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Of Mice And Men Screenings

14 Oct

The Broadway performance of  Of Mice and Men, starring Chris O’Dowd and James Franco, is going to be broadcast onto cinema screens around the world.

This recent revival of Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck’s play received rave reviews, and unless you managed to bag yourself a ticket for the theatrical performances in NY, this is the closest most of us will get to experiencing it ourselves.

International cinema screenings will start taking place from 6th November. For information of where they are happening click on this (you can also read a bunch of reviews on the same page, in case you were in any doubt about how good it is). UK screenings of the production won’t take place at the same time as international screenings, and will be confirmed in the coming months. Sign up for email updates to be the first to hear about screening dates.

Moss & Roy Reunite In The Name Of Technology

11 Oct

© Channel 4

We can only apologise that something this interesting managed to pass us by – until one of our eagle-eared team recognised a couple of familiar voices in an ad break last night.

The UK version of new iPhone 6 TV advert features the voices of none other than IT Crowd‘s Moss and Roy (sometimes known as Richard Ayoade and Chris O’Dowd). Although the ad itself isn’t anything to write home about, the fact that these two are together again – for something tech-related – is making us rather excited!

A big thank you to Amanda Robertson for helping us track it down online. The US version is everywhere, but the UK adaptation has been keeping a low profile. Thanks to Amanda, you can click here to watch it.

Wear Your Favourite Film

11 Oct

© Last Exit to Nowhere

Over the years, we’ve had the privilege of seeing a few of the people that we write about appearing in some pretty awesome films. But what’s been missing until now is the ability to wear creative interpretations of those films emblazoned across our chests. Not any more…

Last Exit to Nowhere is a small collective of film enthusiasts and creative designers. They  collaborate to create unique hand screen printed T-shirts that pay homage to memorable places and characters in cinema history. And we’ve uncovered some great designs with a TVO flavour:

A personal favourite is this design on above (awesomely titled “Death has a ginger beard”), which pays homage to Ben Wheatley‘s Sightseers (written by and featuring Steve Oram and Alice Lowe, just in case it’s managed to pass you by). It’s available in regular and slim fit for £20 by clicking here.

You can also have the pleasure of wearing another Wheatley-directed film on your body, in the guise of this A Field In England t-shirt, also £20. Or a Hot Fuzz-inspired design like this ‘Neighbourhood Watch Alliance’ design.

If you needed any further TV-connected reason to pay the site a visit, Chris O’Dowd fans can also express their love of Cuban Fury by donning this El Corazon Cuban Salsa Dance Club tee for the princely sum of £20.

 There are a ton of other cool designs too – including mugs and posters…so get in!

Mini IT Tee

24 Aug
© quertee.com

© quertee.com

Quertee -  suppliers of limited edition t-shirts – have a new IT Crowd shirt for sale for the next 12 hours.
This one features our favourite IT professionals, Jen, Moss, and Roy in Lego form, unfortunately there’s no Douglas or Richmond, but you can’t have everything!

The shirts cost £8 (plus postage) and can be ordered via this link.

Enjoy Yourself Some Cuban Fury

3 Jun

Cuban Fury, the salsa-dancing romantic comedy featuring Chris O’Dowd amongst its cast, is released on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday 9th April.

Nick Frost plays the lead role in the film (with O’Dowd playing the part of his alpha male nemesis), and another actor with TVO connections, Kayvan Novak, also features.

You can pre-order the movie from our Amazon store for £13 on Blu-ray and £10 on DVD. And if you fancy getting your own shimmy on, the soundtrack is now available for £13.61.

Take a look at the trailer below and put on your dancing trousers…

BAFTA Wins For Ayoade & Parkinson

19 May

This weekend saw Richard Ayoade and Katherine Parkinson pick up BAFTA TV Awards for their roles in The IT Crowd.

The duo were nominated for Best Performance In A Comedy Programme, in the Male/Female categories respectively.  Parkinson faced off stiff competition from Doon Mackichan (Plebs), Kerry Howard (Him & Her) and Frances De La Tour (Vicious) to collect her gong, which you can see below.

Things were even more heated in Ayoade’s category – especially as he was up against his co-star Chris O’Dowd, no less, as well as comedy heavyweights James Corden and Matthew Baynton for their roles in The Wrong Mans. You can see his typically self-dismissive speech filled with gags and praise for his collaborators below.

