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Bit parts: Garry Starr Performs Everything @swkplay

Garry Starr Performs Everything is a bare-bones (and bare buttocks) tribute to the theatre. Theatre may be in trouble, and audiences are down, but Garry Starr aims to save the theatre and bring back to the masses every style of theatre possible. As long as each style involves wearing a transparent white leotard or a skimpy thong. And tassels. It's part comedy, part physical comedy and part perv at Gary's physical prowess. The sentiment "if you've got it, flaunt it" applies here. So here we are with a show that has been around for some years and is having its first proper London run at the Southwark Playhouse (Borough) through Christmas. The premise is that Garry Starr (played by Damien Warren-Smith) has left the Royal Shakespeare Company over artistic differences. He is now on a mission to save the theatre from misrepresentation and worthy interpretations by doing things such as a two-minute Hamlet, recreating scenes from a Pinter play using unsuspecting audience

Film: The Lives of Others

Ulrich Muhe in Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's "The Lives of Others." Photo by Hagen Keller (image from film)

I caught The Lives of Others this week. Set in the early eighties, it is a creepy drama-meets-thriller about a Stasi operative who spies on a famous writer for reasons that are less to do with state security and more to do with a woman and a jealous rival.

The movie beautifully recreates the banality and subtle horror of a totalitarian regime before its fall. You get a sense that Formica has never been photographed so lovely. The story unfolds like a thriller but it is a little more than that, and its interest in human frailty is really what makes it stand out.

Seeing it with M, I had to explain the history of East Germany as much as possible without annoying the other cinema-goers so it does help to have some understanding about post-war Germany before seeing it... And there I was thinking that everyone had seen Gotcha! so that would explain enough... Anyway a great film not to be missed...

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