Friday, 8 March 2013

'Lionheart is Immortal' | Theatre of Blood at London's BFI | Review

On Wednesday 6 March 2013, British comedy actor Reece Shearsmith introduced the film that inspired him – 1973's Theatre of Blood at the NFT1 at London's BFI Southbank, revealing that he was once given a T-shirt from his The League of Gentlemen collaborator Steve Pemberton (who was also a fan of the film) with the lines 'Lionheart is Immortal' written on it.

It was a real treat to see the classic on the big screen in 35mm, even though the Park Circus print had been around the block a few times (there were frames missing and the colour was a muddy shade of brown in most places). But that only added to the nostalgic feel of the whole event, and it certainly didn't matter to the audience, most of whom had never seen the film before.

The fact the audience laughed in all the right places was testament to Anthony Greville-Bell's witty script, Douglas Hickox's knowing direction (members of his family were also in attendance) and Vincent's spot-on performance. And wasn't I grinning from ear to ear when the audience gave the film a huge round of applause as the curtain came down on Vincent's vengeful Edward Lionheart (read his best lines here)? I also found out that I'm not the only one to be the proud owner of the Lionheart action figure.

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