Fans of the cult classic Withnail and I are in for a treat when they get to delve inside the mind of one of the main stars of the film, Paul McGann on Saturday, September 26.
As part of Liverpool Comedy Festival, the ODEON Liverpool ONE will be screening the dark comedy which was a huge hit in 1987. This will be followed by a live Q&A session where the audience get to grill the star who played the “I” character in the movie, better known as Marwood.
For those who have never seen the film, the movie takes place in England in the late 1969 and chronicles the misadventures of a pair of chronically unemployed actors – played by Richard E Grant and McGann.
The screening will take place at 7.30pm followed by the Q&A session when the audience will be encouraged to ask the Liverpool star questions about his life and career.
McGann was born in Liverpool in 1959 and attended Cardinal Allen Grammar School in West Derby, where his teachers encouraged him to taking up acting. He successfully auditioned for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art where he studied acting. Talent must run in the family as McGann’s three brothers are all actors too!
Paul got his breakthrough role on comedy TV drama Give Us A Break, then was thrust into the limelight in his first dramatic role in the 1986 television serial The Monocled Mutineer in which he played Percy Toplis.He was later cast in his first feature film as one of the main characters in Bruce Robinson’s cult comedy Withnail and I.
McGann has starred in Hollywood movies The Three Musketeers and Alien 3 and played Lieutenant Bush in Hornblower. But Sci-fi fans will know him best for his role as the eighth Doctor Who. McGann starred in the 1996 Dr Who TV film, a role he reprised in over 70 audio dramas and the 2013 mini-episode The Night of the Doctor.
Festival Director Sam Avery from The Comedy Trust said: “We’re over the moon that this event has come together. This city has such a strong back catalogue of comic performers and it’s really important for Liverpool Comedy Festival to connect with that heritage. It’s been great working with ODEON Liverpool ONE after our successful collaboration last year for the Bill Hicks screening.”
Lewis Wright from the ODEON Liverpool ONE added: “It’s great to have this cult classic on the big screen for one-night only, be part of the Liverpool comedy festival and work with Sam and the guys again, as our previous event was such a success.
“We are honoured to have Paul Mcgann attending to give fans an in-depth personal look into Withnail and I and very proud as this exclusive to ODEON Liverpool ONE. It will be a night not to be missed!”
Liverpool Comedy Festival opens this Friday, 18th September and runs until Sunday 4 October, taking over Britain’s funniest city with events at venues across the city region.
This year’s festival will see some of the biggest names on the comedy circuit, including Chatty Man himself Alan Carr. He performs his brand new show Yap Yap at Liverpool Philharmonic and has now added an extra date due to overwhelming demand, plus also at The Phil is the star of Phoenix Nights and That Peter Kay Thing Dave Spikey with his latest tour Punchlines.
The big names continue, as the Unity Theatre welcomes political satirist Andy Zaltzman and the legendary Jeremy Hardy. British Comedy Award winner Nina Conti with the help of Monkey, presents her new show In Your Face at Liverpool Playhouse. At The Epstein Theatre Only Fools and Horses’ Boycie, one of the nation’s greatest comedy actors, John Challis, will reveal secrets from the set with stories and anecdotes from his dazzling career; and as seen on 8 out of 10 cats, Dave’s One Night Stand, Spoons and John Bishop’s Only Joking, Rob Rouse, presents his new show Roboscopy.
Yearlong comedy clubs Laughterhouse Comedy, Hot Water Comedy Club, Comedy Central and Liverpool Comedy Cellar also present a high calibre of comedy talent across the festival including Live at the Apollo star Shappi Khorsandi; stand-up and BBC2 sitcom Hebburn star Steffen Peddie; Liverpool legend Pauline Daniels; one of the best performers working on the comedy circuit today Dan Nightingale and presenter of Channel 4’s The Word, Terry Christian bringing his one man show Naked Confessions of a Recovering Catholic, plus many more.
