International Writers Magazine:
the Fun of the Fair, Sex in the City (The Movie) and Mamma Mia (The
am a film widow. I am married to a film buff so it comes as no surprise
that one of the rooms in our house has been turned into a home cinema.
Most people tell me I am lucky to able to view films in the comfort
of my own home, but the down side is having to wait for a film to
be released on DVD before I can get to see it. When everyone is
talking about a film currently doing the rounds I have to close
my ears, and then by the time I do get to see it and want to talk
about it, everyone else has moved on and is talking about the latest
releases. But being a big fan of Abba music and the television show
Sex in the City, there was no way I was going to wait for
the DVD of either.
My outing to see
the musical play All the Fun of the Fair came about when two
girlfriends persuaded me a night out on the town was long overdue and
that David Essex was opening in the show at my local theatre. That was
all the excuse I needed, having been an avid fan since David first burst
on to the musical stage and shook the rock world when he starred in
Godspell in the mid-seventies. (If I was honest I would admit
that I had seen him live in shows or concerts at least a dozen times
Interestingly, I visited all three of those shows in the same fortnight
and more interestingly still, I found they had a strong common denominator:
Each one was playing to an audience that was 98percent female. What
a shame. Did the men know what they were missing?
Sex in the City stars Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon
and Kristin Davis. Four women! And, one of the best and funniest romantic
comedies of the year. Not just my opinion, the unanimous opinion of
the packed audience that I shared the cinema with.
The film is both funny and moving. It is, as with the television show,
rooted in friendship. This one revolves around the relationship between
Carrie(Sarah Jessica Parker), and Mr Big(Chris North), developing into
a will they wont they end up married? All the women are pushing
forty, two of the other four, Miranda( Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte
(Kristin Davis) are already married and now have children.
The message in the story is clear - when all else fails, your girlfriends
will get you through. Is that what kept the men away? I found myself
wondering. Or is it that times are changing? There was a time, only
a decade ago, when women were not written as funny and glamorous; one
or the other, but never both. Fortunately, that mould is well and truly
broken; now comediennes can use it all- labels, latte and lipstick!
If youve got it, flaunt it, and these four girls have it- comedy
timing that can only come with talent and the experience of working
together for so long. Add to that good writing, strong performances
from a good supporting cast, including the Candice Bergen, and a few
tears and questions to keep you guessing. I think you can say, the film
has it all. We had to queue to get in and the cinema was packed, so
that is the proof. But why only two men in the audience? Is it the sexist
jokes? Have we finally turned the coin girls? The 98per cent female
audience had a ball, and I noticed the handful of men were enjoying
it as much as the women. So guys, if you still havent seen this
film, dont miss the opportunity.
Mamma Mia is one on its own. The best in Romantic Comedy again,
but add to that songs that we all know and have danced too in many discothèques
in the eighties- albeit a little more zapped up in pace, but adding
only to the momentum of the moment, and you have a massive box office
So again, why was the cinema mainly women? Is it love stories that British
men cant hack? Well then put that aside, and go for the cinematography,
or the songs, or the performances, all are faultless. Colin Firth has
a wonderful singing voice. Piers Brosnan doesnt, but no one cares,
his performance was mesmerising. Julie Walters was Julie Walters, but
thats always good value. Christine Baranski stopped the show with
her rendition of Does Your Mother Know. And if theres any
justice in the film world Meryl Streep will get the best actress award
for her performance. Her acting talent needs no advertising, but personally
I was amazed at her musical talent.
Rather like Sex in the City, Mamma Mia is a celebration of friendship
and the bond between mothers and daughters. Is that why the men stayed
away? Sorry guys, wrong choice. This film will lift your spirits and
keep them lifted. Dont miss out.
All the Fun of the Fair thankfully stars David Essex. The thick
curly black hair of his chart topping and Godspell days is no
more, he is now grey and thinning, but has lost none of his charm or
fans through it. His voice is still perfect and his sincerity evident.
The audiences couldnt get enough of him. He has that rare charisma
that no amount of experience can teach you.
The show is set around a fairground and the Romeo and Juliet syndrome
of a fairground boy falling in love with a rich girl, whose Daddy doesnt
approve. (Nothing new there). Essex shares the stage with a cast headed
by lovely Louise English who sings his hit song A Winters Tale.
All Davids hits are featured in the show, and that is the best
bit. Im afraid the story and the rest of the performances (with
the exception of Louise English), were unmemorable, or perhaps it was
Davids charm that no one else got a look in. Sophie Laurences
choreography, however, was excellent and bang on the eighties period.
It is worth the ticket to see and hear David Essex, but without him
Im not sure the show stands up.
© Linda Regan October 2008
Author of Behind
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