Video Kudos for “Gloria” & Colin Morgan

Well, I just finished watching an interesting and lively video, which was posted on YouTube today. It’s a review of Gloria.

I’ve decided to post this separately from my “Kudos…” post, as that includes written reviews. This one is quite unique, therefore I thought it deserved its own post. 🙂

The “The Break A Leggers” are a couple of fellows who travel to various plays and record video reviews. I, admittedly, haven’t watched any of their other videos so don’t know if their format is consistent, but in this case, they started when they arrived, provided a short review at the interval, and then provided the majority of their comments after the play was over.

This is their review of Gloria at the Hampstead Theatre. At 4:45, they provide a glowing review of Colin’s performance….glowing! I positively basked in the praise he received from them! However, what I found incomprehensible is that neither of them HAVE EVER SEEN COLIN IN ANYTHING ELSE!!! Where have these two guys been?? North America??

Anyway, please watch.  There’s minimal spoilers, so enjoy freely. 🙂

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Kudos for “Gloria” & Colin Morgan

Well, the play Gloria has been on stage since June 15th….just over a week. Press Night was June 21st, and I thought I’d recap some of the comments I have found on a variety of sites, both formal and informal. (I will also update this post as I find more during the play’s run.)

As I’m extremely biased, I’m only going to focus on the comments that focus on Colin, although the whole cast received accolades and I really don’t believe there was a negative review amongst the entire lot, that I saw. It is an ensemble play, with a cast of many talented actors, all of whom deserve mention.

However….back to Colin.

Below is a sampling of what I found. Feel free to click on each article and read it in full. They’re all quite positive and deserve a look. 🙂 None of these reviews contain spoilers, unless noted otherwise.

Broadway World:  Colin Morgan is excellent as faded charmer Dean, whose networking has slumped into low-level alcoholism (“schmoozer to boozer”) as his 30th birthday looms.

The Arts DeskChief among (the youthful assistants) is the amply-coiffed Dean (Colin Morgan, nailing the American-on-the-make mode)…., ////  Morgan navigates his dual assignments with not just an ace American accent but an acute sense of a society in which status at every second counts

The Telegraph: …which also numbers the endearingly fretful Dean (Colin Morgan)…

The UpComingAs for Colin Morgan, well, he really should be on stage a lot, lot more. His rakish, harried Dean is a covert asshole…. //// (Morgan also makes a brief, hilarious, appearance as the quintessential IT guy, complete with shorts, trainers and an absolutely ludicrous ponytail.)

The Stage: ...his six-strong, multi-roling cast – all exceptional, particularly Colin Morgan as a nerve-addled wannabe writer and terse IT grunt…

The Guardian (June 22): Colin Morgan is all haggard desperation as the ambitious Dean…

The Guardian (June 25): Colin Morgan is excellent as Dean – disaffected, hungover, the sort of person who appears to take up more space in a room than his colleagues.

TimeOut …Dean – played with weariness but also warmth and wit by Colin Morgan

Evening StandardColin Morgan stands out in a cast that is uniformly absorbing. //// The pick of (the performances) comes from Morgan, the most nimble among a cast full of shape-shifters.

Theatre CatAnd of the performances, Bo Poraj’s and and Morgan’s in particular stand out as fully-inhabited and memorably troubling.

There Ought To Be ClownsPerformance levels are excellent though – Colin Morgan and Kae Alexander stand out…

Vickster51Corner: There are 2 reviews from this blogger – this is the non-spoiler one. As I’ve now read the play, I have also read the spoiler review, which is here. Regardless of which one you read, the comment is the same:  Colin Morgan is perhaps the most well known (last seen on stage in Mojo) and, as usual, he is very very good…

Independent: This is a general review with no specific comment about Colin – just mentions the cast and their roles. However, it’s a good article.

Sunday Express (not a dedicated article – scroll down): Michael Longhurst’s production gains in confidence in the second act as does the acting of Colin Morgan, Sian Clifford, Kae Alexander, Ellie Kendrick, Bayo Gbadamosi and Bo Poraj, all of whom deserve plaudits for their inspired doubling.

Trendfem:  Colin Morgan (TV: The Fall, Humans) is undoubtedly a versatile performer as both Dean – a whiny and obnoxious copy assistant – and aloof IT guy.

