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Cricket Test

By Theatre

The Second TestWhen the New Zealand crick­et team (note not BLACKCAPS™) first toured South Africa in 1953 they had nev­er won a Test Match and were giv­en no show against a ruth­less South Africa, on pitches tailored to sup­port their fast, mean quick bowlers.

The crick­et was tough, and vic­tory was ulti­mately bey­ond New Zealand’s grasp, but it was­n’t the crick­et that ensured that the series became a NZ sport­ing legend. The 1953 Second (Christmas Day) Test is fam­ous for the pro­foundly mov­ing story of one play­er, Kiwi fast bowl­er Bob Blair, and his story has been brought to the stage by tal­en­ted act­or Jonny Brugh (Sugar & Spice) and it’s play­ing now at BATS.

During the rest day of the Test, Blair got the news that his fiancée Nerissa Love had been killed along with 150 oth­ers in the Tangiwai Rail Disaster. When play resumed on Boxing Day nobody expec­ted Blair to play any fur­ther part in the game. Without giv­ing too much away, the rest (as they say) is history.

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Review: Michael Jackson’s This is It, My Year Without Sex, The Limits of Control and Black Ice

By Cinema, paramount and Reviews

Thi is It posterFull dis­clos­ure: I wrote a play about Michael Jackson once (“Dirty Doris”, BATS 1995) so I’ll con­fess to always being inter­ested in the real char­ac­ter behind the tabloid and music video façade so the arrival of This is It (what some have described as a cheap cash-in flick) is of more than passing interest to me.

And of all the pos­sible adject­ives avail­able to describe the film “cheap” would seem to be the least appro­pri­ate. This behind-the-scenes doc­u­ment­ary, made up of foot­age inten­ded for “Making of” extras on an even­tu­al DVD plus han­dic­am foot­age for Jackson’s own per­son­al archive, shows a ded­ic­ated bunch of ser­i­ously tal­en­ted people pre­par­ing a huge stage show for an audi­ence of demand­ing fans. However, no one involved is more demand­ing than the star of the show MJ himself.

In the film we see Jackson and his crack team rehears­ing the massive series of 50 London shows that were sup­posedly to mark his retire­ment from live per­form­ance. Pushing 50, with a body battered from years of ill­ness and tour­ing, suf­fer­ing from anxiety-induced insom­nia, Jackson knew that audi­ences only wanted the moon­walk­ing King of Pop per­sona, an act that he wouldn’t be able to main­tain much longer. So, he wanted to go out with a bang, with some­thing mem­or­able, and he was evid­ently very ser­i­ous about put­ting on a truly amaz­ing show.

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