Review: The Last Ship – Northern Stage, Newcastle

First published in The Times, Friday March 23

Three Stars

Often, when rock stars turn their talents to musical theatre, the result is little more than an extended medley of their greatest hits, tenuously strung together by a nominal storyline. While the score for Sting’s Tyneside-set musical The Last Ship features several entries from the singer-songwriter’s discography, including songs from his 2013 concept album of the same name, there is nothing cynical or jaded about the deeply personal project.

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Review: Get Carter – Northern Stage, Newcastle

First published in The Times, Monday February 22 2016

Four Stars

Get Carter, a gritty, cynical gangster film, in which Michael Caine’s antihero wanders Newcastle seeking vengeance for his brother’s murder, has grown in critical reputation since its release in 1971 and is considered by some to be a masterpiece of British cinema. The same cannot be said of the source novel, Jack’s Return Home by Ted Lewis, which languished out of print for many years until being republished under the film’s title in the early Nineties.

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