King Lear: William Shakespeare

King Lear: Shakespeare

★★★

(National Theatre, London, until 2 July 2014)

I’ve been rather blown away by the reaction to my post on The Crucible and am only glad that so many people enjoyed it and found it useful. The secret to successful blogging, clearly, is to name-drop Richard Armitage as often as possible. However, in lieu of any other opportunities to do so, I wanted to write about another of the plays I’ve seen recently: the National’s production of King Lear (directed by Sam Mendes), which is almost at the end of its run.

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Skyfall

Skyfall

★★★★½

(directed by Sam Mendes, 2012)

Sam Mendes isn’t the kind of director you’d expect to see at the helm of a Bond film, but the gamble paid off: for me, this is the most intelligent and thoughtful instalment in the entire franchise. The essence of Bond is still here – the writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have been involved with the series since the Brosnan era – but it follows Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace in distilling that essence into a sleeker and more modern format. That tension between the old and the new, the traditional and the innovative, underpins the entire film.

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