Sadly, The IT Crowd itself lost out on the title of Best Situation Comedy, as did Graham Linehan‘s more recent Count Arthur Strong and Matt Berry‘s star vehicle Toast of London - with all three being snubbed in favour of Him & Her: The WeddingNo, we didn’t see that coming, either… but well done to the team behind the BBC Three smash, and to all the winners on the night – which you can see in full here.

Chris Wins Broadway Debut Award

12 May

© Todd Heisler/The New York Times

As we mentioned previously, Chris O’Dowd has been nominated for a Tony award – for lead actor in a play – for his performance as Lennie (opposite co-star James Franco) in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. The ceremony takes place on June 8th, so we’re all keeping our fingers crossed.

We’re happy to tell you that Chris has been awarded a Theater World Award for Of Mice and Men. These awards honour those actors making their Broadway debut, and Brian Cranston (who is also nominated for a Tony) also won this award.

The 70th annual Theater Awards are presented by Theater World, and this year’s ceremony will take place on June 2nd at Broadway venue Circle in the Square.

Tony Nomination For Chris O’Dowd!

29 Apr

TVO is overjoyed to hear that Chris O’Dowd has been nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in Broadway play Of Mice And Men!

© Of Mice And Men Broadway

© Of Mice And Men Broadway

The former IT Crowd star has been starring in the Steinbeck adaptation alongside James Franco (Spiderman), Leighton Meester (24and former Father Ted actor Jim Norton, since the show opened on April 16th.

Directed by Anna D. Shaprio, the play has garnered rave reviews which bode well for its limited 13-week run.

Now O’Dowd has been nominated for the Oscar of Theatreland, in the category of Leading Actor in a Play.

To put that into perspective, he is now in the same category previously featuring the likes of  Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Patrick Stewart, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman and the late, great, Philip Seymour Hoffman to name but a few.  None of whom won their recent nominations, which tells you something of the calibre of the award!

The play itself is also nominated for Best Lighting Design, though the big surprise of the nominations was the revival of John Cameron Mitchell & Stephen Trask’s legendary musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which notched up eight nominations alone.

We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for O’Dowd until the ceremony on June 8th. For the full list of nominations, go here, and if you want merchandise from the show, you can pick it up over yonder now.

The Double – Rave Reviews

10 Apr

© Studio Canal

Since The Double was released last week there have been plenty of rave reviews and interviews with Richard Ayoade. Here are a few for you to enjoy:

Digital Spy say “If Richard Ayoade continues in this vein, we could be looking at a director to rival David Cronenberg and David Lynch during their prime”!

The Metro describe the film as “downbeat and tricksy”.

The Radio Times call it “visually arresting and utterly compelling”.

The Independent says “Richard Ayoade’s surreal film makes for twice the fun”.

And of course, not forgetting Mog’s interview with Richard from last week.

The Double is out in the UK now and will be released in the USA on 9th May.

You can now get a copy of the screenplay by Richard Ayoade and Avi Korine from TVO Store, where you can also pick up a film tie-in version of the original story by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Bafta Bonanza

8 Apr

© Channel 4

The Bafta nominations are out, and there are many TVO connections to be found.

To begin with; The IT Crowd has 4 nominations, with Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade and Katherine Parkinson nominated for Best Male/Female Performance in a Comedy Programme, and Best Situation Comedy, where it shares the nomination with Toast of London and The Count Arthur Strong Television Programme.

Richard III: The King in the Car Park, featuring Simon Farnaby, is nominated for Best Factual Programme.

There are also nominations for Rory Kinnear (Count Arthur Strong), and Doon Mackichan (Toast of London), for other roles.

In the Single Drama category, Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror: Be Right Back, featuring Claire Keelan (Nathan Barley) and Mark Gatiss’s An Adventure in Space and Time, featuring Reece Shearsmith,  are both nominated.

A full list of nominations is here, where you can also vote for the Radio Times Audience Award.

Own Part Of A Movie

27 Mar

We enjoy being the bearer of news for you lovely lot via this here website, but we feel a special kind of joy when we discover something random and just a bit ridiculous that we can share with you!

© Prop Store

May we introduce you to Prop Store, a website that offers a whole array of weird and wonderful prop from films and TV shows, some of them TVO-related! The only downside is that some of them are on the (very) expensive side, but for a piece of one-off authentic film memorabilia, perhaps they’re worth saving up for.

First off, take a look at the item above. It’s the rocket launcher from Four Lions which was used by Omar in Pakistan at a terrorist training camp. He misfires this particular rocket and kills his follow terrorists in the process. Somewhat bizarrely, due to the Violent Crime Reduction Bill, the item is only for sale to people who reside outside the UK. If that’s you, the rocket launcher can be yours for the princely sum of £595/$809. For more information click here.

