Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 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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Leo:

Trust your intuition about a domestic matter. If you think it's time to get a new place, start looking for one. You could find a home that cultivates tranquillity and relaxation. Escaping the fray will be a relief. Although you enjoy socialising, you also crave private time. Being able to watch movies, read books and listen to music replenishes your batteries. A needy relative could request help. This would be a good time to establish some healthy boundaries. Stop dropping everything for this relative's benefit.More