Tuesday, 17th October 2017
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SPLIT

If you have seen the laughfest that was Sally Fields trying to act out the multiple personalities of a character in the mini series called 'Sybil' then you might be moving towards the territory that is covered here in the film where James McAvoy plays a character who has 24 separate and distinct personalities all warehoused in the same body. You might think that you would have to be politically correct when it comes to a movie that deals with a mental illness but the film certainly doesn't so why should the audience treat the movie any differently? This is a suspense/thriller where one of a number of the characters in McAvoy's body gang up on the others and take over, then they go out and kidnap three young women, as you do. You only find out bit by bit what exactly is going on in the film as McAvoy's character interacts with the young women and also his therapist. You find out that he has had a crisis which has meant that these two characters, one a man and the other a woman, have silenced all the others and what their plans are for the young women. It turns out that there is a final personality that is due to come out and it's the kind of personality that no one will like. It is referred to as 'The Beast'. There is a lot of bizarreness in this film but at the same time it is quite easy to follow, even with McAvoy going in and out of characters, even at one stage his therapist notices that one of the personalities is pretending to be another, which is quite a feat. You also towards the end find out what has precipitated this crisis in McAvoy's life and again it goes to show that in the real world those with mental illnesses have more to fear the rest of society than the other way around. But will the three young women be rescued and will The Beast make his appearance. It is quite easy to figure out what is going to happen, but all doesn't end well for some of the characters in the movie. What is central to the success of this movie is the ability of McAvoy to slip into each of the very different characters and to do so convincingly enough. This he more than does. One of the characters he plays is a 9 year old boy called Hedwig and to see him dance to Kanye West is hilarious. M. Night Shamalan started his directing career with some great movies but soon fell into the trap of repeating the same old formulas so this is a big comeback for him.

The movie is certainly interesting and will hold your attention throughout and McAvoy, as well as Hedwig, are truly great.

MASTERCHEF

It really does feel like this programme is never off the television. Anytime you switch on the BBC it always seems to be there somewhere on the schedule, whether it's the regular Masterchef for amateur cooks, Masterchef for professionals or Masterchef for celebrities. The show is just always on. If you are into your t.v. cooking that is probably no bad thing but as well as just being into that you have be able to take the two presenters on the programme also. Well, not so much the presenters as just one of them, Greg the Greengrocer who although he has been with the show since its inception seems like he is experiencing Groundhog day every single time and even though he appears to have learned absolutely nothing down through the, many, years fronting the show. He always seems to be way off target when it comes to critiquing dishes and the abilities of the individual chefs. As long as you can ignore Greg and somehow filter him out then you can clearly see why this show is so popular.

Basically everyone likes great food and everyone likes to see people do well and sometimes do spectacularly badly. Another thing this show is, it is resolutely middle class. From the people that get on the programme to the dishes that they come up with, the show is as middle class as it comes and that is really no surprise when you consider what this show can be a launching pad towards. Nearly everyone that has reached the very last stages on the programme have gone on to open their own restaurants, run supper clubs and write cookbooks or even in some cases collaborated with huge supermarket chains. This is a show for seriously ambitious people and when you consider the crash course that it gives the contestants in the world of haute cuisine you can see why people take it so seriously. You might just get a squiggledy shaped trophy at the end of the process but you also get a very serious leg up and a huge profile to start a whole new career.

Bag For Life

“Paisley/Mcguinness” Screenwriter Returns With Taught New Pyschological Thriller.

An exciting new play from Colin Bateman is on tour through April and comes to the Theatre Royal Waterford on Friday 28th April.

‘Bag for Life’ is the second play from renowned Northern Irish writer Colin Bateman. In Colin’s career he has written 36 novels as well as writing TV show Murphy’s Law and BBC NI’s Scup. He has also recently garnered great acclaim for his screenplay ‘The Journey’ which explored the political relationship between Ian Paisley and Martin McGuiness.

His second stage play asks the question, can forgiveness overcome the want for revenge in 21st century Northern Ireland? It’s a tense, gripping thriller as well as a study of modern psychosis, all shot through with Bateman’s trademark pitch black humour.

“There is a lot of different aspects to it,” says Bateman, “it is quite a dark piece but it’s also very funny. It’s a thriller but it will also make you think. You’ll come out asking questions about how you would deal in certain situations.”

The show tells the tale of Karen, a young bored mother, who is out shopping one Saturday when she turns and runs slap bang into a figure from her past. Initially unable to place the person it is with horror that it dawns on her that this happy family man is none other than the ex-paramilitary who 22 years earlier murdered her brother.

Thus begins a cycle of revenge, psychosis and obsession.

Actress Julie Addy delivers a real tour de force performance as Karen.

The characters thoughts, whims and delusions brought to sparkling life by an intricate series of video displays perfectly capturing her frantic fractured mindset.

“I think it’s a very exciting play,” explains director / producer Kieran Griffiths, “there is a tempo and pace to it… of course though the audience are given time to breathe and ask themselves questions… but it’s a ferocious episode in Karen’s life.

Electric. Exciting. Captivating.

And I think from its initial outing a lot of people are still talking about it and asking themselves questions.”

Commissioned as a legacy project for Derry Londonderry's 2013 UK City of Culture, this powerful and captivating play received a hugely successful premiere at The Playhouse in April 2016 before going on to a sellout run at The Open House festival in Bangor and standing ovations at The Lyric Theatre Belfast.

Make sure you don’t miss this stunning new piece of theatre during its 2017 tour.

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