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Hamilton opens in London to five-star reviews

After a year of expectation and a two-week delay, hip-hop musical Hamilton has finally opened in Lon..

After a year of expectation and a two-week delay, hip-hop musical Hamilton has finally opened in London to five-star reviews and a standing ovation.

A star-studded audience took to its feet to welcome creator Lin-Manuel Miranda as he came on stage at the end of the show to thank its cast and crew.

Yet fans hoping to see him appear in the West End will have to wait for it.

Speaking before the show, Miranda said he would not consider playing Hamilton in London until 2019 at the earliest.

"I'm not done with this role by any stretch, and of course it's a dream of mine to act in the West End at some point," he told reporters.

"I hope those dreams converge, but it won't be in 2018."

Miranda played the title role when Hamilton – which he also wrote – opened off-Broadway in 2015.

It went on to become a huge Broadway hit, winning 11 Tony awards and the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

Set during and after America's War of Independence, the show uses rap, hip-hop and a multi-racial cast to recreate the life of the new nation's first treasury secretary.

The dense, all-singing/rapping musical – which runs for almost three hours – also explores his political rivalry with Aaron Burr, America's third vice-president.

Alexander Hamilton is played in London by Jamael Westman, a 25-year-old Rada graduate with only two other stage credits to his name.

In her five-star review in The Times, Ann Treneman admits Westman was "a risky casting" but calls his performance "sensational".

The Guardian's critic applauds the "immense authority" he gives the role, while the Evening Standard's reviewer calls him a "magnetic newcomer".

'Every inch the classic'

Henry Hitchings also salutes the "cool shrewdness" that British actor Giles Terera projects as Burr, the "Salieri to Westman's Mozart".

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Dominic Cavendish says the show "really is as good as we've been told".

Variety's Matt Trueman concurs, saying the musical "lands on the London stage looking every inch the classic".

Yet the show gets a more muted response from the Mail's Quentin Letts, who says it has been "over-hyped" and advises ticket-holders to "lower [their] expectations".

Hamilton got a far warmer reception than that from the first night's celebrity attendees, among them Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston.

"To be able to tell a historic story without being didactic or preachy is an exceptional piece of work," said the American actor.

"I'm thrilled that something so different can be so successful, and it's got a lot going for it in terms of content," said Queen guitarist Brian May.

Rolling Stones member Ronnie Wood, meanwhile, expressed admiration at how it had "captured the imagination of all ages".

Other stars took to Twitter to sing its praises, among them singer Sir Tom Jones, director Edgar Wright and illusionist Derren Brown.

Helen Bonham Carter, Adrian Lester, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Phoebe Waller-Bridge were also in attendance at the newly refurbished Victoria Palace on Thursday night.

There was also a Doctor in the house in the form of actress Jodie Whittaker, who is set to make her Doctor Who debut on Christmas Day.

Despite the venue's proximity to Buckingham Palace, there were no royals present besides Michael Jibson's scene-stealing turn as an exasperated George III.

Miranda, however, said The Queen was "always welcome" and that there was "a fancy booth held for her if she ever wants to come by".

Last month it was announced that the 37-year-old would reprise his Hamilton performance for a three-week run in hurricane-hit Puerto Rico in January 2019.

"Tourism is going to be so important in the rebuilding process and they're going to need an influx of money and attention," said the actor and composer, who is of Puerto Rican descent.

The immediate future, though, presents challenges closer to home for the affable multi-hyphenate.

"I'm going to be a father for the second time," he told the BBC News website. "So I owe my wife a little time at home and I plan to take the first quarter [of 2018] just doing that."

Hamilton is at the Victoria Palace Theatre and currently booking until 30 June 2018.

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Big Brother will return next year on ITV2 and online

Big Brother, one of the original UK reality TV shows, will return to screens in 2023, years after being axed by both Channel 4 and later Channel 5.

The show, which launched careers of ITV presenter Alison Hammond and Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts, will be revived by ITV2 and new streaming platform ITVX.

A promotional video aired during the Love Island series finale on Monday evening.

Officials said the famous house will return with a “contemporary new look”.

The returning programme – which was originally on for 18 years – will see a cast of “carefully selected housemates from all walks of life” live together under strict surveillance for up to six weeks.

Similar to previous editions, the public will regularly vote contestants off in live evictions, as well as deciding on an overall cash prize winner.

“This refreshed, contemporary new series of Big Brother will contain all the familiar format points that kept viewers engaged and entertained the first time round, but with a brand new look and some additional twists that speak to today’s audience,” said Paul Mortimer, ITV2’s reality TV chief.

“We’re beyond excited to bring this iconic series to ITV2 and ITVX where it should especially engage with our younger viewers.”

