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Tag: David Vass reviews

Arthur Smith headlines a cracking evening of merriment.

Unavoidable absences are becoming so commonplace these days they hardly warrant a mention, but hats off to the three comedians that did make it to the Corn Hall for what was a slimmed down comedy… read more
Posted in Comedy

A superbly staged production that is both ambitious and original

It’s been awhile since we’ve enjoyed theatre of any kind, but setting that aside, a while longer since The Keeper’s Daughter have presented one of their adaptations of classic texts. The works of Conan Doyle,… read more
Posted in Family, Theatre

Hollie McNish signals the triumphant return of Luke Wright's Poetry evenings

Luke Wright’s poetry evening at the Corn Hall returned with a genuine star turn, as Hollie McNish read from her latest collection. As ever, though, Wright kicked things off with work of his own, and… read more
Posted in Theatre

A Magically Nostalgic Evening with Dad's Army

Back in the 70s it was not uncommon for a successful TV show to be adapted for the radio, and Dad’s Army was no exception. David Benson’s and Jack Lane’s audacious idea was to replicate… read more
Posted in Family, Theatre

Ezio thrill the Corn Hall audience with a cracking gig packed with fan favourites

This was the third is a series of gigs presented by English Folk Expo at the Corn Hall. Notionally a folk artist, Ezio is at the rockier end of the spectrum, with a sound that… read more
Posted in Music

The Corn Hall reopens with a celebration of protest and song

Presented as part of the of  N&N festival, The People’s Cabaret is a work in progress, with this premier intended as seed corn from which a bigger, bolder event will emerge through community involvement. We… read more
Posted in Music, Theatre

The Gentlemen is a Exuberant, Labyrinthine Romp

After dipping his toe into family friendly films, Guy Ritchie returns to what he does best with The Gentlemen. The film is a scabrous, exuberant romp, with a labyrinthine plot that will have your head… read more
Posted in Comedy, Film

David Copperfield is very funny, breathlessly energetic and endlessly imaginative

Armando Iannucci’s exuberant adaptation of David Copperfield opens with our eponymous hero telling his life story to a rapt audience in Bury St Edmund’s Theatre Royal. What follows is a joyous romp around East Anglia,… read more
Posted in Family, Film, Uncategorised

Parasite is meticulously plotted, perfectly cast, and hugely entertaining

Parasite is deservedly the first foreign language film to win an Oscar for best film. It is meticulously plotted, perfectly cast, and hugely entertaining, Bong Joon-ho won two more, for direction and script, along with… read more
Posted in Film

Red Shoes is a Marvellous Spectacle full of glamour and romance

Michael Powell's masterful adaptation of a Hans Christian Anderson story famously inspired Mathew Bourne to enter the world of dance, and his adaptation of the film is full of the glamour, romance and creativity that… read more
Posted in Family, Review, Theatre

1917 is a thrilling, spell-binding triumph

Much has been made of the technical brilliance of Sam Mendes’s 1917. This is a film that takes place in real time, with the camera seemingly following soldiers Schofield and Blake in a single unbroken… read more
Posted in Film

Live Theatre returns to Diss with The Handlebards’s Romeo and Juliet

It was a slimmed down version of the Handlebards that entertained people in the park, as part of the Corn Hall’s continuing efforts to reintroduce live theatre to Diss. Fortunately, what the company lacked in… read more
Posted in Comedy, Family, Theatre

Little Women breathes new life into into the Classic Novel

Louisa May Alcott’s book has been adapted many times, and as recently as the mid-nineties, so Greta Gerwig had to bring something very special to the screen in order to justify yet one more retelling… read more
Posted in Family, Film, Review

THE REMAINS OF LOGAN DANKWORTH Completes Luke Wright's stunning trilogy

It was perhaps inevitable that in the third of Luke Wright’s trilogy of political monologues he would come bang up to date with an examination of Brexit. In previous outings, in the company of Johnny… read more
Posted in Review, Theatre, Word

The Peanut Butter Falcon is a delightful buddy movie that plucks on your heartstrings

Anyone who remembers Huckleberry Finn fondly will find much to love in The Peanut Butter Falcon. Set in the North Carolina Outer Banks, this delightful buddy movie is a film that plucks on your heartstrings… read more
Posted in Film

