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Reviews Written by
Richard Kirwan "RB" (London, England)

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but not as great as the show..., 24 Mar. 2012
This is great - we all know it is - and not much needs to be said about that. The only thing is: Bertie Carvel's performance has developed A LOT since this recording, and as a result, songs like The Smell of Rebellion are just no way near as good... The voice is very different. But otherwise, it's great - esp things like Revolting Children.


Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Bleak House by Charles Dickens

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the Penguin Classics., 18 Sept. 2011
Good book, but misadvertising - you're paying money for a Gutenberg edition (e.g. free on the internet). Not happy. The front image misleads you into thinking that it'll be a fully annotated, introduced and edited version, which it's not.


Silver Jubilee
Silver Jubilee
Offered by Todays Great Deal
Price: £19.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still extraordinarily brilliant., 5 April 2009
This review is from: Silver Jubilee (Audio CD)
Twenty five years on and they've still got that brilliant touch.

This CD is a live recording of their recent UK tour; it has a few favourite old numbers and a load of new, equally funny ones. Particularly funny are "Tesco Saves" and "Dogging". Wonderful stuff! Worth it.


The Wah-Wah Diaries: The Making of a Film
The Wah-Wah Diaries: The Making of a Film
by Richard E. Grant
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable and informative., 6 Jan. 2009
I got this on a whim, and was blown away. It's a really enjoyable read, really bringing you along the journey of the creation of the film. Really fascinating looking at the casting and crew attaining processes; it also gives some clear insights into the way that actors behave! Not only that - Grant is shockingly honest about his various frustrations. I feel very sorry for Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar, the producer of the film, whose career in English cinema has been effectively been eradicated as a result of this book - he's very frank about his opinions!

If you're interested in film, you'll be particularly interested by this: as a first time director, he discovers many things which help him and woul probably help fledgling movie types.

A really fun and interesting book - recommended.


Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister - Complete Collection [DVD] [1980]
Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister - Complete Collection [DVD] [1980]
Dvd ~ Paul Eddington
Price: £13.49

67 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. Definitive version., 14 Oct. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is something that should be owned by any policital satire-lover as well as any fan of Johnathan Lynn. Witty and enjoyable. The Box-Set is easy to access and not cumbersome in the slightest (occasionally you get fed up with these big boxes of TV DVDs where you have to open fifty compartments to get to one disc).

It would be nice to see some behind the scenes footage or get the audio track of Margaret Thatcher's appearance, but in any case, this is a definitive version. No Yes Minister fan should be seen without it!


A Son Called Gabriel
A Son Called Gabriel
by Damian McNicholl
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, 14 Oct. 2008
This review is from: A Son Called Gabriel (Paperback)
An enchanting debut from an Irish writer about growing pains of a homosexual boy in a homophobic period. The character's personality is slowly and cleverly revealed, and by the end you feel very strongly for him (whether like or dislike is up to the individual reader. I liked him). Occasionally, the plot feels slightly Coronation-Street in it's emotional complexity (or lack thereof); e.g. there are family discoveries to be made.

On the whole though, a well shaped book that keeps you hooked til the end. Looking forward to more, Mr McN!


The Last of the Blonde Bombshells [DVD]
The Last of the Blonde Bombshells [DVD]
Dvd ~ Judi Dench
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £14.97

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lightly enjoyable, but not much content., 14 Oct. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have to say, I had pretty high expectations for this. I was not disappointed in terms of performance - Dench is stunning in the lead (a Golden Globe winning performance), as always.

The problem is, it's quite lightweight. Whilst the dialogue is quite amusing, it's also feels something like a child's drama in its simplicity. It was also a bit disappointing to see Garai in such a small role. She's the only other person on the DVD cover, yet I'm sure you could count her words on one hand. A pity for such a fine actress.

Cinematographically, it's quite pretty and well shot, especially for a television drama.

It's enjoyable, but if you want to see a meaningful war piece, this isn't the best bet. Enjoyable for the family though, and highly amusing seeing Ian Holm in a dress.


The Joy of Sequins: The Fascinating Aida Songbook
The Joy of Sequins: The Fascinating Aida Songbook
by Daniel Keane
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, but not enough tunes, 14 Oct. 2008
Keane put together a greatly enjoyable and easily playable group of songs from Fascinating Aida's early albums. The only problem is, there aren't enough of them. It's missing one or two of the classics, which is a pity. However, for an FA fan, it is an essential bit of kit, and definitely worth buying!


The Seagull (Student Editions)
The Seagull (Student Editions)
by Tom Stoppard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Version in English, 14 Oct. 2008
I've read several versions of Chekhov's masterpiece "The Seagull", and Frayn's version is by far the best. Despite not having read it in it's original language, this version has layers of subtext with pure realism that would have made him proud. It's also one of the few versions that makes sense of the names (many versions have a variety of names) which makes it easier to understand for someone who has not studied his works.

This version (Methuen Student Edition) is accompanied by an interesting, if slightly short, introduction by the translator, and has a useful glossary and history of Chekhov's life. Definitely a good version to buy, especially for someone reading it for the first time.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 25, 2010 9:33 PM BST


King Lear [DVD]
King Lear [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ian McKellen
Offered by Compilationheaven
Price: £34.99

82 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful performances, but low budget, 14 Oct. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: King Lear [DVD] (DVD)
If you are looking for amazing special effects, then this isn't the one for you. Unsurprisingly, throught the film there is an intense feeling of a tight budget. However, with the performances inside, it hardly matters.

I had the fortune to see this while it was at the New London Theatre. None of the magic created by the actors is lost in the film - Romola Garai (Cordelia) is stunning, Frances Barber (Goneril) is absolutely wonderful with perfect timing and a voice to match, Monica Dolan and William Gaunt (Regan and Gloucester) are brilliant, but the shining lights are Sylvester McCoy and Ian McKellen, as the Fool and Lear. McCoy plays a hilarious, spoon-playing fool, and there is a great sympathy towards the character, making his fall incredibly tragic. And McKellen is pitch perfect. His performance as the great King is the definitive version.

There are many more visually stunning versions of this on film, but performance wise, it doesn't get better. I'm inclined to say that if you're studying the text in class, it's probably the best bet. It's very close to the stage production, and isn't inhibited or enhanced by large sets or costumes.


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