81 Renshaw Street will also showcase a whole host of the freshest performers and exciting local and up-and-coming comedy acts including Gein’s Family Giftshop returning after their Foster’s Best Newcomer Nomination at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe; festival favourite Jake Mills; Funny Women finalist and BBC Radio 4 regular Rosie Wilby; left-wing political comedy from the all new unwilling poster child for free speech Kate Smurthwaite; Merseyside funny man John Wilson follows up last year’s Comedy Festival success with his new, laugh out loud, one man show; join Rob Thomas and Katie Tracey as they take you through their average lives which they’ve spent trying to be fabulous; in 1989 Public Enemy decreed that Elvis was racist, now Che Burnley tries to prove power, money and privilege makes it alright; Perrier and Chortle Award winning musical comedian with songs in the key of grrr, Christian Reilly presents Songs of Insolence. Just the tip of the comedy iceberg, check out the full line-up of acts to perform in Liverpool’s newest arts and events venue.
Throughout the run of the festival John Godber’s classic and hilarious show Bouncers is at The Royal Court from 4 September – 3 October. It’s 1985 and Ralph, Les, Judd and Lucky Eric are on the doors of The Grafton. They’re not doormen or security operatives – they’re bouncers and they’ve seen it all. Lads full of lager, girls full of giggles and clubs full of crazy stories in this brilliantly funny show.
There will be acts lined-up to perform in bars, shops, schools and even people’s houses. There is also comedy coach tours, kids shows, pub crawls, poets, podcasts, open mic nights, quizzes, magicians, networking events, rap battles, plays and sketch groups.
Festival Director Sam Avery from The Comedy Trust said: “This year is our biggest and most diverse Festival to date: more shows than ever before and a strong emphasis on the hugely exciting local scene alongside the household names and international acts.”
The festival will take over Liverpool with events taking place at an impressive 19 venues across the city region including 81 Renshaw Street; Unity Theatre; The Royal Court; The Lantern Theatre; The Pilgrim; Laughterhouse Comedy; Liverpool Comedy Central; Hot Water Comedy Club; Liverpool Comedy Cellar; The Epstein Theatre; Ma Egerton’s Stage Door; Maghull Town Hall; Liverpool Philharmonic; Liverpool Playhouse; Ma Boyles; The Sandon; Brownmoor Park Sports and Social Club; Gallaghers Pub and Liverpool John Moores University.
Don’t miss one of Liverpool’s favourite and longest-standing festivals, the Liverpool Comedy Festival from Friday 18 September – Sunday 4 October
Visit www.Liverpoolcomedyfestival.com for full line-up, information and direct links to book tickets. Follow us on Facebook/The Liverpool Comedy Festival and Twitter @LpoolComedyFest
WITHNAIL & I EVENT DETAILS
Sat 26th Sep
Screening @ 7.30pm followed by a Q&A
Odeon Liverpool ONE
Tickets cost £15
To buy tickets click on this link http://www.odeon.co.uk/films/withnail_amp_i_q_amp_a_with_paul_mcgann/16166/
I am a fan of Doctor Who. To my friends and family who are not part of the whole Doctor Who world, I seem a bit mad and eccentric. To the people who inhabit the Whoniverse with all the love, fervour and passion of Doctor Who fandom, I’m probably a bit of an amateur. But I am passionate, and I write weekly episode reviews for a culture ‘zine blog. I’ve also done a couple of reviews of Doctor Who audio adventures for the extremely well-regarded BlogtorWho website. An honour indeed.
As an occasional contributor to the BlogtorWho website, the Blogtor himself (Cameron K McEwan) sent me this book to review. The Dalek Generation is written by Doctor Who legend Nicholas Briggs, who among his many talents provides the voice of the Daleks and the Cybermen in the TV series.
In a recent interview, Russell T Davies, the man who brought Doctor Who back to our TV screens in 2005, admitted that he wished he’d asked Briggs to write an episode when he, Davies, was the showrunner. And so as I read The Dalek Generation I wondered whether Davies’s faith in Briggs’s writing ability was justified.
