Review: NT Live – Hangmen


I really want to open with appreciation for the remarkable writing, acting and casting in this play. There were sometime moments that meant  I wasn’t fully able to appreciate these things to their entirety but I will disclose later. But, overall, I think I came away with a really great opinion of the play!

Hangmen follows Harry Wade (David Morrissey), the second most famous executioner in the country, who now works as a pub landlord in Oldham. Things begin to sour for the retired hangman and his wife Alice (Sally Rogers) when a mysterious man named Peter Mooney (Johnny Flynn) appears at the hotel.

The opening scene successfully presented us with the perfect balance of setting the scene and being humourous without detracting from the difficult nature of the scene itself (a hanging). This scene concluded with a harrowing picture of an empty noose, swinging gently – the lighting was superb and the juxtaposition of laughing one minute and silence the next as you appreciate the gravity of the situation… was mesmerising.

Johnny Flynn stole the show – I mean, my goodness! His whole demeanour was absolutely perfect. Anyone that can be that menacing and still retain a large degree of humour and humanity is clearly someone of talent! Such a versatile actor. All actors involved in Hangmen did an incredible job but Johnny Flynn was in a league of his own. I found the humour of the play to be quite slapstick occasionally and I think it’s difficult to stay on the right side of slapstick when playing someone that appears to have multiple personalities. Johnny never crossed that line – although evoking laughs it was done in such a way that left the audience more scared of what this man was capable of (if anything).

Although, it needs to be recognised that it couldn’t have been done with out such amazing writing – Martin McDonagh managed to successfully write a character who was a clear sociopath; showing signs of remorse whilst simultaneously boasting about alleged crimes. He really was menacing and definitely sent a chill down my spine.

You do come away from the play with a question unanswered; did they catch the right man? Has justice been served? And you never quite know the answer to this – which drove some people insane. Leaving the theatre people were saying “did he do it, though?” and things like that…

But just in case you missed this… I want to explain why this is even more proof of a fantastic plot; The whole play was about the abolition of the death penalty. Two people wind up dead by the end and they still don’t know 100% sure that the guy that committed the crime is dead. Sure, that’s what you want to know – but you can’t. And that’s the point! Hanging was abolished because in some cases, the police might have pieced together mountains of evidence but they still couldn’t prove beyond reasonable doubt that they’d committed the crime. That’s the rub! Someone’s life is a very definitive price to pay only to be pardoned later. It made you ask yourself… is it worth taking the risk?

Okay, so some of the humour wasn’t to my taste and the repetition of the word “cock” induced one-too-many eye-rolls. I have already commended the placement of gags in large parts of the script but I did feel at times that the sexual jokes weren’t fitting with the calibre of the rest of the play (eg, the time that Andy Nyman’s character was fishing around for the guys keys)… It did add another level to the play but one that I didn’t think was necessary. That, I know, is personal preference and call me a prude if you will!

Ultimately I came away with a real sense that the play had moved me. I was left thinking and the play had done more than enough so I would, without a doubt, recommend it to friends and family – Well done!! Outstanding!!




Review: Pretty Little Liars S6 EP17

So! Here we are again! “We’ve all got baggage”… Let’s see what A has install for us and the girls this evening!

00:10 – Wait? They can just walk into Sarah’s room? Since when? I really hope this isn’t left unmentioned because if it is I’m going to have missed something here…

So Sarah’s checked out? This can’t be a bad thing!

UPDATE: Yeah, Hannah tells us – thank you, Hannah!

00:57 – How can they not see the mask? The maid is clearly wearing a mask! Definitely A-Related

1:33 – BOOM! Nailed it. This show has made my jaw drop a few times (The Toby = A incident) but sometimes they’re really predictable.

4:04 – I’ve always suspected Melissa of something… but I don’t understand why anyone would torture their sister like that?! Hmmmm… maybe a genuine secret that’s not entirely A-material.

6:57 – So Hannah isn’t happy with her new boyfriend… that’s not news (picked up on the vibes) but I’m seriously praying she doesn’t cock things up for Spencer and Caleb! Sure Toby is amazing and he loved Spencer so much… it worked. It was great but Toby has moved on. He’s building a house for his new girlfriend (soon to be fiancée) for crying out loud! Please don’t just split the couples up for a plot device!

7:40 – This dude speaking to Emily is really creepy! *noted*

9:18 – Spencer is so strong! I love her! I’m so glad she told her mum – the less secrets in this show, the safer they are. “Courage is about having grace under fire,” that’s beautiful!

10:45 – Oh my goodness, what has Alison done now?! Seriously? Sure the A text is kind of creepy and stalker-ish and I’m meant to be bothered by it! But it anyone else wondering how Ali ends up in the middle of all of this? I’m more than confused why she still is completely blameless in this whole charade. A wouldn’t have had so many people recruited if it weren’t for the number of people she pissed off!

