Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Clubland (15)

Brenda Blethyn gets her teeth into the role of a flamboyant showbiz monster who can't accept that her career has failed to make the big time.





She plays Jean Dwight, a comedienne whose bawdy routine was a hit before she left England for Australia, marriage and kids: now she's a bitter divorcée doing the variety circuit and smothering the life out of her dutiful son Tim (Khan Chittenden) and his tentative romance with Jill (Emma Booth).



Keith Thompson's script is sometimes acute on the sadness of showbiz has-beens and never-weres, though how much sympathy he wants to secure for Blethyn is doubtful. Listening to her "naughty" stand-up patter I have a horrible feeling we're meant to find it funny – whereas it's actually excruciating. Her pathetic vanity ("I have a website in Bristol") prompts the odd chuckle, but Blethyn's performance suggests this larger-than-life character is also irresistible. You may find yourself resisting all the same.

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Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Aries:

You will have to defer to others, which makes you anxious. There's never any problem when you're in control. You know how to act quickly and decisively. When others are at the helm, progress grinds to a halt. People deliberate endlessly over simple matters. Instead of putting pressure on the person in charge, make a strategic retreat. If you act like you don't care about the outcome of a situation, they won't be paralysed with uncertainty. You have a tendency to make people nervous.More