Author: Alex Killeen

In Focus: ‘Stephen King on Screen’ at the BFI

In accordance with the upcoming seventieth birthday of Stephen King, author extraordinaire, the British Film Institute (BFI) are launching an entire season of adaptations of King’s work running throughout September and October. As the living author with the most prolific oeuvre of adaptations, King has had not only an impact on the literary world but also in that of the silver screen. While King is a man with undoubted skill in the realm of horror, his work does attain of a status of being more than just a master of fear. His work is atmospheric and meaningful, and King...

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‘Gone Off’ at the Camden Fringe: Exploring the Erosion of Queer Club Culture

Gone Off is a show dedicated to the history and vibrancy of the LGBTQ social scene. In the last half a decade there has been a gradual disintegration of iconic queer spaces and within the confines and aspirations of the show, the company behind the show, TOBYLikesMILK, seeks both to celebrate these spaces and also to highlight their historical significance and their resolute importance decades on from their naissance. Hosted at The Cockpit in London, it was always going too be interesting to see how the company would link this studio theatre space to the queer spaces that are...

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Highlights from The Edinburgh International Film Festival

In its seventy-first iteration this year, the Edinburgh International Film Festival strived to attract interested parties into its embrace with as diverse and comprehensive a selection of cinema as possible. Originally starting in in 1947, this gathering in Scotland’s capital is the longest continually-running film festival in the world, and it has lost none of its luster or charm over the years. This year, there was a distinct feeling of openness that accompanied the festival, bringing films of all sizes, scales, and stakes. Friendliness was in abundance and fimmakers, producers, writers, actors, and press alike were all as eager...

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Screening ‘Julius Caesar’: In Conversation with Phyllida Lloyd

Phyllida Lloyd has recently conducted a revolutionary experiment with Shakespeare. Billed as the “Shakespeare Trilogy”, Lloyd has taken Julius Caesar, Henry IV, and The Tempest and spun them with a diverse, all-female cast (starring Harriet Walter) in a bid to address issues relating to the representation of women in the theatre. More than this, in these productions the cast assume the roles of female prisoners staging the plays within the walls of an institution; Lloyd uses this added layer in order to explore wider structural societal problems and creates a unique way of staging these classic plays. The “Shakespeare...

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Caesar on Parole: in Conversation with Jackie Clune

Jackie Clune plays the title role in Phyllida Lloyd’s latest production of Julius Caesar, originally performed at the Donmar in late 2016 and now being released in cinemas. Building on a distinguished stage career, Clune was enticed by Phyllida’s groundbreaking all-female Shakespeare trilogy that also includes Henry IV and The Tempest. While not the first production of Lloyd’s Julius Caesar (the original production having been staged in 2012) or Henry IV (2014), the play’s new home in the Donmar’s pop-up theatre by Kings Cross gave new focus to the material in its effort to bring the marginalised stories of...

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‘A Womb of One’s Own’: Staging the Psychology of Abortion

Before even wandering into the theatre room of The Old Stock Pub and Theatre, I was optimistic as to what I was about the see unfold. I mean, who doesn’t love a good old Virginia Woolf pun? Produced by newly founded company Wonderbox, which is comprised of an all-female group of actors from the National Youth Theatre, A Womb of One’s Own looks represents the internal struggles of a young woman deciding to have an abortion when at university. The newly written script, devised by Claire Rammelkamp, is both darkly comic and thought provoking: A Womb of One’s Own...

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The Evolution of The York Mystery Plays’ Crucifixion: New Perspectives on Christ’s Sacrifice

As part of the traditional Corpus Christi Feast, The York Mystery Plays were a city and guild-wide collaborative performance that presented some of the most popular and meaningful aspects of biblical tales in an unusual and extraordinarily inclusive way. Play 35, or the “Crucifixio Christi”,[1] is the explicitly violent climax of the section referred to as “The Passion”: detailing the Soldiers efforts to “secur[e] Christ to the cross and rais[e] it into place”.[2] Since the banning of the Corpus Christi Feast during the Reformation in 1548, and the subsequent final performance of the plays in 1569, they had not...

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Mysteries of the Deep: ‘Jean Painlevé’ at the Ikon Gallery

Jean Painlevé, a visionary filmmaker renowned for being one of the first people to begin to capture, and attempt to understand, life in the depths of the world’s oceans through visual images. Active between 1927 and 1978, Painlevé was driven by an abundant fascination with underwater fauna and the ecology of the ocean, his films are an attempt to understand the warped and confusing peculiarities of a world beneath the surface of the waves, but also how this peculiar world shares some similarities with our own. Currently on display in Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery, his work – encompassing still image,...

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