The Game of PowerUpdates

Posted by Henderson Sun, June 17, 2018 16:57:42

In which we look at The Power Game Board Game

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Youth Is Wasted on The YoungUpdates

Posted by Henderson Sun, June 03, 2018 15:57:40

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A glimpse of what might have been - Youth is Wasted on The Young - Gerry Anderson's abortive sequel to Doppelganger scripted by Power Game editor Wilfred Greatorex. http://wymark.org.uk/youth.html

This Year's Girl - This YearUpdates

Posted by Henderson Sun, May 27, 2018 10:22:54

Thanks to Hans, who was there at the time, we've been able to update our coverage of "This Years Girl", one of the "Four of Hearts" plays which Patrick Wymark made for ITV in 1965 while transitioning from "The Plane Makers" to "The Power Game".
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In "This Years Girl" Wymark played a farmer devoted to his bulls and you'll be able to see some remarkable location photo's here

Psychopath on US BluRayUpdates

Posted by Henderson Thu, February 08, 2018 22:43:57

The Psychopath the "disappeared" Amicus movie starring Patrick Wymark as a police inspector investigating a series of bizarre murders, is due to be released in a new 4K restoration in April. Only available in America, the disc from KL Studio Classics features extras such as a commentary by film historian Troy Howarth.
Blog imageWe can only hope some enterprising UK firm such as Eureka or Indicator will release this title in the UK. For more on The Psychopath go here

"Exorcist" at the Phoenix TheatreUpdates

Posted by Henderson Sat, February 03, 2018 21:49:47

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The Exorcist

Phoenix Theatre

Reviewed by Dr Terror

On my regular rail journeys to Bradley, the talk of every carriage is currently about which early seventies film smash will be next to appear on the London stage. The smart money is split between Earthquake and Dirty Harry.

Which brings us to the theatrical version of The Exorcist. Does it work? CAN it work? The answer, against all odds, is yes.

It works because the cast is a terrific one and no one ever sticks a tongue in their cheek and even thinks about sending it up. In spite of this, it's still a very close call. It's definitely a mistake to do the crucifix-as-dildo bit just before the interval. In fact, it's a mistake even to have an interval, something which fewer and fewer plays are doing now. The bar was consequently full of laughter and lewd re-enactment while the staff tried to flog an overpriced wine called The Velvet Devil.

And yet, despite all this frivolity, they pulled it off. My disbelief was suspended, no mean feat when you consider how ridiculous the plot is. Despite the sexual intentions behind the demon's possession of Regan being far more obvious here than in the film, nobody once queried whether there might be anything to fear in this regard from the priests themselves. Oh, and how about this: the demon talks with the voice of an uncredited Sir Ian McKellen?

So in spite of ALL of this, it still works. Peter Bowles in the title role, still widely thought of as a sitcom actor, exudes gravitas and compassion. Adam Garcia's Father Karras, now a fully-fledged 'psychiatrist-priest' (you don't find too many of them), and Jenny Seagrove 's despairing mother Chris both completely win our sympathy and Clare Louise Connelly as Regan is an absolute star.
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And what, given whose website we're on, of Tristram Wymark playing Burke, the ill-fated film director (in fact, in this production, Regan predicts HIS death rather than that of a nervous astronaut)? The role is a bigger and more nuanced one than in the film. Although he's partly there as the light relief, his booze-addled mincing queen/tortured Catholic persona is never less than captivating - think Oliver Reed meets Larry Grayson meets Graham Greene - and there's something utterly fascinating about his resemblance to Patrick.

It was a tall order but it won me over 100%. In fact, I'll tell you this - and not just to annoy Mark Kermode (though, goodness knows, that's reason enough): it's better than the film.

Review of The Invasion (1963)Updates

Posted by Henderson Sun, November 26, 2017 16:51:40

The Invasion is a 1963 episode of Armchair Theatre, written by Angus Wilson and starring Patrick Wymark as a property tycoon.
Blog imageThe Invasion is now available on DVD from Network in a disc which includes 3 other plays including The Worm In The Bud starring Barry Foster and Elizabeth Begley (Margie from The Plane Makers)

You can read a review of The Invasion here.

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1963 Patrick Wymark play coming to DVDUpdates

Posted by Henderson Sun, November 12, 2017 15:50:34

Blog imageIn December, Network DVD will be releasing “Armchair Theatre Archive” Volume 2, which contains four episodes of the ABC drama strand including 1963’s “The Invasion”.

Written by novelist Angus Wilson, the satirical comedy starred Patrick Wymark and Eleanor Summerfield as two “new rich” incomers engaged in a conflict with the gentry (represented by Athene Saylor, Frances Rowe and Clive Morton, unaware that Martians are secretly invading the planet).

Born in Bexhill in 1913, Wilson began writing following a nervous breakdown while working as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park during World War Two. He later wrote “Anglo Saxon Attitudes” and “The Old Men At The Zoo”, both of which were adapted for television.

The DVD is currently on offer for “pre-order” on the Network website

Left Handed LibertyUpdates

Posted by Henderson Tue, August 29, 2017 20:57:50

The Magna Carta of 1215 is generally viewed as the foundation stone of English liberty. In the City of Lincoln, one of the four surviving copies is securely displayed in the new David PJ Ross Vault in Lincoln Castle.
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But today, it is recognised that the Magna Carta was just a starting point - viewed at the time as short-term pragmatism. The City of Lincoln is currently celebrating the Forest Charter of 1217 (also displayed in the vault), which restored common law to land previously designated as Royal Forests.

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In 1965, Patrick Wymark starred as King John in "Left Handed Liberty", a play commissioned by the Corporation of the City of London to celebrate the 750th anniversary of Magna Carta. Playwright John Arden realised during his research that there was a hidden story about Magna Carta - what it really meant to King John and his Barons - and what that tells us about freedom today. You can read more about Left Handed Liberty here.

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