‘Ghost Stories’ and ‘Cargo’ first reviews

This has been an important week for Martin! Besides de successful press night of Labour of Love, screenings of Ghost Stories and Cargo took place at the BFI London Film Festival and the Adelaide Film Festival respectively. Here are the first reviews:

The Guardian on Ghost Stories: ****

Whitehouse, Lawther and Freeman enjoy themselves greatly in their roles and give terrific support […] Freeman’s Mike is a smarmy piece of work on his country estate – and a nasty little anti-Semite whose casual jibes to Philip about “your lot” bring us closer to a terrible flashback that lives perennially in Philip’s own head.

Our London correspondent went to the second screening at the Empire Haymarket cinema and Martin was there!

The Reel Bits on Cargo: ****

Freeman leads an excellent cast, taking his unlikely trajectory as a leading man and focusing all of his energy on a singular focus.

Martin joined the cast of ‘Whither Would You Go?’

Martin Freeman has been cast as part of the off-one gala event Whither Would You Go? at the Harold Pinter Theatre on Sunday 22nd October, with all profits from ticket sales to go to the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR.

Directed by Jamie Lloyd (Richard III), the event will pair scenes from Shakespeare’s work, which will be read by the cast, with real-life stories from refugees around the world. It is inspired by the Bard’s speech from ‘The Book of Sir Thomas More’, which was written as a pleas for tolerance during the London riots of 1517.

Martin will be joined on-stage by Bertie Carvel, Lee Evans, James Norton, Jack Whitehall and Olivia Williams, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Wunmi Mosaku, and a special guest performance by actor and Syrian refugee, Jay Abdo.

Lloyd said:

When we focus on what we all have in common, we can start a conversation. With more than 65 million forcibly displaced people in the world – the highest levels ever recorded – we should be talking and we should be acting.

The event was created by Ella Smith and Emma West, who first held the production in Los Angeles to a sell-out audience in March, and plan further shows in New York and Sydney.

To book tickets click here.

Sources: x x

Labour of Love Press Night

Last night, after 5 previews, Labour of Love officially opened at the Noël Coward Theatre. The first reviews are in and they all seem positive:

What’s On Stage  ∗∗∗∗∗

Under Jeremy Herrin’s graceful direction, Freeman and Greig are magnificent. He is a terrific listener; his passive absorption of the abuse thrown at him and his well-meaning attempts to make everything right make Lyons a sympathetic and rounded figure. The scene where he dances is a joy.

The Guardian  ∗∗∗∗

Freeman not only makes David likable and funny, especially when he reveals his hidden talent for dancing, but suggests that he is ardently sincere in his attacks on Labour cultishness and his belief that “you win from the centre”.

The Telegraph  ∗∗∗∗

Lyons, played by Martin Freeman, looks scarcely less daunted than Bilbo Baggins approaching the Lonely Mountain as he tries to bring Kinnockite/ Blairite centrist “common sense” into a land of brass bands and unbending working-class pride.

Time Out London  ∗∗∗∗

A huge help are the terrific performances from Freeman and Greig. They’re very different characters – him slick and metrosexual, her bolshy and exaggeratedly folksy, with a running gag about them failing to get each other’s jokes – but they’re united by a heap of personal damage and a deep-seated belief in the party.

Evening Standard  ∗∗∗∗

Martin Freeman is Lyons, perfectly catching his mix of playfulness and sincerity — and particularly good at reacting to abuse.

They also interviewed the cast and Martin said about his co-star Tamsin Greig’s last minute addition to the cast and his own work in the play:

It was very weird but fortunately Tamsin hit the ground running and I’ve never seen anything quite like it. The size of the role, the size of both of our roles, are too big not to be terrified by and Tamsin might have been terrified inside but she just came to work, hit the ground, and was funny, sharp, a great team player and the quickest learner I have ever seen

[The play] reinforced my admiration for politicians. It has been a long time since I’ve been someone who thinks that all Tories are bastards.  Don’t think anyone who goes into being an MP is anything but probably at heart quite a selfless public servant because you don’t do these hours for what is relatively not a lot of money without believing in what you’re doing.

After the play Martin and the rest of the cast and crew attended the after party at The National Cafe. We uploaded the HQ photos to our gallery.

Martin Freeman in BBC Radio 4 Front Row

Earlier today Martin Freeman and Tamsin Greig were in Front Row talking to Stig Abell about Labour of Love. You can listen worldwide here for the next 29 days or download the episode here. Their interview goes from 12:28 to 23:20.

Tamsin Greig and Martin Freeman discuss James Graham’s new play Labour of Love, about the three decade battle between old and new Labour in a North Nottinghamshire constituency, in which they play a labour party agent and an MP.