Category:Theater

Watch: Martin Freeman Talks Playing Richard III

Martin Freeman’s performance as Shakespeare’s Richard III is currently in previews at the Trafalgar Theatre in London, as part of their “Trafalgar Transformed” series. The stage play officially opens this week, and tickets are still available for anyone who fancies a pop across the pond this summer.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with your Wars of the Roses, here’s how the story goes: In the aftermath of civil war, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, makes a hateful resolution to claw his way to political power at any cost. A master of manipulation, subtle wit and beguiling charm, he orchestrates his unlawful ascent by spinning a ruthless web of deceit and betrayal. His staunch ambition soon begins to weigh heavy, as the new ruler finds himself utterly alone and steeped in dread, forced to answer for his bloody deeds and face the horrifying consequences. (Keep this handy synopsis in your mind, too, because Freeman’s Sherlock co-star Benedict Cumberbatch will also be playing Richard Crookback in the not-too-distant future.)
But, even though the story is about manipulation and betrayal and murder, it’s not completely dark.

Category:Drama

‘Sherlock’ Star Rupert Graves Joins Cast of ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ Series 3

Popular romantic family drama Last Tango in Halifax was renewed for a third season earlier this year (the show’s second run is currently airing in America as we type speak) and production is slated to begin in July. This is all in and of itself very good news for those that love the show, but there’s even more good news to be had.

Sherlock’s Rupert Graves has officially announced that he’ll be part of the cast in Series 3! The actor is best known for his role as the put-upon Detective Inspector Lestrade in the hit consulting detective series, but has also had featured roles in such series as The White Queen, Scott and Bailey and Doctor Who, among many others. Graves will play a man named Gary Jackson in Halifax, but other than his name, we know literally nothing about who this character will turn out to be or who he will interact with on the show. So, start speculating, I guess? 

Category:Sci-Fi

New 'Doctor Who' Teaser Hints a Familiar Face Might Return for Series 8

Seriously, is it August 23, yet?

Another new teaser trailer for the upcoming eighth season of Doctor Who has arrived and while – yet again – it doesn’t feature anything that looks like actual episode footage,  it does raise an intriguing question about the sort of villains we’re likely to see once Series 8 gets underway.

The new clip is called Two Hearts, in reference to the Doctor’s unique biology and follows the pattern set by previous teasers by opening with several shots of the TARDIS on fire and electricity surging through Twelve’s body and illuminating his cardiac system.

So, yeah, not a lot that’s new to go on in this trailer, image wise, but make sure you play attention to the voiceover that’s playing during the footage. 

Category:Culture

Celebrate Independence Day by Imagining If The British Had Won

As every American knows, on July 4 the United States celebrates its independence. We watch fireworks, eat barbecue, go to baseball games, and basically spend the day generally rejoicing in our Founding Fathers’ successful thrashing of the British Empire.

I never know what to write about on this particular day here on the blog – it’s such an American holiday and we cover all things British and it’s probably not best to cross the streams and all that kind of thing. But luckily, the marketing team at beer manufacturer Newcastle has helpfully provided us with the perfect post topic this year.

Category:Drama

It’s Official: ‘Sherlock’ Will Return for a Special and a Fourth Season!

Fans everywhere can rejoice: The BBC has officially confirmed that Sherlock will return for a one-off special and a three-episode Series 4!

[Yes it’s okay if you start screaming now.]

Even though the entire cast and creative team has been discussing this for ages as a done deal, it’s nice to get the official word that the fourth season is happening (plus the bonus of an extra episode!) Stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman will return as Sherlock and John and presumably solve the mystery of why Moriarty’s face was plastered everywhere in London at the end of last season (and hopefully deal with the fallout from the Mary situation that left a lot of fans scratching their heads). 

British Actors You Should Know: Michael Fassbender

Ever since Carmen did a post on James McAvoy – and I saw X-Men: Days of Future Past – I’ve been dying to do a post on all the many talented roles of his co-star, Irish actor Michael Fassbender. (General note: Yes, I am aware that Fassbender is Irish and that I’m stretching the definition of “British Actors You Should Know” a tiny bit to include him as part of this series. But, I’m going with it. Don’t yell at me too much.)

Anyway, most of you reading this probably do know who Fassbender is, in one form or another – whether it’s as the young Magneto from X-Men or the psychotic slave owner in 12 Years a Slave, or even the guy who danced with Benedict Cumberbatch at the Golden Globes in that photo that was everywhere the next day.  But he’s turned in several truly phenomenal performances over the course of his (fairly short) career thus far that are well worth your time to watch.

Let’s take a look at a few, shall we?

Category:Comedy

Bickering Telly Couples: ‘Vicious’ and Beyond

The sitcom Vicious has just started airing on PBS stations this past weekend and it certainly lives up to its name. Starring British acting legends Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi, the two play a gay couple who’ve been together for almost half a century. A lifetime of companionship has worn on their collective nerves and most of what remains between them is catty remarks, primarily from Freddie (McKellan), and not just a little resentment on the part of Stuart (Jacobi).

Of course deep down the two men really do love one another, but if everything between them was sweetness and light it wouldn’t be nearly as funny, would it?

That got me to thinking about other telly couples who are prone to rows and other types of altercations. Regardless of the nature of the relationship, discord and disagreement makes things interesting and, when you’re not the one in the middle of it all, funny as well.

Category:Drama

Martin Freeman Hints at a 'Sherlock' Christmas Special…in 2015

Well, it’s probably a good thing that Sherlock fans are some of the best at patiently playing the waiting game – because there’s another indication that we might be waiting for quite a while to see stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman together on our screens again.

In a new interview with the The Sunday Telegraph, Freeman said that a Christmas special for everyone’s favorite (consulting) detective drama “looks pretty likely,” but don’t get your hopes up just yet folks, because such a special would be unlikely to air before Christmas 2015. 

Category:Drama

Watch: Trailer for HBO’s ‘The Leftovers’ with Christopher Eccleston

HBO’s new series The Leftovers, which premieres this weekend, features a very familiar British face in its cast that will be of special interest to Doctor Who fans.

The drama is adapted from the 2011 Tom Perrotta novel of the same name, and tells the story of a suburb called Mapleton, after the world has seen 2% of its population disappear in a Rapture-like event. The residents who are left behind – the “leftovers”, if you will – must learn how to survive and cope in the aftermath. Which, if the trailers are anything to go by, predominantly seems to involve joining a bunch of cults and/or existing in a day-to-day state of general creeping dread and emotional upset.

This is fine though, because it looks awesome. 

Category:Sci-Fi

A New Era on 'Doctor Who': The New Season and the New Doctor Arrive August 23

The best news possible for all the Whovians out there is finally here: the BBC and BBC America confirmed that the highly anticipated new season of Doctor Who will officially begin on Saturday, August 23 – on both sides of the pond!

Peter Capaldi will debut in his first full episode as the Twelfth Doctor in the Series 8 premiere, which will be a feature-length adventure called Deep Breath. Jenna Coleman is also back as the Doctor’s companion Clara Oswin Oswald.

If this news weren’t enough to send your emotions into overdrive, a new teaser trailer (again, emphasis on the teaser) has been released, which actually features Capaldi and Coleman saying stuff! Not a lot of stuff, but when the only thing we’ve heard Twelve say so far is some claptrap about the state of his kidneys, you take what you can get. 

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