A Fantastic Festival of Film confirmed at the Royal Albert Hall

Bad Seed Barry Adamson, presenter and pianist Neil Brand, and Matt Johnson – frontman of The The, will join the likes of Michael Giacchino and James Newton Howard at the Royal Albert Hall’s Festival of Film in October.

Events confirmed in this eclectic, unmissable season – which brings movie music centre-stage – include Adamson discussing his work on Lost Highway as part of a celebration of David Lynch, Brand’s new silent comedy show for kids, and Johnson in conversation with Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy – digging into what makes a truly great score.

Movie producer Mia Bays, meanwhile, will present ‘The Many Faces of Marilyn’ – an exploration of Marilyn Monroe’s legacy, with a panel discussion and the chance to see Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot and the blistering film noir, Clash by Night, on the big screen.

Mehdi Aoustin-Sellami, Head of Programming at the Royal Albert Hall, said: ““There is even more to choose from at this year’s Festival of Film, both on our famous main stage, and beyond. These fantastic shows will add to your love – and understanding – of some of the greatest movies ever made, and celebrate the music that gives them so much of their power and emotion, in the company of some of the most important voices in cinema today.”

The Festival of Film, running from 7 October to 3 November is headlined by Film in Concert presentations of Jaws, Fantasia and The Addams Family, alongside a celebration of the legendary James Horner (TitanicAliensAvatar), and world premiere career retrospectives of Michael Giacchino and James Newton Howard – featuring the composers themselves.

Giacchino is an Oscar, Emmy, BAFTA and Golden Globe-winner, whose work can be heard in two of the summer’s biggest films – Spider-Man: Homecoming and The War for the Planet of the Apes­ – as well as LostRogue One, the rebooted Star Trek series, and Pixar’s Up and The Incredibles. James Newton Howard worked with the likes of Elton John and Diana Ross before embarking on a big screen career that has immeasurably enhanced the likes of The Sixth SenseThe Dark Knight, The Hunger Games series and Fantastic Beasts.

The season comprises 25 events across seven spaces, including a special Late Night Jazz date starring Robert Habermann and dedicated to movie musicals, a soundtrack silent disco in the venue’s underground Loading Bay, and Ali Hood from The Shark Trust trying to debunk a few myths about his subject, ahead of Jaws.

Opera Holland Park’s new ‘Opera and the Silver Screen’ show will explore arias used in popular films like The Untouchables and The Shawshank Redemption, with the help of some extraordinarily talented singers, while

Family events including Neil Brand’s Silent Laughter, a new, hour-long clip show especially for kids, featuring fast and furious comedy from the likes of Laurel & Hardy and Buster Keaton – all accompanied by the fastest piano fingers in the business – as well as Patrick Monahan’s Film Quiz for Kids, the interactive Heroes and Heroines concert from Albert’s Band, and a Fun DMC Film Special, with special guest DJ Yoda.

The Celebrating David Lynch evening will feature a double-bill of the new documentary portrait, The Art Life, and the director’s 1997 masterpiece, Lost Highway, and include a post-film Q&A with composer Barry Adamson, while Matt Johnson – frontman of The The and a big screen composer – will discuss what it takes to make a great film score, in a revealing chat with Classical Album Sundays founder, Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy. Johnson has scored feature films Tony and Hyena, and the documentaries Moonbug and The Inertia Variations.

The Festival of Film tour, running throughout the season, will take you on a fascinating journey through the Hall’s history on the big screen, from the films of Alfred Hitchcock and Michelangelo Antonioni to Spice World, via Julie Andrews, Michael Caine and Woody Allen.

For a full list of events, or to buy tickets, go to www.royalalberthall.com


Nicky’s Showbiz Diary: It’s been Show busy!

This column is a little later than usual, purely down to my busyness, or showbusyness as I like to call it. Over the last week I have seen seven shows, conducted five interviews and also met my first deadline for the Greenwich Weekender.

I’ve also done two restaurant reviews and hobnobbed with the stars at the Chelsea Flower Show as well as recording my weekly segment for BBC Radio Kent.

My feet have barely touched the ground and with three deadlines in Dorset looming my writing head has become a little frazzled.

It’s been fantastic but with a house move also getting ever closer, I have begun to panic about getting everything done.

Luckily there’s always a helpful person around to advise you on how best to manage your workload. I’ve had at least eight people ask if I’ve thought about writing a list and I’ve had to stifle my sarcasm about the wonderfully in-depth counsel!

