. She was amazing.

Oh, and there was Mark Gatiss in the televised screening of The Vote, which was lovely to have the chance to see. The play was a bit... random, I thought, funny and entertaining, but with a lot of loose threads that didn't really seem to go anywhere or mean anything. But thoroughly enjoyable nevertheless. Except the moustache. I like my Gatisses clean-shaven *g*

evila_elf also somehow inadvertently recced Battle Creek to me, to which I would have thought no to just from the name, but I'm loving it. It's a Vince Gilligan/David Shore co-production, so you'd think it'd pick up viewers of Breaking Bad (which I still haven't seen) and House (which I clearly have). It's exactly my thing, though - horribly underfunded police station at Battle Creek receives unexpected assistance in the form of an FBI field office headed by golden boy Milt Chamberlain. It's pure culture clash hilarity, and did I mention it co-stars Kal Penn? Oh, now I remember why I cared - it was because RSL appeared in the finale, which I haven't seen yet, I'm watching from the beginning and am up to episode 4. Great show, though, loving it. Of course, it's ALREADY BEEN CANCELLED. See also: Almost Human. Sigh. Agnew and Chamberlain remind me intensely of Steve and Danno for some reason, and I swear to you that Milt Chamberlain is some weird modern-day American embodiment of Captain Carrot from the Discworld novels. I swear to you. He really is.


On the fic front, in a lovely surprise development, phipiosum475 also recently asked if she could borrow my setup from A Better You to write her own fic. This is a House fic I wrote in 2009 which was itself inspired by a Dollhouse episode - in it, the invention of the "neuronormalizer" enables you to get "plastic surgery for the psyche" - that is, to get your brain rewired (within limits), with interesting repercussions for the characters involved. She's adapted the concept to Sherlock, and has just started posting her own fic. I admit I am intrigued by the pairing, which is John/Moriarty. Yeah, I should hope that would require some rewiring *g*. Anyway, if you're interested, her fic is here: Monkey's Paw.

I haven't read much fic lately, but I do have to rec splix's 12 Years a Slave fic, Word of a Gentleman (Epps/Ford), which does not seem to have received anywhere near the love it deserves. Because so much yes *g*. Also, while I'm here, a belated rec for frozen_delight's incessantly, softly (Sherlock/John), which I would say is a Groundhog Day style fic, except that a) it's not comedic and b) I hated that movie (sorry). But the principle remains, and I really enjoyed the premise. Please note the warnings/absence of warnings respectively.

Fic: All The Towers Of Ivory Are Crumbling (Mycroft/Sherlock, NC-17)

While I'm here, I thought I'd mention I've also made a couple of Coriolanus Menenius/Mark gifsets, viewable on tumblr:

- Menenius pleading with Coriolanus. "Oh my son, my son! Thou art preparing fire for us; look thee, here’s water to quench it." Guuuuh. I may be ever-so-slightly taken with Menenius. My poor baby.
- Menenius' and Mycroft's belly fixations. Because of reasons.


Title: All The Towers Of Ivory Are Crumbling
Also at: AO3
Status: Complete
By: daasgrrl
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Characters/Pairings: Mycroft Holmes/Sherlock Holmes
Rating: NC-17
Word count: 3,700
Warnings/contents: (past) consensual sibling incest, angst, dancing, gratuitous misunderstandings, brotherly love
Beta: Thanks as always to evila_elf.
Notes: Still working through the S3 feels. Title taken from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' gorgeous Straight To You.
Summary: It really was just like old times, except, perhaps, that Mycroft was now all too aware of what he had already forsaken. The Sign of Three post-ep.

Collapse )


Beautiful day today, and I took the ferry into Circular Quay, which was quite glorious in itself. I stood out on deck as we went under the Bridge, with a triple-masted tall ship replica on one side, and a motorboat on the other, and for some inexplicable reason a helicopter buzzing by overhead. Then we rounded past the Opera House, and I felt all happy and touristy. I do love my city. Mostly.

This screening was one of the very first ones to go on sale in Sydney and as a result was completely sold out. I'm always curious as to what percentage of the population are fangirls, but no one was easily identifiable. I kind of thought any fangirls would most likely be there for Tom Hiddleston, but the most telling indication was, surprisingly, when there was a split-second glimpse of Una Stubbs in the trailer for the NT's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and an audible ripple of recognition passed through the audience. So maybe a few of them were there for Gatiss after all. I understand the play itself was written by some guy called Shakespeare a while back, but hey, like that's important to anyone but those really serious types *g*

Collapse )


Thor: TDW, Crimson Petal

1. So, I Thor... Thor (shut up, I'm easily amused).

Without being spoilery, I can only say my reactions were decidedly mixed. The awesome bits were pretty awesome, but the meh bits were pretty... meh, and dominated proceedings for about the first half of the movie before things picked up. By the end I was glad I'd seen it, but it was a near thing for a while there. I absolutely adored the first Thor, so I had a lot of goodwill towards the characters and the universe stored up, but I suspect Branagh's direction had a lot to do with that. The way he directs things is perhaps a bit on the overblown side, but never loses focus on the characters and their underlying motivations within the greater story, whereas much of this one felt like a generic Avengers-style "OMG let's fight evil bad guys while blowing everything to pieces - endlessly". Which is perfectly fine if you like that kind of thing, I guess, but it's not what I originally liked about Thor. There were however a few exceptionally redeeming elements along the way, most of them unsurprisingly Loki-related. Collapse )

