The Irish Film Festival, London

Nick Hennegan talks to festival director Gerry Maguire about some of the highlights of this years festival and the Irish in London. (Apologies for the echo in parts of the recording!)

Gerry Maguire – Director.

Caroline Flack and Internet Kindness Day.

Tues 9th November is Internet Kindness Day, commemorating what would have been the birthday of TV presenter Caroline Flack. Nick Hennegan talks to author Lucy Beresford about how we can all be nicer to each other and mark the day.

Podcast: Caroline Flack and Internet Kindness Day.

Summary

Tues 9th November is Internet Kindness Day, commemorating what would have been the birthday of TV presenter Caroline Flack. Nick Hennegan talks to author Lucy Beresford on Resonance 104.4fmabout how we can all be nicer to each other and mark the day.

See the live video at www.BohemainBritain.com  — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/bohemianbritain/message

Transcription

Birmingham – King City! Audio Podcast

Summary

Nick Hennegan and writer Stephen Pennell talk all things Birmingham and particularly the city’s unique music scene featured in his new book, King City.

See the Video Version herehttps://wp.me/pcTV0R-ay — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/bohemianbritain/message

Transcription

‘The Shark Is Broken’ Review – Podcast.

Summary

Nick Hennegan reviews a polished pearl of a production at the Ambassadors Theatre, London. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/bohemianbritain/message

Transcription

See other post for written transciption

West End Shark Warning!

The cast of The Shark is Broken.

REVIEW: The Shark is Broken by Ian Shaw and Joseph Nixon

Bo-ho rating. 5 out of 5! 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 Bo-ho Heaven.

Ambassadors Theatre, London.

The Shark might be Broken, but nothing else is in this petite, polished pearl of a new play in the West End of London. 

It’s 1974 in Martha’s Vineyard and this is the story of an episode during the making of one of the most successful films of all time – Jaws, Stephen Spielberg’s adaptation of Peter Blenchley’s book. The broken shark in the title refers to Bruce – the name give to all three of the mechanical sharks made for the movie. (Bruce was also apparently the name of Spielbergs lawyer!) Due to frequent mechanical shark breakdowns, three very different actors are thrown together in the tiny cabin of the boat featured in the film, The Orca, for some two months longer than they expected, or wanted, to have to tolerate each other. Cold, bleak days roll into each other and tensions mount, self-doubts set-in and actors’ egos clash as youthful insecurity rubs-up against jaded experience.

With full disclosure, I am friends with most of the ‘Shark’ team. We were performing next door to each other at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2019 with my productions, Romeo and Juliet and P.A.L.S.  I’d even had a discussion with writer and star Ian Shaw – son of Robert Shaw – about how wise or otherwise it is to present our real lives, even dramatised, on stage. Although, there is a difference between presenting the story of his world-famous Dad, and the four working-class kids I presented on stage with PALS!

But if anything, my familiarity with the project has made this production even more impressive. Yes, I’d seen it in previews in Edinburgh two years ago and I know the guys, but the constraints of Edinburgh, both in terms of running time and limited technical facilities, make this new production all the more impressive. 

For a start – it looks fantastic! The projection and lighting turns designer Duncan Henderson’s Boat into an extra character and gives complete context to the scene changes. The play is also some 20 minutes longer than the Edinburgh offering and although less is usually more, in this case, the action and relationships are  much better served. Director Guy Masterson finds all the right beats and accelerations and every moment with the fractious three and their nautical cabin fever feels completely true.  Or at least the fractious two. Demetri Goritsas plays Roy Schrider playing Chief Brody, a more calming influence than the hard-drinking Robert Shaw, played by Ian Shaw, his son, playing Quince and Liam Murray Scott, playing a young and idealistic Richard Dreyfus, playing Hooper. But the performances are also flawless, from Ian finding his Dad’s vocal intonations and rhythm, to Liam’s brilliant, leg smacking, coke-fuelled  Dreyfus excitement to Demetri’s measured and timely interventions. 

To be honest, this could have been a talking-heads disaster. But these are not impersonations in the traditional sense, although Robert Shaw lives again, thanks to Ian. And perhaps the greatest compliment to Shaw and Nixon’s script and the whole production is that you don’t really even need to have seen the film Jaws to appreciate this little nugget of aspiration, frustration and resolution. The one-act, 90 minutes will fly by. And you will want to see the film again. The Shark May Be Broken, but this Boat is Floating. Jump aboard while you still can.

Showbiz Lockdown Books.

The lockdown had a devastating effect on theatre. This week, Nick Hennegan talks to two theatre workers at the Chiswick Book Festival, John Griffiths and Nick Bromley who, devastated by the lockdown, were motivated to write and publish books –  proving there’s no business like show-business! 

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Bill Bryson, Dr Alice Roberts and Bellinis! Nick Hennegan's Bohemian Britain

Vintage Literary London. Nick Hennegan attends the London Welcome Foundations Book Awards ceremony in 2015. He gets to eat and drink quite a lot and talk to a few people, including TV presenter Alice Roberts and the legendary writer, Bill Bryson!  — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/bohemianbritain/message
  1. Bill Bryson, Dr Alice Roberts and Bellinis!
  2. The Irish Film Festival, London.
  3. Caroline Flack and Internet Kindness
  4. Birmingham – King City!
  5. Chiswick Book Festival Part 2

What future for the Edinburgh Fringe?

Photo by Anna Urlapova on Pexels.com

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe returned in 2021, but much smaller after the ravages of Covid. What do the participants think about this year? What about the future? Nick Hennegan talks to actor Tim Marriott, New York stand-up Jack Dennis, Assembly PR Hannah Bradley Croall and Assembly Marketer, Daniel Saunders in the Assembly Festival Gardens, for Resonance FM and Bohemian Britain.com — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/bohemianbritain/message

Bill Bryson, Dr Alice Roberts and Bellinis! Nick Hennegan's Bohemian Britain

Vintage Literary London. Nick Hennegan attends the London Welcome Foundations Book Awards ceremony in 2015. He gets to eat and drink quite a lot and talk to a few people, including TV presenter Alice Roberts and the legendary writer, Bill Bryson!  — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/bohemianbritain/message
  1. Bill Bryson, Dr Alice Roberts and Bellinis!
  2. The Irish Film Festival, London.
  3. Caroline Flack and Internet Kindness
  4. Birmingham – King City!
  5. Chiswick Book Festival Part 2

Pretty Literary Pub of the Week.

The White Swan Inn, Llanon. Wales.

A great, friendly little pub in the little Welsh Village of Llanon. Mainly locals, with a smattering of holidaymakers, the food is good value for money, the staff universally friendly and the wifi strong for those research/download/upload moments.