Saturday, 19 April 2014

Charles Edwards - Blithe Spirit press round up


Charles' comic timing and "excellent" performance have been mentioned in several reviews.

Theatre and me
"Edwards is the perfect English gentleman – even in the throes of madness and it is hilarious to watch him become unravelled by his visions of Elvira."

4 Your Excitement
"I found his performance throughout highly enjoyable and his comic timing during the scenes with the ghostly Elvira was perfect."

"For me, the night however belongs to Charles Edwards as Condomine. His comic timing is superb and I can’t think of anyone more suited for the role. He also has fantastic chemistry with both Janie Dee and Jemima Rooper, which is incredibly enjoyable to watch."

The greatest of all art forms
"The always reliable Charles Edwards holds the piece together brilliantly as Condomine, with his cut-glass accent and perfectly coiffed hair he seems born to perform Coward."

Kieran J Knowles
"The performances by the rather small company are outstanding. Charles Edwards is excellent asthe writer looking investigating the world of the unseen, Charles Condomine."

A night at the theatre
"The real star for me though is Charles Edwards as (funnily enough) Charles. It is priceless seeing him cope with his both wives."

Cultural Capital
"Charles Edwards as ‘astral bigamist’ Charles Condomine is hilarious... Edwards’s comic timing is fantastic especially in the conversations with [wives] Elvira and Ruth..."

TNT Magazine
"...suave Charles Edwards excels as novelist Charles Condomine..."

Camden Review
"Charles Edwards charms as the unwitting bigamist Charles Condomine..."

Baz Bamigboye
"Ms Lansbury is tops, along with her co-stars Charles Edwards, Janie Dee, Jemima Rooper, Serena Evans, Simon Jones and Patsy Ferran. Their comic timing is delicious."

The Independent
"Charles Edwards beautifully captures the supercilious suavity of the novelist who is knocked off balance by the idea that it's his “subconscious” which has summoned Elvira."

Gareth Carr
"Edwards is a wonderfully bemused and down trodden Charles. A mix of English gent and part buffoon he warms the audience to his confusion and delirium with great ease."

Partially Obstructed View/@nick730
"There's certainly a cast I'd been looking forward to, and they lived up to this promise: Edwards is well-suited to the snappy exchanges of dialogue in Coward - and alternates amusingly between exasperation at finding himself with two wives - one of whom only he can see - and a rebellious nature that does nothing to make things easier for himself."

The Arts Desk
"Edwards is charming, with consummate timing. He'd have been a matinee idol if he'd lived in Coward's era."

theatreCat/Libby Purves
"... a last word about Charles Edwards:  always subtler, funnier, more human than you expect,  whether as Andrew Aguecheek, Edward VII [? possibly Edward VIII in Bertie and Elizabeth or Geroge VI in The King's Speech] or a Tory Chief Whip [Bernard Weatherill in This House].  His Condomine is all he should be: smooth but easily put-upon, posturing, petulant, worriedly uncertain of his own feelings (terrified he might really have called up Elvira out of his ‘subconscious’),  easily panicked. A man adrift, a worm fit for the turning."

The Stage
"Charles Edwards is simultaneously hilarious and desperate as he tries to keep his two wives happy."

Huffington Post
"Charles Edwards is excellent as the man stuck between his feuding wives - one dead, one alive. Those who caught him in Strange Interlude or This House, both at the National, or in the Pravda excerpt at the NT50 Anniversary Gala will remember his brilliant comic timing and all of that is on show here again."

Evening Standard
"The perennially underrated Edwards manages to make Condomine both suave and petulant, an urbane master of the cocktail cabinet who’s nevertheless forever on the brink of panic."

"Charles Edwards is excellent as the complaining and henpecked, yet ultimately rather dopey husband."

The Jewish Chronicle
"Lansbury is great. But the success of this production is really down to some extremely savvy casting beneath the top billing. Charles Edwards is an actor with real depth and breadth but there are few sights more pleasurable than his quintessential Englishman. His Condomine is as sophisticated and dry as one of his favourite martinis."

Financial Times
"...the excellent Charles Edwards offers a brilliantly detailed comic turn as Charles [Condomine]"

The Spectator
"Edwards brings to his role all the verve with dialogue he showed in his career-making role as Benedict at the Globe’s 2011 Much Ado About Nothing. Then he played opposite Eve Best, and here he shows again that his stage presence doesn’t fade even beside the most powerful of actresses."