There are also some lovely newspaper props from Bunny & The Bull (plus a script for just £20!), Chris O’Dowd‘s name tag from Bridesmaids,  and a whole range of props from The Boat That Rocked. If you spend a bit more time snooping around, you’ll probably find more.

Enjoy – and start saving!

Of Mice And Bro-Men-Ce

19 Mar

As the previews for Of Mice And Men begin tonight, The New York Times has taken the time to interview Chris O’Dowd and James Franco about their bromance and the play.

© Todd Heisler/The New York Times

We’ve told you previously about Chris O’Dowd making his Broadway debut in a stage adaptation of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and now the time has come for the first real test. Tonight marks the night of the first preview and it’s sold out. In anticipation of this, The New York Times has published an interview with the two stars where they discuss their budding bromance and how pairing them together can be likened to a blind date. However, they also delve into more serious matters such as their feelings about the Steinbeck novella and how they have made the characters of Lennie (O’Dowd) and George (Franco) more accessible.

It is an interview well worth a read and as a bonus, you get to find out how Chris O’Dowd got James Franco to take off his clothes! You can find the full interview over at the New York Times website.

If you simply cannot get enough of this duo, fret not! There is an 1 hour 45 minute interview with them which you can watch over here, or you could get tickets to see the play in person! Tickets are available from the usual agents.

Double Time

19 Mar

© Studio Canal

As the cinematic release of the hotly anticipated Richard Ayoade directorial venture The Double fast approaches, we share news of where you can see it first.

With Ayoade at the helm and Chris Morris, Stuart Silver, Kim Noble  and Chris O’Dowd among the extended cast, we can’t wait for the release. The film tells the story of office worker, Simon James (played brilliantly by Jesse Eisenberg) as his exact doppelgänger, James Simon (also played by Eisenberg, of course), joins the company and starts to take over his life.

The film will be released in cinemas across the UK and Ireland on 4th April and limited releases are planned  for the USA, France, Denmark and The Netherlands later in the year.

However, before the official release, preview screenings will be held at Picturehouse cinemas across the UK on March 27th.

What’s more, the Hackney Picturehouse screening will host a Q&A with Richard Ayoade in conversation with Jonathan Ross. Although this screening is sadly sold out, you don’t have to miss out as the Q&A will be broadcast live, via satellite, to all of the other Picturehouse cinemas.

To find a showing near you, and to book, head on over to the Picturehouse website.

And this won’t be the last you here from us about The Double – look out for our review and interview with Richard Ayoade as the release approaches!

Onion Land Catch Up

11 Mar

The past week has seen a smattering of TVO regulars make appearances across television and radio we didn’t have chance to warn you about ahead of transmission, plus a couple of shows you should already be watching have been airing too.

As such, we thought it prudent to give you a quick catch-up, starting with the incredibly popular detective comedy drama Jonathan Creek. The show, starring Alan Davies as the titular sleuth, returned for it’s fifth series recently, with Davies now accompanied by his new co-star (and comedy legend) Sarah Alexander.

© BBC

Episode two, The Sinner And The Sandman, featured James Bachman as Rev Hugh Chater, whose vicarage is being plagued by tales of a strange hump-backed beast that has been seen prowling in the garden by night.  You can see the episode for yourselves via iPlayer now, and it’s also available to pre-order on dvd now via The Velvet Onion Amazon Store for release next week!

Elsewhere, another veteran of Ealing Live cropped up on topical discussion show Loose Ends on Radio Four.  The show’s usual presenter, Clive Anderson, was absent, but in his place were Nikki Bedi and Emma Freud – who pronounced over a panel of very talented women.

© BBC

Film director Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham), actress Imelda Staunton (Pyschoville) and artist Victoria Melody joined our very own Katy Brand on the panel. Brand was discussing her long awaited crowd-sourced novel, Brenda Monk Is Funny, which can still be ordered over yonder. If you want to jump straight to Katy, you can find her 39 minutes, 40 seconds in on iPlayer now.

Sticking with the Beeb for a moment, let’s not forget that Inside No. 9 - the latest stroke of genius from Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton – is almost at an end, with Episode Six airing this Wednesday (12th March).  Previous episodes – including appearances by Katherine Parkinson and Julia Davies amongst others, can be seen again via iPlayer now.