Financial TimesThere’s Dean — handsome, hungover, dishevelled — who is beginning to morph, in Colin Morgan’s excellent performance, from young-and-promising to slightly seedy.

Not Exactly Billington (theatre blog):  Colin Morgan is brilliant as Dean, switching from the guy who turns up late….

LiveTheatreUKNo doubt a major contribution…/…is Colin Morgan’s superb performance as Dean.  ////  Morgan gives an excellent account of disaffected, intelligent and educated youth…. / His manner, bearing and accent are all spot on, authentic and sustained.

Jeff Prestridge (prestridgesquared) (Arts Blog): Colin Morgan is superb as an ever more desperate Dean and marvels in a cameo role as an angry IT worker at the TV company.

London Theatre:  …his superb ensemble cast that includes the remarkable Colin Morgan as a long-term personal assistant…

(Damn, the more I read, the more I am so disappointed I’m unable to see his performance. I’m heartbroken, actually. 😦 I think this might be better than anything I’ve seen him do. Is this even better than his outstanding S1E7 Leo, or Episode 6 Nathan…?)

I’ll finish with a few photos of “Dean”, taken by photographer Marc Brenner on June 15th during dress rehearsal. These are just three of a number taken that day, most of which can be seen on the Hampstead Theatre site.

Colin - Gloria

I am extremely envious of anyone who is able to see this play. It’s getting excellent reviews, and has had its run extended. Tickets are going fast, so if you have even remotely considered seeing it…do!

And please…take me with you in your pocket. 🙂

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Glorious Photos from “Gloria”

Starting June 15th, and running until July 22nd, our Colin Morgan will be playing “Dean”, the lead role in the play Gloria, at Hampstead Theatre in London.

A brief synopsis:

Focusing on ambition, office warfare and hierarchies, where the only thing that matters is moving up the ladder and selling out to the highest bidder, Gloria is set in a New York that runs on ambition – and coffee.

In the offices of a notorious Manhattan magazine, a group of ruthless editorial assistants vie for their bosses’ jobs and a book deal before they’re thirty. But trapped between Starbucks runs, jaded gossip and endless cubicle walls, best-selling memoir fodder is thin on the ground – that is until inspiration arrives with a bang…

More information from here, including a couple of reviews of previous renditions:

A play of wit and irony that deftly transports the audience from satire to thriller and back again

This funny, trenchant, and powerful play follows an ambitious group of editorial assistants at a notorious Manhattan magazine

Each of them hopes for a starry life of letters and a book deal before they turn thirty

But when an ordinary humdrum workday becomes anything but, the stakes for who will get to tell their own story become higher than ever

REVIEWS

. “[A] whip-smart satire of fear and loathing … Gloria is to the New York publishing business what David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow is to the Hollywood film industry” ~ The New York Times

“Sharply observant and playfully theatrical, this thought-provoking work continues its talented young writer’s winning streak. As usual, [Branden Jacobs-Jenkins] handles his serious themes in a thoughtful, provocative manner … the play emerges as a trenchant commentary on the way in which personal tragedies merely serve as grist for the ever-ravenous media machine. A rare example of a contemporary play that keeps us constantly guessing where it’s headed, Gloria is a work not to be easily forgotten” ~ The Hollywood Reporter

“All you need to know is that the bitingly funny and fierce Gloria is one of [2015’s] best shows. What playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins says about American society, the media and how we package celebrity and tragedy is as spot-on as it is depressing” ~ The New York Post

There are several announcement articles in various locations that Google will direct you to if you wish to see more about the play, the writer Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, and other important details like where to buy tickets. I can do the legwork for you on that one – tickets are available here:

https://www.hampsteadtheatre.com/news/2017/may/gloria-full-cast-announced/

I won’t be flying to London to see this, sadly. However, I know of a number of Colin’s fans who will be attending and I’m sure to be regaled with reviews and anecdotes aplenty. I’m quite excited to hear their stories and to read reviews of this interesting play.

The cast is currently in rehearsals, and we were treated today to photos. I thought I would throw them on here for your viewing pleasure. My thanks to What’s On Stage for providing the high quality shots.

 

 

I will post more on this new project as we get it. 🙂

Posted in Colin Morgan, Gloria, Plays | 2 Comments

A Conversation with Colin Morgan and Lindy Heymann.