"Charles Edwards drips charm and style as Charles Condomine... [Edwards] communicates very well the sadness that is at the heart of his character. I [Tim Walker] have never seen the role played more effectively."

"Charles Edwards as the suave but set-upon Charles [Condomine]... is effortlessly accomplished: urbane rather than arch, suggesting a lifetime at ease with his own good opinion of himself."

"Edwards gives Condomine a humanity that could have been missed among the comedy."

Loitering in the Theatre
"Edwards is superb, of course, as the man caught between the ghost of his first wife Elvira and the real person of his second, Ruth."

Not quite a yummy mummy/@KateSLP
"Charles Edwards, one of this country's finest and yet underrated actors, is deliciously smug and suave as Charles Condomine."


Press night (18 March) Tatler|||Getty - curtain call|Getty-after party

Press night (18 March)

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Samuel West - TV, culture campaigns, Scene & Heard

Sam plays Eliot Vincent in The Crimson Field, a six part series for BBC One which premiered last Sunday (United Agents). Presumably he will appear between episodes 3 and 6; cast listings have yet to be released.
He plays Norman Skinner in D Day: Last Letters Home, a drama documentary written and directed by Marion Milne. Produced for ITV1, it will be broadcast later this year (United Agents and Marion's ShowFolio).

Screencaps of Sam and his parents Timothy West and Prunella Scales from episode 2 of Great Canal Journeys (they are thumbnails - click them for full size). The episode is available on 4oD for 7 more days.


The NCA has launched a campaign called 50p for Culture. It suggests that local councils should budget at least 50p per person every week on arts, museums and heritage (The Stage). In mid March, Carl Woodward tweeted some pictures of Sam (chair of the NCA) speaking about the campaign at UK Theatre headquarters 1|2
Sam gave a speech about My Theatre Matters at Hull Truck Theatre last Wednesday. The theatre, @sarahbrigham and @derbytheatre posted some pictures of him on Twitter 1|2|3

On 28 March, Sam read a poem by Mark Hurst, "50 Shades of Grayling" at Pentonville Prison (All That's Left). His reading was part of a protest which opposed new rules preventing prisoners from being sent items such as books. Prisoners' access to books would be limited to gaol libraries or earning money to buy books (BBC, Islington Gazette, Islington Tribune, Evening Standard).


Sam presented the DVD award (the Royal Opera House's production of Tosca) at the BBC Music Magazine Awards yesterday (@PrestoClassical). The magazine tweeted a picture of Sam at the ceremony.

"'re not a police officer; you're the emu who killed my sister": some dialogue from a Scene & Heard performance in late March (Sam's Twitter, @exitthelemming). Scene & Heard produces plays written by children in Somers Town. A registered charity, its patrons include Sam, Hugh Bonneville, Anna Chancellor, Tom Goodman-Hill, Damian Lewis, Bill Nighy and Michael Sheen.

Guests at the Royal Court pub quiz fundraiser (18 March) included Benedict Cumberbatch and Romola Garai. Sam's team won the quiz (Tatler).

Monday, 7 April 2014

Charles Edwards - Silk and Trying Again

Charles plays Mr Lewis in "Bethany", an episode of the Afternoon Drama Silk: The Clerks' Room. It will be broadcast tomorrow on BBC Radio 4.

Trying Again premieres on Sky Living HD 24 April. These screencaps of Charles, Chris Addison and Jo Joyner are from the second trailer for the show. Click them for full size.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Samuel West - UK TV schedule 14-17 March 2014

Friday 14 March, 9pm (BBC2). I Was There: The Great War Interviews.

Sunday 16 March, 9pm (ITV1). Mr Selfridge series 2 episode 9.

Monday 17 March, 9pm (More 4). Great Canal Journeys episode 2.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Samuel West - documentary voiceovers, Creditors, Great Canal Journeys, WWI poetry

Sam narrates the BBC2 documentary I Was There: The Great War Interviews (via @UnitedVoices_). It will be broadcast this Friday at 9pm.
He reads writings by Charles Darwin for the HBO documentary Questioning Darwin. Click here for broadcast times on 15 and 19 March.

