Sunday, 8 July 2018

Poldark S4 Episode 5 Preview



Here's a preview of tonight's episode with Caroline (Gabriella Wilde), Monk Adderley (Max Bennett) and Ross (Aidan Turner). Thanks to @rothers7499 on Twitter for the heads up.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Aidan Turner in The Lieutenant of Inishmore

Aidan Turner as Padraic.  Photo: Johan Persson

I have long considered Aidan Turner to be a fine comic actor even though, in recent times, he has seldom had the chance to show off this skill. I am also a great admirer of the playwright Martin McDonagh, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when last November Michael Grandage Company announced Aidan had been cast in The Lieutenant of Inishmore.

Fast forward a few months and I'm here at the first preview of the play. The venue is pretty much sold out and I'm grateful for the air conditioning in this little Rococo theatre as I wait for the curtain to go up. I have some anxieties: people walked out of the show when it was first performed 17 years ago. But time has been kind to this play and the situation in Ireland has changed over the years. Now, for all the gore and violence, it is the comedy that comes to the fore. And, boy, is this play funny! Brutal but funny! The laughs come thick and fast throughout with just the occasional moment given for the audience to feel shocked by what they've witnessed before being bombarded by funny lines and ridiculous situations again. One of the things I like about McDonagh's plays is how economical they are. Nothing is mentioned that doesn't have some relevance at a later point and this really draws the audience in.

Aidan plays Mad Padraic, a terrorist deemed too violent for the IRA, whose only friend in the world is his cat, Wee Thomas. When Wee Thomas is knocked over on a lonely road, Padraic is determined to find out who is to blame.

Aidan Turner and Charlie Murphy
Photo: Johan Persson
While Aidan is clearly the star of the show, it is very much an ensemble piece and he's not being unduly modest when he says it feels strange to be the play's poster boy, "If I had my way we'd all be on the poster," he says, "I'm the title character but line for line, I don't know if I have the most dialogue. It's an ensemble." Certainly other characters have more time on stage than Padraic and all the cast deserve praise, particularly Chris Walley who plays Davey.

Much as the play relies on a strong cast to carry it off, Aidan clearly brings something special to the table. As soon as he walks on stage, I can see how at home he is. He fills the stage. Even when he's sitting quietly in the corner stroking his cat while the action goes on elsewhere, I find myself stealing the odd glance at him.

We see many sides of Padraic: now matter-of-fact, now murderous, now broken-hearted, now Wee Thomas's 'Daddy', now singing, now sexy, now angry, now very angry! And always mad!  As a very physical actor this role is ideal for Aidan as there is so much visual comedy: his facial expressions say as much as his words. His voice goes from business-like when he's torturing someone to quivering when he learns his puss-cat is ill. And he's good. He has terrific comic timing which is so essential in this fast paced play. Anyone who has him down as just a handsome man with a great chest must surely be having a rethink.

Aidan is clearly in his element on stage and this shines through his whole performance. This is a man having fun. Almost too much fun it turns out for at one point, during an execution scene, he begins to smile, then grin. Is he going to corpse? The audience starts giggling, part willing him to laugh, part wanting him to pull it back. And recover he does. After a few seconds he gets back into role and carries on with the scene, but he's given the audience a wonderful, shared moment that is oh-so-special.

Apart from that, the preview seems to go without a hitch, although my heart is in my mouth every time Padraic draws his guns from their holsters. Are they going to get stuck? It's surely an incident waiting to happen!

"Will it never end?" wails Davey (Chris Walley) as the situation in the show spirals out of control and I realise that this all-too-short play is nearing it's finale. I'm just not ready for it to finish but finish it does, to be met by a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience. Aidan looks over-the-moon at the reaction as he takes a bow, pleased and proud to be part of a terrific production.

With happy chatter all around me I make my way to the stage door in the hope that Aidan will come out to see the crowd.  After about twenty minutes he appears to the cheers of fans. He works his way along the barrier signing programmes, tickets and the play leaflets. (There is a notice up saying the cast will only sign show related material. The programmes are £4 each.) Aidan seems happy and, although signing at speed, constantly thanks people for their kind words. It seems to me that, this first night, everyone gets their programmes signed. When I go a week later to the matinee, Aidan comes out after about ten minutes and this time I'm aware that several people do not get autographs. I guess there's a lot of luck involved.

I can't recommend The Lieutenant of Inishmore enough. It is funny and witty and one of the best plays on in London right now. It also has to be an excellent career move for Aidan.

The Lieutenant of Inishmore is at the Noel Coward theatre until 8 September.  Tickets are available from Delfont Mackintosh with £10 front row seats available on the day. Catch it if you can!

Related link:
Aidan Turner on Stage

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

'The Unofficial Poldark Cookbook' Giveaway!


Learn to cook and eat like a miner, a ruthless banker, a scullery maid or an heiress and recreate the spirit of Poldark in your own kitchen with The Unofficial Poldark Cookbook. 

Featuring 85 authentic recipes from Georgian England that have been modernised for the contemporary palate, The Unofficial Poldark Cookbook also includes the history behind Poldark, references to its characters and events, and tips on how to recreate meals from eighteenth-century Cornwall in the modern day.  Divided into manor or boardinghouse there are dishes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.




Written by hostess and sous chef  Tricia Cohen (A Thyme and Place and A Thyme to Discover) and chef and food writer Larry Edwards (Edwardian Cooking, Style and Spice, and The American Table) the hardback book is available  from The Book Depository priced £15.99 with free worldwide delivery. and other online sites but, thanks to  Skyhorse Publishing, we have one copy to giveway!

For your chance to win simply like this post on facebook or tweet @Poldarked using the hashtag #poldarkcookbook.  Competition closes Tuesday 10 July, 2018 at 8 a.m. BST.

Good luck!

Friday, 29 June 2018

Poldark S4 Episode 4 Clips

Hre are a couple of clips from the episode of Poldark coming this Sunday, BBC One , 9pm.



Sarah...will not live






Folks can think what they like




The clips can also be viewed on the BBC Poldark site

Monday, 25 June 2018

Poldark's Weekly Viewing Figures

The second episode of the new series of Poldark  built on the strong start made by the premiere with the seven day consolidated figures showing an additional 111,000 viewers. 6.1million watched this second episode according to Barb,  the same number as watched the finale of Poldark series three.
World Cup football pushed  Poldark from the top of the BBC One programme leader board last week to fifth place this, but it was still the top non World Cup show.

Related Links:
'Poldark' Tops the Tables

Poldark: The Tweetest Thing


Last night's episode of Poldark (episode 4) saw 1.9K Tweets posted in total, generating 731.6K impressions reports Kantar Media.

There was a flurry of activity ten minutes into the episode when the appearance of Geoffrey Charles (Louis Davison) baffled many viewers, but  #AidanTurner was still the most popular character/actor with 2.6% of Tweets mentioning him.

Related Links:
Tweet Poldark Tweet

Friday, 22 June 2018

'Poldark' S4 Ep 3 Preview Clips

Here are two clips from episode three of Poldark series four.

Dwight and Caroline: 'I hope she won't be a spoiled brat'




Ossie and Morwenna 'What an odious journey'




Both clips can be viewed on the BBC Poldark website

Dwight and Caroline

Ossie and Morwenna