East End Film Festival: The Show

The Show
The Show
Directed by James Alexandrou
Starring Celine Abrahams, Sean Buchanan, Charles Dorfman, Kate Fahy, Harry Lloyd and Adeel Akhtar
Screening at EEFF June 16th, 2017

by Bernie C. Byrnes

Chloe’s transition from soap stardom to the stage is already proving challenging opposite her committed and uncompromising co-star. But when an awful bereavement befalls her, she has to worry about much more than remembering her lines.

I really enjoyed this film. As a stage director there was so much here that felt familiar, particularly all the drama happening off stage and some drunken drivel happening on it. Celine Abrahams is a perfect fit for the beautiful Salome. She simpers and giggles her way through rehearsals like a true soap opera pro. Throughout the film she gives a solidly sound performance with only one brief loss of conviction in the tough-to-pull-off dressing room meltdown. Sean Buchanan as Liam, who had me cringing and applauding in equal measure, admirably balances Abrahams in the piece. The character of Liam is an all too familiar one of the ‘serious actor’ and Buchanan plays him without a hint of self-consciousness. Almost everyone in this film turns in fine performances. The dialogue is convincing and the characters are well drawn.

Without doubt, my favourite performance of the film is Adeel Akhtar as the carpenter. He’s always a scene-stealer (without upstaging) and I’ve never seen him put a foot wrong – even in films I haven’t liked. Akhtar (The Dictator, Four Lions, Pan, and Utopia) appears briefly in this film but leaves a lasting impression.

If you’ve ever wondered what life is really like in theatre, this film will show you. Yes, some of it lags but then so does life in the theatre. As a debut feature, The Show proves that James Alexandrou does have a life after Eastenders. It’s rough round the edges, but if this film is anything to go by, his future as a writer/director is looking pretty secure.


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