He has been cast in the film Creditors, which is based on the play by Strindberg. It will be filmed in Spain this (northern hemisphere) Spring. The production's Kickstarter campaign for post-production and publicity ends 16 March.

(Screencap from the title sequence for Great Canal Journeys. Click it for full size.)
Sam will feature in episode 2 of Great Canal Journeys next Monday, 9pm on More 4. He joins his parents for part of a journey down the Rochdale Canal. This episode was filmed in September last year.

AL Kennedy and Sam are among the readers for Cold Stars Lighting: Poetry and the First World War, an event organised by No Glory. It will take place 15 May, 7.30pm at St Giles Church (via Network for Peace).

Charles Edwards - Blithe Spirit and Trying Again

Lee Dean has tweeted more production photos from Blithe Spirit 1|2
It is currently in previews at the Gielgud Theatre. It opens 18 March and is booking until 7 June.

Trying Again will premiere on Sky Living 24 April at 9pm (@SkyLivingHD).

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Samuel West - Intelligence Squared debates, ICCD awards, Carnival of the Animals

Sam is listed as an actor for the upcoming Intelligence Squared debate Shakespeare vs Milton. It will take place Sunday 22 June; a venue hasn't been confirmed yet.
Audio and video from last week's debate Jane Austen vs. Emily Bronte is now available. Here are some screencaps of him from the event (they are thumbnails - click them for full size).
as Mr Elton in Emma

as Lockwood in Wuthering Heights

in discussion

Sam was one of the readers at Belarus Free Theatre's International Contest of Contemporary Drama (ICCD) on Monday at the Young Vic (his Twitter, @exitthelemming). The awards were presented by Laura Wade (@BFreeTheatre 1|2).

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment tweeted a picture of Sam, Katia & Marielle Labèque and some OAE players on stage at the Queen Elizabeth Hall two weeks ago. Sam narrated The Carnival of the Animals at the concert.

Charles Edwards - Blithe Spirit previews

Producer Lee Dean shared a production photo on Twitter and burtonjr88 shared a picture of the cast at curtain call for the third preview (via hellyescharlesedwards).

and here are a couple of review excerpts

Cream of Vampire Soup
"... it was Charles Edwards who pulled all the strings together and made this the slick production it is. As the one character who's thread runs through the entire play, he had a big role to play, but this man is a perfect fit for Coward's work. He has that kind of easy charm that makes a cad into a hero."

West End Whingers
"The consistently terrific Charles Edwards... Edwards’ fabulous hair warrants one [a standing ovation] in itself..."

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Samuel West - Mask of Tragedy, Intelligence Squared, Carnival of the Animals

Sam plays Aristophanes in Mask of Tragedy, a Seventh Doctor Big Finish story (via @bigfinish). It will be released in September; click here to pre-order it.

At the Intelligence Squared debate Jane Austen vs. Emily Bronte, he played Lockwood from Wuthering Heights (@GuyHolloway_HCH and @louloudillon) and Mr Elton from Emma (@_gabriellasf). @sasmith66 described the event as "brilliant" and @ragazza_inglese was "moved to tears" by a ghostly scene from Wuthering Heights.
The debate will be released as a podcast (via Sam's Twitter, @exitthelemming). Sam also tweeted the outcome of the debate: click here for the result.

Last week, Sam narrated Carnival of the Animals at The Hexagon and the Southbank Centre. He wore a furry giraffe-print suit for the performances - see his selfie on Twitter!
Here's a selection of tweets about the Hexagon performance
and excerpts from reviews about the Southbank Centre performance

Financial Times (23 February)
"a joyous, carefree romp in which the actor Samuel West declaimed Ogden Nash’s idiosyncratic narration."

Classical Source
"Samuel West appeared as the compere, reciting Ogden Nash’s brilliantly witty verses – a performance which he delivered with a wry deadpan American accent."

B Good tweeted a picture of Sam from In Love With Shakespeare, a Sky Arts program from 2011.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Charles Edwards - rehearsal pictures from Blithe Spirit

Whatsonstage and Official London Theatre have rehearsal pictures from Blithe Spirit. The photos were taken by Johan Persson.

The production is in previews from 1 March. Press night is 18 March; it is booking until 7 June. Click here for tickets.