The Week’s best film, TV, book and live show on this weekend, with excerpts from the top reviews.
TELEVISION: Frankie Boyle’s Tour of Scotland
Alastair McKay in The Evening Standard
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“Our furious hero has donned a bunnet and a tweed jacket and is off to ‘reconnect’ with Scotland. He has a cagoule, and he’s not afraid to wear it. He is, as he admits, inhabiting another comedy straightjacket: the bondage gilet of the travelogue, in which the comedian affects interest in passing landscapes and characters while answering questions from an off-camera interlocutor and being generally Just Funny Enough. Billy Connolly is the don of this kind of thing, because he has the easy chatter and just can’t help being genial. For the misanthropic Boyle, stepping into those big banana boots invites all sorts of discomfort.”
Episode 3: 10pm, Friday 21 February, on BBC Two. Episodes 1 and 2 on iPlayer
Christopher Hooton in NME
“Greed sees Coogan reunite with The Trip director Michael Winterbottom, who has penned a merciless script that skewers high street brands’ exploitation of cheap foreign labour and ridicules the kind of tasteless, classless billionaires found bobbing gently on their yachts somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea, Ralph Lauren shorts stretched over their tanned-leather skin..Greed is tremendous fun, and Coogan and Fisher have some wonderful lines, questioning Shakira’s $3 million price tag (“she doesn’t even wear shoes!”) and declaring, “I’m not a gynaecologist, but I know a c**t when I see one.”
Released 21 February
BOOK: Gathering Evidence by Martin MacInnes
Nina Allan in The Guardian
“MacInnes’s first novel, Infinite Ground, came clothed in the durable outer garments of a detective thriller; Gathering Evidence employs the same tactics, a narrative subversion signalled in advance by the novel’s title. John and Shel pursue their own separate investigations, but as the gathering of evidence progresses we intuit a proliferation of parallels between their situations: the sensation of being under surveillance by malign authorities, the unexplained presence or absence of a nameless doctor, the unstoppable growth of fungus in a once-familiar environment.”
Published February 2020
STAGE: Upstart Crow
Clive Davis in The Times
“Elton strips away the layers of mystique and treats the great man as an insecure jobbing writer who thinks on his feet and borrows ideas from wherever he fancies. Do you need to have seen the TV series to get the jokes? Not really. Here, the action has shifted to a decade later, when Shakespeare, melancholic and self-doubting, is trying to win the respect of King James. There’s cheerful mockery of Measure for Measure and All’s Well That Ends Well, and not for the first time, poor Will’s non-woke view of women earns him disapproving lectures from Whelan’s stoutly feminist Kate.
At the Gielgud theatre to 25 April
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