The Crow's Tale was charming, imaginative, and delightful

This was the third visit to the Corn Hall for London based String Theatre, presenting their most ambitious production yet - a charming tale based on a Lenni Lenape Native American legend. The story of… read more
Posted in Family, Theatre

Bait is a true original in both form and content

Shot with clockwork cameras on grainy 16mm stock, which Cornish film-maker Mark Jenkin hand-processed in his studio in Newlyn, Bait is a true original in both form and content. Clearly influenced by Nicolas Roeg, this… read more
Posted in Film

Dom Joly shares his holiday snaps with Diss

From the outset, Dom Joly made it clear there were to be no squirrel costumes or giant phones for the evening’s performance. What we got instead was a fascinating and insightful talk on some of… read more
Posted in Comedy, Theatre, Word

Horrible Histories is a fun packed romp through Roman Britain

The Horrible Histories book series has sold over 25 million copies, inspiring toys, magazines, and video games. In 2009, CBBC showcased a sketch show based on the franchise which continues to this day. Perhaps inevitably,… read more
Posted in Comedy, Family, Film

John Hegley certainly knows his potatoes

With a mix of poetry and song, John Hegley presented an evening of gentle good humour at the Corn Hall. With the help of Chris and his trumpet, he delighted his audience with whimsies on… read more
Posted in Comedy, Family, Music, Theatre, Word

Pain and Glory is a Stunning return to form for Pedro Almodóvar

This is a stunning return to form for Pedro Almodóvar, consolidating the success of Julieta after the misfire of I’m so Excited. Just as his previous film revolved around a woman confronting the ghosts of… read more
Posted in Film

Judy is Zellweger’s chameleon like transformation makes this her movie from beginning to end

Adapted by Tom Edge from Peter Quilter’s the stage play, this is a raw portrait of Judy Garland at the end of her career, and a showcase for Renée Zellweger’s uncanny ability to get under… read more
Posted in Family, Film, Music

Downton Abbey film - a lavishly produced treat for the series many fans

Fans of Downton Abbey won’t be disappointed by this big screen opportunity to catch up with old friends. Gifted a bigger budget, Julian Fellowes’s drama about upstairs/downstairs has been turned from a show where thoughtful… read more
Posted in Film, Review

Boothby Graffoe headlines the strongest comedy line up for months

 It was a welcome return to form for the Corn Hall’s Comedy Club, with a varied lineup hosted by MC James Dowdeswell. Hugely personable, Dowdeswell had a pleasingly large crowd on side from the outset,… read more
Posted in Comedy

The Blues Band are better than ever in concert & on their new album

The Blues Band, and permutations of its constituent parts have come to Diss quite a few times but I don’t recall them ever playing quite so well. The reason may be The Rooster Crowed, their… read more
Posted in Music, Review

Present Laughter – Andrew Scott's brilliant performance in the National Theatre's Production makes Noel Coward's play sparkle

Noel Coward’s furiously funny farce is given a new lease of life in this frenzied production at the Old Vic. Largely a vehicle for Andrew Scott’s brilliant incarnation of preening thesp Garry Essendine, the play… read more
Posted in Screening, Theatre

A triumphant and life affirming return for Paul Sinha

Paul Sinha made a real impact at the Corn Hall last year - he seemed to enjoy the evening as much as his audience did - so perhaps it’s no surprise that his return was… read more
Posted in Comedy

The Pantaloons Master one of Shakespeare's Greatest Tragedies

The members of the Pantaloons Theatre Company pride themselves on accessible interpretations of classic theatre, from Homer to Shakespeare to Dickens, unlocking the playfulness and good humour from the most sober of texts. Othello must… read more
Posted in Theatre

Yesterday is a funny, feelgood film that will delight fans of Richard Curtis's very particular brand of film making

When Richard Curtis and Danny Boyle teamed up it seemed such a provocative combination that it was hard to imagine what would emerge. The end result is a lot closer to Love Actually than Trainspotting,… read more
Posted in Comedy, Diss, Film

Hazel O’Connor held her audience spellbound

Given the revival of interest in eighties music it’s no surprise that Hazel O’Connor played to a full house at the Corn Hall. But to attribute her success merely to nostalgia would be to greatly… read more
Posted in Diss, Music

The Dave Thomas Big Blues Band delivers a masterclass in classic Chicago blues

If Dave Thomas ever took to running, I suspect he’d go for a marathon rather than a sprint. With a carefully curated set that lasted only a few minutes shy of three hours, Thomas took… read more
Posted in Diss, live entertainment, Music, Review

