• 'How I Met Your Racist Controversy' is probably not what US TV executives were hoping to wake up to this morning, but after the episode, 'Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmara', which aired in America on Monday night, that's exactly what they got.

    The episode, which featured the latest in the show's long-running, fan-favorite Slapsgiving gag, was overshadowed by fan outcry at the use of yellowface and other racist overtones (what, all Asian people don't eat noodles, do kung-fu, and practice calligraphy?), all chronicled on Twitter thanks to the ever-clever #HowIMetYourRacism hashtag.

    CBS, which broadcasts the series in the US, has the full episode on their website... for now... although, no surprise, all the offending photos have been removed from their press site. But that's why screenshots were invented! Take a look:

    On his quest to learn how to give Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) the ultimate slap, Marshall (Jason Segel) visited a dojo where a small Asian boy told him the three

    Read More »from 'How I Met Your Mother' Racism: Creators Apologise for Kung-Fu Slapsgiving Episode
  • After two successful years on the West End, 'One Man Two Guvnors' celebrated its landmark run at London’s Haymarket Theatre with a special Gala performance of the show.
     
    And it’s not difficult to understand why audiences can’t get enough of it.

    The cast of One Man, Two Guvnors
     
    Set in 1963, 'One Man Two Guvnors' follows the misfortunes of hapless Francis Henshall as he finds himself stuck between two demanding bosses in the criminal underworld of Brighton.
     
    Those expecting to simply watch a straight forward comedy will be in for a shock – the audience is just as important to the play as the on stage actors.
     
    The play doesn’t just break down the fourth wall, it never existed in the first place. With so many in-jokes thrown to the audience throughout, it makes Miranda’s knowing winks to camera almost seem subtle.
     
    But this is by no means a bad thing. 'One Man Two Guvnors' is a tour de force in farce comedy – packed with innuendo, slapstick and double entendres throughout. You’d certainly be hard pushed to find one person in

    Read More »from One Man Two Guvnors: Review
  • Twenty-two years after the smash hit movie, 'The Commitments' are back together again in a brand new stage show.

    Adapted from his own book by Roddy Doyle, the play follows Dubliner Jimmy Rabbitte as he bids to put together the world's greatest soul band.

    Aided by veteran musician Joey, Jimmy assembles a ramshackle bunch of performers led by the troubled but talented Deco who - against all odds - manage to make sweet soul music together.

    [VIDEO: Commitments comes to London's West End]

    But then just as they are on the verge of big things - disaster strikes.

    With a setlist that includes the likes of 'Knock On Wood', 'Read Out I'll Be There', 'You Keep Me Hangin' On' and 'Papa Was A Rolling Stone', it would be easy to lump 'The Commitments' in with other big 'jukebox musicals'. However, having the band perform the tracks as part of their rehearsals and live gigs makes the songs less of a plot device and more of an integral part of the show.

    Killian Donnelly is outstanding as Jimmy thanks to an

    Read More »from The Commitments: Review
  • The Pride

    'The Pride' is the latest in the acclaimed Trafalgar Transformed season and it's a very timely revival for Alexi Kay Campbell's 2008 play.

    The clever concept examines society's changing attitudes to sexuality through the lives of two sets of characters, set 50 years apart.

    In 1958 we see married Philip (Harry Hadden-Paton) and his wife Sylvia (Hayley Atwell) whose relationship is tested when the arrival of Sylvia's author friend Oliver (Al Weaver) forces Philip to confront his sexuality.

    Fifty years later we meet the sexually liberated journalist Oliver who cries on best friend Sylvia's shoulder after his boyfriend Philip leaves him due to his addiction to online sex.

    The trio of actors in the main roles are outstanding, while 'Gavin And Stacey' star Matthew Horne impresses in a series of cameos as a rent boy, lads' mag editor and psychiatrist.

    The play's dual storylines pack an emotional punch that is given an added poignancy when the cast return at the curtain call with 'To Russia

    Read More »from The Pride: Review
  • A group of mysterious figures in white masks edge their way along a dark corridor, sweat dripping from every orifice. It's a terrifying sight. And that's just the audience.

    'The Drowned Man' is the latest production from immersive theatre company Punchdrunk. Subtitled 'A Hollywood Fable', it's staged across four floors of a former sorting office in London's Paddington, transformed for the night into Temple Studios.

    The Drowned Man

    We're not told a lot in advance. And we arguably don't really know a lot more by the the end.

    We do know that there are two parallel love affairs - both doomed. One takes place within the walls of a 1960s Hollywood studio and the other in a small, dusty town that lies outside. We also know that the studio has been deserted since one fateful night back in 1962.

    The experience begins with audience members packed into a lift for a few choice words from one of the cast, before being unleashed to explore this world for ourselves. And it is a world.

