We were planning a quiet London based August so I decided to do the free Netflix month and binge on a few dramas – you’ll see from this month’s list I did just that.
Season 1 of Peaky Blinders – it’s excellent even in the wrong order (I watched season 2 first last year in BBC Two) and now I can’t wait till season 3. My one woman Cillian Murphy admiration society continues. And Orange is the New Black is fairly addictive too – so many amazing parts for women in one show – so refreshing. I also tried Narcos the series about drugs on South America and Pablo Escobar but it’s not really my bag – the constant Goodfellas style narration was frankly irritating.
I watched a really good film – While We’re Young – the trailer parades it as a silly comedy about 40 something’s wishing they were 20 something’s but actually it’s about art and integrity – and it’s funny, certainly worth 90 minutes of your time.
I had some super play experiences too – The Invisible at the Bush was a human play about legal aid – beautiful writing and performances. Then on radio I listened Born in The DDR about Bruce Springsteen’s concert in East Berlin a year before the fall of the wall. It’s a compelling narrative that introduces you effortlessly to a time and place you may not know.
And I saw Hamlet. That one. And it was really really good. Here’s why – with every Hamlet I’ve seen in the past I can remember who played that central role and what I thought of their performance but that’s it. With this I know I’ll remember it as an amazing ensemble (astounding considering there’s such a star at the centre of it). It’s like the dream team cast – as if someone said who’d be the best Gertrude ? Anastasia Hillie – check, the best Polonius? Jim Norton – check, the best Claudius ?Ciarán Hinds – check and on and on. Excellent stuff and of course the chap playing Hamlet is pretty special too.
And then I checked something off my bucket list with a trip to see the East West Divan orchestra and Daniel Baranboim at the Royal Albert Hall (pictured at the top) for the Proms – and it lived up to expectations. In one piece Mr B conducted and played the piano – hugely impressive (unlike the poor washed out picture I took above).
Here’s my August list:
1 August - Peaky Blinders 2 August - Peaky Blinders 3 August - Peaky Blinders 5 August - Peaky Blinders 6 August - Then She Found Me 10 August - The Invisible 14 August - Crossing Jerusalem 16 August - BORN IN THE DDR 17 August - Orange is the new black 18 August - Prom 44 The West Eastern Divan Orchestra 19 August - Orange is the new black 22 August - While We're Young 24 August - Orange is the new black 26 August - Hamlet 27 August - Orange is the new black 30 August - Orange is the new black 30 August - Narcos 31 August - The Whistleblower
Key: live performances (including music and theatre), telly dramas, books, films, RADIO DRAMA, art exhibitions
September promises a few theatre trips and I’ve failed to cancel my Netflix subscription so there’s bound to be more American TV too …