The series, which takes its name from the all-seeing ruler in George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, first appeared on Channel 4 in 2000, and was won by Liverpudlian builder Craig Phillips.

It was influential, both as a public social experiment and also in creating a new form of celebrity, with normal people prepared to have their every waking (and sleeping) moment caught on camera and broadcast to the world.

Celebrity editions aired, featuring the likes of Katie Price, Gemma Collins and Mark Owen.

Despite its early success and influence, the National TV Award-winning programme soon found itself embroiled in controversy over reports of bullying, racism, fixing, and general toxic behaviour in the house, with complaints being made to both the police and Ofcom.

The show moved to Channel 5 in 2011 but was axed in 2018 amid a ratings slump. Channel 5 controller Ben Frow later said he had no regrets over the decision and that the media landscape had become “very crowded with reality shows”.

‘Jumping the shark’

Speaking on the BBC Sounds Podcast, Unreal: A Critical History of Reality TV, this summer, Big Brother’s creative director Philip Edgar-Jones said audiences “very clearly hated it” when producers intervened in the programme too much.

“We call it ‘jumping the shark’ in television, when you the hand of the producer is too overt and you feel like the show has therefore lost that sense of authenticity – that’s when the audience gets more angry.

“Being authentic to the show, you create this world with its own internal logic, and you can’t break that internal logic, otherwise you break the magic and you lose the trust of the audience.”

At the time, Big Brother producers said they were open to “future possibilities”, apparently leaving the door open for a return one day.

Irish singing duo Jedward, the identical twin brothers who twice appeared on the celebrity version of the show, have made an early bid online to host the returning series.

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Kim Kardashian ‘wasn’t planning on’ a relationship with Pete Davidson

Kim Kardashian did not see loe coming with Pete Davidson.

In a conversation for Hoda Kotb’s “Making Space” podcast, Kardashian explained that she’d been single for about 10 months before she was ready to date again.
“I think that, you know, sometimes things happen when you just least expect it. It was the last thing that I was really planning on,” she said, “And so when it did happen, we were kind of, like, ‘Oh, my God, I wasn’t planning on this. And this isn’t even what I was thinking of,’ and it just makes it that much sweeter and so much more fun.”
In February 2021, Kardashian filed for divorce from Kanye West.
Kardashian and Davidson appeared in a “Saturday Night Live” sketch together last fall where they shared a kiss. They became Instagram official in March.
“I definitely took my time,” Kardashian said. “I took, you know, 10 months or something before I dated or talked to anyone. And I just wanted that time to really figure out and go through the motions: ‘Am I making the right decision? How do I feel about this?’ So once I went through all of the motions, I finally was, like, ‘OK, guys, I am so ready to meet someone.’ And I randomly did.”
Despite their very public relationship. Kardashian says she is keeping some aspects of her time with Davidson private.
“I do think that I am holding, you know, a little bit more close to my heart on certain aspects of my relationship with Pete, and it feels good just to know that, like, we have this connection and we have our little bubble of a relationship world that we live in that, like, not a lot of people know about,” she said.
For now, Kardashian said just being with Davidson puts a smile on her face.
“We were driving in the car yesterday and I just, like, looked at him and I was like, ‘Thank you.’ And he was like, ‘What?’ And I was like, ‘For running errands with me, like, this is so much fun just to, like, go to a doctor’s appointment or go to the dentist and just, like, run errands. I’m having so much fun.'”
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007 film must treat Bond girls properly, says Waller-Bridge

Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those ele..

Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those elements is set for a change in the latest adventure.

Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is working on the script for the 25th Bond film, is on a mission to make sure the movie will "treat women properly" – even if the spy does not.

Image: Cast members (l-r): Lea Seydoux, Ana de Armas, Naomie Harris and Lashana Lynch at the launch of the new Bond film

Ahead of the release of the as-yet-untitled film, Waller-Bridge told Deadline: "There's been a lot of talk about whether or not (the Bond franchise) is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women.

"I think that's b*******. I think he's absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow.

"It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly.


"He doesn't have to. He needs to be true to this character."

Sean Connery and Mie Hama in You Only Live Twice, 1967
Image: The Bond films have been criticised for their sexism
Dr No turned Sean Connery into an international superstar
Image: Dr No featured the famous scene with Ursula Andress walking out of the sea in a white bikini

Waller-Bridge says she intends to ensure the female characters, including those played by Lashana Lynch, Lea Seydoux and Ana de Armas, feel "like real people ".

More from Phoebe Waller-bridge

She added: "I just want to make sure that when they get those pages through, that Lashana, Lea and Ana open them and go, 'I can't wait to do that'.

"As an actrRead More – Source (more…)

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