    The attention to detail in the

    Read More »from The Drowned Man: Review
  • Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Theatre Royal Drury LaneCharlie And The Chocolate Factory, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

    Tickets for 'Charlie And The Chocolate Factory' are almost as sought after as the golden Wonka tickets that feature in the production, so we're pleased to report that this is a show that lives up to the hype.

    Bond director Sam Mendes takes on the unenviable task of adapting Roald Dahl's classic 1964 children's book for the stage in the shadow of both the well-loved 1971 film, starring Gene Wilder, and Tim Burton's less-successful 2005 movie featuring Johnny Depp.

    Here, Douglas Hodge, last seen in BBC One drama 'The Village', plays the sweet-toothed ringmaster with a sinister edge that's in keeping with the darker tone of the original book.

    Hodge has an other-worldly quality about him that would make him - take note BBC execs - a shoo-in for a future regeneration of TV's most famous Time Lord.

    The new musical stays faithful to the book as it tells the story of Charlie, a boy obsessed with chocolate who dreams of visiting the world's most famous chocolate factory.

    When he wins a golden

    Read More »from Charlie And The Chocolate Factory: Review
  • Sweet Bird Of Youth - Old Vic

    Almost exactly 15 years since she became a household name in 'Sex And The City', Kim Cattrall is back on the London stage in a new production of 'Sweet Bird Of Youth'.

    Tennessee Williams' 1959 play sees Cattrall cast as ageing actress Alexandra Del Lago, who has holed herself up in a hotel room after a disappointing movie role.

    The fading star (Del Lago, not Cattrall) has hooked up with local outcast Chance Wayne (Seth Numrich), who is back in his home town years after he fled after giving his childhood sweetheart, Heavenly, a sexually transmitted disease.

    Heavenly's father Boss Finley (Owen Roe) is furious when he hears Chance is back in town and vows an excrutiating punishment if he doesn't follow instructions to leave.

    This is intense stuff.

    After a slow first half, the pace picks up as the characters congregate in the lounge of the Royal Palms hotel where Chase is confronted with a grim ultimatum.

    Freed from the confines of the hotel bedroom, Catrall finally gets a chance to shine with

    Read More »from Sweet Bird Of Youth – Review
  • The Hothouse - Trafalgar Studios

    Fresh from his success at the TV BAFTAs last weekend, Simon Russell Beale leads the cast in a revival of Harold Pinter's dark comedy 'The Hothouse' at London's Trafalgar Studios.

    Here he stars as Roote, the flustered head of an unnamed institution, who finds himself with both a birth and a death on his hands on Christmas Day.

    'Life On Mars' star John Simm co-stars as the menacing Gibbs, who relishes in Roote's growing anxiety as the situation begins to spiral out of control.

    The play's bleaker moments are punctuated with plenty of uneasy laughs and the strong cast also includes Harry Melling, who will be familiar to fans of the Harry Potter movies.

    'The Hothouse' is the second in the Trafalgar Transformed season following James MacAvoy's star turn in 'Macbeth'.

    Director Jamie Lloyd's ingenious staging means that a select number of audience members get to witness the whole thing from the stage itself. Though that's possibly not the best place to be when the Christmas cake makes an

    Read More »from The Hothouse – Review
  • We're huge fans of 'Scott And Bailey's Suranne Jones so we couldn't wait to see her back on stage in 'Beautiful Thing' at London's Arts Theatre.

    Suranne Jones and Jake Davies

    The play, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, is described as an 'urban love story' and follows two teenage boys who fall in love on a council estate during a very hot summer in the early '90s.

    Jones is brilliant as feisty single mum Sandra, particularly in her ongoing feud with Mama Cass-obsessed next door neighbour Leah (played by 'Waterloo Road's Zaraah Abrahams), firing off some fantastic putdowns that are much too rude to write about here.

    Young actors Jake Davies and Danny-Boy Hatchard give sensitive portrayals as Jamie and Ste, while 'Hollyoaks' star Oliver Farnworth provides comic relief as Sandra's hippy lover Tony.

    There are some excellent one-liners here, which is no surprise as playwright Jonathan Harvey also brought us BBC sitcom 'Gimme Gimme Gimme' and is best known these days as a regular writer on 'Coronation Street' (he

    Read More »from Beautiful Thing – Review
  • 'Emmerdale' goes live on Wednesday 17 October at 7pm with a special hour-long episode to mark the show's 40th anniversary.

    Various cast members have already spoken about the challenges of filming such a complex episode with actors having to dash between sets and bad weather potentially throwing a great big spanner in the works.

    ITV are offering fans the opportunity to see exactly that with a specially-placed cameras capturing the possible 'chaos' going on behind-the-scenes.

    You can see for yourself by watching below:

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