What’s the most compelling piece of theatre you’ve ever seen? Some may name a legendary production of Hamlet they once saw, others might maintain that nothing will ever be more dramatic than the latest groundbreaking one-man play, more people would probably cite a scene from a gritty American box-set like Breaking Bad or The Wire.
Me, I can say with absolute certainty that the best and most compelling piece of theatre I’ve ever had the fortune to witness is this short six and a half minute clip from the popular television game show Golden Balls.
I was slightly apprehensive going into Dunkirk. I was worried that I would feel bored as I had heard it was mostly action with barely any dialogue, that it would repeat the same war-movie clichés and exalt some kind of quasi-mythical patriotic British-ness that would totally alienate me.
I forgot these worries within the first few minutes of the film.
We all have tropes that we can’t resist.
Whether it’s in books, graphic novels, television shows, films, whatever- if this trope is present and it is well executed (or even if it’s not, to be honest) you will be unutterably, inexplicably, drawn towards that piece of media.
I had just finished reading Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute by Jonathan L. Howard and was trawling through Goodreads when I came across a review that compared Johannes Cabal and his brother Horst to Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, and it was like a cartoon lightning bolt of epiphany had struck me (I understand that I’ve alienated most of you with this sentence but trust me, it’s accurate).
I have a problem.
I don’t read books; I devour them.
It may seem like it’s an exaggeration to call this a ‘problem’, but I assure you, it is very much a serious issue. Let me give you some context.
Murder at the cricket, afternoon tea with the Archdeacon and a country home asylum exposed. Hold on to your straw hats, Grantchester is back.
Doctor Who used to be my favourite television programme. Every Saturday evening my dad, my sister and I would sit down in front of the TV and watch David Tennant fighting aliens on some strange alien planet or talking to William Shakespeare in Elizabethan England, and I would love each and every episode, then go into school Monday morning and discuss it with my friends during morning registration. It was a simpler time.
If you are like me a fan of the supernatural, the weird and the wonderful; Dracula is a must read. It offers a fascinating look at a critical moment in the evolution of the genre, and you can trace the threads leading from it to all subsequent writing and film and television about the supernatural, specifically vampires.