beat the devil play review

Because Hare is still on the long road to recovery from the virus, this time he is not performing. Not only is a cast of interacting actors impossible on an indoor stage at the moment, the virus is also the subject matter of “Beat the Devil,” and Hare himself its subject.

The personal segues into the political and slightly overshadows the tender, first-person story. It is the script’s comic ire that provides the high notes.

Harry Chelm (Edward Underdown) and his wife Gwendolen (Jennifer Jones), a British couple, are walking through a seaside town in Italy.

An eight-page illustrated booklet by Julie Kirgo is very insightful and informative. Or as David Hare, who was laid low by coronavirus in March, puts it, we are trying to Beat the Devil.

There also is an informative commentary track by film historians Lem Dobbs, Julie Kirgo, and the late Nick Redman.

These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. The Production: 4.5/5 The plot of Beat the Devil is pretty much an afterthought, merely a vague device which allows the audience to observe the enjoyable interactions among a disparate group of rogues. Gallery: The most annoying TV characters ever (Espresso).

I know not to go back to running the country.” There are other barbed lines that zing: just as his illness enters its delirious or “mad phase”, so, too, the government enters its own state of madness.

Yet Hare’s early experience of the disease also sharpens his political fury. Ralph Fiennes, who delivers Hare’s monologue, directed by Nicholas Hytner, shows that one of his strengths is a sardonic lightness and restraint; the ripples of unease spread by George Fenton’s music echo this. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish.

In 1998, playwright David Hare turned a research trip to Israel and Palestine into the 90-minute monologue “Via Dolorosa,” which he performed himself. Deftly directed by Nicholas Hytner, Fiennes emerges on stage looking like a middle-class everyman and speaks in diary dates, taking us through the chronology of Hare’s illness and key government decisions around Covid. But do not take my word for it – read the comments by our resident expert, Robert A. Harris: A few words about…™ Beat the Devil – in Blu-ray. “Beat The Devil” is an attempt at the theatrical realization of the mantra that the personal is political. You must log in or register to reply here. His return to the monologue form is, in every way, down to the ravages of COVID-19. In the stalls, seats have been removed, not merely taped up: the audience sit in isolated pairs; we might be in dodgem cars, tensed to avoid the virus. Like turning the whole thing on its head and making the stars the rejected suitors: the man with a sneezing allergy and the woman who laughs like a hyena. Described as “a Covid monologue”, Fiennes plays Hare as he battles with “the delirium of his illness, which mix with fear, dream, honest medicine and dishonest politics to create a monologue of furious urgency and power”.

Nicholas Hytner has nimbly beaten the devil in programming this, the first of several monologues at the Bridge. It glides smoothly along on Morgan Large’s grey, rain-washed design, neatly referencing the lovelorn hero’s profession with architect’s sketches. ‘I AM air hungry’ says Ralph Fiennes, cutting a wearily embittered figure in this new, landmark David Hare monologue — marking the West End’s first indoor production since the theatres closed in March.

The itemisation of the disease’s symptoms and progress is startling.

While strolling along they encounter three men who hurriedly rush past them. Beat The Devil is a unique release for Twilight Time.

Are the Chelms really well-heeled Londoners who are planning to grow coffee beans in Africa? The Bridge Theatre plans to reopen in September with socially distanced audiences but is waiting for word from the government that live performance can go ahead.

Billy is in on the plan because he has a contact in Africa who will help them with their scheme. It is unclear if any of the characters are quite who they claim to be. These cookies do not store any personal information. Samsung Announces It Will No Longer Make 4K UHD or Blu-ray Players, Home Automation, Accessories, Cables, and Remotes.

They are waiting for a boat to take them across the Mediterranean to Africa, supposedly to buy land for a coffee plantation. It had been many years since I last watched this and I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting it on this disc. In director Nicholas Hytner’s typically scrupulous production at the Bridge Theatre, the 900-seat venue built and run by Hytner and Nick Starr that opened three years ago.

What gives the piece poignancy are the more personal elements, notably the flashes of humor — “I’m the color of Bela Lugosi” — supplied mostly by his wife Nicole as she cares for him during his 16-day crisis. Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

12 monologue plays at the Bridge theatre, London. Social distancing reduces the seating capacity in the Bridge to a widely-spaced 250, which means the initial atmosphere is a trifle becalmed but Fiennes’ steady, stealthy performance gradually pulls the audience in. oing into the shell-shaped auditorium at the Bridge you see at a glance how Covid has scythed through the theatre.

Beat the Devil marks the return of live indoor theatre in the starriest of ways: a “Covid monologue” written by David Hare and performed by Ralph Fiennes. I found it to be fascinating and thoroughly entertaining from beginning to end. This is an interesting one, as Beat the Devil was a bomb when it was first released, but it would go on to become a cult classic, sometimes even called one of the first movies to do so. John Huston’s Beat the Devil was for many years consigned to public domain hell, but it has been given new life thanks to a beautiful restoration by Sony and The Film Foundation, which in turn has enabled the release of this superb Blu-ray from Twilight Time. Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts.

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Mr. Peterson is a bully.” It turns out Billy, Maria, and the other men are also waiting for the boat to Africa. Truth is a subject Hare has long focused on, notably in his 1978 play (and film) “Plenty” and, as he references here, his companion piece from the same year, the TV play “Licking Hitler,” which revealed the UK government’s World War II propaganda machine. As the fever breaks, Fiennes gently shows Hare’s joy at being alive, but the writing refrains from turning sentimental.

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The plans are put on hold when it is discovered that the ship needs a new oil pump.

The humour would have to be much stronger than here to survive a socially distanced audience. Hare’s quietly expressed fury is entirely valid and as justified as it is righteous, but the element of surprise is in short supply, which robs the production of tension. Beat the Devil has elements of film noir, but in a playful fashion.

Few if any theatergoers will be unaware of the current government’s widely reported and commented upon U-turns and failures. Yet the flimsiness of characterisation in the movie is exposed when stripped of its extraordinary soundtrack and replaced by Robert Scott’s light score, often sounding like music that is hurrying along a scene change. In 1998, playwright David Hare turned a research trip to Israel and Palestine into the 90-minute monologue “Via Dolorosa,” which he performed himself. The attacks on Boris Johnson’s government – too late locking down, slow to supply PPE, shuffling people from hospital to care homes – are not revelations: they are the truth. While scurrying along the three men pass by the hotel where their accomplice, Billy Danreuther (Humphrey Bogart), is staying with his wife Maria (Gina Lollabrigida).

There is an acerbic aside on Boris Johnson’s leadership that draws parallels between the prime minister’s return to office after contracting Covid-19 and his own recovery: “I know to take it easy. This understated story of suffering becomes the quiet heart of the play, despite the louder passion of its politics. The stage is almost bare, which is a welcome relief – after almost six months, we do not need any visual distraction from the glory of a flesh-and-blood performance, albeit in an auditorium with a radically reduced capacity (from 900 to 250) and a Covid-secure armoury of thermal imaging and social-distancing guidelines. Instead, the playwright is portrayed by Ralph Fiennes, before an audience reduced to less than one-third the London venue’s capacity. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. When Maria asks Billy why he isn’t more cordial with Peterson, her husband replies, “If I were to treat him with more than common politeness he’d misunderstand and try to push me around. “I have survivor’s rage.”.

Hare’s account is practical and graphic – his Covid skin colour is that of Bela Lugosi’s Dracula – but he also sees an allegorical aspect in the effects of a plague that is “almost medieval”. Kimberley Walsh and Jay McGuiness, centre, star in Sleepless.

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