Gary Delaney brings down the house with his Gagsters Paradise show

You have to wonder if Gary Delaney’s brain is wired up differently from everyone else’s. His prodigious gag writing ability is such that, even before settling down to the show, he has bombarded us with… read more
Posted in Comedy, Review, Uncategorised

Rocketman - screening tomorrow - is bold, imaginative and original

Considering that both David Furnish and Elton John were producers of this film, it’s a remarkably frank and unflinching examination of Reg Dwight’s rocky path to fame and its almost disastrous consequences. Even more remarkable… read more
Posted in Film, Review

Another chance to see Fleabag on the big screen - it's a terrifically entertaining showcase for Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s considerable talents

I wonder how many others were belatedly catching up with Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s extraordinary Edinburgh debut back in 2013, kicking themselves that, at the time, they went to see something else instead? Given the global success… read more
Posted in Review, Screening

The Keeper - a watchable, engaging story of hope & humanity triumphing over bitter resentment

Marcus H Rosenmüller’s robust, no nonsense account of Bert Trautmann’s improbable, but true, journey towards a role as Manchester City’s post war goalie is a loving tribute to reconciliation and forgiveness that is a paean… read more
Posted in Film, Review

Cast your prejudices aside, you’ll be cheering over this heart-warming tale with family, East Anglia & wrestling at its heart

If you’re wondering whether a film about wrestling is for you, then wonder no more, and not just because it largely takes place in East Anglia. This heart-warming tale of a close knit, loving family… read more
Posted in Film, Review

Can You Ever Forgive Me? - you will, after seeing next week's hugely enjoyable film

Continuing the current fashion for true tales that are stranger than fiction, Marielle Heller turns Lee Israel’s improbable career as a forger into a jolly, breathless romp that skips from scene to scene. Israel’s wobbly… read more
Posted in Film, Review

Green Book - in spite of its hard hitting subject matter - is an absolute delight from beginning to end

Loosely based on Don Shirley’s tour of the Deep South of America, Peter Farrelly’s film - showing on Wednesday 21st August - is an absolute delight from beginning to end, notwithstanding its hard hitting subject… read more
Posted in Film, Review

Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie give powerful performances as the rivals in next week's Wednesday film

Mary Queen of Scots The rivalry between Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I has been repeatedly dramatized and documented, but most often from the perspective of the English monarch and the furore surrounding the… read more
Posted in Film, Review

Roughcast's rumbustious romp of A Midsummer Night's Dream features a scene-stealing, marvellously exuberant Bottom

A Midsummer Night’s Dream RoughCast Theatre Company has never been afraid to take on challenging writing, tackling everything from Ibsen to Orton, and in their latest production they take on that most formidable of oxymorons,… read more
Posted in live entertainment, Review, Theatre

All is True - Branagh & Dench are magnificent in this film which seeks to explain the great mystery of why Shakespeare retired so suddenly

All is True (12A) Kenneth Branagh’s career is so closely associated with Shakespeare, it was perhaps inevitable that he would one day play the man himself. To that extent this is very much Branagh’s film,… read more
Posted in Film, Review

Stan & Ollie - next Wednesday's film - is a warm, affectionate delight

Stan & Ollie Jon S Baird’s gentle, unassuming biopic of the most famous double act the world has ever seen, is a warm, affectionate delight that touches on far broader issues than the pair’s final… read more
Posted in Film, Review

The Favourite - screening next Wednesday - is an eccentric, intriguing delight from beginning to end

The Favourite (15) - a review Set in the court of Queen Anne, the last of the Stuart monarchs, Yorgos Lanthimos’s quirky, profane and shamelessly anachronistic period drama is an eccentric, intriguing delight from beginning… read more
Posted in Film, Review

Old Herbaceous - a night at the theatre that was a delight from beginning to end

Old Herbacious - Kick in the Head productions Alfred Shaughnessy’s sensitive adaption of Reginald Arkell’s novel is a delight from beginning to end, cleverly distilling not just the narrative, but also the spirit of Arkell’s… read more
Posted in Review, Theatre

Ryan Gosling is excellent as Neil Armstrong in next Wednesday's film, First Man

First Man Adapted from James R Hansen’s book by Spotlight screenwriter, First Man is similar in tone to Philip Kaufman’s The Right Stuff. Sombre and respectful, this is a film that is immersed in its… read more
Posted in Film, Review

Thomas Paine play was sometimes melancholy, frequently moving, and ultimately life affirming.

