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You can’t stop the boats: Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea @ParkTheatre

Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea by Italian playwright Emanuele Aldrovandi and translated by Marco Young, has made a topical return to London at the Park Theatre after playing earlier this summer at the Seven Dials Playhouse. In a week when leaders and leaders in waiting were talking about illegal immigration, it seemed like a topical choice . It also has one hell of an evocative title. The piece opens with Adriano Celantano’s Prisencolinensinainciusol , which sets the scene for what we are about to see. After all, a song about communication barriers seems perfect for a play about people trafficking and illegal immigration. One side doesn’t understand why they happen, and the other still comes regardless of the latest government announcement / slogan .  However, the twist here is that the crossing is undertaken the other way. People are fleeing Europe instead of escaping war or poverty in Africa or the Middle East. It’s set sometime in the not-too-distant future. There is a crisis causing p

Movies: The Black Swan

Just before it opened this week I caught a preview of The Black Swan, the Natalie Portman movie which currently has posters all throughout the tube network. It is a gripping film about paranoia, fear, dedication and broken nails. Portman plays the role of Nina, who is coming to grips with the leading role in Swan Lake, while fearing her understudy played by the sexually provocative Mila Kunis.

You don't see much ballet so it is not a modern day The Red Shoes. It has more in common with films such as Polanski's The Tennant. The art is metaphor here and the central message surely has to be you can never try hard enough, as long as you stay away from broken mirrors and lesbian fantasies...

The debate about whether it remotely resembles anything of life in the ballet will continue. This is a movie so one suspects it is as far removed from reality as possible. Winnona Ryder is supposed to be a brilliant ballerina in her decline but spends her small amount of screen time looking unhappy and throwing around bitchy comments. It's hilarious if you take that she is talking about her own career. There is also Barbara Hershey who as Natalie Portman's mother looks creepy even before she says anything. It's all good fun in a slightly unnerving way so get the popcorn and go...

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