© BBC / Des Willie

© BBC / Des Willie

Inside No. 9 is also available on dvd as of next Monday, with pre-orders possible now via The Velvet Onion Amazon Store.  Shearsmith & Pemberton are also undertaking a dvd signing at HMV Oxford Street on March 20th, so if you want a chance to tell them how great the show is, and get a squiggle on your box, that’s as good a time as any.

That’s not the only BBC2 comedy of the moment to have TVO connections. The glorious Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle returned recently, and the inimitable comic genius is regularly grilled each week by Chris Morris in-between chunks of his stand-up routines.  Regular collaborators Kevin Eldon and Paul Putner are also involved, appearing in sketches at the end of every episode.

© BBC / Colin Hutton

© BBC / Colin Hutton

The first two – focusing on Shillbottle and a certain “political” party – are available to watch on iPlayer now, and we’ll keep you posted on an eventual dvd release.

Finally, for now, whilst we recently bid goodbye to House Of Fools, The Life Of Rock and The Midnight Beast, there are two other very fine shows featuring TVO regulars still underway on Sky channels.

© Baby Cow

© Baby Cow

Moone Boy is currently airing on Sky One, and features co-creator/writer Chris O’Dowd as the imaginary friend of a young boy in early 90s Ireland. A delightful little gem, this show has quite rightly won almost every award thrown at it, and if you can’t catch up via Sky Go, you can at least pre-order the dvd release, due out on March 31st.

Whilst it hasn’t yet won any awards, it would be criminal if the critically acclaimed Doll And Em doesn’t pick some up before the year is out.

© King Bee Productions / Sky Living HD / HBO

© King Bee Productions / Sky Living HD / HBO

Currently airing on Sky Atlantic, the show features Dolly Wells and Emily Mortimer as hyper-exaggerated versions of themselves, and features cameo appearances from big name Hollywood stars as well as Tom Meeten, Laura Patch and Noel Fielding.

Again, the show is available on Sky Go, but there’s sadly no sign of a dvd release yet. It’s due to air on HBO shortly, so perhaps we’ll hear more then. Stay peeled… and if you see any shows with our regulars we miss, do get in touch so we can spread the word!

O’Dowd & Franco In Conversation

9 Mar

© New York Times

Towards the end of last year we heard about an exciting new theatre project involving Chris O’Dowd: He will be making his Broadway debut alongside Hollywood actor, James Franco, in the stage version of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.

On Friday they were interviewed live online by New York Times culture reporter Melena Ryzik, and the bumper 1hour 45 minute Times Talks video is now available to watch. The duo discuss working together on their new project and their acting careers beyond. You can watch the interview in full by clicking here. Expect lots of giggles – it’s a good un!

Of Mice & Men is playing at Longacre Theatre, 220 West 48th Street. Preview performances start 19th March, the official opening is 16th April,  and the play closes 27th July. Tickets are available from the usual agents from $37 and upwards.  If you go and see it, please come let us know all about it!

Enjoy A Charitable One-On-One With Chris O’ Dowd

28 Feb

© 826NYC

Chris O’Dowd will be taking part in an innovative show that’s happening in New York City next week, which features conversations between paired artists.

The show at Town Hall on 5th March is called One-on-One, and it marks the occasion of 826NYC’s 10th anniversary. 826NYC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. To read more about their activities, you can visit their website.

The featured pairings between the artists will include WNYC’s Kurt Andersen and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns; British ex-pat comedian John Oliver and Time Magazine’s Coolest Person of 2013 Questlove; New York Times journalist Anand Giridharadas and Russian LGBT activist and journalist Masha Gessen; and Fred Armisen and the Audience. O’Dowd will be in conversation with author Jon Ronson. The evening will be hosted by Sarah Vowell and Eugene Mirman, and music will be provided by Robyn Hitchcock. All proceeds support 826NYC’s free writing and literacy programs.

Tickets are available here from $40. What’s more, you can use the discount code of 826NYC for 25% off regular tickets. There are also VIP tickets available for $250, which include the best seats and a post-show meet-and-greet.  Go on, it’s for a worthy cause!

 

Trailer Roundup

3 Feb

Recent weeks have seen a smattering of new trailers featuring TVO regulars from mega-budget Hollywood productions to low-budget independent productions. Here’s a quick round-up.

First off the block here is one which has sent the internet into meltdown, as Optimus Prime rides a Dinobot in the Superbowl trailer for Transformers: Age Of Extinction. As we revealed back in SeptemberJames Bachman will be playing a character called Gill Wembley, but we know precious little else yet – beyond the release date of June 27th, 2014.

