In the last week or so I have seen three interesting chunks of TV – but I had to go looking for them. And I’m afraid that as these are all on BBC iplayer, if you’re outside the UK you may not have access to them…
Mark Lawson talks to Martin Amis. an hour-long interview (originally aired in 2010) made available to mark Amis’ recent death. In spite of having known Lawson for a number of years and surely being an ‘old hand’ at being interviewed, I was struck by how nervous he seemed. His aligning himself with the theory that once you reach sixty it’s likely that your writing begins to decline was also a telling moment – if only as a call-to-arms for the rest of us to pull our fingers out!
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, adapted for tv by Russell T Davies (yes, he of Doctor Who fame). I confess to never having liked the play – probably because of how it was taught in school – and even Davies’ somewhat outlandish interpretation left me a little cold. Given you find yourself not caring about the lovers at all, Matt Lucas’s Bottom is clearly the star turn (which is not a phrase you will see written down very often..!).
The Tragedy of Macbeth. Yaël Farber directing James McArdle as Macbeth and Saoirse Ronan as Lady Macbeth in the Almeida’s Olivier Award-nominated production. I was fascinated by the balance between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in this interpretation; only for a short while did Lady Macbeth seem the more evil of the two, but once Macbeth had the taste for blood there was clearly no stopping him. If a little ‘shouty’, it was cleverly staged and inventive; by the end of the play much of the stage was actually under water!