2. We had one lone set of trick-or-treaters this year (thankfully we did have a few spare wrapped lollies on hand). The supermarkets really are trying their best to introduce the concept of Halloween, but... nah. I did visit someone's place today to discover she'd carved a watermelon. Apparently they were out of pumpkins *g*

3. Currently reading The Crimson Petal and the White (Michael Faber), and absolutely loving it. Granted, I only started reading it due to enjoying the mini-series, which features Mark Gatiss angsting exquisitely, but you never quite know what you're going to get with the original source. But it's wonderful - not just the story, which is pretty accurately captured in the mini-series, but it's also a playful and incredibly accessible read. It's purportedly set in the Victorian era, but a modern work (2002), and heavily meta on many levels, with a knowing nod to the perspective of the Victorian era as seen from the current one, and lot of direct addresses to the reader, very "come, let's follow her, and see where she's going - but watch your step" kind of thing. Which could veer over into being obnoxious in the way it draws attention to its own narrative techniques and makes explicit assumptions as to what the reader "must be thinking", but I found it really fun. The story itself concerns Sugar, a prostitute who is - unusually - educated enough to read and write, and in between clients is writing a novel (something akin to her own life story, but with more righteous imagined murdering of clients along the way). In the course of her "work", she encounters William Rackham, the heir to a fragrance empire, who takes a fancy to her, and her life begins to change.

(In the mini-series, Mark Gatiss plays Henry Rackham, William's older brother, who abdicates his rightful position as fragrance heir to pursue his higher calling in saving the souls of such "fallen women". He has noble intentions in pursuing the work, but he also desperately longs to impress a dear female friend of his - only to find himself thinking of her in shockingly unchaste ways. Hence the angst, which is gorgeous if you like that kind of thing.)

VID: Tainted Love (BBC Sherlock, Mycroft/Sherlock)

Still a little dubious about this one, but I started it almost a year ago, so this is more a 'get out of my head' kind of thing :)

Title: Tainted Love
By: daasgrrl
Song/Artist: Tainted Love (Soft Cell 2XS Remix)
Length: 1.48
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Characters and/or pairings: Mycroft/Sherlock
Warnings/kinks/contents: dysfunctional relationships, Holmescestian undertones, implied major character death
Thanks: to evila_elf for beta
Notes: An overvidded song, but I had to do it anyway. Remix = the original on speed.
Summary: Mycroft/Sherlock angst with an AU chaser. Nasty, brutish, and short.


Nothing happens to me...

Hmm, it's been a month since a non-fic post, but see above. I wouldn't say no to meeting a pretty sociopath and being temporarily kidnapped by his lovely older brother right about now, I think.

List of books I have finished reading in the last month:               

Yeah, too much fandom. Although I did manage to read my copy of Nick Dear's Frankenstein, if that counts. Hnnnargggh! Okay, I'm paraphrasing.

Parade's End (BC) pics continue to be wonderful. Period costume is my favourite look ever. I don't even care what the show is about.

Also currently much taken with Mark Gatiss in drag. I don't even understand it; men in drag do nothing for me as a general rule, but I just find him absolutely gorgeous. Even as Iris. This worries me.

Collapse )

Random fandom collisions - RSL fans may understand why this League of Gentlemen skit always makes me lol uncontrollably. Pauline! (Restart officer, my Restart officer? That's Mark Gatiss on the table, btw.)

I've also inevitably just started on the original radio version - On the Town With the League of Gentlemen - which has the same spirit of the TV show and is different from Cabin Pressure (the only point of comparison I have) in almost every conceivable way. It's interesting to see how many of the TV skits work perfectly on radio almost verbatim.

Lastly on the League of Gentlemen, No Place Like Home got recced at Sherlock Odd Fic, which made me very happy considering it's the only fic rec site I frequent. It certainly fits the criteria, I guess *g*. It's been nice if surprising that at least some people are willing to read crossovers with unfamiliar fandoms as long as they have Sherlock and John in them - I admit, I probably wouldn't.

I also recently watched a series of Psychoville (Pemberton and Shearsmith, half of the League) which I enjoyed very much, twisted humour, serial killers and musical theatre being pretty much right up my alley. I'm betting those particular Gentlemen probably know Sweeney Todd off by heart. Cameo by MG in one episode as a 'detective' who declares he'd always wanted to do 'proper Sherlock Holmes stuff' was predictably amusing.

Penultimate PSA for karaokegal's Come As You're Not fanfic party, now entering its sixth year. Write something in a pairing, fandom, style or form you normally wouldn't associate with! No RSVP required, just show up. I haven't participated for a while, but it's been very worthwhile when I have. Hah, I should probably write proper Sherlock/John. And mean it.

Finally, I might have squeed when I saw this scene (from a behind the scenes doc on The League of Gentlemen where they're going through reviews for the show). And I love that someone was inspired enough to gif. I don't care if it's a fandom cliché; I ship it. Hmm, I think I might have unintentionally stolen that shirt for fic purposes, too.