Archive for Big Readers A place for discussing books and all things bookish.

       Big Readers Forum Index -> Adaptations, books read on radio, etc.

Christopher and his Kind

Drama about Christopher Isherwood on BBC2 tomorrow night (Saturday 19th, 9pm) - might be good.  Matt Smith plays Isherwood - he seems a good actor (certainly the best Doctor since Tom Baker), so I hope it might be quality drama for a Saturday night, which is a rarity!

Did you watch it, Evie? I was tempted, but put off by the fact that it didn't finish until 11.00 pm - I couldn't imagine still being up at that time! Perhaps it will be repeated before too long...

I recorded 'Christopher and His Kind' and watched it on Sunday.  I quite enjoyed it, and thought it was fairly well done and it certainly looked marvellous.  However, the material rather suffered because of the fame of Kander and Ebb's 'Cabaret'.  The character of Jean Ross (Sally Bowles) seemed truer to the original in 'Goodbye to Berlin' than Liza Minelli who had too much charsima. The original of Sally was a third-rate performer and the actress's flat singing voice seemed just right. Matt Smith didn't seem to me very like Christopher Isherwood but gave a very good performance.  I loved Lindsay Duncan as his mum. I most enjoyed Toby Jones performance as Chriss's seedy neighbour with wig problems. I would have liked more about W.H. Auden who played a huge part in Isherwood's life. There was plenty of graphic sex (imagine those bedroom scenes and all that male/male kissing twenty years ago) and a lovely collection of male eye-candy.  The swimming-pool scenes  looked suspiciously like Hampstead Ponds.  But I think the material is over-familiar, and as it progressed the play (script by Kevin Elyot) lost the sharpness of the opening scenes, and with the return to England from Berlin went all flabby on us.

I felt that most of  it went over very familiar ground but I enjoyed the bit when Isherwood meets up with Heinz years later when Heinz is living in East Berlin.  Heinz is married with a son and his wife "doesn't ask too many questions" about Heinz's private life. Heinz wants to move his family to California to be with Isherwood but Isherwood snubs him.

That part and the scenes with his strange mother and brother were all new to me.

I agree about the way Jean Ross/Sally Bowes was played.  Liza Minelli was sensational in "Cabaret" but too good for a third-rate nightclub singer.

I haven't watched it yet, it is still on my PVR - like you, Chris, I knew I couldn't stay up until 11pm on Saturday!  So will find a space for it sometime soon.

I enjoyed it but can add little to what has already been said. Isherwood's character was drawn as a complex and rather unlikeable man.

I have only just caught up with this, and enjoyed it -mainly because I thought Matt Smith was so good.  It isn't familiar territory for me, so I didn't know much of what to expect - haven't even seen Cabaret!  (Can't stand Liza Minnelli.)  

I assumed that Heinz was looking for a ticket to America as much as to be with Isherwood, but perhaps that's cynical of me.

I agree, Mike, that it would have been good to have had more about Auden.  Lindsay Duncan is always fantastic, and I thought the girl playing Jean Ross was excellent too.  Toby Jones was indeed very good, but too seedy to be watchable!

Beautifully filmed, I thought, and overall a good piece of drama, with excellent performances (I loved the German landlady too).

       Big Readers Forum Index -> Adaptations, books read on radio, etc.
Page 1 of 1
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum