Newsnight Review 7th November 2008
Here's John Wilson with details of tonight's Newsnight Review.
Join me for Newsnight Review at 11pm when my guests - Ian Rankin, Julie Myerson and Sarfraz Manzoor - will be discussing age and wisdom, guilt and humility and dynastic struggle.
Pete Postlethwaite's turn as Shakespeare's mad monarch has been billed as one of the starry highlights of Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture. It's also a sort of homecoming for Postlethwaite who - despite being born in Warrington - is regarded by many in the city as an honorary Scouser. In the foyer of the Everyman Theatre on Hope Street, there's a 1970s photograph of the rep company in which he's pictured alongside the likes of Julie Walters, Alan Bleasdale and Willy Russell. This week he returned to the Everyman as a Hollywood star, three decades older and with a massive specially-grown beard.
To misquote King Lear, a man more sinned against than spinning? The former No.10 communications chief may want us to think so - he's written a novel about guilt and humility. No, really. All In The Mind tells the story of a top psychiatrist, Professor Martin Sturrock, who's in need of the sort of counselling he dispenses so brilliantly to his patients.
Old English manners are challenged by loud-mouthed modernity in this feisty new version of an early Noel Coward play. Director Stephan Elliott - best known for The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - has given the piece a musical twist, with Cole Porter classics sharing the soundtrack with jazz-age versions of Car Wash and Sex Bomb. Hollywood starlet Jessica Biel is glamorous American racing driver Larita, Ben Barnes is her foppish new husband; as the family matriarch, Kristin Scott Thomas is on hand to raise her eyebrows with haughty disdain at the vulgarity invading her corner of England. And the dog gets what he deserves.
The Devil's Whore
Peter Flannery created a masterpiece with his television series Our Friends In The North. Fans of Tosker and co. may well recognise the themes of fractured friendships and shifting political allegiances played out in Flannery's new Channel 4 drama The Devil's Whore. Set during the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell (The Wire's Dominic West) and his more radical friend Thomas Rainsborough (Michael Fassbender from new film Hunger) vie for power as they plot a republican England. John Simm is a mercenary who begins to follow his morals, not just the money. Andrea Riseborough plays the fictional character Angelica Fanshawe, who has visions of the devil.
The Review pundits will be here with their verdicts at 11. Do join us.