Lindy Heymann, the director and co-writer of The Laughing King, that wonderful short movie that Colin filmed in May, 2015, posted a recent interview with herself and Colin on The Laughing King website.

They reminisce about the development of the film, how Lindy fortuitously meets Colin when directing a scene for Season 1 of Humans, the thought processes they both went through to bring the role of Jake to life, and the impact the film had on both of them.

This is the link to the interview:

http://www.thelaughingkingfilm.co.uk/news/interview-with-colin-morgan.html

I’ve also cut and pasted it below, but please visit their website after reading this. There’s lots of information about the film, the players, the crew, and links to CALM, the charity the film supports.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In Conversation with Colin Morgan & Lindy Heymann

LINDY HEYMANN:  You’re an incredible actor who is hugely in demand – it was a big ask from me. What persuaded you to do a short film for free?

COLIN MORGAN:  Well, firstly, thanks so much. It’s really kind of you to say that, and I can’t tell you how much it means to have people believe in you and support you. For me, there was very little persuasion involved when a script like yours is so strong. It’s a sure thing for me when I connect with something on a creative emotional level.  I just want to be involved in storytelling, whatever the circumstances.

I know you say it was a big ask, but I never thought it was. I felt honoured that you considered me. But it’s interesting, because I suppose I hadn’t really broached that subject matter before.  And the fact that you saw something in me that gave you confidence to hand me the reins also says that you understand me as an artist too.  So it was very much about working with you too – especially after the work we got to do together on Humans on that great scene between Ruth [Bradley, who plays DI Karen Voss/Beatrice] and me.

It’s an amazing story of chance and coincidence how it all came about, isn’t it.  Do you want to talk about how it all transpired?

LINDY:  It was obviously meant to be? Right from the beginning I had you in mind to play Jake. We had just finished the script, and I hadn’t worked out how I was going to approach you.

Then around that time, I was asked to shadow the director, China Moo Young, on a new show called Humans. I remember I turned up to the shoot only to realise that YOU were starring in it. How crazy was that!

I may not have got the opportunity to talk to you, but they were running behind on the schedule, and China asked me if I would direct a few scenes for her. One of them was with you and Ruth. It was a very layered and emotionally charged scene that had to be shot very quickly. And it was walking back together afterwards that I knew I had to ask you. I remember I sent it to you on a Monday and by the Friday you’d told me you were up for it. I was over the moon – it was an incredible moment for me and the project!

In the film, there is actually very little dialogue. Yet you manage to tell us so much about Jake’s interior thoughts and feelings. Do you have a method to get this across?

COLIN:  That was the power of the script for me. The lost loneliness of Jake sort of gave me the impression that he had gone beyond words, beyond talking, and beyond trying to articulate what no-one can understand anyway. He’s also not allowing words to affect him, quite literally cutting off communication with his phone.

A lot of what I feel sometimes is an instinct and a kind of inhabiting of the swirl of thoughts that could potentially be going on within a character.  Making a sort of sense of it. For me to walk the line of trying to meet the character halfway, I suppose. I find it hard to articulate myself, but it’s making it as true and as real for myself as possible. Whatever self-deception I need to adopt to do that – I will do whatever it takes to get there.

Did you always imagine that dialogue would play a small role in the final version? What was your starting point in beginning to put such a tough personal matter for you onto paper?

LINDY:  The concept of the film actually came from screenwriter, Leigh Campbell, who also wrote my feature film Kicks. She had written a one page idea and asked me to read it. I knew immediately that I had to direct it, and begged her to let me collaborate with her on the script. It resonated so much with my own experience of losing my brother.

Leigh had originally conceived it as Jake’s mother searching for him. I asked her if we could switch it to his sister. As soon as we did, I realised that I had so much I had to say.

Actually there was quite a lot of dialogue written in early drafts. But as we progressed, I understood that what was happening inside Jake’s head, and that his quiet intention was way more emotional and powerful than anything he could say. So gradually the dialogue got more and more stripped back.

Unless you have been in that situation yourself, taking your own life is such a complex thing to get your head around.  How did you prepare for the role?