Anyway, the shows I’ve seen lately have been a mixed bag. I watched the tour of The Play That Goes Wrong (excellent), The Addams Family (sensational), Richard III (a bit slow), The Color Purple in concert (amazing), Samantha Barks Live, with special guest Kerry Ellis (great), Judy! (fantastic) and a show I’m not going to mention, because it was so bad, I had to leave at the interval for fear of a hysterical attack.

I watch a lot of amateur shows, so I’m used to things occasionally being rough around the edges, but this ‘professional’ production was so poor, I felt it best not to pass comment on it at all.

The Celebrity count has been very high this week too, because I went to Chelsea Flower Show on Press day.

Sadly, I was on my own so I couldn’t engage in the hilarious celebrity touching game and there were few famous faces I hadn’t seen before. I guess I’ve got so used to seeing celebs now, that it would take the likes of Madonna, Kylie or RuPaul to really get me excited.

Joan Collins looked amazing among the roses in the main Pavilion however and Kelly Brook seemed very friendly as she supped on bubbly. It was nice to see Peter Kay again wandering around in the sunshine and I was a bit in awe of Paralympic Gold Medalist Ellie Simmonds.

I always find it funny that if you walk with confidence, people assume you’re someone worth looking at and take a second glance to check whether you’re famous or not, so yes, I did pretend to be someone, with my head held high. It’s the simplest little games, which amuse me!

Next week, a work experience minion is joining me in the form of my teenage daughter, so my London trip will be filled with food and drink stops. I’m seeing Wicked again (well, 26 times just isn’t enough!) and Woyzeck at the Old Vic, starring John Boyega. I’m then off to see Miss Meena and the Masala Queens at Greenwich Theatre, which looks fabulous.

You can read all of reviews and interview on my website thesweetlondonlife.com and follow me on Twitter for all of the latest news @NickySweetland

Review: “A spooky spectacular & one of the best shows of the year so far”★★★★★ The Addams Family, New Wimbledon Theatre

Ever since the very first cartoon strip was published in the New Yorker, the lovably ghoulish characters from The Addams Family have captured the world’s imagination.

The beloved 60s television series and then the 90s film franchise further established the fiendish family as household favourites, but I think it’s within Andrew Lippa’s musical adaptation where the charismatic comedy crew fully find their niche.

The musical has previously enjoyed a successful run on Broadway, but the touring version, which opened last night in Wimbledon, marks the show’s UK première.

And what a premiere it is. With an astonishingly good cast performing some magnificent music, this is musical comedy at it’s best; it really does have everything.

We meet the family in something of a quandary. Wednesday (Carrie Hope Fletcher) has fallen in love with a ‘normal’ boy (Oliver Ormson) and the revelation is something she knows will displease her mother Morticia (Samantha Womack). She confides in her father Gomez (Cameron Blakely), but the secret becomes a thorn their side and threatens to derail the family’s close knit culture.

Queue some dastardly dealings from ousted younger brother Pugsley and a large dose of mayhem at family dinner and the resulting cacophony hits all of the right notes.

What really makes this show however, is not just that the book by Rick Elice and lyrics by Andrew Lippa are hilarious, but that they contain some truly heart warming messages about love and being true to yourself.

The relationship between the Cameron Blakely’s magnetic Gomez and Samantha Womack’s statuesque Morticia is intoxicating and their act two tango is a real highlight.

Les Dennis provides some adorable comedy succour as crazy Uncle Fester and Grant McIntyre, Dickon Gough and Charlotte Page in turn take their chance to shine with class.

The real stars of the show however, are the young couple befuddled by the first flurries of love. Oliver Ormson captures some adolescent torment with a sensitive performance and Carrie Hope Fletcher completely owns the role of Wednesday. Fletcher not only boasts an exquisite voice, but also perfectly portrays the steely resolve – which is the trademark of the macabre juvenile – and then the crack in the armour, when she is torn between loyalty for her family and the love for her new beau.

With a magical set design by Diego Pitarch and an exuberant ensemble, the show is also visually stunning and there are some amusing tongue in cheek tricks mixed with impressive effects to create an elegant backdrop to the famed graveyard.

The Addams Family is a spooky spectacular and one of the best shows of the year so far.

The Addams Family is at the New Wimbledon Theatre until 20 May.