11:48 – Aria officiating a wedding? Anyone thinking Joey from friends, much?

13:40 – Seriously lies get people killed in this programme! Doesn’t Melissa know that? Jeez!

14:12 – See Aria knows that lies don’t work! She told Ezra! Well done Aria – definitely gone up in all my estimations.

16:12 – I have a wedding that needs planning – but a styler? Hannah has a good eye for style but I’m not too sure about that dress she just recommened. I’ll wait for her to put it on!

17:48 – Ooo! Alison’s being honest too! I like this a lot. I’m ridiculously suspicious of this Doctor-dude though! Is that that what this programme does to you? Make you mistrust everyone. Basically, my theory is that the the doctor made Charlotte feel special, accepted… there was maybe even a ‘thing’ there. So when Alison told Charlotte she was betrayed! Alison just didn’t know it…

19:35 – Hannah said “he looks familiar” about the guy that Emily’s meeting up with! I knew I didn’t like him… but that seems unusual!

20:13 – Before “our baby” does? A is a man? or is this a red-herring. Oh wait – flash abck two episodes ago when A Suspect #1 was getting out of a limousine and “Sir” was used… Is there anyone thinking Alison’s Dad might be involved in all of this?!

20:20 – Go Veronica!!! You star; you strong independent woman!

Aw man! Don’t get me wrong; I do feel sorry for Hannah having to see her ex happy with someone else when it seems clear they didn’t break up because they stopped loving each other… but please don’t ruin this!

21:43 – Melissa looks haggard! Oooo phone privilages? Charlotte’s been talking to Melissa? But why?!

… Melissa is such a cow! Seriously… I’ve never liked her but I don’t even know why she’s so twisted!

24:20 – The moment Liam realises that Ezra and Aria were a thing… Liam is pissed and rightly so! Note a few moments ago… when I commended Aria for telling the truth – that’s so friggin’ rare!

27:05 – Will you please stop foreshadowing Hannah/Caleb – it will break my poor viewers heart! I feel sorry for Jordan a bit, actually… (Sure if you read my other blogs you’d know that I was in an engagement that I shouldn’t/didn’t want to be in…. and I get that… but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to go back to your ex!)

29:01 – Did good doctor dude actually just propose… Don’t be bought! Please don’t buy into this Ali… I don’t actually trust the dude!

30:15 – YOU! Melissa! You could’ve put that out there! Seriously, sometimes I want to punch her in the face!

30:20 – Do you ever get the feeling that when the girls follow a lead it’s because A knows that’s their lead? I swear, they’re never truly ahead of the game – Emily you are going to get yourself killed!

31:25 “Who are we when we’re alone? And who are we when we’re we with this other person? Are we really ready to be with another person until we truly know ourselves?” Beautiful, Aria! Thank you! I underestimated you and I’m sorry!

32:56 – Why is there never any phone signal when you’re about to die, Emily?! Seriously – don’t do this stuff alone. Will. You. Ever. Learn?

33:30 – Is that the murder weapon? Looks like a bit of the suitcase to me! But Emily, you doofus, now your prints are going to be on it!

34:12 – Jesus Christ! Even when people are honest on this programme it never works out for them! Seriously Veronica, you didn’t listen to your daughter before and look where that got you? Spencer is a good egg! Deal with it.

Caleb!? Why are you taking the wrap for this! You’re innocent. God, dude, you’re amazing and dreamy but you’re a fool!

35:21 – Now you drop the murder weapon with your prints on it? *sigh* Well as if we didn’t see that one coming… Emily!!

And A has it… You seriously couldn’t make stuff worse for yourselves! Right, in order for me to really respect you – go to the bloody police! Tell them before they’re handed the weapon.

36:42 – Aria is honest with herself now as well as Liam, which is progress! And I swear that Liam has to be the most reasonable, understanding person of all time. I hope he’s lovely and not some secret A guy. That would really hurt!

38:28 – Woop! Woop! May 17th and she seems happy! That’s good – better even! I just hope she’s not in love with planning a wedding rather than being married to Jordan himself.

40:08 – A web of A-People… great! No one is safe these days.

Alison is getting married to the doctor-dude? He’s so negligible I haven’t even learnt his name yet and I’m good with names! Maybe he wants to abuse the fact that you don’t have to testify against your spouse?! I don’t trust him….

End – Oooo, A was at the wedding? Or at least stole some cake? But if you were going to the effort of almost running people over, where would you have time to steal cake? Exactly! They must have been a guest!

Well done, Pretty Little Liars – I’m still gripped.