COLIN:  I had a few research books from previous projects which I referenced for insight. You also lent me that great book by Matt Haig, “Reasons To Stay Alive”, which I think is a book everyone should read. I tend to fuel myself up both factually and imaginatively as much as possible before any project. Then I place a lot of trust that “on the day” it will colour and evoke what I need, trying to remain as open as possible to what’s going to come out or what isn’t.

It’s such a delicate and unpredictable process in this whole business. It’s always fearful, and self-doubt is constant, but the story and the character usually always prevail. And yes, this particular matter of suicide is so, so complex and hard to get your head around. But I guess I felt a sort of insight that was unexpected for me, and I guess that brought some peace in a way.

What about exploring deeper into this subject matter creatively for you?  Did it open up any new understanding for you in the cases of your brother and friend?

LINDY:  Yes, I think I felt the same way. In some ways the film was very cathartic for me. I think for years the way I had dealt with my brother’s suicide was to create my own interpretation of why it happened. I found a way to be philosophical about it. I was only 21 when it happened (Marcus was two years younger). In some ways I was too young to process an event like suicide.

It was only when I experienced it in my life a second time, when my dear friend Shaun took his own life at 49, that I knew I had to face the subject head on. I was seeking to understand how someone could feel that suicide is an answer. Making a film about it and exploring it from a character’s point of view helped me do this.

Quite a few people in Blackpool approached the crew whilst we were filming and shared many of their own stories with us. How did people respond to you? Wasn’t there that guy who approached you when you were trying to break the £50 note?

COLIN:  Ha, yes, sometimes people can be blinkered in public situations and not see the whole scenario. So yes, in the scene where the guy selling the postcards wouldn’t take my 50 quid note, a guy did come up and very helpfully give me directions to the nearest bank where he was sure they would give me change. That was actually a lovely human moment in the midst of everything that I just loved.

I know we talked a lot about Blackpool as a “character” in itself.  Was that always the location you had in mind?

LINDY:  Blackpool was there right from the beginning. Leigh had been there, and it had inspired the whole film.  The title… everything. makers.

It’s a very atmospheric place. A Northern British seaside town that in many ways only makes sense when it’s packed full of families and holiday-

We shot there in early May, so the season hadn’t quite begun yet. It has a stunning coastline and the sea is epic – it’s as if it’s calling you – and the beach is vast especially when the tide is out. Sadly, some people do choose it as a place to end their life, and in a way, I can understand why. It does feel like the edge of the world.

At one point it looked like we weren’t going to be allowed to shoot there, as Tim Burton was using Blackpool as a location for his movie (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) and had the run of the town for six weeks. Fortunately, our producer knew Tim Burton’s location manager, and they gave us their blessing to shoot on the section of beach and pier that we’d always envisaged.  Another piece of good fortune for us.

In looking back now, what if anything did you take anything away from the experience of playing Jake?

COLIN:  Well I think I said to you on the day we shot the scene where Jake walks into the sea, I think I said: “I can understand how it makes sense”.  And I know it may seem a little scary to get that insight. But to me I understood there and then, unexpectedly, having done all the preparation and putting myself in his situation.  I had this sort of expanse of understanding, and it didn’t frighten me.

LINDY:  We shot your walk into the sea handheld (Edu Grau our DOP was following you). I was running alongside holding a handheld monitor so that I could watch the shot.  And I remember that I was transfixed and I lost my breath watching you.  It was so affecting that some of the crew were crying. It was as if Jake’s walk into the sea was a release for him rather than an ending somehow.  It made me think about it from Marcus’ and Shaun’s perspective, rather than my own. That I think has really helped me – so thank you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

It’s quite likely that many have bought the film, as I did, to have a project that Colin has done at hand to watch whenever we want. But really, what we should have been thinking of was the support our purchase provided to CALM to help them in their fight to prevent male suicide.

With that in mind, there’s a letter from Lindy here, where she notes that the majority of purchasers have been women (well hello it’s Colin! 🙂 ) and asks that the film be shared with any young men who might be having difficulties in their lives that put them at risk of considering suicide.

CALM isn’t here in Canada, but there are other resources available. There are two men in my life that might benefit from watching, so I plan on showing them The Laughing King.

Please, if you haven’t already, buy this film. It’s a pittance in whatever currency you use. Support CALM. Watch Colin. ❤

interview-01

Lindy and Colin – Blackpool, May 2015

My other posts about The Laughing King can be found here.
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Bolero

I was just listening to CBC Radio in the background. Not my choice most times, as they play a lot of classical during the day. I don’t mind classical, but after an appropriate amount of time (4 minutes) I need to change it to something more contemporary.