A few weeks before that, on June 6th, comes another cgi-filled sci-fi epic in the form of Tom Cruise vehicle The Edge Of Tomorrow. Partially shot in London in December 2012, the film features Tony Way as a character called Kimmel. The first full trailer can be seen below.

Way is also set to reprise his role as shamed drunken knight Dontos Hollard in the fourth season of the omnipopular fantasy series Game Of Thrones which returns in April…

Bringing things a bit more down to earth again, the ever busy Chris O’Dowd appears alongside Brendan Gleeson, Dylan Moran and Game Of Thrones regular Aiden Gillan in forthcoming Irish comedy drama Cavalry due out April 11th. Again, the first trailer is below.

We’ll aim to bring you more news on these productions as and when we can. As always, stay peeled…

R.I.P. Philip Seymour Hoffman 1967-2014

3 Feb

© Universal Pictures

The Velvet Onion would like to extend its sympathies to the family and friends of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who passed away this weekend aged 46.

An acting powerhouse whose glittering career has led to so many different ‘Top Ten Performances’ lists, Hoffman’s sole connection to TVO came with his central role as The Count in Richard Cutis’ 2009 comedy The Boat That Rocked alongside our very own Chris O’DowdKatherine Parkinson, and in a deleted sequence, Rich Fulcher.

Yet his legacy left a resounding impact on our regulars, and the team here, with masterful performances in productions as diverse as The SavagesSynecdoche New York, Boogie Nights, Mary And Max, A Late Quartet, The Hunger Games and The Big Lebowski.

In 2010, he also directed the feature film Jack Goes Boating, in which he also starred, and frequently directed theatre productions even in the later years of his life.  He had almost completed shooting on the final Hunger Games movie at the time of his death, has two other movies in the can for release this year and was about to start work on a new television comedy Happyish following a pilot episode filmed last year with Hedwig & The Angry Inch director John Cameron Mitchell.

Naturally, his work has inspired generations of performers and will continue to do so for decades to come.  This includes a number of TVO regulars who publicly expressed their shock and grief at his untimely passing.

Steve Coogan led public tributes at the London Critics’ Circle Awards last night, stating: “There are actors and there are movie stars and sometimes they’re both but he was an actor first and a movie star second. He did some tremendous work. People have different opinions about actors but you wouldn’t find anybody who would have a bad word to say about any of his performances – they were all incredibly nuanced.”

In the Twittersphere, more TVO regulars shared their views, which we have collated below.

Rest in peace, Mr Hoffman. You will be missed.

MooneTube For Series Two

30 Jan
© Baby Cow

© Baby Cow

Smash hit sitcom Moone Boy is set to return for a second series next month, and fans of the show will have a special chance to watch the first episode ahead of transmission.

The show is the brainchild of Chris O’Dowd, who co-writes the show with Nick Vincent Murphy, and following a critically acclaimed, multi-award winning first series, it was always expected the show would return.

For those not in the know, O’Dowd stars as Sean Murphy, the best friend of David Rawle’s character, Martin Moone.  Together they get into all sorts of hilarious japes and unusual hi-jinx, and Sean always has some friendly advise for his friend – or a banjo tune to keep him happy.  Except Martin is a schoolboy, and Sean… well, he’s imaginary.

Originally spun-off the back of anthology series Little Crackersthe show has been an international hit, with a series of children’s books on the way, and a third series planned ahead of the new run.

Series Two is set to air from Monday 17th February at 9pm on SkyOne HD, however, fans will be able to see the first episode for free this weekend via Sky’s own YouTube channel!  In a move targeted at non-subscribers, everyone in the UK will be able to access the episode ahead of transmission.

If you still don’t fancy subscribing to Sky, the whole second series is available to pre-order on dvd now via The Velvet Onion Amazon UK Store, with an expected release date of March 14th.

For more details on Series Two, including an episode break-down, visit our friends at The British Comedy Guide.

Sneak Peek At Cuban Fury

26 Jan

A new trailer for Cuban Fury, the new Salsa Dance film starring Nick Frost and Chris O’Dowd, has been released and shows the first dance lesson for Nick Frost’s character, Bruce Garrett.

The film, which has its UK release on Valentines Day (14th February), also stars Rashida Jones, Kayvan Novak, Olivia Colman and Ian McShane, and some TVO favourites – Steve Oram, Kevin Eldon and Rory Kinnear (Count Arthur Strong).

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