IF you have children, you too may be subject to the Johnny English phenomena. This MI5 spoof based on James Bond, follows hapless agent Johnny, Rowan Atkinson, in an action-packed adventure of espionage, gags and backfiring missiles.

I remember seeing Atkinson at the Edinburgh Festival in the 80’s in a sketch which evolved into the sitcom Mr Bean. As an adult I followed him through history in various Blackadder guises from the reign of Prince George, Prince Regent to the trenches of the Great War. It is interesting to see the roles actors embody throughout their careers as they appeal to generation after generation.

Emma Thompson put in an appearance as the British Prime Minister in Johnny English Strikes Again. In 2013 Thompson played author P. L. Travers in Saving Mr Banks, the film depicts the author’s meetings with Walt Disney in Los Angeles in the 1960’s, as he tries to secure rights to her books for his movie, Mary Poppins starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke.

We watched Mary Poppins Returns at Easter with cameo roles by Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep. I remember these actors from Kramer versus Kramer in 1979. Three time Academy award-winner Streep, has recently won over children as Donna in the popular Mama Mia movies, bringing the music of Abba to younger generations across the Globe.

Whilst we find understandable nostalgia and comfort in these wonderful actors and charming stories, it is important to also seek out the new playwrights and artists to create the legends and memories of the future. So here is a handful of films you might like to try at The Brewhouse over the next couple of months: Sam Mendes directs the National Theatre’s award nominated The Lehman Trilogy, a film adaptation of Andrea Levy’s Orange Prize-winning novel Small Island and Judi Dench as a communist sympathiser in Red Joan.

Whilst Van Gogh exhibits at Tate Britain you can enjoy him and his work in Taunton in Van Gogh’s Exhibition on Screen or Willem Dafoe’s interpretation of the artist in the new release At Eternity’s Gate. You could even learn to paint in the style of Van Gogh with our painting workshop in June. Alternatively you could see a new play written by the grandson of Oscar Wilde which dramatizes the trial of one of England’s greatest playwrights.


Chief Executive of The Brewhouse Theatre