Thomas Paine’s To Begin the World Over Again Thomas Paine only worked in Diss for a year, but we still make a claim on him, so it was pleasing that the playwright and performer, Ian… read more
Posted in Heritage, Review, Theatre

Wednesday 15 May - your chance to see one of the best films ever made

Ingmar Bergman's dark masterpiece, The Seventh Seal reaches back to scripture to create a nightmarish, episodic journey for Max von Sydow’s world-weary crusader, questioning everything while the long shadow of death chases him all the… read more
Posted in Film, Review

Luke Wright’s Stand-Up Poetry - a night of great pleasure

One of the great pleasures of Luke Wright’s stand-up poetry nights is hearing his new work in progress, and it was fascinating to hear his continued look inward. We heard about his mum, his dad,… read more
Posted in Luke Wright, Review, Stand-Up Poetry, Word

Next Wednesday: Bohemian Rhapsody - with a roster of superb concert recreations - is hugely enjoyable

After the much-publicised troubles that have beset this movie, it comes as a pleasant surprise that Bohemian Rhapsody is such a fun ride, with a roster of superb concert recreations, including Life Aid – where… read more
Posted in Film, Music, Review

Gillian Anderson and Lily James - superb in the National Theatre live screening of All About Eve

This adaption of a 1950s movie films its actors while they perform live, projecting them onto a screen, while yet more the actors perform live on stage - all of which has then been filmed… read more
Posted in Review, Screening, Theatre

Mary Poppins flies into the Corn Hall this Wednesday

Mary Poppins Returns Fans of the original Mary Poppins who approach this belated sequel with some trepidation need not worry. The film has been created with them in mind as much as a family audience… read more
Posted in Family, Film, Review

The Pantaloons inventive reworking of The Odyssey is a triumph!

The Pantaloons are no strangers to the inventive re-working of classic texts, but this must be their most ambitious attempt to date. Slimming down Homer’s epic Greek poem into two hours of knockabout fun is… read more
Posted in Arts Award, Review, Theatre

Lady Gaga CAN act - See her in 'A Star is Born'

A Star is Born Bradley Cooper’s version of this much told story is more a reimagining than a remake, with his fading rock star crossing paths with Lady Gaga’s ascendance as an all singing, all… read more
Posted in Film, Review

Next Wednesday's film - a master class in screen acting that is as enjoyable as it is compelling

When Joe Castleman wins the Nobel Prize for Literature his wife is delighted for him – who wouldn’t be – and yet there is something niggling away at her that isn’t fully explained by his… read more
Posted in Film, Review

Super Happy Story - genuinely good theatre with real emotional impact

A Super Happy Story (about feeling super sad)  A musical about depression and self-harm is not an easy sell. It takes imagination to write, empathy to perform, and courage to programme. Silent Uproar’s collaboration with… read more
Posted in Review, Theatre

Stranger than fiction, Wednesday's film BlacKkKlansman, is probably the best Spike Lee film in 20 years

Probably the best Spike Lee film in 20 years, this stranger than fiction story of a black man infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan mixes absurd comedy with jaw-dropping racism to brilliant effect. Both a social… read more
Posted in Film, Review

Luke Wright's latest show – Poet Laureate - is unusually thoughtful and moving

Following in the wake of his ambitious play/poems of recent years, Luke Wright’s latest show might at first appear a tad conventional, but there was a lot more going on here than just a collection… read more
Posted in Luke Wright, Review, Word

Hotel Salvation - anyone who has spent time with an ageing parent will find much that is achingly resonant.

In this story of an ex-schoolteacher who decides to spend his final days in Varanasi on the banks of the Ganges, Shubhashish Bhutiani’s directorial debut presents a world that will be alien to European viewers,… read more
Posted in Film, Uncategorised

East Anglian film premiere brought to life George Butterworth - a man who might have become one of Britain’s foremost composers

The Corn’s Hall’s presentation of Stewart Hajdukiewicz’s biography of composer George Butterworth may not have been quite the world premiere, but it was only the third public outing for the film, and was attended by… read more
Posted in Film, Heritage, Music

In an age of zero hour contracts and offshore sweatshops, Townsend productions provide a timely reminder of how effectively historical drama can resonate with the issues of today.