However, Marcus really likes this station and has it on perpetually, so if he’s around and it’s not too annoying, I’ll leave it on.

Earlier today, CBC played Bolero, by Ravel. I love Bolero, and during the rare occasions it comes up, I will drop everything and listen. In this case it was my tea towel, as I was drying dishes.

My first introduction to Bolero was way back in the 70’s. I can’t even remember where or how it happened; I just remember seeing this animated clip from the movie Allegro Non Troppo, which began with the premise that evolution started from the oozing sludge in the bottom of a discarded Coke bottle, and morphed it throughout the millenia, all to the tune of Bolero.

Allegro Non Troppo was created as a parody of Disney’s Fantasia, was released in 1976, and included six classical pieces, all set to animation. I’ve never seen the whole thing….only the part that was set to Bolero. (No, that info was not easy pickin’s from the back of my brain. That was thanks to Wiki.)

For some reason, that video stuck in my mind, and is revived whenever I hear this unique piece of music. So when I heard Bolero playing on the radio today, I thought I’d do a search to find the video I so quickly related it to.

And find it I did. 🙂

It’s a little different than I remember it, but some of the scenes that were embedded in my mind 40 some years ago are there. 🙂 It’s long, as Bolero, at almost 15 minutes, is quite the lengthy tune. This is not the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version.

While I was searching for that one, I came across another interpretation. It uses the audio of the above, but substitutes a different video – sand art, also using the theme of Evolution. If you can stand listening to Bolero twice, watch this one as well. It’s fascinating.

If you can’t stand the idea of listening twice now, drop back later. It’s worth it. 🙂

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Scary rides and other fun stuff.

I’m not fond of amusement park rides, unless they’re sedate and….safe. Very safe. I don’t mind heights, so a Ferris Wheel is fine, but I really dislike anything that tips me upside down or whirls me around so fast that my insides are fighting to stay where they belong and not become splattered all over the crowd like the contents of an out-of-sync centrifuge.

Sorry for the visual.

I don’t mind scary things, if they’re also funny. So most scary rides are not on my list, because they’re generally not meant to be funny. Hyperventilating with fear after being scared out of my wits until I pass out with everyone else then having to step over me is not something I would consider an enjoyable pastime.

So, I’m not quite sure that I’d care for the Ghost Train at Thorpe Park, in Surrey, England. This ride is a virtual reality trip on a train that is stationery – to a point. It also moves to go along with what the riders are seeing through their VR devices. I don’t know if I could handle that, seeing as motion sickness is something that never truly went away as I got older.

Well, the opportunity to find out won’t be in my future, but it appears a number of people, including celebrities, were recently invited to attend the reopening of this revamped ride. One of them was this guy:

Most of us who follow Colin know that, even though he eschews social media, he does like to game and probably keeps up on the latest devices available to enhance the gaming experience. He has also expressed a fondness for amusement park rides – roller coasters in particular – so this would have been right up his alley!

Here’s a video of the experience, posted by the Park.

He’s in there somewhere.

It looks pretty intense, and somewhat frightening. I might consider trying it, however, if I was able to go with someone.

Someone who had already been….

Ah, we can dream. That’s my version of virtual reality.

Meanwhile, I’ll get back to my Ferris Wheel life. 🙂


Photo source.

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Good news for Humans

The television show, that is. 🙂 And good news for us humans who are fans of Colin Morgan, Gemma Chan, Emily Berrington, Ivanno Jeremiah, and all the other wonderful actors associated with this show.

Humans has been renewed for a 3rd series! Or 3rd season, if you’re North American. 🙂

One of my fellow bloggers took the bull by the horns and contacted Kudos, who produce the show in the UK, and asked them outright if there was a Series 3 in the works.  This was their response:

https://bbcdiscovery.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/from-kudos/

In addition, the following tweet showed up today, which confirmed – not from the horse’s mouth, but what appears to be an official source – that AMC is onboard as well for a Season 3.

This has since become official with a news release from Channel 4, as well as various other confirming articles.

So, good news all round!

Now, all we have to do is hope that our Leo can/will be fixed, and quickly.

Please.

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