Well, yes and no, to be honest, although when I submitted my review to BlogtorWho, I did feel as though I’d shot Santa or something equally awful. I loved the way Briggs’s love of the show dripped from the pages of the book, but the story itself felt a bit saggy round the middle (hey, don’t we all! – Ed).
The whole experience, though, was a really positive one and it’s a good thing for me to be trusted by someone I admire and respect to write something for a website that has, until quite recently, been run solely by him. It must have taken a big leap of faith for the Blogtor to trust me and a couple of others to write for his site, and one I hope I’ve done justice.
Science Fiction Classics
I came home last Monday and said to my kids, “I’ve got some great news, we’re going to a concert together on Sunday.” My daughter was thinking, “Rizzle Kicks, Rizzle Kicks, Rizzle Kicks!” so you can imagine the abject disappointment etched on her lovely face when I told her we were going to see a concert of music from classic Sci-Fi shows.
I offered to let her off, but she gamely said she’d come with us to the latest in a series of Family Concerts at The Phil. In the end she was glad she did.
The concert blurb invited everyone to dress up and, typical of Sci-Fi fans, the audience went out to impress. We saw little Sith Lords, teeny-tiny Storm Troopers and a particularly creepy gas mask wearing “Are you my mummy?” nurse from The Empty Child episode of Doctor Who. And that was before we made it past the lobby. Even before the concert started, kids were encouraged to try out instruments at the Instrument Petting Zoo and awards were given for the best costumes. The Phil’s Family Concerts are aimed at kids from 4-10 years, but just around us there were nanas and a baby so new he looked like he’d been whisked there straight from the hospital.
Lead by a jolly and enthusiastic Alasdair Molloy, who set the scene by disco dancing onto the stage wearing a space suit, the orchestra started off with a rousing version of the Imperial March from Star Wars. And let me just say, the members of the RLPO were clearly having a blast and had come suitably dressed as characters from the Star Wars and Doctor Who universes. One even appeared to be dressed as one of the three-eyed “Oooh!” aliens from Toy Story.There was a Dalek in the clarinet section and even Michael Seal conducted using a light sabre.
I’ve never seen an audience at The Phil that was so lively and engaged as we were taken through music from the best of Sci-Fi, including a glorious rendition of the original 1960s Star Trek theme. There was a brilliant “Name That Tune” session with music covering classics from The Twilight Zone through to Futurama, via Thunderbirds, Red Dwarf and a spectacular, camp-as-Christmas theme from Batman.
The only non-Sci-Fi piece was the wonderful Mars from Holst’s Planet Suite. Written almost 100 years ago, its influence on music film and TV scores is palpable.
A version of Mean Green Mother From Outer Space from Little Shop of Horrors, sung in the film version with delicious malice by R&B legend Levi Stubbs , was re-named Mean Green Creature (for the kids, I understand) and seemed rather incongruous done here by a middle-aged Scot. But I think I was possibly the only person who was bothered by it, as everyone else was on their feet singing along.
The performance ended with the only version of the Time Warp outside the original musical that I haven’t absolutely hated (I even did the dance, God help me) and of, course, with a take on the original theme from Doctor Who.
We’ve all watched these iconic films and TV shows, but to see this music done by a live orchestra was something special. The passion from everyone on stage and from the audience was a sight to behold. I was thrilled by it and so were my kids.
The part that moved me the most, though, was when Alasdair Molloy quoted movie music legend John Williams as saying
Thank goodness for movies. Without them, no-one would be writing music like this any more.
Here, here. This was a fantastic introduction to the power of orchestral music for absolutely anyone. Even Rizzle Kicks fans.
Check out upcoming Family Concerts at The Phil, including Pirates and a John Williams special, at http://www.liverpoolphil.com/ Prices are around £6 for kids and £10 for adults.
Update – Alasdair Molloy has posted a couple of youtube videos in the comments below to the “Name That Tune” section. See how many you can get before the titles appear! And guess which one I thought was Spiderman *hangs head in shame*