Rouse Ye Women – Townsend Productions Thursday 14th February Townsend Productions have been edging ever closer to contemporary issues over the last few years, with their last show - an examination of the Grunwick strike… read more
Posted in Theatre

A stellar cast makes The King of Thieves by far the best and most poignant cinema version of the Hatton Garden heist

The Hatton Garden heist in 2015 has already been repeatedly dramatized, but this is by far the best, and most poignant, with a stellar cast of British heavyweight actors who, much like the characters they… read more
Posted in Film, Review

Cold War - A sweeping, yet oddly intimate love story

Winner of the Best Director award at last year’s Cannes Festival, Paweł Pawlikowski has created a sweeping, yet oddly intimate love story about two people brought together, and then torn apart, by circumstances way beyond… read more
Posted in Film

January Comedy Club had a packed house cheering with laughter

John Mann got straight down to business as MC of the Corn Hall’s comedy club, largely dispensing with audience interaction if favour of a very silly series of one-liners that had the audience nicely warmed… read more
Posted in Comedy, live entertainment

NT's Antony & Cleopatra next Thursday is packed with enough intrigue to fill a mini-series

Simon Godwin’s production of Antony & Cleopatra for the National Theatre may be in modern dress, but it is otherwise a surprisingly mainstream and coherent retelling of Shakespeare’s complex, episodic tale of his other star-crossed… read more
Posted in Screening, Theatre

Fire your imagination at ARCADIA!

This arresting collage of archive footage is notionally a movie that explores our changing relationship with the land, and opens with scenes of a bucolic and idealised countryside that will have the viewer settling in… read more
Posted in Film, Heritage, Review

'Royalty' at the Corn Hall in the shape of Paul Jones & Dave Kelly!

British blues royalty paid a visit to the Corn Hall last weekend, with Paul Jones and Dave Kelly (describing themselves as 40% the Blues Band) performing an acoustic set of blues classics. The pair made… read more
Posted in Music, Review

Allelujah! - something to celebrate!

The arrival of a new play by Alan Bennett is always something to celebrate, not least as they are increasingly rare. His latest, set in a rundown NHS hospital, is his first in six years,… read more
Posted in Review, Screening

David Vass is swept away with the surprisingly moving new production of The King and I

The King and I has long been the “problem” Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, and there is certainly a hint of condescension in a story about an English governess showing the King of Siam the error… read more
Posted in Review, Screening

Enter the Dragon - weird and wonderful but David Vass wants more like this

Enter the Dragons - review In what amounted to a significant gear change for the Corn Hall, Abigail Dooley and Emma Edwards presented a short, sharp shock of a show that was funny, provocative, and… read more
Posted in Comedy, Review, Theatre

Luke Wright's Stand Up Poetry Club presented a compelling contrast of talent

Promoted to the main auditorium, Luke Wright's Stand-Up Poetry Club swapped intimacy for elbow room in an evening dominated by the anger of men who can’t quite believe what is happening in the world. First… read more
Posted in Luke Wright, Review, Stand-Up Poetry, Theatre, Uncategorised

Open Space's Browning Version - their finest ever

The Browning Version Never shy of a challenge, Open Space Theatre Company’s latest production is a play generally regarded as Terence Rattigan’s finest. Judging by the opening night at Wingfield Barns, it may well also… read more
Posted in Open Space Theatre Company, Review, Theatre

Next Wednesday's film, The Happy Prince, has a message which is ultimately positive

The Happy Prince Rupert Everett has written, directed and starred in this film, a project he has toiled for years to get off the ground, and his commitment and belief in the endeavour is evident… read more
Posted in Film, Review

Journey's End - the Wednesday film - is a quietly magnificent - and hugely respectful - testament to those we must not forget.

Journey’s End (12A) While watching Saul Dibb’s superb adaption of R C Sherriff's masterpiece, I found myself being continually astonished that the play on which it was based was written only 10 years after the… read more
Posted in Film, Review, WWI

David Vass enjoys reliving the many hits of The Kinks

Resolutely not a tribute band, The Kast off Kinks are essentially the real thing without the Davies brothers, and have been performing their considerable back catalogue for well over 20 years. Obviously pleased to be… read more
Posted in Music, Review